Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spotting the Pseudo-Intellectual


The Pseudo-Intellectual talks on and on using jargon and incomprehensible thought. If you call the person on it, introducing sense into the conversation, the pseudo-intellectual vanishes.

Another word for "pseudo-intellectual" is "bullshit artist."

Nearly 100 years ago the world lost an entire generation of intellectuals to the trenches of war. Madness. Currently we've lost a generation of intellectuals to the madness of the academy, which has filled their heads with nonsense.

Case in point is the literary hipster site, HTML Giant, which has become a home of pseudo-intellectualizing.

Recently I jumped into a hectic discussion about "Pop" literary ideas. I joined the discussion for obvious reasons, as I'm promoting the idea of Pop lit. The original post was by an HTML Giant regular named M. Kitchell, and referenced in particular pseudo-intellectuals Robbe-Grillet and the well-known literary character Tao Lin. The minute I began to ask embarrassing questions, the discussion dwindled, then halted. I'm sure I came across as someone from another planet.

You'll find the post and discussion here:

As there are a great many comments, 230 in all, you may want to read the newest posts first (choose that option), because I added my remarks fairly late.

The few who attempted to answer my questions escaped so quickly that I never got in many other points-- including about Martin Heidegger, well-known Nazi philosopher and con artist. I could point to on-line essays which argue that Heidegger was a Nazi through and through, in his person and his thought. The thing about Heidegger though is that no one can be sure exactly what he was talking about. He was the Pseudo-Intellectual par excellence. He likely didn't know what he was talking about himself, but was the ultimate bullshit artist, to the extent of b.s.'ing himself out of trouble at the end of the Second World War. The ultimate weasel-- yet his nonsensical ideas have been adopted by American universities and are a major cause of the decline of our nation's intellectual thought.

I'm sure most of the writers and readers at HTML Giant retain sense and intelligence-- or will be able to someday find some. However, Part II of this examination leaves room for doubt. Stay tuned.