December 3rd, 2010

Semiotics For Dummies

The other day Rome Girl was listening to an NPR podcast and some semi famous dude she likes mentioned semiotics.

Because she knows I'm an overeducated pretentious fuck, she asked me what the deal is with semiotics.

While a serious response to that question would take hours it did inspire me to create a cheat sheet that will allow nearly anyone to come off as a semiotics expert at cocktail parties.

Here's all you really need to know:

Roland Barthes. The dude that got it right every time. With "Striptease" he taught us that everything in our lives is a narrative text. With "Death of the Author" he showed us what really matters when interpreting a story. Finally, with S/Z he showed us how narrative is really constructed. Good dude.

Jacques Derrida. The John Lydon of semiotic theory. Like Lydon he shot out a lot of arrows and some of them missed the mark totally, but the ones that hit the bulls-eye did so brilliantly. "Gramatology" is a work of genius with him starting off by calling French a "dead language" and then going on to lash out against the "tyranny" of spelling, grammar and punctuation, reminding us that how ideas are communicated is what matters, not arbitrary rules. He'd have greatly approved of the way kids write text messages these days.

Michel Foucault. Almost completely useless fuckwit. Wrong about nearly everything. He displayed the understanding of philosophy as it relates to literature as bout as well as my cat does. On the other hand, he understood queer theory very well and his remarks about the nature of homosexuality in the arts, literature and life are worth reading. As for the rest, if anyone brings him up feel free to completely dismiss any idea associated with him. Here's one you can easily argue with. He doesn't believe that madness is the opposite of reason. Such begins the insane moral relativism that would eventually pollute academia to the point where every single idea no matter how dumb now has to be treated with equal respect. Blow me.

Doh!

When asked why she's moving to San Francisco Winona Ryder said "I gotta bag me a husband!"

Because, you know, The Castro is where every straight woman should go when she wants to find a guy willing to commit.

Here's an easier way to become someone's beard - just fucking join Scientology like all the other Hollywood girlfags!

Seriously, Jada, Kelly and Katie are probably fun to hang out with!

Rock Trivia!

It's that time again for Rock Trivia. You know the rules. I put out song lyrics and you see how many you can get without using Google or Wikipedia!

1. We weren't in love. No, far from it.

2. I got so scared I shivered like a child.

3. I should have closed my eyes when you drove me to the place where your horses run free.

4. Cherry ice cream smile - I suppose it's very nice.

5. Dreams of dragon's fire and of things that will bite.

6. Why did my lover have to pick last night to get down?

7. Have ya, grab ya til you're sore!

8. There's more to the picture than meets the eye.

9. When you looked at me, I should have run.

10. Goddess on the mountain top, burning like a silver flame.