Thursday, January 03, 2013

Department of Bad Ideas: One decade of inadvisable, future-undermining activity

In 2013, this blog turns 10. I don't know precisely when because I did a very poor job of maintaining archives through various hosting transfers, and although a version of a blog must have begun in 2001 or 2002 in order for me to get in trouble with my high school for it, I can't find the evidence. Since that incident however, I think blogging has been mostly salutary for me, unless some future employer denies me a job because of it, in which case I pre-emptively rescind that assessment. With the exception of a few loyal readers like Alex and David and of course my mother (and maybe some former participants-turned-lurkers), most of my original audience seems to have fallen off as I've become less forthcoming with unprovoked personal slanders, and more narrow, academic, and boring. I regret this, I really do! I wish all my friends from 2003 and 2004 would get together and throw a big party in Chicago where we would make fun of everyone we've known into the night under the influence of large quantities of liquor. Then the next morning, we'd have no evidence and possibly no memory that anyone ever said any of that, and we'd return to our strange, unpredicted adult lives. But since that can't happen, I'm glad that even as its audience has changed, the blog has remained personal in the sense that I've met many of my interlocutors offline and generally still feel as though I am writing to Real People.

Unfortunately, you can't read anything from the birth of the blog because leaving anything from my first year of college online unattended would be a Bad Idea. You will have to take it on faith that my writing has been immensely improved largely through the single innovation of desisting from profanity, as initially advised by my father and implemented when corroborated by a professor a year or two later. Other poor habits, like Random Emphatic Capitalization, crept in later. But, to celebrate this blogiversary, I will try to divert attention away from my own humiliating stupidities of 10 years ago and towards the following fond remembrance of the U of C pre-frosh message board circa September 2003, a couple weeks before we began college. I think this thing (mercifully) no longer exists, but it was uncannily indicative of what was to come for 18 year-old Miss Self-Important in the subsequent decade:
SEPTEMBER 12, 2003
The longer the wait, the more people I come to hate. So I've decided it's time to share the wealth of mofo-ing pretension that can be found daily at the UChicago message boards. 
Things That They Are:
"As a quasi-communist, I..."
"I'm a determinist, so I don't think people have free will..."
"Speaking from the point of view of a deconstructionist..."
"Well, as a moral relativist who sees the illogic in saying that "right" and "wrong" are universal and absolute, I..."
"As a reductive materialist, I..." 
Things That They Believe:
"I'm in favor of guns because I want to be able to defend myself. Not against street thugs or whatever, but against the police. That's why I love groups like the Black Panther Party..."
"I personally get just as offended by gay pride shirts, and american flags. Then again, it's not quite offense -- I'm just clued in to the biased and hindered mind of the displayer."
"One needs to do whatever one needs to do to get what one needs done. If that means killing a baby, so be it. Life is not precious."
"Ontogeny doesn't recapitulate phylogeny."
"Sociologically, it's well-confirmed that different ethnicities face different variable matrices, so it follows that when those variables are abstractly manipulated, like a Shakespeare work, the reaction will differ." 
Other Things:
"I have achieved Enlightenment." 
And for good measure...
"I'm speaking purely philosophically."

Also, this is for Julia, if she's still reading:
SEPTEMBER 18, 2003
I'm mostly packed, but now I'm starting to worry about minutia like soap dishes.
Not minutia, as it turned out.


alex said...

I'm so glad I didn't know about those message boards.

Miss Self-Important said...

I don't know how that's possible given all the communiques we were sent about them, but I'm also glad you didn't read them b/c if you had, you would probably (justly) have avoided me.

Julia said...

I'm still reading! And I'm also laughing.

You're lucky you didn't read the message boards, Alex. (Though I have a hard time understanding how you didn't fall into that vortex). I was terrified by them.

Miss Self-Important said...

As a post-Althusserian constructivist reductionist, I don't see what the problem here is.

Kate said...

I'm still here- every so often. It has certainly been a long time!

Miss Self-Important said...

Well, that's good to hear!