The Narrative of Problematics


My dad always seemed slightly annoyed when he said I was born with bullshitting superpowers. As a student I couldn’t be troubled with any con as tangible as law or medicine, so eventually I finished academics studying bullshit in its purest form, so-called critical theory.

This area of inquiry is rooted in linguistic science where it produces predictive results, most notably in the reconstruction of dead languages. When applied to pop culture it separates from science, and therefore reality, forming the basis of a new religion.

Institutions festering with invasive, self-serving, careerist ideologies. Who cares, except for the fact that it produces a lot of graduates.

The good ones learn to sell wine. I can’t tell for sure, but I would guess that most of my favorite wine writers, importers, and resellers – of a certain age – have all read the works of Foucault and Don Delillo. Many of them write better too.

I prefer the writing of the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Flame wars had natural limits – the inherent pace of the press, the office of the censor – which made them more vivid. It was the last best thing in letters – not counting escapist magical realism. The woeful irony is that the anti-hero led to the politics of nihilism, its own demise, and vacant, lazy, obscure position-taking, without any direction or force.

When I need to get my bearings I drink a glass of Nebbiolo. It is a strangely articulate liquid, and it’s story depends on real things, like weather and farms and markets. This Tuesday we will sample one from Produttori del Barbaresco, the 2013 Langhe. Join us! We can talk about books.



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