I checked out a sociology anthology from the library, Conflict, Order & Action, because the back-to-back Weber and Marx selections looked handy-dandy for purposes of my philosophy and sci-fi film needs. Weber on "Science and the Disenchantment of the World"; Marx on "Alienated Labour". The Weber is going to work on a whole bunch of stuff, and I won't even insult your intelligence by connecting the dots. The real question is how far I can push the pun on 'alien', in discussing Ridley Scott's classic film, without getting the giggles. Ahem:
"The worker puts his life into the object; then it no longer belongs to him but to the object. The greater this activity, the poorer is the worker. What the product of his work is, he is not. The greater this product is, the smaller he is himself. The externalization of the worker in his product means not only that his work becomes an object, an external existence, but also that it exists outside him, independently, alien, an autonomous power, opposed to him. The life he has given the object confronts him as hostile and alien."
And then I notice that later in the volume there is an essay with the singularly inauspicious title: "'Voyage through the multiverse': Contested Canadian Identities", by some Wolcott guy.
The title turns out to be from a Dream Warriors rap. Ahem:
"Here, I want to look at the ways in which Canadian rap and dub poetry make and reconfigure the boundaries of Canada and Canadianness - those contested spaces that often lose their intelligibility outside of state managerial apparatus. But I am interested in how both dub poetry and rap music are often positioned as not constituting "Canadianness" given how rap and dub poetry disrupt and contest the category "Canadian." I am also interested in how state administrative practices aid in positioning blackness as both part of and outside of the state's various forms of management and containment. Blackness is then understood as having a diploctical relation to nation in its resistance and complicity; and its performances are also regarded as something otherwise."
Sigh. When I read stuff as stilted and academically mannered as this, it makes me feel good to be an analytic philosopher. (Well, less bad anyway.) Like I'm keepin it real, refusing to allow my presentation of obvious - or, alternatively, obviously false - ideas to be unnecessarily cramped by "a certain quality of conformist excellence within the heuristic constraints of what is considered appropriate disciplinarity" (to quote Timothy Burke from some comment box or other.) Except this is more like conformist mediocrity. But still. It was sort of funny.
There oughta be a cultural studies drinking game. I think the word 'contested' alone would be enough to have everyone feeling good at the end of many a seminar.
I like the idea that the Canadian border - the longest unguarded border in the world - is being 'contested' by rap and dub. Such a Musiko-grenzalogisch 'event' hasn't been heard tell of since the whole Oregon territory piano-tuning dispute of 1818: A440 or Fight! (Historians should feel free to correct me by citing equally catastrophic recent events. I mean there has been Brian Adams and stuff since.)