Abusing its otherness, its soul and wit,

He rapes the text, claiming its benefit –

And that, inscrutable, it asked for it.

(Helen Pinkerton, ‘Literary Theorist’ from Taken in Faith)

My objection to “Literary Theory” is not particularly intellectual – it is more a matter of taste, of immediate repulsion. i smell something rancid, unnatural, corrupt, and as one reflexively spits out rotten food, so with the tripe of Judith Butler or Homi Bhabha – to the discerning palate rotten thought (if you can even call it “thought”) is instantly revealed in the language, which is likewise rotten, distended, obnoxious and diseased. And, i imagine, the writers are themselves thoroughly corrupt human beings, as one might guess from their eminence, their professorships, their grand salaries, their titles and worldly honours. Here is a picture of Professor Stanley Fish, who has done very well in the world:

And here is John Milton, ‘Lycidas’, attacking the false shepherds:

Of other care they little reckoning make
Than how to scramble at the shearers’ feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman’s art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoll’n with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said;
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

It is in the nature of things that hypocrites and ambitious apple polishers will attain to the highest positions, and one should not be surprised by this. But nonetheless they are responsible for the wholesale destruction of education in the west, and they will not be remembered fondly.

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