A glorious McSweeney post – “Why you should not have broken up with me, according to various critical theories”

Dysonology

This cracking piece is by Tommy Wallach:

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BROKEN UP WITH ME, ACCORDING TO VARIOUS CRITICAL THEORIES

Deconstruction

Ferdinand de Saussure famously said, “In language there are only differences.” What he meant by this was that words have no meaning except insofar as they contrast with other words. Thus my failure to hold down a job for more than a month cannot implicitly carry the meaning of “failure” ascribed to it by you, Tandy. A word such as “unemployed” carries a semantic value only in terms of its partner word “employed,” just as “flat broke” defines itself relatively to “financially independent” and “manic-depressive” to “emotionally stable.” The noble goal of deconstruction is to overturn these simplistic oppositions and, in Derrida’s words, reject a “hierarchizing teleology” of language. In short, the deconstructionists certainly would not approve of my being compared to our more “successful” friends, such as…

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