Tuesday, October 23, 2007

wherein i display various kinds of nerdiness, and not for the last time

I'm sure I have mentioned this elsewhere, but various (though not sundry--dear heavens, NOT SUNDRY) Discovery/History/Learning Channel programs carry a viewer discretion warning about "indigenous nudity," by which I assume the producers mean public nudity sanctioned by autochthonous norms, e.g. it is hotter in this damn jungle than in the frakking* womb, so why on God's steaming hot, green and humid earth would you waste resources fashioning a means by which to trap your own body heat, you crazy paleface!** However, if one can be indigenously nude, then the opposite would naturally be exogenous nudity, nudity that reveals you to be some sort of inappropriate miscreant who missed all of the social cues about modesty growing up, leading you to do things like having sex on camera or not wearing underwear in a limosine. Warning: Exogenous Nudity! This nudity, unlike that other kind of nudity we show on TV, is not okay! Mmmm, cultural relativism.

On a similar note, while relating a story about my office to PM the other day, I was suddenly struck by the awesomeness of the concept of a "tranquilizer."*** It forces you into tranquility! It mandates that you calm down! By extension, would it be okay to characterize a tranquilizer gun as a weapon for peace?....Crap, I am now approaching Human Condition territory, a topic I had better leave to minds superior to my own, such as Michel Foucault or Joss Whedon (SERENITY!)*. I will stop now.

*Yes, I am aware that I have just revealed myself to be THAT kind of nerd in addition to the Discovery/History/Learning Channel kind of nerd. But anyone who can read this has also seen my profile, and should already be well aware.

**Irony/Hyperbole alert. I don't want to get into a whole Caliban/Miranda-type, Edward Said, Reverse-Racism, Can-The-Subaltern-Speak thing. I'm just trying to talk about naked people!

***The underlying story is much less interesting than this decontextualized detail would make it seem.

Somebody, somewhere has to have written something connecting Foucault's geneaology of punitive violence in Disciplinir et Punir to Whedon's critique of conformity as peace in his seminal work, SERENITY. Please, please tell me someone has written that. If not, I will.

Post-Post -Script:
Pursuant to the above, I Googled "Michel Foucault Joss Whedon" and came up with this:


which is now officially on my Christmas wish list, thank you dear Baby Jesus.
Doesn't look like there is any actual Foucault in this, so I can still write that seminal work. (Did you giggle when you read "seminal?" Because I giggled when I wrote it. Both times.)

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