josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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13 Jan '05 02:29:38 PM

To be precise: the mistake is not to decry the robotic Röhm but to try to leave the camp to do it.

13 Jan '05 02:27:23 PM

You just go ahead and get your mouse and hilight those quotes and see where the breaks between characters are.

13 Jan '05 02:25:46 PM

Speaking of Elisabeth Röhm, if you are watching the show properly then it will never have occurred to you that she is a bad actress, unless you are already watching the show properly and have mistakenly decided to stake out a place in the camp from which to decry her robotic demeanor while thinking that you are at that moment out on the highway of TV realism and not still on the campgrounds. Perhaps it is that, even as on the show one has the 'interview' and the 'crime' and the 'lawyer' and the 'breakdown on the witness stand', with Ms. Röhm one has (not had, because she will never go away now, just like Angie Harmon will always be there) the twice-quoted ''interview'' and ''lawyer'' and ''argument'' and ''exhibiting personal emotion''. I suppose if one here objects that the problem is that Ms. Röhm is not trying to do that, or er 'that', and what's more that she is not trying to do ''that'', one is running into the camp-analogue to the intentional fallacy, about which there could be just as much pointless runaround debate: camp is what you make it, er what one makes it, not what they make it (even though it is - sort of).

13 Jan '05 02:14:15 PM

Speaking of camp, I did not get to see the one where they ousted Elisabeth Röhm last night (though I will of course get to see it six hundred times throughout the course of my life in reruns). This is an added disappointment because I would like to have seen every episode where a character enters or leaves the show. In fact, I think I ought to make a list of the ones I have seen.

13 Jan '05 02:11:39 PM

I miss the time at which I could expect anyone and everyone who was anyone that I wanted to know to know pointless minor details about The Simpsons. Law and Order is saturated enough in my home demographic that it could serve that role now, but I doubt, sadly, that it does, or will. But I bet that if its camp-hilarity were acknowledged in full, it would.

13 Jan '05 02:02:14 PM

I dream occasionally of writing a book after Deleuze and Guattari's study of Kafka - think of the part early on where they take all these little things as signs, like the bent neck - of the interviews of the law part of the show, which is to say the order part of the show, where the detectives do little more than nudge along (even with yelly interviews and threats of obstruction of justice charges, really) the workings of ethical commitments on the smallest levels across a broad range of types, roles, and levels of intimacy. First I would have to read Deleuze and Guattari's book on Kafka properly though, and there's too much TV to watch for that to happen.

13 Jan '05 01:55:54 PM

You might also, or instead, if you like, appreciate (love) it as baseball. As if baseball. Like baseball, its monotone procedural regularity is the backdrop for its interest, not its standout virtue.

It might have to be baseball-camp.

Which is different from baseball camp.

13 Jan '05 01:45:17 PM

If you are not now appreciating (loving) Law and Order and late additions as camp then you are not appreciating (loving) it, really. Your love will be only partial. With camp you can have it all. Then there will be an unending wash of the most minute details to observe, nonstop hilarity both bitter and warmhearted (well mostly bitter), overwrought sentimentality denial of which is in the ballpark of aloof stony appraisal of the failures of the lowest pop music, shifting, flickering allegiances and affinities as you are part of the machine of society and happy about it and against it and knowing that you are better than it because you know somehow, miserable empty fucking addiction to hour after hour, winky knowing in-jokes, also Jerry Orbach a lot.

13 Jan '05 10:11:50 AM

The reason the situation near the end of the last entry interests me - the urge to turn to obviously important features of a work that are taken to be just as obvious reasons for not getting it - is that for some works, the features of that sort are let's say obvious only in a prearticulate way. What I'm really working on is a description of the problems that beset attempts to talk about Wittgenstein's poetics, and not just talk about them, but make something of them when trying to understand Wittgenstein 'just' philosophically. You can hardly do that justice without talking about his style of writing in short remarks. But even people who I think know where Wittgenstein's coming from tend to get by on unspoken intuitions as to the effect of that style, which makes it seem like a slightly unwarranted place to start in situations of dispute as above. They are not in the business or practice of addressing things like style and form centrally, which strangely enough seems to mean that they do not even do it when a work's style is so obviously significant. (Compare the Investigations to a million and a half pieces of modernist literature.)