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Post-modernist on UFO sightings and ‘Harry’s Place’

In his weekly humor column in Sunday’s Washington Post magazine, Joel Achenbach took on the subject of mass delusions.

He wrote:

Part of the willingness to believe spurious “facts” comes from a distrust of science. In “Aliens in America,” for example, political scientist Jodi Dean writes: “To claim to have seen a UFO, to have been abducted by aliens, or even to believe those who say they have is a political act . . . It contests the status quo . . . Given the political and politicized position of science today, funded by corporations and by the military, itself discriminatory and elitist, this attitude toward scientific authority makes sense.”

Except what they believe isn’t true. That’s not a political observation, unless insisting on objective reality can be considered political. And if it can, I’d like to sign up for the political party that’s in favor of truth.

I knew the name Jodi Dean was familiar, as was her bizarre post-modernist take on politics.

It turns out Professor Dean was entranced by a similarly mystifying deconstruction of Harry’s Place (or more precisely, ‘Harry’s Place’) by Mark Kaplan of Charlotte Street a couple of years ago.

After quoting a particularly impenetrable block of Kaplan’s take on ‘Harry’s Place,’ Dean wrote:

I am really taken by the analysis and completely convinced that it applies to the blog/text at hand.

Whether Dean had actually spent any time reading Harry’s Place before writing this, I can’t say. My guess is that she hadn’t.

I also wonder if she believes that when Orwell wrote “Good prose is like a window pane,” he was serving the interests of the status quo, the corporations and the military.

Whom are these people writing for?

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