I Am Jack’s Fascist Aesthetic

I’m back!

My friend Elizabeth Crist (formerly of UT, now at Princeton) forwarded me this this morning: Tenure Club. It has everything I need to feel better about the mountain of unfinished (and unbegun) academic work waiting for me at the office this morning: a feel-good story of unearned academic success, a brilliant take-down of Chuck Palahniuk’s tough-guy prose, and the fantasy of beating up professors. The unnamed protagonist goes up for tenure, but it’s bad news:

The committee was reluctant, and I got a split vote. A lot of flak in
the department from Tatiana Vonderloo, a dewy-eyed Belgian scholar who
worked on this group of Iowan Amish who started their own language,
ended up sounding a lot like late Esperanto — she explained all this
via a logic called The New Parlance. Check out the book, it’s called Whither Boise? Duke. Couldn’t stand the woman, but as a scholar she kicked a mild, Research Triangle form of ass.

Soon Tatiana Vonderloo is picking her teeth out of her hair and bringing a modernist along for the ritual beatings. (“Despite all the big talk about a fascist aesthetic, those boys move slow.”)

Speaking of fascist aesthetics, behold the zoot-suited hipster as Nazi.


This is a screen capture from a wartime Disney propaganda movie encouraging Americans to save their money and pay their taxes. The zoot-suited duck pictured above, however, tries to tempt honest Donald with live-for-the-moment hedonism. Attentive Dial M readers will remember how the paleohipster was pressed into service as the metaphorical figure of communism; apparently he did just as well as a Nazi.

Here’s the whole short, courtesy of Youtube. Time‘s mylar-wrapped person-of-the-year stunt was kinda cheesy and dumb, admittedly, but actually it’s the only way you can personify Youtube and related phenomena. Youtube is us. Youtube was the greatest thing that happened all year. Time was right after all.


About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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