Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Heads Up

FW’s own Jeremy has a piece in the latest Hippolytic on the meaning and uses of the term “catastrophic success.” Here’s what was the money quote for me:
Catastrophic success speaks, if nothing else, about a military operation which is more than just a success. It is a success with conditions attached. “Catastrophic” could admit any and all of the meanings listed by Webster’s above. The adjective allows us to make such grisly associations. These adjectival meanings can either be applied to the “success,” negating the force of Mr. Bush’s claim, or to its consequences for the “enemy,” strengthening, in a violent, romantic way, a vision of American military success. However, in exchange for these associations that the adjective enables, the term demands something from those who hear it, speak it, incorporate it into their language. Admission has a price—not only for Mr. Bush, although that price has not yet been collected—but for us. There is an economy of truth inscribed in “catastrophic success,” its wild paradox, which demands from us a concession, a tribute, in return.
There’s no online edition, so you’ll have to locate it in a dining hall (or wherever there are dead trees) to read the rest. And if you happen to be a Hippolytic editor, you might want to start thinking about an online edition [blogosphere 1, MSM 0–ed.].

2 Comments:

At 8:26 PM, Anonymous terri 'motorcunt' schiavo said...

it is interesting to refer to paper as dead trees. the gold-plated plastic computer accessories that enable us to communicate via the ether/internet, therefore, may be called 'dead negro-plated dead dinosaurs'. i love dinosaurs.

-not ilan

 
At 3:11 AM, Anonymous ilan said...

for real, not me - it was rod.

 

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