The Hilarity of Postmodernism: Butter Dance

Butter DanceTruly the postmodernist intellectual movement has become a postmodern joke unto itself. I came to this revelation during a recent viewing of this hysterical youtube video entitled “Butter Dance”. For those of you who cannot or choose not to view it, the video is a six minute dance routine in which a fat Asian woman in a tight dress and heels “dances” on/in several sticks of butter accompanied by the sound of Indonesian shamanistic drumming. As you would expect, occasionally she slips and falls into the mess of saturated fats. This is intentional. But she rises again, she perseveres. The falls are actually quite brutal and uncontrolled resulting in resounding wet slapping noises as she strikes the stage. At times I actually worried she would do herself harm, but no doubt this element of danger only adds to the gravity of the piece. The routine ends with her kneeling on the stage, thoroughly covered in butter, gazing out into the audience with an accusatory stare.

I don’t think I need to go into any deep analysis here to point out the “oppressive” social norms that this dance routine is deconstructing. The whole thing hits you over the head with it like a sledgehammer. She’s fat. She dances in butter. She falls. She gets up. She glares at us with an accusing expression. Obviously this is a jab at socially constructed, patriarchal norms of beauty and the oppression of fat women. Derp. Not too hard to grasp.

The truly amazing thing here is that this piece of “performance art” is hilarious, yet the people in the audience do not laugh. Not even a chuckle. This is not an audio defect in the video either. At the end the applause and cheering come through loud and clear. I find it hard to believe that an audience of otherwise normal people could view this and not fall out of their chairs in laughter. But no, these people are far too intellectual and cultured for that. Even funnier is that this would not be funny if it was meant to be funny. If this was a comedy routine meant to make you laugh at a fat woman falling down in butter it would fail. The seriousness with which the “artist” and the audience take this ham-fisted social criticism is what makes it so damned amusing.

This is a great example of the joke that postmodernism has become. It is a mockery of itself. What started out as a bold new direction in left wing philosophy at the Frankfurt School where intellectual heavyweights grappled with the narratives and power structures that defined their society has been reduced to a fat Asian chick rolling around in butter. This phenomenon in and of itself is hysterically postmodern, and I can’t help but think that Michel Foucault himself would be chuckling were he alive today. The self repeating layers of irony here spawn an infinitely regressive loop.

In recent years a reactionary backlash to postmoderism and the takeover of the present day liberal intelligentsia by ridiculous and turgid feminist, queer, and oppression theories has begun. In 1996 NYU physics professor Alan Sokal perpetrated a grand hoax on his colleagues in the liberal arts. Known as the Sokal affair it is yet another hysterical episode in the recent history of this intellectual movement.

The Sokal affair, also known as the Sokal hoax, was a publishing hoax perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. In subsequent publications, Sokal claimed that the submission was an experiment to test the journal’s intellectual rigor and, specifically, to investigate whether such a journal would “publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if it (a) sounded good and (b) flattered the editors’ ideological preconceptions.”

The article “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”, published in the Social Text Spring/Summer 1996 “Science Wars” issue, proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. At that time, the journal did not practice academic peer review and did not submit the article for outside expert review by a physicist. On its date of publication (May 1996), Sokal revealed in Lingua Franca that the article was a hoax, identifying it as “a pastiche of Left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense . . . structured around the silliest quotations [by postmodernist academics] he could find about mathematics and physics”.

Truly this man is one of the greatest trolls of all time (trolling itself being a postmodern phenonmenon).

Postmodern writing has become so stilted, mechanical, dogmatic and predicable that a man named Andrew C. Bulhak has written a computer program that mimics the language of postmodern critical theory with such effectiveness that many are fooled into thinking it is a real academic paper they are reading at first glance. Another awesome troll of these ridiculously self important intellectuals. Well done Andrew.

It seems strange that a philosophy that is seemingly so absurd could have so much unseen power in today’s culture and could have contributed to the takedown of so many social institutions. The family, masculinity, femininity, capitalism, nationalism, patriarchy and even orthodox Marxist socialism have all been under assault from this school. This illustrates the social power of critical theory and deconstructionism. The theories are prima facie ridiculous, but they slowly and surely chip away at the foundation of a culture as they are intended to do. This is the intentional strategy of critical theory.

Deconstruction is not necessarily a bad thing though. Bad ideas should be deconstructed, dismantled and have their putrid innards exposed to the light of day. So expect more of our writing here at The Right Stuff to use the favorite weapon of the leftist intellectuals against them. They are the ones with the social power now and we will be slowly grinding away at their elite privilege with our own critical theory and postmodern deconstructivist attack. Is your body ready?

  • Lovejoy

    Postmodernism is dead. Only weirdos like you are keeping the illusion of it being alive at this point going.

  • Lillith

    First off, wow! Just wow!

    I never would have thought I’d ever read such a obfuscating piece of heternormative (not to mention sizeist) clap trap in my life. And the mandatory name checking of Sokal? How innovative. Mathematics has long been proven to be a post-textual, patriarchal construct engineered by the bien-pensant colonialist white men who seek to suppress any non-reactive narratives of emancipation and inner liminal dialogue. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of 101 post-colonial eco-feminism would understand that the post-capitalist systematizing inevitably leads to the sclerotic “ionization” of any indigenous culture. But by all means, please continue to insist that there isn’t an abduction of reality subsuming and supplementing the means of production in a phallogocentric and proletariat subverting manner! Unfortunately we can expect more of this and only worse in an ever warming climate.

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  • http://empathological.wordpress.com empathologism

    Unfortunately we can expect more of this and only worse in an ever warming climate.

    This is true, as the butter dance proliferates, the warming climate will help facilitate larger, group butter dances with bigger piles of butter that will melt away in what will be the subtropical area known as Green Bay.

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  • Nils

    Are you sure it’s not just some kind of weird porn? I’ve heard of stranger forms of pornography than this, coming from Japan…

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