The Alien Nation


This article (Forget Alienation – maltastar links always end up in main page) in Maltastar is deeply disturbing. I must confess that I do not know who Matthew Dimech is, but after reading this paragraph:

If we conceive that the ‘triumphs’ of neo-liberalism derive from a deconstruction of the divisions between what is authentic and inauthentic, then it should be comfortable to take on the proposition that the fruits of deconstructing authenticity have been to render critical political thought obsolete in a society of simulation, where images constitute reality instead of representing it.

… I am not sure I want to. Not because I agree or disagree with the content of course. No. The reason I would be scared to meet Mr Dimech is simply that I cannot conceive of anyone who could sit down at his pc and decide that such GIGO would be remotely interesting to any reader. Half the article he writes is taken up by quotes from Baudrillard and Boltanski. The words in the article include “simulacrum”, “creditable” (wrongly used), “conceptualised alienation”, “legitimizing unlimited accumulation”, “dominance of the spectacle”, and of course the whole paragraph that I have reproduced.

J’accuse identifies in this meisterwork a typical example of the “Stunning Method” that is quite a common appearance among the Maltese media. The pioneers of the style include Lorna V and Desmond ZM… they will stun you with verbose crap and long-winded sentences until you have absolutely no idea what they are on about. Like the python they hope to crush you with their sentences before going for the kill.

Dimech has added a twist of his own and adopts the technical languages of what sounds and smells like proto-commie linguistics (see? I can do it too) to tell us something that (maybe) points to disappearance of alienation in favour of transparency. The problem is that after reading the three paragraphs of his comment I feel more alienated than ever.

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2 responses to “The Alien Nation

  1. Shouldn’t have come as a surprise. A lot of academic writing is pointlessly esoteric. Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed Wright Mills’ comments in Sociological Imagination where he translating chunks of paragraphs by other sociological authors to two simple lines.

    I know the guy who wrote the article. And it’s true that his writing sticks out as unecessarily complicated. Contrasts highly with him in real life. Particularly his musical tastes.

  2. Antoine Cassar

    proto-commie linguistics… nice one!

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