Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Don't go to dinner with a critical urbanist...

So there you are at a dinner party, glass of wine in hand, canape poised at your lips, smile on your face as you anticipate some witty chat with intelligent fellow guests. And someone says this:

‘all science would be superfluous if the manifest form of things and their essence coincided’

Then follows it up with this:

‘commonsense is a political relation, as are the categories of perception that sustain it’

Apparently you've met the critical urbanist. I would advise flight. For the conversation will make the poetry of Grunthos the Flatulent seem like Keats. It will be filled with grand phrases and words you barely recognise all mixed in with a slightly sneering attitude to real issues in the real world. You will be regaled with vague unreferenced allusions to something called 'neoliberalism' and comments like:

...when it comes to the production of these categories of perception, these epistemological couples (individual/collective, profit/loss, rights/responsibilities, etc....

Your eyes will glaze over at this point as your attention wanders to whether you let the cat out or how the speaker's trendy goatee isn't quite even. Your will to live will slowly fade as a whole evening of meaningless gobble-de-gook presented as intelligent comment looms before you. If flight isn't an option the only approach is to get drunk. Drunk and rude.


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