October 6, 2004

Mika’s Blog

Category: Wholesome — Biella @ 9:35 pm

I met Mika in Brazil, Mako’s delightful other half. I just stumbled onto her blog today and she has some of the most stunningly absurb, yet totally enlightening and delightful entries. In fact, she specializes in these koan nuggets of …. you decide…


Pomegranates are tastieee. As I picked each piece out, it reminded me of something: pulling out teeth.

It’d be difficult to trust any dentists who like pomegranates.

October 5, 2004

Historical Irony

Category: Anthropology — Biella @ 8:35 pm

I have been struggling with a concept and historical method I call historical irony and below is a first stab that I wrote tonight…

Historical irony is a method of positive critique that magnifies social struggles and alternatives that surface unexpectedly and as significant despite the undeniable existence of dominant ideologies and structures of powers. Thus historical irony accentuates a central feature of the human condition, namely unpredictability (Markell 2003) which I think can be productively thought of as vital force that deflates, even if only minimally, one of the crucial features of actually existing systems of concentrated power: the desire for perfect control. In other words, at a highly conceptual level, power seeks to eliminate the ironic in human affairs, rendering a world where nothing contrary to what is expected by those in power ever happens. To state more mundanely, it is world where every large-scale bureaucracy (from the IRS to the DMV to the U of Chicago registrar) can screw you for a late bill and where the president of Time Warner can convinces us that intellectual property is God’s gift to all earthlings. Aside from being a boring (and potentially very tragic) world, life without irony is a world without politics. Thus as method that wants to affirm politics, historical irony seeks to magnify

The absurdity of state of the art toilets

Category: Not Wholesome — Biella @ 6:32 pm

So as it turns out, I am going for the impossible: Finishing my dissertation by June. Whether or not I achieve it, I will be a lot less available for my other passsions and pursuits, karaoke, blogging, biking, SOSHI, and most notably, wasting time.

I have a feeling my blog entries will plumment in numbers so I might as well make them as absurd as possible (since I am doing something absurd why not mimic my life) and hopefully still have them reflect on what is going on in my life.

So, I am spending more time than usual in the library and since they have recently renovated the bathrooms, the University has provided its students with the latest and not so greatest advancements in toilet technology.

Like all postmodern bathroom gadgets, the toilet detects the user through sensors, but these new ones are like extra, no, I mean EXTRA sensitive, so that with any movement of your body, the toilet flushes and with such force, that it resembles less of a flush and more like a weak geyser.

This is totally absurb. You either have to launch into acrobatics while using these state of the art toilets or use the one toilet (in the handicapped section) in order to avoid what you are trying to place neatly away.

Anway, I know this is somewhat gross but I wonder if the university can get their money back, and if they do, would they replace the state of the art for the state of the retro? Or will U of C students, especially the women, develop some really fine leg muscles from using the toilets in our library?