August 13, 2012
E.L. JAMES (Pt 2): Fifty Shades of Voluntary Redundancy

“So Christian, how do you feel now the tables are turned?” I growl, looking down on his naked, perfectly formed physique, bound utterly by the intricate Japanese knotwork I had researched during my incredibly high-achieving postdoctoral fellowship, the fellowship I’d gotten just as my academic career kicked into fifth gear, like a very fast, expensive car kicking hard into fifth gear, and going really fast, such as a BMW, or a Ferrari.

“Mercy, mistress!” he growls, his blue eyes tearing with pain that was also pleasure and basically didn’t have any real pain in it.

“Silence! You’ll speak only when spoken to !” I growl.

“Er, but you did speak to me, Anastasia,” he growls. 

“OK, but… er… anyway, you have to call me Professor now!”

“Yes professor,” 

“That’s better,” I growl, and flick his perfect torso lightly with my Hermes horsewhip. Holy shit! I had the great Professor Christian Grey, Chair of Selling Out and Making Lots of Money, completely in my grasp!  I feel a spasm of shuddering frisson pulsate its way into the text. “Now cite my recent publications!” I command, growlingly.

“Er… ‘Textual Empowerment: Why Both Writing And Reading Incredibly Bad Fiction is Actually Very Liberating In Ways That Real People Totally Get, And Why That Is A Good Thing.’ Perineum University Press, 2012.”

“What else?” I commandingly growl.

“Er, ‘Sacred Textualities: The Use of Incredibly Shit Fiction in Making Everyone Feel Better Momentarily, But Then Shortly After Feeling Sick To Their Stomachs, A Feeling They Often Misidentify As General Depression or Anomie, Or So Some People Claim, But Anyway, I Don’t Really Feel Like Talking About That Part, OK?’ Hull-Upon-Toiletbrush University Press, forthcoming….?”

“Is that the best you can do, worm? You call yourself a professor?” I growl, in a commanding way.
“ Er… Well, and… I’m totally in awe of how your work crossed over into the mainstream?”


“…and made you a celebrated commentator and public intellectual, while still commanding the respect of serious scholars?” he growls, questioningly.

“Better.  Now you can lick my boots,” I growl.

“That’s… that’s weird.”

“They’re Manolos.” 
“I know, but…”

“You bought them for me.” 

“OK, that’s all right then,” he growls.  Wowser!

He licks the expensive, bespoke shoes that he’d bought for me. And I feel a spasm of shuddering frisson enter the text again, and not for the last time.

“Harder!  Festschrift me at the same time!” I growl, commandingly.

“Yeth Profetthor.  ‘Profetthor Anathtathia ith one of the magisterial intelligentheth of our timth, with the rare ability bothth to radically quethtion our pertheption of key intellectual motifth, and yet altho  to-’ “

I feel my member thicken and pulse in my trousers. Holy shit! Can this really be happening? I can’t believe I have my own member now!  Finally a member of the member club! A simple, ordinary yet brilliant girl like me, fully membered-up and empowered! In fact I feel power brimming within me, like a small rodent trapped inside a larger rodent trapped inside a vast fuck-off megadont with paws like Maseratis or Mercedes Benzes, and a penis, and able to totally publish anything ever and make people like me A LOT! 

“Er, Professor?” he growls.
“Yes, worm?”

“You do realise that this inversion of the gendered power structure in fact repeats it mimetically, obviating any truly radical change by merely reproducing its terms?”

“I’m not interested in power, Christian. Only in frissons. Frissons and brands.  But especially frissons.”

“Well I guess that’s something.  But the idea that jouissance has liberating force is starting to look a little anachronistic, though, don’t you think?”    

“I’m not interested in liberating force, Christian.  Only in frissons.”

“I suppose what I’m trying to say is I own you.  I own your book deal.  I own your publisher. I own your face.”

“You don’t own my face.”

“I kind of do, actually.”



"But…  But… But I like it that way, really, don’t I?”

“Yes, Anastasia, you do.  Would you like another frisson now?”
“Yes please daddy.”

“Good girl,” he growls.

A giant frisson pulsates into my text with such force that I thought I was going to die of gratitude there and then.  Holy fuck!  

“Yes, harder!” I beg as Christian’s face melds with that of every fascist tyrant scumbag capitalist that ever existed – and so does mine! This is the peak, the pinnacle, the very top of something very high!  High and mighty and pure and clean and without any poor people!  

As he seizes my threadbare, shadow-thin existence in one hand and gripped my tragic lack of genuine aspiration in the other, my pupils dilate to pinpricks through which are projected, like a reverse camera obscura, the searing counterimage of my interiority: a chattering cavalcade of immaculate skeletons, shopping frantically in a vast designer outlet store, mourning people they never knew that never anyway existed. 

“Thank you so much!” I simper.

“It was literally nothing.”

August 10, 2012

To: Bin Laden, Osama, Dr.

11 September 2000

Dear Dr Bin Laden, 

APPLICATION: ES/I056999/2  ESRC: Research Grant – Religion & Society

To complete research for and write a monograph entitled “Clash of Civilisations?  Toward a cultural, economic and religious East-West reconciliation.”

Your proposal was recently considered for funding and I regret to inform you on behalf of ESRC that it was not ranked highly enough to receive funding as there were a number of other, stronger, proposals. Please would you inform your administrative office of this decision.

As is inevitable, there was fierce competition for a limited amount of funding which meant many interesting and valuable applications could not be supported. As part of the assessment process we ask our Moderating Panels to grade each application according to the ESRC’s grading scale. In this instance, your application was graded 4. Please note the grading scale can be viewed in the Research Funding Guide, available on the ESRC website.

Should you wish to discuss this further please contact us. However in recognition of your grade, and as the Religion & Society scheme has now ended, it will not be possible to appeal or to resubmit any version of the proposal.

Yours sincerely,

Grants Service Desk
Tel: 01793 867001

RCUK Shared Services Ltd
North Star House
North Star Avenue
Swinging, SS1 9EE
A service provided on behalf of ESRC

RCUK Shared Services Limited (RCUK SS Ltd) is a limited company registered in England and Wales (with company number 633053933) and has its registered address as North Star House, North Star Avenue, Swinging, Cutshire, SS1 9EE.

While RCUK SS Ltd has taken every reasonable precaution to minimise the risk of this e-mail containing any humanity, the recipient should carry out its own checks and balances against possible terrorist action, destruction, infiltration, insemination, miscegeneation, communism or scholarship, y’know?


August 7, 2012
E.L.JAMES: Fifty Shades of Impact

“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly.
“No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I cite… hard.”

My mouth drops open. Cite… hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot.

 “Secondly, there’s a lot more departmental adminstration to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the campus. Come, I want to show you my common room.”
But why are we looking at a common room? I am mystified.
“You want to play on your Interdepartmental Intranet?” I ask. He laughs, loudly. 
“No, Anastasia, no Intranet, no E-Learning. Come.”… Producing a key from his pocket, he unlocks yet another door and takes a deep breath.
“You can leave anytime. My faculty helicopter is on stand-by to take you whenever you want to go, you can stay the night and go home in the morning. It’s fine whatever you decide.”
“Just open the damn door, Christian.”
He opens the door and stands back to let me in. I gaze at him once more. I so want to know what’s in here. Taking a deep breath I walk in.
And it feels like I’ve time-traveled back to the sixteenth century and the Spanish Inquisition.
“Holy fuck.

It’s the biggest collection of peer-reviewed journals I’ve ever seen. 

He grabs me suddenly and yanks me up against Textual Practice issues 1-834, one hand at my back holding me to the special issue on Post-Feminist Misogynies and the other fisting in my sheaf of freshly-printed graduate dissertations about the sociosexual function of poorly-written sub-pornographic antiprose.

"You’re one challenging woman."  He cites me, hard, forcing my footnotes apart with his MLA style guide, taking no prisoners. 
"It’s taking all my academic rigour not to cite you on the hood of this recently-published monograph on De Sade’s little known career as a writer of Twilight fan fiction, just to show you that you’re mine, and if I want to edit you a fucking festschrift, I’ll edit you a fucking festschrift, and have it published by Routledge in a special one-off signed edition cross-promoted with Lamborghini" he growls.  

His head turns fractionally toward me, his eyes darkest black-board. I bite my lip.
“Oh, fuck the departmental administration – let’s research!,” he growls. He lunges at me, pushing me against the lifesize bust of Soren Kierkegaard made by Chanel in Lalique Crystal. (It’s a uniquely impressive piece, embossed with gold cupids endorsed by J-Lo.)

“Actually, this is no good,” I say, pouting.  “I feel a bit disappointed and anxious about where this is going, and wonder if maybe I am cheapening myself as a researcher,” I groan, without in any way being capable of meaning it, or meaning anything at all, so potent is the fiery grip of his burning white rich male heterosexual intellect thingy upon my er whatever, forgotten, sorry.

“That’s understandable, but isn’t cheapening yourself the whole point?” he growls.

“Oh yeah.  I forgot, sorry, I am incredibly stupid!”

“Incredibly!” he growls, brandishing a diamond-embellished copy of Discipline and Punish with an incredibly rare lost foreword by Ayn Rand, and bringing it down hard on my never-to-be-published PhD on something kind of intelligent but I’ve forgotten what because I’m so stupid. 

“Maybe hurt me in a pretend fantasy way again?” I beg.

“That’s what I’m already doing you idiot, can’t you read?”

As his huge engorged tome crushes any hope of my future self-realisation, I felt totally liberated from ever having to do anything at all ever again except abide in the echo chamber of my own failed fantasy life, spreading retrograde aspirations wherever I passed and contaminating the world with the tragic effluent of failed late capitalist post-feminism – except that I couldn’t even form that thought, because I was so stupid, and because Christian, fuck it let’s just call him Christ, was…. SO.  DAMN.  HOT. 

From E.L.James’ little known early career in academia.  

August 5, 2012

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August 3, 2012

From: Dean of Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

To: Professor L (for Lazy) Wittgenstein, Whewell’s Court, Trinity College Cambridge

Dear Prof Wittgenstein,

Impertinent as I’m sure it must be for me to remind you that we are trying to run a research institution whose funding is in part based on publications, the time has come to take action.I believe – and cannot of course confirm, viz. the whole problem at hand – that you have written that: “My work consists of two parts:of the one which is here, and of everything which I have not written. And precisely this second part is the important one.” Is it?Is it really, though? Do you think?

I am unfortunately forced to note that you have, despite repeated warnings, failed to publish anything at all in your entire career other than a single, solitary book review.Apparently there exist jottings with such enlightening titles as “MS122”, “The Blue Book” and the like, but since these have not in fact been published in a peer-reviewed journal or with a university press, they cannot of course be counted towards the Research Assessment Exercise.Call me a bureaucratic dullard and all that, but: who in the fuck do you think you are?Immanuel Kant?

When you write that, as I have it on rumour: “my difficulty is only an — enormous — difficulty of expression,” I can only agree – while asking myself “but then why the cocking hell are you the Chair of Philosophy?”   Yes, no doubt, “what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence,” but that only begs the question, “are we paying you to sit around doing nothing, and if so, why?”

Forgive an amateur these idle language games.I am in absolute agreement with you that “the real discovery is the one which enables me to stop doing philosophy when I want to.”  I only pray that the angel of inspiration touches you with its wings as soon as possible. 

I am left after these many frustrating years with no choice but to kindly submit that you choose to vacate the Chair and your job.If we cannot agree this amicably, then there are other measures that can be taken, including, I am told, a procedure with electrodes, very painful, which the current government does approve of, if unofficially.

Sorry to be blunt, old chap – but the gravy train has left the station.Perhaps you’ll find a post in Greece!

Sincerely your own,

Dean of Studies

August 1, 2012
Immanuel Kant gets his latest work Peer Reviewed.  

Immanuel Kant gets his latest work Peer Reviewed.  

July 25, 2012
Reblogged from the delightful stickyembraces:

The Adventures of Marx and Engels, #18

Reblogged from the delightful stickyembraces:

The Adventures of Marx and Engels, #18

June 17, 2012

Hmm… “Proposed Impact Narrative…”  For Pete’s sake, these grant applications are…  What’s this? “Community Dialogue & Public Utility”?  Christ.  Er… OK.  How about: “The Origin of the Species project will,” er, “bring faith communities into closer dialogue around the subject of the existence of God as creator of…”  Actually no. Too inflammatory. Best avoid the religion stuff.  How about: “will bring… bring communities into closer dialogue with,” er, with what though?!  With marine invertebrates?  Too specific… Too spineless.  Er…. “…into closer dialogue with the ancestral animals of the earth, air and sea”?  No, it’s gone all hymnal again.  Grrrnngh.  Maybe I can just say I’ll do a website or something.  Yeah.  With, like, a forum, or whatever.  

“List the Economic Benefits.”  So not my bag, this.  Er, OK: “My research will provide a platform for developing tools towards the eventual selection of,” er, “desirable human characteristics (aka ‘good breeding’) at embryonic stage onwards, which…”  Hmm.  How would you exploit that?  “…which can become a sought after service with major industrial implications opening new revenue streams.” Yes? – excellent!

“Fill in your Overall Impact Summary remembering to focus on Impact beyond your immediate target audience.”  Hmm… OK.  Er, “my time aboard the Beagle has allowed me to form theories that I expect to bring seismic shifts not merely to scientific understanding of the diversity of life and inheritance of traits, but to the ontological underpinnings of Man’s notion of itself with extensive metaphysical repercussions.”

 Too bombastic? Want it to sound meaty, though…  Oh shit: forgot world peace. Crucial to allude to world peace.  And Israel/Palestine.  How do I get fucking Israel/Palestine in there?  “…has allowed me to form theories that will enliven debate around biblical themes giving rise ultimately to a more harmonious dialogue between-”  Oh Christ on a stick this is bullshit!!  I give up.  Keep your filthy money!!  Where’s my cocking wimple?

Darwin writes his “Proposed Impact Narrative” for the grant application for The Origin Of The Species, shortly before jacking it in and becoming a nun.

June 16, 2012

June 15, 2012
Reblogged from our colleagues at stickyembraces

Reblogged from our colleagues at stickyembraces

June 11, 2012


Hi John,

Yep, it’s that time of year again.  Here’s me, on bended knee, hoping you might consider co-supervising another PhD submission with me.  Pretty please? 

After being so civil as to take on “Doctor Who, the Daleks, and Political Thought in Modern Britain” last year, I can well see how you might not feel too inclined.  But I’m hoping the preliminary scholarship for “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: the Normalisation of Right-wing Vigilantism in the American Political Economy” might persuade you otherwise?  No, seriously?  No,  _seriously_ seriously.

I guess at this stage I ought to say the student “has a fascinating take on the Doctor’s interpretation of the social contract with serious implications for” yada yada yada.  But the fact is, as we both know, the department is too badly shafted right now to turn away anyone less than totally retarded, if they’re paying.  So… self-interested co-operation it is, then, right?

Finding all this a bit nasty, brutish and long, to be honest.  Drinks soon?
  Voluntary redundancy?



May 29, 2012

Arrived at the cabin; mist-enrobed, the utter calm led me to experience at first hand the authenticity of being as dwelling.  Can there be anything more attuned to the Germanic spirit than the Todtnauberg?


Still trying to log into the remote e-learning system which the Freiburg engineers, no doubt leaders in their class, have equipped us with.  Are they thinking closely enough about our encounter with technicity, though?


Shitting e-learning toss has eaten all my student coversheets.  This bilge is confirming all my thinking about modernity reducing everything to mere resource…  What is needed here is a firm hand!  A decisive action to restore the immediacy of a felt and authentic connection of spirit to our land!  Leadership.  I shall IM the chancellor; he has always shown an iron fist in such matters.


The chancellor’s firewall seems to have misidentified me as some kind of undesirable.  Find myself entirely locked out: even my personal webdrive claims I’m already logged on.  Am I some kind of rat, barely to be considered human?  Arsemilk of a goat’s flatulent sister!!


How can this have happened so fast?  Several students threatening litigation for failure to provide proper feedback on their work… Chancellor is siding with the student body.  WHY??  Hannah might have been right about bureaucracy, damn her.  SHIT!! May have to reconsider this whole Fuhrer thing.

May 27, 2012

The students are marching!  Christ, but this is good!  Revolution in the streets! - or rather, subjects effectuating truth in discernible finitude by an act of naming which leaves its referent in the future anterior of a condition!  What a day, what an event in the proper sense!  Time is of the essence - I’ll rush to join them on the barricades!  Perhaps even make an address…yes, why not!    Just got to submit this grant application first… damn deadline is tomorrow and it represents a month’s work… oh and I said I’d finish those peer reviews of course… can’t let them down after all the work they’ve put in.  But immediately after that!  

Wait - the recommendation letter for that fellowship - long overdue, it wouldn’t be fair to… And then there’s the committee on… Or no.  Maybe I should just sod all that, and get myself out there!  Tricky decision.  Tricky, tricky…  Oh shit, shit, system’s gone down again!  Just got to… nnnnf….

But! - yes, truly an overturning of the tables of being, history in the making, a wresting of the indiscernable into the the decisively new!  Yes!  The spirit of ‘68!  You go, girlfriend!  Yep.  Yep.  Be… with you in a sec.  

From “Ruminations After The Event” 

May 26, 2012
G.W.F. HEGEL, Université de Montréal (all 5 parts)

Pt 1.

A sad day on campus.  Awful what has blown up with this whole fee-increase business.  The students are up in arms marching about, and one absolutely feels for them.  It’s a sad state of affairs indeed.  Terrible, terrible… On the other hand, though… perhaps this negative moment can be seen as a necessary step towards a more positive one of unity and well-being!  A synthesis.  The nature of humanity is to impel men to agree with one another, and its very existence lies simply in the explicit realisation of a community of conscious life!  :-)  

Or to slightly amend one of my previous dictums:   “It cost the University thousands of pounds to enter the consciousness of men.” LOL  :-) 


Pt 2.

Today the Minister came to give a speech about the Idea of the University and the students shouted him down completely.  A potent and understandable reaction at what might be seen as an inflammatory gesture at this time.  Perhaps the Minister can learn something from this!  A necessary step?

And on the other hand - perhaps the students have discovered that it is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in Providence, than to see their real import and value!   :-)   ….the student leader’s expulsion almost certainly unavoidable as part of the overall sublimation…


Pt 3.

Thousands of students have taken to the streets en masse, a potent force of history.  The police were forced to use harsh tactics of containment against their urgent protest, in violent scenes that break the heart.  Many were injured, and innocents made subject to unfair treatment and arrest. A bloody and awful night, ending in a man’s self-immolation.

On the other hand!…  The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom! The ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes these stages moments of an organic unity, where they not merely do not contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other!

So yes… perhaps these matters, but also a law to regulate them, is a necessary moment in the dialectic towards self-consciousness.  Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights. :-)


Pt 4.

Hundreds of students mown down with automatic weapons.  Martial law.  Sheer madness. I saw a girl crushed to death under a tank.  On the other hand— shewas a bit shouty and annoying.  

The origin of a State involves imperious lordship on the one hand, instinctive submission on the other.  Surely obedience - lordly power, and the fear inspired by a ruler - in itself implies some degree of voluntary connection?  :-)  It is not the isolated will of individuals that prevails! 


Pt 5.

State of emergency.  Police informers everywhere - I write in caution.  Mass round-ups - curfews - brutal force.  Rumours of concentration camps, in which grim practices are meted out on undesirables.    

On the other hand…!  The universal will is primary and the essence!   :-)  And individuals do have to make themselves into the universal will through the negation of their own will.  Just sayin’!    :-)

Right… must get back to stress-testing those workload models for the new MA programme in Modernity & Universalism… the Dean is utterly dependent on me, poor soul!  :-)  

G.W.F. Hegel, diary notes, Montreal 2012

May 24, 2012
True dat.

True dat.

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