A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The deconstructor deconstructed deconstructs.....

"What larks, Pip!" Those fine sparring partners of mine at The Groaniad are having some fun today at Stotty's expense. (And why not? Dr. Anne nearly spilt her morning tea with an outburst of unalloyed joy and ribaldry - "Serves you right!", she supportingly observed.) I had, of course, hoped to make Pseuds Corner in Private Eye, but 'Eco soundings' more than compensates with: 'Exercising his write' (The Guardian, April 7 - there is also the big 'Aaaaaahh!' factor of a cute little hedgehog to enjoy. Snuffles all round).

Now, to show you that this deconstructor can deconstruct with some degree of impartiality, I list below for your edification the competing metalanguages (those delightfully delectable loquacious Lacanian 'points de capiton') of risk, for (1) a 'leftist' authoritarian green environmentalist and (2) a 'neo-con' libertarian free-marketeer. Just take your pick. Both represent powerful hegemonic myths of the current age and whether you become 'enslaved' by one or the other probably has more to do with your own psychology and background than anything else - what we might call your 'Inherited Susceptibility Language Factor' (ISeLF). So here goes:

(1) equilibrium; stability; harmony; balance; fragile; precaution; command; control; sustainability; utopia;

(2) non-equilibrium; instability; dynamism; tough; adventurous; freedom; adaptability; entrepreneurship; flexibility; heterotopia.

Moreover, because it is, after all, Against the Grainiad, let's quote that old class-war horse, Terry Eagleton (1986): "To 'deconstruct', then, is to reinscribe and resituate meanings, events and objects within broader movements and structures; it is, so to speak, to reverse the imposing tapestry in order to expose in all its unglamorously dishevelled tangle the threads constituting the well heeled image it presents to the world."

Moi, pretentious! Never. But Eagleton's metaphor is unquestionably brilliant.

Philip, now urgently needing to deconstruct breakfast before "all that is solid melts into air." [PS: mild objection - I like some 'organic' food, although Kyoto is without doubt a crock.]

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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