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Postmodern Village
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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
13th Annual
Conference

Gnome ChoamskiThe Mother of All Babels, or Talking Past Baghdad, on the Linguistic Dysfunctions of War
by Gnome Choamski

“Progress” or “quagmire”? “A safer America” or “blowback” in the making? The “main front on the War on Terror” or “a costly, deadly mistake”? “A slam dunk” or “bald faced lies”? Babble on, ye TV pundits and armchair warriors, babble on on Babylon.

Eric A. JongMr. And Mrs. Anti-Climax Accomplish Nothing (Again): How the Collapse of Feminism has Made Literary Sex Go Bust
by Eric A. Jong

Now that he mentions it, it has. Why, when we were so worried we’d offend, when we were so terrified of being brought before the anti-discrimination committee again, were we so much better at writing about Doing It? Jong makes a compelling case that sometimes you have to be forced a bit to feel liberated, that to be a little afraid is to be a lot hot n’ bothered. Now it’s all just fumbling about in the (neo) dark (Ages).

Stan Wankey  The Global War on Violent Flabbergasm: Sensationalism, S&M, and the Role of the Mainstream Media in the American Fetish for Senseless Killing
by Stan Wankey

In the mainstream media, from the CBS Evening News to CSI, says Wankey, intrusion into the human body, torture, gratuitous violence, necrophilia, dismemberment, disembowelment are actually quite a bit more common and explicit than they are in actual hardcore porn. And Wankey had the video to prove it. After this paper, I’ve sworn off regular TV altogether: from here on out it’s SpectraVision, an alternative more edifying and humane.

Clive Hangyve (and His Puppet Tooci)She’s So Ironical: Cyndi Lauper Does Jonathan Swift and Other Post-(M)Oddities
by Clive Hangyve (and His Puppet Tooci)

Hangyve and Tooci were actually quite a bit less odd than their subjects: Pat Boone does heavy metal, Rod Stewart does jazz standards, Britney Spears does The Rolling Stones. Klezmer rap and blugrass covers of Metallica and Scandinavian girls’ choirs doing Nine Inch Nails are conscious enough camp to qualify as avant-garde, but the others represent a much more deep and disturbing weirdness. We should have seen it coming when Nixon showed up on Laugh-In in 1968. But nooo, we were too busy riding around on our collective high-horse trying to stop a war and all to recognize the real enemy.

Joannah ZimmermanShitty, Shitty Bling Bling: Gangsta Grillz Meet the Permanent Vertical Smile; Confessions of an Underground Proctologist
by Joannah Zimmerman

“Guard your grill / knuckle up / you ain’t tough,” a chorus from a 1990-something Naughty by Nature song, boomed from the conference room along with the sounds and smells of dentistry. One exiting attendee assured me as I entered that it was well worth it just for the laughing gas, although the seats were uncomfortable. Oh, how right she was. The “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling” singalong was okay, but my momma taught me that if the sun don’t shine there, ain’t no point in wearing diamonds there neither.

 

Conclusions and a Free Plug

Of special note was the venue for Modismal and Dhong’s paper presentation and celebrity cookoff, a local restaurant called ¡Gastrogasm! billing itself as “Genuine Pacific Rimmer Cuisine!” This Correspondent tactfully failed to mention that the Pacific Rim is on the other side of the isthmus, but the food was extraordinary enough that it bears a hyperlink in this report, and is mentioned here in an attempt to persuade the proprietors into catering more PMV gatherings.

Another odd year all in all, but at least this time, we could explore wielding the tools of oppression instead being them. Role play is an important part of any psychological healing regimen, and This Correspondent recommends it be a more frequent goal of future conferences, though rumblings about siting next year’s affair on the edge of a semi-active volcano in what will then be left of Greenland have not fallen on deaf ears. As much as we do need to witness the devastation of Global Warming firsthand, might it not be just as well seen from Palo Alto or Dubuque, Seattle or the Wisconsin Dells?

We thank this year’s participants, the people of Zamas, and Zelda at the INS for letting Mary Chino-Cherry back in the country. And wherever we end up, we expect you all there in 2007 - provided the mud holds and the lava don’t rise.