Skin in the game

Following up on my previous post about cumulative songs and naming… A Certain Gesture: Evnine’s Batman Meme Project and Its Parerga! is a work of auto-theory. To see how the pros do auto-theory, I recently read Maggie Nelson’s fantastic book The Argonauts. She speaks very frankly about many things in it (including sex) and I sort of realized that to make my book credible as a work of auto-theory, I was going to have to put some “skin in the game” and be prepared to write about embarrassing personal things.

That is why I decided to reveal the multitude of pet names I gave a previous cat of mine, Celestino.

But seriously, I had not fully anticipated, when I began this project, how much I would have to confront issues of self-revelation. And, since the form of the book is commentary on the memes by a notionally distinct editor, how self-revelation will work when it is presented through that indirection.

And then, this morning, I saw a post by Skye Cleary in which she refers to a film about Derrida in which he complains that philosophers don’t write about their sex lives! I imagined how that would go, in an article in Mind or Synthese:

“x is an ORGASM[subscript: philosopher’s name] if and only if a)…. b)… c)…. This definition is both too broad and too narrow. Regarding b), I have often found myself…. The problem with c) is that it would make it impossible, by definition, for anyone other than me to experience an ORGASM[subscript: philosopher’s name]. But while I think that it is metaphysically impossible for that to happen, it is not conceptually impossible. We might therefore weaken c) to c’)… ”

Rest assured: whatever happens in A Certain Gesture, it will not look like that!!!!

Single Tagging

As part of the commentary on one of my Batman memes, I plan to divulge the words of a song I have composed. It is one of those cumulative songs which gets longer and longer by the addition of a new element each time through – a musical version of “I packed in my grandmother’s trunk…”, and the elongation is effected through the introduction, one at a time, of the many existing names I gave a cat I used to have as a pet.

Now, today in class, I was teaching Robin Jeshion’s paper “Acquaintanceless De Re Belief” and she there suggests that naming in general is governed by (though not as a strict condition) a principle of Single Tagging – roughly “Don’t give a name to something that already has one.” I questioned this principle in class in the light of my practice (almost a compulsion – there is definitely something non-voluntary about it) of giving many names to my pets. And one of the students was like “Me too!!!!!!”

So, I have two questions: Is this a recognized thing, this quasi-compulsion to give multiple names to pets? And do people find Single Tagging plausible?

who-knows-two.jpg

One year since the movie

Today is the one-year anniversary of the finale of the Batman Meme Project, which came to a close with the posting of the film Evnine’s Batman Memes: The Movie.

As it happened, on that very day, I made the first post-project meme. Roughly 65 of these post-project memes, most of which have not been publicly seen, will be included in my book .

In honor of the anniversary, I here publish that first post-project meme. I’m very pleased with it! It is the only meme of mine in which there is, not only a third text bubble, but a third speaker, in addition to Batman and Robin.

jingle-bells

My new book

A Certain Gesture: Evnine’s Batman Meme Project and Its Parerga! is a new book I am working on – an entirely original kind of work that crosses genres, styles, and media. It will include about 120 memes based on the image of Batman slapping Robin (originally from a 1960s Batman comic). Each meme will be described and commented upon by an ‘editor’ who is, notionally, distinct from the creator of the memes. Many, though not all, of the memes deploy themes that have occupied my interest in philosophy, understood broadly: interpretation (literary and religious), language in general and naming in particular, metaphysics, and psychoanalysis.