Saturday 11 May 2002

Washing dishes at the University of Blogaria

AKMA writes that reflecting on Carol Carbone’s supplemental addition to DSM-IV (on Identiopathic Personality Disorder) while washing the dishes led him to ponder “the difficulty of thinking critically about the church from within the church.”

Although he has promised to send me a dishwashing photograph, I already know that AKMA does not use the Dishmatique or any of its American variants, since the technical complexity of the Dishmatique discourages any speculation other than Should I switch to the Non-Scratch head for this china salad bowl? or Do I need to top up the handle with detergent?

I remain alert, however, to the possibility that AKMA has developed a postmodern dishwashing method that amplifies one’s capacity for free associative thinking and critical analysis while guaranteeing spotless dishes and utensils. With AKMA’s permission, I will publish the photograph as soon as it arrives.

In a post titled Hands Off My Saint, AKMA responded to what he perceived as Jeff Ward’s unfair slur (since retracted) on St Augustine. I could only barely make sense of the paragraph that Jeff quoted (from On Christian Doctrine) but AKMA pointed to two sources of difficulty: Latin syntax sometimes results in sentences that translate badly into English while the quality of the translation is crucial. AKMA provided two alternative translations, each of which made much better sense (I preferred that of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers to Edmund Hill’s).

Does not AKMA’s description of Jeff Ward as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Blogaria imply the existence of other professorial vacancies? I have no objection to AKMA’s appointment as Chancellor of the university as long as fund-raising for the institution is placed in the hands of the Happy Tutor, whose intimate connections with the rich and powerful would surely result in a steady stream of endowments.

Unencumbered by any sense of false modesty, I nominate myself for the Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon Foundation Chair in Early Japanese Literature at the University of Blogaria.

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