As you may or may not be aware, there is a virus loose amongst academia called "modern academic criticism". We must all do our part to vanquish the forces of pompous, long-winded obscurity. I wrote this parodic piece several years ago for a creative writing class; I've made only a few cosmetic changes to the original. - Brian Burks

A Neo-Post-Barthesian Interpretation of the Intertextual Reifications of Railroad Graffiti: The Monologic Dynamics of Class and Gender Interfacing With the Anonymous Reader's Sense of Hyperreal Displacement Colluding With the Anonymous Signator's Protest Against Consumer Capitalist Hegemony; or, The Ultimate Death of the Author

J.S. Winderbaggs, Ph.D. (who makes a profound political statement by putting his name next to the text)

Spray-painted against the wall is the slogan "Metallica Rules." The author of this work was anonymous, freeing the reader of the text from the oppressive subjective didactations in knowing whom the creator of the text was. The text also is grammatically incomplete (Metallica Rules what direct object?), which causes the reader to question the validity of language and reconstruct in his/her/its fashion a new language (1) free from the fascistic dictates of the capitalist patriarchy; or perhaps discard rules of language altogether, since the universe is flux and grammar presents a false image of order in the world that prevents the reader from realizing his/her/its correct monadological (2) relation to the time/space continuum (3). The fact that anyone can compose "Metallica Rules," makes the text a pro-democratic statement against the elitist conception (4) that only certain works created by certain people (usually dead white males whose perspective by being white and male only reinforces the inequities of the capitalist patriarchy) are "good" art, the unwritten assumption that the concept of "good" exists (5) beyond the discrete individual's perception of reality - a tool employed by society to enforce conformity to accepted modes of conduct (6). Observing the text the reader at first questions that, since Metallica is a rock band (7), the statement should not read "Metallica Rocks," as opposed to "Metallica Rules." However, upon closer examination the reader realizes that the substitution of "Rules" posits a profound political statement about power structures in society (8). All relations and sub-relations between people are relations of power (ex., all heterosexual intercourse is rape (9) because of the dominant functionality of males in the patriarchy) and so stating "Metallica Rules," acts as both a symbol of subservience (Metallica is my master) and insurrectable defiance ("Metallica Rules," not you - my parents, teachers, judges, etc. - the holders of power (10)) of the ageist, classist hegemony that to a lower-class white male who spray paints (11) this slogan represent the forces that oppress and commodify (12) him.

1. Virginia Woolf, James Joyce's Sister-in-Law, Chapter 12 "The Transsexual's Sentence"

2. Leibniz, Monadology

3. Einstein, "E=MC squared"

4. The History of Western Civilation, Various

5. Plato, The Republic; Theological Traditions of the World, Various

6. Wearing Clothes In Public, The Public

7. "Metallica, Like, Rocks, Man!" Circus, June 1986

8. Foucalt, The Mystery of Sexuality, Vol. VII, Ch. 3 "Sex is Power: A Startingly New Revelation"

9. Andrea Dworkin, Handbook For Dismantling the Oppressive Patriarchy, Ch. 7 "As Soon As We Get This Cloning Business Figured Out, We Can Kill All The Males and Still Survive As A Species"

10. Twisted Sister, "We're Not Gonna Take It"

11. Black Flag, "Spray Paint"

12. Karl Marx, Das Kapital

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