Things Fall Apart

Well now…I must say, I’m a bit shocked. My comfortable certainties are all upset, what I thought I knew is sous rature, my binary oppositions are problematized, and things are just generally messed up. If the trendiest of trendy hippest of hippy French philosophers doesn’t like Seinfeld, well–well why bother, that’s all.

Earlier on in the film, an interviewer from South African television chooses to open her questions with a reference to Seinfeld : does Professor Derrida see any affinities between his thought and this ironic, situation comedy? Derrida’s eyes narrow. “Deconstruction as I understand it doesn’t produce any sit-com,” he says in English, audibly putting the last words into pointed italics. “Stop watching sit-com. And do your homework. And read.”

Read? Read? Can he be serious? Read instead of watching television? Do our homework instead of just sitting around being knowing? What the hell kind of injunction is that? What’s the matter with the guy? Has he come over all elitist and bourgeois and logocentric in his old age or what? And what’s with the scorn for darling sit-com? What’s up with that, huh? Sit-com is, like, the art form of the 21st century, doesn’t he know that? I think he needs to get out of Paris and smell the coffee.

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