Published in Vague Terrain

My Inscription of the Girly Man piece was published in the online journal Vaugue Terrain this month (January 2009). The journal included my essay "The Language of Machines."

Inscription of the Girly Man: The Politics of Stupidity in the Age of Intelligent Machines

This set of texts constitute the catalog for the installation "Inscription of the Girly Man." It's essays cover topics which range from language and machines, to the function of material metaphor in art, and finally to the vagaries of contemporary political rhetoric.

Inscription of the Girly-Man

If they don’t have the guts, I call them girly-men.

–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, in a speech on 7/17/2004


How is it that image and the epithet have replaced rhetoric as the stuff of American politics? This is the question proper to Schwarzenegger’s exploitation of the insult “girly-man” in order to attempt to force the recalcitrant state legislature to assent to his budget proposal.

Inscription of the Girly Man

Inscription is an exploration of the aesthetics of power in relation to the task of writing. Here, in a time when the neo-fascist spirit is casting a shadow across the political culture, and when the possibility of meaningful political discourse seems more and more remote because of it, there is a relationship between the wealth of violence–war, images of brutality–and the poverty of our communications. There is a relationship between the denigration of thoughtfulness as weakness, femininity, and gayness, and the impossibility of halting the campaign of aggression that the U.S. has embarked on, or of furthering stalled progress in the domain of civil rights or economic justice.