This is Professor Plum. Someone hit me with the lead pipe in the library. I was reading Duns Scotus when they conked me on the old squash and upended my teacup.
Now that I’m properly two dimensional I’d like to clarify a matter that some readers of old Plummie’s post over at Blue Girl have apparently misunderstood. In A Short Essay on Enmity my bosom buddy and doppelganger Professor Spruce Grove (for that is what “Kuusisto” means in Finnish–that barbarous language…) wrote about how its high time the old boy should take up the study of hating people.
Professor Spruce feels that political hatred and the atavistic “fight or flee” neurological highjacking that’s responsible for everything from road rage to the soapbox perorations of college faculty offer a cathexis of emotions. In short: one would be misreading him to assume he’s arguing that hate is a simple matter devoid of thought.
He does argue that the end game of hatred offers the excuse to stop thinking which is of course the subject of our next course: “Advanced Enmity: Religions, Radios, Republicans and Reactionary Movements of the Left” –a course not to be missed since it comes with 3D glasses and lobster bibs.
Spruce (or “Cousin Sprucie” as I like to call him) argues that hatred operates like a baseball infield. First someone feels properly harmed or cheated; then they imagine (because they have a big honking brain) that the people in the next neighborhood are the guarantors of their unhappiness . This, as it turns out, is almost always untrue though every group hosts its own advanced haters–so yes there are lopsided post-cognitive practitioners of advanced enmity in the house next door or across the river. Now we’re at Third Base: Big Brain creates a cymbolic and abstract group of people to be properly demonized. And the third base coach looks quite a bit like your average demagogue–a little out of shape but still wildly gesticulating because its hard to get the game out of one’s blood.
Its only in this last phase that hatred offers the opportunity to stop thinking. Hatred is in this way precisely the opposite of love which is why Robert Mitchum has Love and Hate tattooed on opposite hands in the original version of “Cape Fear”.
Spruce believes that all marginal groups have a rich petri dish. They have all the nutrients necessary for growing the symbolic codes that are a requirement for handing over one’s will to the coach at third base.
Spruce doesn’t think that last sentence was very good but he’s transmitting his ideas to me via blue tooth and he’s not a very good typist.
The only thing worse than playing Clue is playing Dead Clue.
Yours, PP per Spruce per Kuusisto