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Trajectory - Page 4

no longer recuperate it; and at the same time to witness the turning-back and collapse of the critical into the very form and function of everything it would seek to distance and negate: a double negation that will end up--what else?--reinvesting in the stupidity of culture. No venture could be more idiotic. Shades have been distributed, the bus is leaving, our stupid-critical theme-park tour is about to begin.


[3] In what one could call, not without historical cause if perhaps too casually, the standard modernist map, the relation between hegemonic center and oppositional margin is more or less constant. Marginal groups are suppressed almost to the point of invisibility, or at least to a theoretical "position" of "silence"; centers might seem to disintegrate, and parties consigned to the margin in one generation might rise to power in the next; one even speaks of multiple "sites" (all women are marginalized, although caucasian women are more likely to occupy a hegemonic position in relation to women of color; one can be white-male but gay, straight-female and Asian, etc.); but the general structure of center and margin remains in a sort of hypertense steady state.1

The limited exclusion of the margin constitutes the center's defining boundary. Margins exist insofar as they are held in an orbit, placed at the constitutive limit of whatever power the center consigns itself. We are hardly breaking any new ground in stating that this dialectical topography underlies almost all of our cultural criticism, often in the most tacit manner; it has been exceedingly difficult for anyone to propose more sophisticated models. It is here that we find the first relevance of the stupid underground. While it readily lends itself to this topographical reduction, it cannot be simply constrained to an orbit. It is deployed--but by what force? by some hegemonic "Power" or by another, undetermined order of cultural physics?--as a means of carrying every mode of cultural activity past its limits, to its termination. At times this termination seems merely symbolic, as they say: an end-point that might indeed be fatal but is nonetheless reflected back into the cultural economy as a series of still quite spectacular and profitable images. The death of painting as a mode of painting, etc. And yet the trajectory of the stupid

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It is on along the sleepy Anacostia River in the District of Columbia, USA.