Lessons in Secular Criticism

By Stathis Gourgouris | Go to book overview

Six
Responding to the Deregulation of the Political

I remember the devastating irony of a New York Times frontpage photograph on Thanksgiving Day 2011 depicting a row of people who had pitched tents outside a Best Buy department store in Mesquite, Texas. Alas, the campers were not staging an Occupy Best Buy but positioning themselves at the head of the Black Friday mad rush. At any other time, the photograph would have been unremarkable, perhaps not even newsworthy. This itself shows how extensively consumerist desire is internalized in the American psyche, and how ingrained Black Friday (what an utterly cynical name!) has become in American life that it now occupies a slot in society’s calendar. In fact, this year (2012) Black Friday was pushed back into Thanksgiving Thursday evening, at the limit of people’s all too likely indigestion, because no calendar of feasts can withstand the panic for commodities. Selling Christmas trees on Labor Day is hardly unimaginable. Some years ago, a person died on Black Friday, trampled in the mad storming of a Walmart palace in New Jersey. I remember at the time arguing that charges should be brought against President George W. Bush for instigating

-145-

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Lessons in Secular Criticism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xxiii
  • One - The Poiein of Secular Criticism 1
  • Two - Detranscendentalizing the Secular 28
  • Three - Why I Am Not a Post-Secularist 65
  • Four - Confronting Heteronomy 90
  • Five - The Void Occupied Unconcealed 120
  • Six - Responding to the Deregulation of the Political 145
  • Index 181
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