26 September 2006

A small triumph over literary theory

In an article that will have teachers everywhere silently nodding their heads in sympathy, The Onion reports of a certain courageous notebook computer at Brandeis University which committed a self-inflicted execution error so that professors, academic advisors, classmates, and even future generations of college students would never have to read Jill Samoskevich's 227-page master's thesis.

Professor John Rebson had already read through three drafts of his student’s 38,000-word thesis, entitled 'A Hermeneutical Exploration Of Onomatopoeia In The Works Of William Carlos Williams As It May Or May Not Relate To Post-Agrarian Appalachia'.

“I guess when she got to the chapter about how the 'imitative tactility' used in the first two stanzas of 'Young Sycamore' can act as a 'neo-structuralist, pre-objectivist perlustration and metonymy' of the importance of anti-Episcopalian sentiment in the rise and fall of central West Virginian coal miners' unions, the computer just decided that something had to be done for the greater good."

Thanks to this laptop's steadfast courage, Jill's classmates or future students will never have to pick their way through dense and discursive passages about 'The Red Wheelbarrow' and North Carolina farming communities.

"I've already forgotten why 'Queen Anne's Lace' symbolizes the advances in modern agricultural implements, but I'll never forget that brave computer's last words: 'You will lose any unsaved information in all applications. Press any key to continue,'" fellow student Mark Weiss said.

"One determined computer has triumphed over years of misapplied literary theory."

2 comments:

I am the Queen of F*%&ING EVERYTHNG...OK!! said...

Sometimes modern technology is not a bane to our existence but our hero. In this case I thank the OS from the bottom of my heart.

Michael Leddy said...

That's a great Onion piece, Sean. "Hermeneutical exploration" (as opposed to...?) -- the Onion is sometimes closer to reality than I'd like.