The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

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In the late 60s, Michel Foucault sais that man, as in humanity, was a concept on the verge of extinction: "Man will be erased like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea." For academics and other right-thinking people, Foucault's prophecy was as good as an order, and they erased it. But, to make a tediously banal observation, the notion that humanity is a contructs is itself a construct and one that may be on its way out, as far as scientists are concerned. Of all the Po-Mo conceits, however, this one was my favorite. It was inspiring and liberating. I guess it created some problems -- a (to me, fishy) NY Times Sunday section led an attack last year on those who said that medicines have the same effect on white-skinned people as black-skinned people. But it also opened up a huge range of possibilities as to who you could decide to be.