Sean Connery Socrates

The Critical-Theory Guide to Shit That Happened in 2013, Arbitrarily Ranked

#15 The Latest Pope Turned Out to be Way Less Shitty Than We Anticipated

pope francis communist

Pope Francis, leader of the world’s oldest existing pyramid scheme, has has called on Catholics to turn down (but not necessarily abolish – don’t get too excited) their homophobia and misogyny. Francis has also been conducting a global PR campaign against the evils of capitalism, so he’s got that going for him.

Read the full story here.

 #14 Banksy Unveiled a Hannah Arendt-inspired Painting

banksy arendt

As part of Banksy’s NYC art spree in October, he modified a thrift store landscape painting before donating the piece back to the store. The piece is titled “The banality of the banality of evil,” a riff on Arendt’s famous phrase.

Read the full story here.

#13 CIA Finally Admitted to Spying on Noam Chomsky

chomsky manufacturing consent

Well, no shit Sherlock.

Read the full story here.

#12 Badiou Re-Affirmed his Plan for Brad Pitt to be the Next Plato

Sean Connery Socrates

Alain Badiou, speaking to Vanity Fair France, rolled out his plans to write a Plato film starring Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Sean Connery.

Read the full story here.

 #11 Seattle Elects Socialist City Council Member

Kshama Sawant, a Socialist Alternative candidate, defeated her Democratic incumbent opponent in a hotly contested city council race. Sawant’s platform included a $15/hour minimum wage, mandatory GMO labeling, ending corporate welfare, and unionizing companies like Starbucks that rely heavily on low-wage labor

Read the full story here.

#10 Feminist Ryan Gosling Died

feminist ryan gosling 3

The Tumblr sensation closed its door as its creator apparently had better shit to do.

Read the full story here.

 #9 It Was Declared Slavoj Zizek Was Getting Not One, But Four Operas

Zizek Opera
Don’t get too excited. Unlike Zizek’s books, which are pumped out faster than Justin Bieber singles, the operas aren’t slated to be finished until 2020. But who cares, you’ll still be faced with debilitating debt seven years from now because you’re majoring in Literary Criticism and won’t be able to afford tickets anyways.

Read the full story here.

#8 Occupy Money: 2013’s Biggest Pile of Shit

occupy money card

Occupy Money partnered with Visa to bring prepaid money cards to the 99%. The Occupy Visa card works a lot like used car dealerships: they don’t turn anyone away because charging “anyone” a shit load in fees is a pretty lucrative business, even if they can’t afford it.

Read the full article here.

#7 University Offers Program in ‘Liberty Studies’

Liberty Studies

According to Bruce Rushton at the Illinois Times, the University of Illinois Springfield will now be offering a program in “Liberty Studies.” While we would hope that the program would be hours of watching Braveheart, the program instead plans to be chock full of Ayn Rand’s awful, rambling, books.

Read the full article here.

#6 Purdue President Tried To Ban Howard Zinn

mitch daniels purdue zinn

First, documents were released showing Purdue University’s President Mitch Daniels, as Governor of Indiana, had tried to ban Howard Zinn’s work “A People’s History of United States.” In the wake of this controversy, Daniels defended himself by attacking Zinn’s academic integrity. That statement, in pure irony, was plagiarized.

Read the full stories here and here.

#5 Alabama Accidentally Honors Angela Davis

Angela Davis

The Alabama state legislature accidentally honored Black Panther and former Communist Party candidate Angela Davis before issuing a resounding “whoops.” Afterwards, one of the representatives duped vowed to amend the rules to make sure legislators Google the subject of their commendations.

Read the story here and here.

#4 Suck it Sokal, 157 Science Journals Get Punk’d

bill nye
Science Magazine’s John Bohannon sent 304 open-access science journals a paper rife with errors and inadequacies that “were both obvious and ‘boringly bad.’” Of the 255 journals that decided to go through the editing process, 157 accepted the paper.

Read the full story here.

#3 Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek Declared an Epic Philosophical Pissing Match

chomsky zizek feud

Noam Chomsky has been shitting on “critical theory” for a while, but an interview from 2012 finally caught Slavoj Zizek’s attention who fired back. In response to Chomsky’s claim that theorists like Lacan and Zizek are “empty posturing,” Zizek told an audience in London that he “doesn’t know” someone “who was so often empirically wrong,” citing Chomsky’s work on the Khmer Rouge. Zizek also, to be fair, had some valid criticisms about Chomsky’s take on ideology, which you can read in their back-and-forth.

Then, in an “oh snap!” moment, Chomsky wrote a piece calling Zizek’s criticism “sheer fantasy.” He notes that his work never defended the Khmer Rouge, but pointed out (quite accurately) that the United States strategically used Khmer Rouge atrocities for their own ends, and often exaggerated and fabricated certain reports. Chomsky goes on to enumerate a list of other “empirical missteps” by Zizek, including mis-attributing a racist quote to him.

Finally, in a piece titled “Some Bewildered Clarifications,” Zizek apologizes for the false attribution of a racist quote to Chomsky, differentiates his critique of ideology from Chomsky’s, and clarifies his Khmer Rouge comments.

#2 Antonio Gramsci Monument Opened and Closed its Doors

gramsci monument portrait

A temporary monument to Gramsci opened in the Bronx for 3 months with some incredible results. The monument was half art piece, half community center. It hosted speakers like Frank Wilderson III, Gayatri Spivak and Simon Critchley.

Read the full story here and here.

#1 Jose Esteban Munoz Passed Away

jose esteban munoz

Jose Esteban Munoz, acclaimed queer theorist and author of “Disidentifications,” passed away. He was 46 years old.

Read the full story here.