Aggregate, Arrange, Assemble

by Carl Dyke

Today I had an ambitious day. I described paper writing to my intro World History sections as a process of aggregation, arrangement and assembly similar to the formation of stars as they collect atoms, compact them to fusion and burst forth in light. Then I told them about the episode of “Trailer Park Boys” in which Ricky breaks into a house to pick out an engagement ring for Lucy (aggregation = research), swallows the ring so he won’t get caught by the cops and throws it up again once they’re gone (arrangement = analysis), then hands it to Lucy and says “So, you want to get married or something?” (assembly = writing).

We talked about what’s wrong with stealing the ring (this would be the ‘plagiarized’ paper) and whether making Ricky a Viking who ‘plundered’ rather than ‘stole’ it made a difference. We considered why Lucy might have preferred a more ritualized arrangement of their eventual assembly, concluding that in this case the value of ritual lay at least in part in its enactment of focused competence and commitment in making arrangement for the assembled couple’s needs. It’s about credibility. We all agreed that the same ring might be stolen, plundered, bought or fabricated, transported in one’s guts or a velvet box, delivered via slingshot or placement in a glass of champagne, with each permutation of aggregation, arrangement and assembly making a significant difference in the meaning and value of ‘the same’ ring.

I took out some nice artisan multigrain bread I had aggregated to myself earlier and ate some. We talked about the process of chewing and digestion whereby the previous arrangement of the bread is broken down, rearranged into more directly nourishing compounds and waste, and ultimately reassembled into poo and me. We laughed a bit about making sure that these two assemblages not become mixed, and considered the consequences of substituting Skittles for bread in one’s regular diet. We talked about the paper that would result from just vomiting the bread back up or pooping it out without nutritional processing.

They may not immediately have digested all this, but they were intrigued and I had lots of fun.


11 Responses to “Aggregate, Arrange, Assemble”

  1. Sounds like a marvelous class. Did the students swallow what you had to say?

  2. Carlo you’re never goddamn there when I fucking need you. What happened while you were gone is Eloise Doylie became a toilet bottom at that deranged Republican queen’s Immoral Sewers of Manhattan City, and all because the Republican published some surrealist manifesto about her dick. Eloise however didn’t yet publish anything, and is compelled to punish herself for that. Now these two are chirruping away to each other about Don De Lillo’s books or something – it’s embarrassing. Eloise sits there and swallows the ballerina’s ramble about Joan Didion, that’s how bad it’s become.

    The hit rate only goes up when I barge in to have mudslinging fights with the Republican, which however is becoming increasingly difficult because Doylie established these ”house rules”.

    Shortly, the blawgosphere is drowning into a morass of boredom. I can still milk some good hit rates from dr. Sinthome and the Objects, simply because the Narcissistic Cat visits as often as she does.

    But if I don’t get a new shtick, I’m afraid I’ll have to move to Twatter or Dumbl’r, none of which provides a proper platform for satire.

  3. Can you HELP or are you just going to let Eloise sink?

  4. You see what I have to put up with?

  5. Always nice to see you Dejan! As you know I wouldn’t dream of intruding on your performance art, but I look forward to seeing how you reensnare the lovely Eloise. Meanwhile since you’re a master of the operations to which I was introducing the kids, I wonder if you would share your thoughts about this post itself?

  6. I think on principle cartoonifying education always works better than long ”authoritative” soliloquies*. ‘specially in this day’n’age of mobile communications. However as I’m sure you’re aware the cartoon or illustration may not be an end in itself, but a communicative device, telling the STORY.

    I enjoyed your bread performance as I imagined your hairy ass digesting the bread on the toilet.

    (* or for that matter, ITALICIZING every second goddamn word, as the Narcissistic Cat does)

    For Eloiza I’m preparing a new episode of her ”Spiritual Pilgrimages” where she discovers a portal in the wall, which Eloise firmly believes is the opening to a new dimension. She bangs her head really badly against the wall, and is taken to the emergency ward. Meanwhile, dr. Erika Doyl gets a call from a publisher who wants not only to publish all of Eloise’s books, but also, to pay handsome royalties. However, since Erika is upset that Eloise didn’t follow her advice in the previous episode, she hangs up on the publisher.

  7. I wish I’d had a teacher like you, Carl.

  8. Teachers like me love students like you, Asher.


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