Thursday, 11 October 2012

A crisis of semiosis (part i)

Semiotics is the study of signs and their interpretation of the world around us, including cultural signification. Umberto Eco is one of my favourite semioticians what with the novels he's written whose themes center around how people behave in the surround of cultural signs, but he's not the only semiotician (only the very best in my estimation).

Kevin O'Leary is a minor CBC celebrity (this statement just about captures the whole man) who considers himself a rock star among capitalists and he acts as he thinks a celebrity should act. He has a rather dim view of "losers" and an utterly uncritical view of "winners" like Lance Armstrong which he identifies as being like himself. In his estimation these "winners" deserve our admiration though they've clearly got to where they are today by lying, cheating, back-biting, and social-climbing their way to the 'insider' status.

When O'Leary was asked today if Lance Armstrong should admit to lying and cheating he's way into history books, O'Leary said something to the effect that because Armstrong is a corporation he has no obligation to admit to anything, that it's up to the accusers to prove their case - this in the face of overwhelming evidence of methods, means, and complicity that Armstrong surrounded himself.

The crisis of semiosis is the very definition of this behaviour. O'Leary and Armstrong (in fact the whole corporate class) may not be diagnosed 'sociopaths'/'psychopaths' but that they suffer from a crisis of semiosis is undeniable. This is a sad state really because whether willfull or not it points to a certain kind of ignorance of the world around them and the consequences of their actions, all in the name of self-interests and selfishness.

Jay

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