Ke$ha Cole

When we last left Juan Cole scribblin’ ‘bout Napoleon in Egypt, he was in Tarantino-mode, incessantly describing “brains” being “blown out”. Now, several pages later, he’s gone beyond pulp/Pulp into blood-spray! Describing Lord Nelson’s attack on Napoleon’s flagship, The Orient:

The two ships lined up against one another by the light of their own canon flashes, and kept up the barrage…. Some time before midnight the conflagration penetrated into the ammunition magazine, blowing the proud flagship to smithereens…. Most of the Orient’s crew was rendered red mist.

Dude, you are really sexing up your mediocre academic book with speculative blood confetti! But I guess the incongruent gore-fanboy imagery makes sense, given the literary background mentioned in yr muy embarazoso online bio:

In 1973, Juan gifted his extensive comic book collection to the university library and it became the core of an important popular culture collection. At several points in his life, Juan has felt the need to abandon some attachment and reinvent himself, to undergo what his friends at college jokingly called ego death and rebirth.

LuLz. For someone whose friends are always ribbing him about ego death, Juan sure has the ego-trippinest blog bio I’ve ever seen, currently at 10,000+ words!!!

The alternative explanation for Juan’s imagery is, of course, found in the video for Ke$ha’s “Take It Off”, in which rag-tag party animaux invading a desert motel are rendered into mist [beginning at 1:55], set to a faux-Oriental melody. Obviously a heavy-handed allusion to Napoleon’s troops pillaging desert villages. Of course, we should not be surprised by Ke$ha dipping her fondue skewer into the academic chocolate fountain. According to this recent record review, Ke$ha apparently rolls deep to tween celebrity jamborees in the Hamptons with Frederic Jameson as arm candy(?!?!?!). Asked about her date, Ke$ha replied: “F is amazing. I’ll be, like, complaining about my music video director, and he’ll just put everything in perspective by being like, ‘The end of the bourgeois ego, or monad, no doubt brings with it the end of the psychopathologies of that ego– what I have been calling the waning of affect. But it means the end of much more– the end, for example, of style, in the sense of the unique and the personal, the end of the distinctive individual brush stroke (as symbolized by the emergent primacy of mechanical reproduction),’ or something, and he’s right.” Nice extemporaneous riffing, Ke$h!

After a night with Jameson surely she “brushes her teeth with a bottle of Jack”. See my forthcoming essay “Whiskey Allusions As Flirtation in the Oeuvre of Ke$ha: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”.


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