Posted by The Happy Tutor
In its very immateriality, Rip, Mix, Burn has become a material act of identity formation and class alignment, and at Wealth Bondage — perhaps as nowhere else — we see personae qua personae ventured, offered, exchanged, and rejected in market, feudal, slave, and gift transactions, in transactions that, for all their immateriality, are deeply concrete and personal. The masked performances of The Happy Tutor and his interlocutors might stand as useful examples to writing teachers of the ways in which the online written performance of identity can carry material value beyond that of the commodity.
To the extent teachers can beat sense into tomorrow's leaders, they will only make my job easier, instilling a taste for exquisite pain. Art must "delight and instruct," as Horace said, taking Caesar over his knee. The Support Economy must include teachers who show Vice and Folly no mercy, lest the student grow up to be a mere Consumer, his or her humanity lost. We coddle consumers and surround them with individualized services as Kings and Queens were once surrounded by sycophants, servants, and procurers. There is role, then, for the Fool, as well as the dancing master, the teacher of cards, and the chef in charge of the Prince's favorite desserts. To teach rhetoric is to hold "the mirror up to nature" - human nature. And Midas must see his own ears in his barber's mirror. The mature miscreant can be broken on the wheel of satire, but the young can still be taught. The teaching of rhetoric can be a noble trade. Spare not the rod, Mike!