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Scott Ellis 5:15 a.m., Aug. 5
Pike: a boon! Let us slow down and take another completely pointless yet painstakingly careful looksee at this blog’s runner-up, for it is in the margins and the marginalia that the point has a chance of re-vealing itself. It is also at the margins in the spatial sense that we glance [or gaze, of course] at the trace(s) left by this secondary ad of first mention. The runner-up ad in Pike’s daily blog occupies an ambiguous space at best within the margins of the blog, which provides it with shape or form only through the honorable ‘mention’—of definition purely linguistic, and therefore tenuous existence. With the customary disclaimer, we cannot hope that this brief amuse bouche or, more properly, digestif, is either full in flavor or any more than a small bite supplemental to “Normal Heights Through the Blue and White” (NHTBW), much less that it is on point or even well-done (à point). In keeping with the perversity of this nonproject, this shall be the only footnote, intended for the nonreader of this piece, which in itself functions as a digressive footnote, or architectural leitmotif, to thoroughly mix figures, to the original blog :*
The ‘original’ blog entry, like that famed tower of Babel, discloses nothing yet while exposing chains of signification embedded within the text of this ad on the “side” or “aside” of the original—of which we’ve learned doesn’t even belong within our regularized space of NHTBW. It is therefore doubly displaced, removed, or folded upon itself:
“While I realize there's nothing particularly compelling about the following ad (which doesn't even fall in my neighborhood), I feel obliged to award it the Runner-Up:
Lots of Stuff, Small Table, Big Table Drawer etc(Steal Deal) - $20 (mira mesa)
The reason? I didn't know Wikipedia made books. It's like when Slavoj Zizek says, "this is how we can be sure that Shakespeare read Lacan!"
Anachronistic humor aside,…”
There is “nothing particularly compelling” the text claims, of this “side” ad, and the author feels rather than intellects “obliged,” as in obligation to some strange debt, to give it an award of honorable mention. The “reason” given functions as a red herring, the ‘real’ hint being “an anachronistic humor aside,” for the author did not know that an encyclopedic reference engine (Wikipedia) generated books. Let us sidle up to the living room and…
The TV table is for sale-- not the TV-- but regardless, the plasma has a line to be delivered in place of itself—clearly, the plasma screen is not for sale, and is intended as a serving suggestion only, for perch upon the table: “Careful who you insult, old king.” Our sales friend has carefully frozen the screen on this subtitled line to create a narrative within a narrative, part of what Lacan would call the “microscopia” of television watching. A pun worthy of a translator: Quel jouis-sens! [joy-meant]
What could this seller have intended to mean by this line, in relation to the sale of an endtable?
CAREFUL: Buyer beware? Linguistic trespass is nigh.
WHO: A difficult subject, containing perhaps both the seller and buyer, along with the almost invisible, however insidious narrator haunting this ad—a trinity that, like the biblical one, expands and resonates with personae—don’t forget the actor, the character, and the character’s interlocutor, who is warned about hybris and the choice of words. The seller must proceed carefully, indeed!
YOU: the subject; the buyer: Coinage McPockets, here to relieve seller of his peskily solid, bulky domestic objects.
INSULT: Linguistic trespass arrives, to skirt, fold, and pervert some originary sense of the seller’s words. This heightened sense of the other side of rightdoing can only encourage contrast to the honesty, again, of the seller’s pitch. The cloth plie-rs back to unveil the plain, lined face of the dining table, a conceptual, if not physical, double of the livingroom endtable.
OLD: The objects of sale are indeed gently worn, yet new to “you.”
KING: Hyperbolic flattery will get the salesman everywhere, my good sir! However, in pragmatic and paradigmatic fashion, “king” inflates and invites the buyer to a sense of false control.
“An office chair and a normal chair.”
Reference doubles back upon itself, and Normal Heights is nevertheless invoked, summoned, or compelled, even as it is repressed, for in the nonlinear world of text, "this is how we can be sure that Shakespeare read Lacan!"
Hence, the office (or non-normal) chair:
The “normal” chair, thus “normalized” and brought back into our space of Normal Heights (while the non-normalized chair is clearly, through a Zizekian ‘tarrying with the negative,’ a Lacanian objet, or a Derridean différance:
This looks like a potential “second location,” as the police might alternately refer to the “scene of the crime.” Will there be a revelation of some kind? Stay tuned, and wait for the tablecloth to unfold this mini-narrative…
In keeping with this poster’s rather complex narrative of living spaces and their objects, we have the corner of the tablecloth gently peeled back to show us the ‘good’—namely, the fine grain of this pine piece. The cloth folds back, the fold or “pli,” a gentle linguistic bend or burp that functions like a metaphysical verbal tesseract. You may wish to run your fingers along its shiny, nearly reflective surface, but then other objects intrude…
…and the closeup confirms it: That green plastic bottle, label turned coyly “aside,” contains a fiber supplement! Fiber One (uno, le un, primo, of potent metaphysical presence and even omniscience) ! It just screams “Reliability. Regularity! This regular guy can be trusted (knock on finely grained, trustable solid wood).” Together with the theme of the “dining”area and the revelation of the cloth, the fiber supplements further, providing a serving suggestion, a subliminal suggestion: “This seller is of superior moral fibre.”
And just to make sure we understand, one last shot of the table, sans fiber, but its physical presence is no longer necessary. The fiber is now ingrained within our senses, so its bulk has thus been digested, leaving only the spectre of a feeling of satisfied, whole, and wholly transparent presence, the fullness of speech afforded by a good fiber supplement.
And with this, we end on the seller’s last comment: “Thanks for reading.” We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
*For readers unclear about what the hell is going on here, this blog is dedicated to Pike’s dedication to bringing us a sense of place and space for the neighborhood of Normal Heights, through alternate elucidation and obfuscation of craigslist ads. The voice used is meant in homage to two thinkers named Jacques: Lacan, much beloved of Pike and myself, and Derrida, of whom I am sure he must have read a little. Both favor lengthy, arrogant psychoanalytic textual analysis of small written passages. Find the host text of this parasitical entity at: