Homer J. Foucault and the Cult of Inadequacy

I woke up this morning with something vaguely in my head about the cult of something and I couldn’t quite put my finger on the whole of the idea. It was definitively a leftover sensation from a fitful dream that began about 5:30 a.m. when I finally fell back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night with a headache. (I think it’s the weather—it was humid and overcast and has just now finally started to rain and relieve the pressure.) Anyway, the swirling idea coalesced into my thinking about why we (as a species or whatever) worry so much about whether we’re good enough. I’ve decided it’s a cult.

I’m going to do a little deprogramming to counteract the brainwashing of this cult. It’s time to start celebrating our adequacy. Like Homer Simpson, who, despite being an idiot most of the time, thinks highly enough of himself to march around chanting “I am so smart: S-M-R-T.” His obvious spelling error doesn’t negate the fact that he takes pride in whatever small victory he’s achieved; although, I don’t remember what it is he was celebrating and am too lazy to go look it up. Because I’m adequate. Also, Homer lost a popularity contest to an inanimate carbon rod but still got to be an astronaut who went into outer space. (You haven’t been? You gotta go.)

I’m seriously considering beginning a rant about how media is the cause of our collective inadequacy paranoia but frankly, that seems like a lot of work. I’d have to go do research about how some media creates false images of what we (as men and women) are supposed to look like and how we don’t look like that, then do more research on how other media markets products to us to try to fix all those inadequacies that the earlier media has made us aware of. Then, I’d have to go find some critical theory about “The Gaze” (Erving Goffman or Laura Mulvey probably, if I wasn’t too lazy to actually do it) that explains how we are not seen by ourselves but by “the man” or something. There’s probably some Derrida or Foucault in there too, but it’s too early in the week to be reading French Postmodernism. And Foucault is difficult.

I am having a brilliant idea about making a Homer Simpson/Michel Foucault mash-up in which a bald Frenchman spouts philosophy while drinking cheap American beer. It’s brilliant. And by brilliant, I mean adequate for entertainment purposes. Seriously, though: I think Homer J. Foucault is the next big internet meme. I’m starting a thing. Who’s with me?

            “As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. Mmm…dates”

Do you think Michel Foucault liked to bathe or was he more of a cologne man? I bet he enjoyed donuts. Derrida liked burritos. (There's film footage of Derrida eating a burrito. I'm not making that up.)

So, we are, most of us, adequate just as we are. Much like both Homer Simpson and Michel Foucault, we've all got our brilliant side and our foibles. What a weird word. That I just used "foibles" in a sentence is perhaps my flaw. I am too lazy to get out a thesaurus. Also, I am conflating "lazy" and "adequate". Just go with it.

In summation, my creative outlet for today is an overweight, balding cartoon character with a borderline IQ who ponders deep existential questions about the nature of humanity and the deliciousness of Tex-Mex. And that’s just good enough.