Political, economic and moral forces are major determiners of meanings and values in a society. Then, when I use words, any words, I am always taking part in the constructing of a political, economic, and moral community in which my discourse is taking place. All aspects of language–denotation, sound, style, syntax, grammar, etc.–are politically, economically and morally coded. In this sense, there is no escaping content. Whenever someone, the literati, the professors, declares that there is such a thing as ‘total ornament,’ that ‘art is pure,’ what they are saying is that the rich own culture, discourse, and probably the world. If this seems like a non sequitur, you figure it out.

Kathy Acker

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