So it’s finally happened. I’ve been officially declared a “persona non grata” by the elected leadership of the Platypus Affiliated Society — the Organizational Committee or OrgComm, if you prefer (in a delightfully Soviet portmanteau). An e-mail was sent out earlier today specifying that I’m no longer to be invited to any of its functions or events, and even actively discouraged from attending. Of course, this proclamation was circulated “internally,” on the Platypus listserve, but as everyone knows these things are never that secret anyway.
For many of you, this will come as quite a surprise, considering my outspoken support for the group in the past and repeated arguments against calls to boycott or shun it. Now, it would appear, I myself am to be shunned by the very group I’ve publicly defended on numerous occasions. Let it be known that I do not rescind any of these arguments, as I still consider most of the motions that counsel disengagement with the organization either pointless or unprincipled. In fact, despite the advice of the many who’ve told me I’m “better off without them” or assured me that “Platypus is just holding [me] back,” I continue to find the stated goals of the organization honorable and most of its methods unobjectionable, whatever complaints may be made regarding its needlessly vituperative internal rhetoric. Also, though some others treat the entire outfit as some kind of sad joke — and find its various panels, fora, and publications overwrought, if not simply boring — I stand my past statements that I often find them illuminating and insightful.
To be clear, I wasn’t expelled from the group. I resigned of my own volition after being ordered to take over and delete the Aesthetics, Theory, and Philosophy group on Facebook using the admin privileges I’d been entrusted with. After I refused to comply, and proceeded to object to the embarrassing and ridiculous “internal” mottos of “WWCD?” (“What Would Chris [Cutrone] Do?”) and self-conscious “guruism,” I was arbitrarily removed from the listserve and scolded as supposedly just a wounded narcissist projecting my own discontents onto others. Needless to say, I was nonplused by this treatment and decide to part ways.
However, as soon as I did, it turns out that my ex-girlfriend, who I’d just dumped, shared a private conversation from months ago (when we’d been dating) in which I was blowing off steam about my frustrations with the leadership. She’d begun dating my friend who I’d brought into the organization, and was apparently upset to find out I was completely unbothered by their relationship — and was even happy for them! — so she decided to undermine me organizationally instead. Her new boyfriend told me himself that she’d found my total indifference to them hooking up “just callous,” as if I was supposed to feel any other way about the matter. To be quite honest, I was relieved to find out she’d moved on, as I’d worried for a long time that she was obsessed with me. Oh well, it turns out Maya Gonzalez’s first impressions of her over at that Open University in Germany a couple years back probably weren’t that far off after all. Must be that “feminine intuition” stuff they used to talk about in the 1950s. Could’ve fooled me.
At the end of the day, though, it’s rather unfortunate that matters like these would extend to personal distaste, or that people would be unfriendly or uncomfortable as the result of such a trifling affair. Still more disappointing is the fact that so much of this animosity would seem to stem from fallout from a messy breakup with one of its senior members, who though recently deposed from the OrgComm for reasons of gross administrative incompetence is nevertheless highly influential. From this relationship I emerged emotionally, though not organizationally, unscathed. Even if her replacement on the OrgComm says I’ve “deeply hurt the feelings of [her] best friend” in ending it, or by the schoolyard insults exchanged (and punches thrown, in her case) thereafter, there’s not much sense in cutting ties of acquaintance or friendship on her behalf. There are no hard feelings in this, at least not on my part; I’m not too upset at anyone.
Whatever, though. I’ve got better things to do, and no further energy to waste on this nonsense other than to jot down these notes for this update.