What is wrong with Timothy Morton?

Timothy Morton has responded in his inimitable way to my post on ritual. It turns out that I’m the real narcissist and that I’m poised to pour contempt on the families of the victims of the Connecticut school shooting if they have non-traditional funerals.

I’ll cop to some narcissism, but the second bit is absolutely slanderous and outrageous. He won’t allow my comments through, so I am using this forum to insist that he apologize and delete the post. I encourage his close blogging comrades to do the same!

UPDATE: Oh dear God. Every so often I apparently need a reminder for why I never interact with him. This accusation was just so over the top that I couldn’t help but respond.

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11 Responses to “What is wrong with Timothy Morton?”

  1. Silver R Says:

    Embarassing. And “narcissism” coming from Morton is pretty rich.

    An aside: in general, the Speculative Realism Aggregator feed would do its readers a service by kicking Morton’s blog out, not specifically because of this, but because the RSS feed now basically reads like spam due to Morton’s endless stream of low-content posts. Currently, of the last 20 posts in the aggregator feed, 14 are Morton’s.

  2. Shala Howell Says:

    Wow. That is not how I read your post at all. I came away from it that you were in favor of rituals like funerals and standardized wedding vows precisely because they give us a set form in which to express the inexpressible (or at least not easily expressible).

  3. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Thank you. That is how I intended the post.

    If I’m pouring contempt on anyone, it’s people who seize on other people’s tragedies to grandstand and make everything about themselves!

  4. dmfant Says:

    to address these matters more broadly I think we would do well to drop all speculations of authors’ intentions/psychology (unless they are an explicit part of the post made by the author) from our discussions of blogging posts as this is more along the gossipy lines of idle-chatter than thinking with the expected all-too-human results.

  5. Jason Hills Says:

    I would affirm Shala’s comment as well. Given Adam’s publications about socio-cultural pathology, the post and concern seemed appropriate.

  6. Adam Kotsko Says:

    Given that literally no one before Tim had ascribed malicious intent to the post (not even any deleted comments, etc.), I’m pretty confident that his is a skewed reading.

  7. david cl driedger Says:

    I think it cannot be stated emphatically enough that both Adam and TLP target those outside the tragedy and loss. So, here in Winnipeg we had a family that just moved to Sandy Hook this past summer and tragically this family had a daughter counted among one of the victims. On CBC (our national radio station) one program host began with the statement, “Friends have asked that people who know this family be careful of what they say to the family at this time.” I thought this would be followed by relatively nuanced account of the common way that misplaced concern can be unhelpful. However what followed was, “do not tell the family that it might have been better if they did not move.” Dear God!! If that needs to be offered as national public counsel there definitely needs to be some way to address how we deal with grief and tragedy. While I disagreed with the way ‘rituals’ were leveraged in these accounts somehow those outside the tragedy need to be put in check at times.

  8. Mikhail Emelianov Says:

    “Exemption of oneself from being a strange loop.” – poetry…

  9. Rachel Owlglass Says:

    Feel free to not approve this because all I want to say is that this Morton character has the aesthetically worst retro-internet-culture layout I’ve seen in a while. That font!

  10. B.M.N. Says:

    i just skimmed through his post and it seems like he’s conflating narcissism and projective identification (e.g. “Wounded narcissism projects its (impossible) ideal of a completely closed loop, a magical lost narcissism, onto the other, then attacks it.”). i also dont quite get how OOO (or whatever he’s calling his own project these days) has any grounds or capacity to make claims about metapsychology.

  11. Adam Kotsko Says:

    I’m going to close comments in an effort to put this ugly incident behind me. I never should’ve opened this can of worms in the first place — I let my anger at a bizarre and despicable accusation get the better of me, when I should’ve known that interacting with him further would only cause more frustration.


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