Anti-Performatives

DN points out in the comments down below that he called last night’s victory. This post is for DN:

Yeah, you totally did. I only felt safe enough to call it once B?©rub?© made the fatal mistake of dissing the Tigers in favor of the mysterious Iona (see link in previous post, and particularly comment number 6), at which point it seemed clear that spite was working in our favor. Before that, we were operating under my public-declaration curse, in which anything I pronounce out loud as being authoritatively so is immediately and resoundingly contravened.

Ask my pal Marcus about this; he can confirm.

The problem with this is that the curse only operates if I really and truly mean it, and thus any public statement I make about the outcome of Sunday’s game with Texas will be read through that lens; i.e., if I say that we’re absolutely going to get trampled, in the hopes that the curse produces another glorious victory, the purpose of the statement may perfectly well override its content. I can therefore say nothing, except that I have no clue what’s going to happen.

This is a complication of the performative that I think J. L. Austin may have missed.

2 thoughts on “Anti-Performatives

  1. Total shout out. Whoa.

    Also, I just want to make clear that I was saying “Called it” in a celebratory and somewhat self-congratulatory way, but not in a “Nanner nanner, I was right you were wrong” kind of way. Because I think a lot of people, pro-LSU and not, thought Duke would be too much.

    Re: Texas–Yeah, I really don’t know either. The Tigers could play inspired, or they could come out terribly flat–a completely unknown thing for them to do, I know. Also, Texas has already won the National Championships in baseball and football since last June, so there may be some sort of trifecta in play. But I’m just glad they beat Duke. I hate Duke.

    One other thing–the game is Saturday, not Sunday, at 4:40 EST/1:40 pacific. Catch all the action on your CBS station. Don’t miss it.

  2. Yeah, I think that Sunday thing was all about making the March gods once again think I’m paying so little attention that I don’t have an opinion one way or the other…

    P.S. If somebody were there, somebody might consider rubbing this in the face of a certain senior econ prof/president of an affiliated college institute/Duke fan.

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