By: Joshua Glenn
January 7, 2023

One in a series of posts featuring pages from Hermenaut, a DIY intellectual zine/journal published by HILOBROW’s Josh Glenn from 1992 through 2000-01.


A page from HERMENAUT #15

Clarke Cooper’s “The Will to Scorn” inveighs against those moviegoers who, having just watched a movie that doesn’t depict reality in a way that they recognize as realistic, “roll their various eyes and chuckle benignantly: the Scorners.”


Scorn judges a thing successful when it can tell by similarity that what it’s being fed has been put together in accordance with The Way These Things Are Done, deviation from which demonstrates an inability to get it right. On its days off scorn returns lattes that aren’t nonfat, the way it ordered them, hello! Things succeed for Leslie to the extent that they don’t stimulate you with irritating differences. Scorn is critical soma.

What does Cooper offer as an alternative to scorn?

[R]each out to and possibly into the work to try and discover what it means to mean on its own terms, and, having grasped that, [make] a decision about whether that meaning on those terms is sensible, truthful, beautiful, shameful, intolerable, execrable or whatever else the production itself may seem to be.

Also see: Chris Fujiwara’s take on the scornful moviegoers of Mystery Science Theater 3000 — which has since been described as a “legendarily scathing takedown of the show.”

Pub. Date: Summer 1999
Theme: Fake Authenticity
Hermenaut: Dick
Pages: 232
Print Run: 5,000


MORE HERMENAUT on HILOBROW: HERMENAUTICA series | MEET THE HERMENAUTS | HERMENAUT’s last five issues | Snapshots | Letters to HERMENAUT | Dialectical Design | Josh Glenn on CAMP, KITSCH & CHEESE | Josh Glenn on DANIEL CLOWES: Q&A | Clarke Cooper on APOCALYPSE ALREADY | Lisa Carver on THE ART OF BEING UNCOMFORTABLE | Josh Glenn on FAKE AUTHENTICITY | Chris Fujiwara on ZOOMING THROUGH SPACE | John Marr on CAMPANILE FREE-FALL | Clarke Cooper on THE WILL TO SCORN | Dan Reines on PURE EVEL | Chris Fujiwara on ROADWORTHY JAZZ | Dan Reines on LETTER FROM LA | Mary E. Ladd & Julie Wiskirchen on ONWARD CHRISTIAN TOURISTS | Chris Fujiwara on SAVED BY BETRAYAL | Margaret Blonder on MEMORIES OF THE BIOSPHERE | Josh Glenn on HERMENAUT: PHILIP K. DICK | Ingrid Schorr on ROCKVILLE GIRL SPEAKS.