With the sudden and dramatic shift last Spring from in person classes to online, FAU faculty and staff have been trying to find new ways to resonate more with their students through their high-tec Logitech webcam lenses. One such faculty member, Dr. Robert Spanner, a professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, took some time over the Summer break to learn some new words and phrases that he could add to his lectures.
“It started off small,” said Dr. Spanner. “I went onto the Google and looked up some hip, or rather ‘wig,’ words that I could pepper into my classes and emails. I found a few, like if a student’s computer code isn’t working that’d be a ‘big yikes,’ or if a student asks for an extension on an assignment I could say ‘bet.’ But, that’s when I fell into a hole. I found two words that confused me. ‘Simp’ and ‘stan.’”
Dr. Spanner got in contact with some GTAs in the English department to look into the difference since, he assumed, they had nothing better to do than help him out. Alex Lang, one such overworked English scholar, did come to Spanner’s aid.
“See,” Lang said on a Zoom call Tuesday night, “a stan is a ‘super-fan,’ so to speak, although theorists in the field disagree on the true meaning of the term. I, personally, am in the portmantou camp: I believe that ‘stan’ is a combination, a blending of two words filling a lexical lacuna, of ‘stalker’ and ‘fan.’ Everyone else in the other stan theory camps who don’t agree with me and my point of view is an idiot.
“Simp, however, began as a sort of insult,” Lang continued, speaking to the Hoot reporter who had fallen asleep. “We do know that it has to do with a cathectic economic exchange. It is interesting, however, that this paradigmatic cathexis of monetary donation mixed with libidinal release acts as a locus vivendi for the ontological and semiological modes of expression within the hegemonic state apparatus supporting the notions, and the inevitable paradigms, of late stage capitalism. The methodological invention expressed by the contextually negative ‘simp,’ exposes the bourgeois ideology homologous to the water inside the fish bowl in which we swim, further separating like groups, for the benefit of the 1%, that, were they to join, would make the eschatological anxiety and existential dread of the elite come to fruition. Now, if we deconstruct this, reduce ‘simp’ to a pretextual mode of utterance, we find that its formally paradigmatic level of suture proclaims a kind of ideology that sustains both a phenomenological reading, and, which is itself, polemically encoded. However-” it was at that point the Zoom call timed out.
While Lang’s research was helpful, if not largely gibberish, it did not answer Dr. Spanner’s question: is he a CompSci simp or stan? “See,” Spanner explained to Hoot correspondents, “I am a super-fan of computer science, but I also paid a lot of money for my PhD. Like a lot.”
At press time, Dr. Spanner has taken to asking users on both the Eminem and Belle Delphine subreddits what he is.