There’s an interesting observation made by David Schultz in his American Politics In An Age of Ignorance concerning the stock character of ‘the welfare queen’ which I think applies to other such abject characters. From loc 975:
This image of the welfare queen as a shrewd, calculating, yet lazy individual seemed odd. She was smart enough to follow welfare laws across the country and migrate to the place with the best benefits. Yet she was also unskilled and not motivated enough to look for real work. The welfare queen was a composite of the best and worst in human nature.
If this is an ontological dimension to abjection, can we also see an epistemological one? Listen to any call in show for long enough and you’ll find examples of such figures being recognisable from the slightest cues (e.g. their curtains are still drawn by 9am) or on the basis of placeless testimony (e.g. I heard they got a new flat screen TV).
Categories: Structural Redundancy and Abjection