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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Differentiating between wins and losses at 3:00 AM  §

So it’s 3:00 in the morning and I’m just finishing up work for the day.

Work that, in fact, isn’t done and could stand to go on quite a bit longer.

— § —

All of this ought to have been done earlier, only I fell asleep in the early evening unintentionally, and others around me thought it would be nice to “let me sleep.”

If only that were the case.

Instead, it strikes fear into my heart.

— § —

Even though it may at times right now feel as though we’re “stable” and “have made it” for a while, events of the last several days like this one remind me of just how unstable the economy is right now, and just how unstable and subject to immediate and catastrophic revision my current work life is.

Like so many else in the new “flexible” economy, my career feels as though it is on borrowed time every single day, and every single step feels as though it could be the difference between work and no work, between having a contract and losing it.

Wife is convinced that this would change with employment-based work and contract work. I’m not so sure any longer. I think those days are gone. We live in an at-will state.

At least with contract work you can keep multiple sources of income coming in. Lose one, still have the rest. It’s like the new, 21st century version of the insurance policy.

— § —

Tomorrow (well, today, once I wake up again after 2-3 hours of sleep) is the last day of the semester at one school (the one at which I’m teaching in person). This marks the end of seven years as a university instructor, and one more final exam that I’m giving to a room full of students.

At some point, when it’s not 3:00 in the morning or afterward, I feel as though I’d like to write at more length about this, reflect on it, chew it over for myself in writing.

Because seven years is a big chunk of your life, particularly for something as liminal as adjunct teaching is. It is both the center of your life and a barely noted or notable part of it. The first identity that people care about (“Oh, you teach at university?!”) and the last thing able to actually help pay any bills.

And the number of people and places that sail through your field of vision and with whom you form actual relationships as a result is unique amongst jobs.

— § —

Dissertation draft has finally been submitted, too. Defense is likely to be scheduled in May.

And then what?

Hard to say.

— § —

And O— will soon be out of diapers. and M— is emerging into schoolkidness.

— § —

It’s all very liminal.

They say that life happens in stages. I don’t know if stages telescope or not. In some ways, I want to know, to frame theoretically, for myself, what stage I’ve been in recently.

For 11 years now I’ve been in the “graduate student” stage.
For 8 years now I’ve been in the “New School” stage.
For 6 years now I’ve been in the “student with no actual coursework, working on dissertation” stage.
For 4 years now I’ve been in the “New Parent” stage.
For 3 years now I’ve been in the “Just moved to Utah” and “full time consultant” stages.

But I’ll be damned if I’m not just tired of all of these stages. With some of them falling away, what I want is a reckoning, a way to get beyond, a resurrection or a new slate of some kind, tabula rasa.

— § —

I’d meant to steal a few moments for myself, say from 1:00 AM to 2:00 AM this morning, to sit down and make notes about these things, to chew them over in writing.

But since I fell asleep from 8:00 to midnight instead of working then, I ended up working from midnight until now (with more to be done, though I’m not going to finish it tonight), and—as always—me will have to wait.

They say that your life passes you by that way.

But it’s hard to see how to avoid that eventuality in practical, everyday, trying-to-get-by life.

— Click —  §

Brick: Somethin’ hasn’t happened yet.
Big Daddy: What’s that?
Brick: A click in my head.
Big Daddy: Did you say “click”?
Brick: Yes sir, the click in my head that makes me feel peaceful.
Big Daddy: Boy, sometimes you worry me.
Brick: It’s like a switch, clickin’ off in my head. Turns the hot light off and the cool one on, and all of a sudden there’s peace.
Big Daddy: Boy, you’re, you’re a real alcoholic!
Brick: That is the truth. Yes, sir, I am an alcoholic. So if you’d just excuse me…
Big Daddy: No, I won’t excuse you.
Brick: Now I’m waitin’ for that click and I don’t get it. Listen, I’m all alone. I’m talkin’ to no one where there’s absolute quiet.
Big Daddy: You’ll hear plenty of that in the grave soon enough.

There was a time…  §

…not so long ago when one could say what one thought online. Create a “blog” (then, it was a “diary” or even just a “personal page”) and put on it anything and everything that you thought, did, felt, wanted, hated, needed, avoided.

Now, of course, this doesn’t exist. Whatever you post will take the food out of your childrens’ mouths. Whatever you post will kill someone, maim someone, hurt a cause, enable a cause, destroy your future career.

I miss the early web. I miss the 1980s technology.

Apropos of my dissertation, there are certainly gains related to the embodiment of technology that has increasingly occurred in recent years, but there are also losses. Chief amongst these is the distinctiveness and separateness of technoculture. In a very real way, the integration of technology into everyday mainstream life has been a process concerned with the “un-othering” of technology through technological means, on a research-based, sociological basis. Hence the “social turn” in technology.

But what is less often acknowledged is the fact that the quest to integrate technology into extant and dominant cultures meant that the distinctive culture of technology that had come to exist would gradually be eviscerated, emptied of content and members. And that is, frankly, a tragic loss.

Because these were the best people and—if I may—the best culture around.

You want to know?  §

How genuine do I feel?

How real do I feel?

How possible is it for me to do what is right?

The answer for all of these questions is the same, and it is suicide.

— § —

Our society is broken. Absolutely, insanely, fucktacularly broken. I am a sociologist. I am about to complete my Ph.D. and defend my dissertation. I have read more about society than 99.95 percent of the population. I have seen the numbers. I have combed through the census. I have faced off against the tables of the GSS.

It’s all bullshit. This is a cultural question. A capital question. A Marxian question.

— § —

Why can’t we fix the climate? Feed the poor? Clean up our disasters?

Because we are who we are. We ought to all descend into the ocean and disappear beneath the waves.

There is no way to solve this. There is, quite simply, no way.

Why can’t we?

For the same reason that I can’t say what I think.

For the same reason that I can’t raise my children.

Because all humans need, frankly, to be shot.

— § —

All I want, all I want more than anything in the world, is the opportunity to tell the truth once—ONCE—before I die—without having the act kill people, mail people, destroy lives, or lead to conflagration.

We have made our society into the society of the lie.

If there is one thing you MUST NOT EVER DO NO MATTER FUCKING WHAT, it is say what you actually think.

Do what you actually can.

— § —

This is why Defarge.org was once a good idea.

This is why we must all KNIT and be KNITTING, and when the time comes…

I Stay Away  §

“I Stay Away”

Yeah, I want to travel south this year
Aaah, Woah, Woah
Won’t prevent safe passage here

Why you act crazy
Not an act maybe
So close a lady
Shifty eyes shady

Yeah, hey Yeah, tears that soak
A callous heart

Why you act frightened
I am enlightened
Your weakness builds me
So someday you’ll see

I stay away

Why you act crazy
Not an act maybe
So close a lady
Shifty eyes shady

I stay away [4x]

Death, dying, dead, decline, decesion, DEATH, DEATH, DEATH! Hahaaaaaaa!  §

Die young, die strong.

Get killed, get noticed.

Pass it on.