Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Monthly Archives: May 2007

and so it goes  §

It’s been a while since I posted. I feel like I owe the world an explanation or something. I don’t really have one. Everything is more or less unchanged, and as always, at the same time, everything is changed. Who knows?

In any case, here is the long and short of it: I’m working. A lot. We’re trying to afford a place. Not easy. Also, there have been expenses. Parking tickets. Necessary clothing in order to attend swanky functions that I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend anyway. Maintenance and supplies. Things I never figure on. Work has been necessary.

Work is also difficult. Long hours. High stress. I don’t quite know. I don’t quite know where things are at on that front. But that’s okay.

Academically, all is well. My perfect performance remains intact thus far. I have another “intensive” class that starts on Monday and will run every single day for several hours for a month. Then I will fly to Warsaw and take a train to Krakow and take two more classes that each run every single day for a month. Then I’ll come back, submit three papers, and take a comprehensive examination. Then I’ll submit multiple field statements and have an oral defense.

And then, finally, after many, many long years, I will theoretically be “ABD,” or “all-but-dissertation,” which means I’m free to do my own research and write my own shit until the drop a Ph.D. on my head and push me out the door.

We’ll see.

Red horizon, white time  §

Right now I feel very compressed, as though I am at the crest of a wave of activity and expectation that has been building all year. I don’t expect the wave to break until July. I will be riding it at its apex, therefore, for some time.

Surf’s up, I suppose. I hope I can swim.

Of all times and places in the world I think I am most at ease standing on a busy street corner in an urban area.

I like pizza an awful lot.

Began today with a whole bunch of photos. It was good because it reminded me that there is a world out there somewhere, still.

I have been quitee tense lately, I think.

I would like to be able to spend a day on a lake or out to sea. I don’t think that’ll happen anytime soon or in ways that I would enjoy. For example, it would mean having to ride in someone else’s boat (since I don’t have one) and that would put me ill at ease.

But dammit all if I don’t wish I was out there right now floating.

Okay, this thought really makes me want seafood. Once in a small coastal town when on a road trip with my bro’ we stopped in at a random shantybar and had random American-style seafood and a beer. I remember there was a guy hosing what seemed to be the entire town down outside.

Good memories.

The world can be dominated but it cannot be convinced. This is the lament of the blind and of the martyr alike.

Underneath it all lies the body of our recollection, in repose, a hedge against the void.

There is so much cognitive dissonance in me  §

that there can be no outcome but that it will someday kill me. No matter how hard I try, I can neither reconcile myself to the sphere from whence I came nor to the sphere outside it. I will always be trapped on the boundary between them and tortured from both sides.

Some days I feel as though I will explode if I so much as allow myself to have one more thought.

Free will represents the betrayal of man by God.

Misanthropy and misogyny fit me like a pair of driving gloves and the wheel is constantly calling. Sometimes I think mine is not to man it or drive with it but to be broken on it.

Sometimes  §

Life is a fucking disaster.

I am absolutely  §

falling asleep all of the time these days. 😛

unpack it  §

Okay, so it’s time for self-analysis because I’m feeling just a bit ungrounded. Inventory:

– Just moved into new temporary quarters
– Have no idea where I will live in fall
– Have unfinished papers and am operating on extension time
– Am not getting paid at work and they don’t know when they can pay
– Don’t know how I will pay for everything in life
– Don’t know about significant other’s visa
– Am waiting on my own passport
– Am totally outside of any routine

No wonder I’m a bit off; there is very little for me to grab hold of right now, objectively. I’m absolutely in a state of transition or indefiniteness in most ways, and there is no known end in sight.

I think that in addition to this, I’m not able to easily study in familiar environments. The less familiar an environment is, the more businesslike and productive I’m able to be. I feel as though right now what I’d like best—maybe more than anything—would be to be able to work sitting in the passenger area of an airport. I feel as though then I’d be getting something done.

Also, I haven’t been blogging nearly enough. This this is the tap of my ideas. If it’s running, the ideas are flowing. If it stops, so do the words for everything in my life. Gotta keep blogging. Gotta blog twice as much, even if it’s banal—like now.

Moments  §

So here I sit at work, on a Saturday, after 6.00 P.M., coughing like a crazy person, with the headache to end all headaches, by myself, in silence. And it’s quite a nice moment. It’s the first no-pressure moment of peace and quiet with no particular impending crisis… in days.

Selfishness  §

Am I selfish? I don’t think so.

But so many people over the years have given me rather long and angry lectures on how selfish I am. This morning I can remember about 100 of them. Funny thing is that I always feel as though other people are terribly selfish: driving around in SUVs, owning four houses, saying things about wanting to “have it all,” making babies as single parents and then sending them off to boarding school anyway, spending $100 on a meal every other week.

I guess there are two axes to selfishness… material-praxis and ideological inflexibility. When people say I’m selfish they mean I don’t forgive them for their sins, or rather that they have a right to be forgiven and I am standing in violation of this principle. I’m very unselfish materially, behaviorally (with regard, for example, to time given when asked). But I do at times refuse to be generous with my thoughts, I suppose. Or rather, I should say, that I am not injudicious in generously applying my thoughts. People can’t stand the fact that I won’t concede on that point. I think that’s something unique to our current milieu—the notion that unrestricted generosity of thought is much more important than even minimal generosity of material-praxis.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m destined to be hated. At those moments I feel as though I want to declare myself to be Jesus and start damning the children of sin.

I remember every lecture I’ve ever been given about myself and the sins I commit. They sit around inside and every now and then they all come to the fore and I have to fight them off. To lose is to lose myself. I suppose we all lecture each other all the time, just about different things. Nobody ever thinks they are lecturing anybody else; they think they are either being helpful or fair. The lecture resides in the receiver.

In any case, the economic milieu of our age dictates that people get very upset if they don’t manage to retain control over their own pocketbooks on the one hand, and on the other if you manage to retail control over your own mind enough to make them feel embarrassed about theirs. The master idea is that you are supposed to see the ads, buy the goods, and consume together in harmony. It shatters this masterplan if you won’t shop and won’t stop pointing out the decadence, thereby disturbing everyone else’s consumptive harmony (which, incidentally carries them directly into their own—and everyone else’s—graves).

I am in a bad mood this morning because all the people I have loved over the years have come back to berate me in my head once again—I can see all their faces and remember their accusations, one by one. I sometimes feel righteous victory in having left them behind, but sometimes it just makes me sad that the fundamental nexus of disagreement is so often never resolved.

I suppose at some deep level it makes me sad to confront the obvious reality that there will never be consensus, about anything. Consensus is a myth. The corollary to this is that it is impossible for everyone to feel as though they have been dealt with fairly. That this will never happen is the fundamental injustice of the universe. Indignation is the currency of the Dasein economy.

Only people who are embarrassed by what they have done believe they are being judged and get upset about it. I fully realize that I catch myself in the very same net.

Clearly this is too much introspection for a public place.

“We are all exceptional cases. We all want to appeal against something. Each of us insists on being innocent at all cost, even if he has to accuse the whole human race and heaven itself.”

Good morning world  §

I don’t quite know what to make of you. In fact, I’m totally bewildered. But good morning anyway, world.


Some people are people and some people are just… capital.

There are two kinds of social theory.  §

There is, first of all, a kind of social theory that is paradigmatic, seeking to address immediate questions using accepted tools, publishing in current discipline avenues. Then there is, in the second case, a kind of social theory that seeks to blow the world apart. Society will not grant credit on the basis of this second category; it goes, for the most part, un- or under-funded, often not coming to currency for years or even decades after long periods of being “forgotten” or “before its time.”

It is, for better or for worse, the second kind of social theory that we traffic in at the New School, hence its poverty and idiosyncratic nature. There are few of these institutions left. What will they read two generations from now, if we don’t engage in our Quixotic labor today?

There have to be wild thinkers, or there will be no chance to catch the future as it flies past.

There are some days when you start early  §

This is one of them.

I am well beyond  §

anything that can be called grumpy or exhausted. I am just beaten. That’s all, fucking beaten and apathetic, not by tendency but by long, hard exposure. The world in general can fucking go to hell tonight. In fact if it bothers me, I might even help it on its way.

There are things to say but I won’t say them. The most important part of growing up is conceding. You cannot be mature (read: well socialized) and have a self. You simply can’t. The task of young adulthood, therefore, is to sacrifice the self, and in so doing, to please the gods and become one with the social universe.

Don’t think. You should know better by now. My God, just clear your head of thoughts and walk. So many things to say. No place where one will ever, ever be able to say them. 🙁

So many people have had so many things to say about me over the years… one just has to keep walking so as not to end up under its weight. Not running, just walking, so that the way can be shared by anyone who doesn’t hold such feelings and wants to come along.

The older I get, the more I am myself. I have seen so many things in life I doubt I can be surprised. I have been so many places I doubt I can go on vacation. I am so world weary I can start a punk band all by myself and it’ll break up in ten minutes due to conflicting artistic visions. This is such a pose I can wear it like a fashion model. So what? Who wants to argue?

Well? Well?!

Sometimes I think that all of everything was written on the inside of that Talking Heads album jacket. Or on the warning label of a pack of cigarettes.

There are signs about mice here tonight. Good thing I’m moving.

I am too old and too young for every fucking thing there is.

I am not getting much reading done. 🙁

Too many memories. One of the things I want most from life is the ability to forget.

wow… life  §

Everything is so busy… and there are so many changes happening… it’s hard to keep on top of things, not just materially in the ‘needs-to-be-done’ sense, but also conceptually and emotionally in the ‘internalizing-what-is-happening’ sense.

I wonder what life, school, and myself will look like at this time next year. A few very important things are clear. A great many other things are not. I suppose we will see…

The most vexing thing  §

about life—the thing that drives me absolutely crazy—is the degree to which you can know virtually nothing at all for certain, and (in something of a corollary), the almost utter lack of control over your own life that this implies.

Most of all, it is other people that absolutely drive me insane. One needs them, desperately, in general. There is also no way ever, in any way, to know for sure what they are thinking, what they might do at any particular moment or in response to any particular stimulus. You are utterly at their mercy, whether with them (and thus subject to their intentions) or without them (and thus needing them almost to the point of incapacity).