Nailed a presentation on Deleuze and his postscript commentaries about Foucault’s genealogy of sovereign power, disciplinary power, and biopower. The class discussion blew up (largely because all three of the day’s presentations were combining enclosure identities with the terrors of neoliberalism), and it set the tone for the rest of the day. I made a short trip home before returning to campus and hitting the undergraduate bar (graduate bar was packed with “trivia night” contestants) with a tableful of people, only to continue to my house and have a night seemingly so in line with a classic Humanities graduate experience: Bob Dylan in the background, smoke filling the room but competing for airspace among all the ideas floating between minds. Good chatter for a few hours, but the shades had to be drawn and the sleep had to be slept.
The only thing I produced Monday was vomit. Still wildly ill from whatever I grabbed Saturday night, I read some Wendy Brown and Michel Foucault in preparation for my presentation Tuesday. Wrote some more Dylan seminar, some CSCT notes, and finally got my copy of Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation for my scifi course.
My Bob Dylan seminar idea was burning my mind, but so was my fever. With one hand shakily protruding from my covers, I scribbled a few paragraphs but just couldn’t pull myself into health. Spent most of the day napping and drinking water. Not exciting.
Day 221. Laughter exploded from every orifice on my body. Every. Somehow, Bulk Barn turned into P.T. Barnum’s High-Flying Circus and people, especially my coworkers, could not seem to keep themselves together. I certainly couldn’t either, not from whatever genetic virus struck them into incapability, but from laughing and throwing myself against walls to try and stop myself from howling, tears streaming like joy exacerbated. Spent the evening laughing with Ian and coming upon the greatest idea for my Bob Dylan seminar.
Classes were canceled because my students had a big assignment due and the professor didn’t want to stress them any more than necessary. (There IS a necessary stress load.) Still, I held office hours and guided a few students through their own ideas. Shot the shit while cleaning my office, then retreated home for some serious mossing.
Spent the day working at le barne du bulke, and spent the night working on my knowledge mobilization project for the core culture studies/critical theory course. Both were largely successful, but the latter is obviously much more invested.
The force I felt yesterday is growing.
We discussed science fiction in two different contexts, the first being gender representation and the second being perceptions and representations of waste and junk.
On the topic of gender representation, we focused on the film Prometheus and how the film either parodies conventional masculinity/femininity or it does not know that it sheepishly produces various stereotypical gender roles and systems of power.
After gender representation we focused on waste and its connection to humanity. We can look at Slavoj Zizek to argue that waste is more representative of humanity than what we don’t throw away, and that it is within waste that we will find our answers to ecological problems. At the same time, we should be cautious not to romanticize our garbage and our wasteful tendencies.
I feel a change coming on, a force I’ve not felt since time long ago.
Day 217. I am starting to realize that everyone is saying the exact same thing. I do not mean to discount or discredit the ideas of my peers, my professors, my reading material, or my program, but for all our language and thought and idea and “innovation” and “critical creativity,” everyone seems hung up on one point: we’ve talked about solutions but either cannot or will not do anything to make the talk concrete, so instead we will talk some more. What I now find interesting is the idea of responsibility. Is it a waste of time for academics to be locked up in the ivory towers, or is it their very presence that produces within society the need to produce solutions in order to discredit the airy academics, as though we need a useless body to push the rest of us to being a useful body of society? Maka da world go ’round.
Back to BD, ol’ Benereal Disease, that folk music father fucker, Bob Dylan. By father-fucker, of course, I mean his resistance to be anybody’s father, hero, messiah, or patriarchal figurehead (except maybe to his kids). Talking about BD is wearing thin, and I have yet to hear any ideas in the last few weeks that have been wildly, if at all, imaginative. He blew up with mass media, he’s ephemeral, he’s inaccessible. Cool, next.
Day two of an inescapable rut brought me dangerously close to watching more Simpsons than anyone ever has…ever. I feel like I am not trapped, but definitively within the period of time in which I condemn my choice to enter grad school and in which I long for the free time needed to order my life after the last six years of chaos. I start to wonder how aware the mad and the geniuses were, the Kerouacs and the Foucaults and the S. Thompsons…where were their minds when they felt themselves degenerate into something new, or did that degeneration ever occur?