Day 231: Hands Hurt.

Typing not easy. Helped a friend move all day yesterday. I am now calling this one “The Deadliest Move V. 2.0.” Wow. I’m in pain. Shouldn’t have done it hungover in retrospect. Had a little freakout on Friday night due to what seemed to be an unmanageable workload (I did get a LOT of work done last week, hardly slept but still this was not enough). Hence, decided to solve the problem by saying, “fuck it all” and went to the Oktoberfest with two friends. The fest was pretty sucky, so we decided to go to a “German” bar down the street that just opened. It’s called “Prost–Deutschland/Chicago” and apparently re-created Germany based on the movie Beerfest. German Massbier. Drinking out of boots. Chanting. Everybody ridiculously drunk. Sad place, yet we decided we had to fit in or be labelled uncool. Since that would have been tragic considering the social importance of the people making up that specific discourse field, we drank. Lots. Biked home (bad idea). Got up at 8 a.m. and took a bus downtown to help my friend (the busride was a walk on the edge as well). Finished moving after midnight last night. Got up relatively early today to do work.

That’s all I have to report. I feel like ass. And not like a nice one. Can’t blog in more detail. Must preserve remainder of mental ability for writing. Poor decision making this weekend. Should not drink. Should not have friends. I.e.: should be a better grad student.

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Day 228: Wednesday Series Premieres–WTF???

I’m procrastinating. <<I edited the time stamp, as you may realize at this point.>> Instead of continuing to write I just took a brief break to see what the fall series premiere hype is all about. abc’s Dirty, Sexy Money died for me after five minutes. The capitalist asshole family arrives to the tune of a Rage Against the Machine song. Seriously–what the fuck??? So, that’s over. (It’s still on as I am typing this, but I won’t watch it again.) BTW: thumbs up for the Sutherland family. Father and son are truly selecting great TV roles–there are probably really ugly Republican vs. Libertarian catfights in their house around Thanksgiving. And to think I liked The Lost Boys.

I just watched NBC’s Bionic Woman in its entirety. C+. Maybe. Pretty weak pilot. Maybe it will pick up in the future–however, there is, as of yet, no indication of an interesting, complicated plot. I kinda had the feeling I knew the show. Oh, wait…that’s because it’s a nostalgic assortment of 1980s sci-fi cliches (which is strange, considering it is a remake of a 60s/70s show–this begs the question: why this remake at this point in time and why does this point in time become replaced by the past??? sneaky logic these people!)

 Basically, what we have here is The Matrix camerawork and cinematography (on a TV budget) re-telling Blade Runner (complete with an only slightly removed and thinly disguised Daryl Hannah–Pris character). Oh–I  believe they actually stole some of the Vangelis tracks from the Blade Runner score–that may be the parts I liked best (because I closed my eyes and imagined I was watching Blade Runner). The nostalgia mode is completed by various random insertions of classic punk rock songs, including work by Iggy Pop and the Teddy Bears (which was earlier this year also featured in a Cadillac commercial, if I am not mistaken). Not sure what the punk rock thing is supposed to do there. I guess it is supposed to establish the female central character as a tough, alternative, single woman–which might have worked, had it not seemed as though she was sort of scared of the background music and  made me want to rescue her, take her to a pink bedroom filled with unicorns and play her some Justin Timberlake. Oh, we also have some Species meets Universal Soldier going on here, yet not a single trace of any motivation behind the supposed political motives and the drama in the past the show seems to assume we were familiar with. It tries to create suspense by introducing antagonistic characters, however these are as remarkably flat and underdeveloped as Thomas Friedman’s account of a globalized world into which this technoscience account of our present would fit so well. Can’t yet tell who the female main character reminds me of. I have to say I like the fact that she’s not too obviously attractive. She is a less powerful, slightly disoriented and cutely deer-eyed version of Jennifer Garner in Alias, which, however, also means that we don’t buy the strongest, most dangerous woman in the world thing–she still plays too much into the “please help me through this, I’m, so cute” male gaze of visual narration. Oh: there is also a German bad guy. How very Cold War! I guess the makers really feel like they should cover the James Bond cliches as well–outstanding commitment to the anxiety of influence, I must say. I can’t quite figure out who the German actor is, though. Does anyone know specifics?

BTW: I have some intentional tense-shifts in there, which grammatically indicates my inkling that this new show will be a thing of the past very soon, if nothing drastic happens to the plot.

Oh, wow! The music in the abc show is so hip it’s making me sick! Millionaire-hipsters??? (a good word combination to try and sound out while you vomit, no?  Now, if you will all excuse me–I have to run…)

Day 227: Colder Than Eskimo Nipples

No, I’m not talking about the drop in temperature over here. Finally, Chicago has left the 90s and dropped to a more sane temperature level for this season (I actually haven’t been outside, but the internet tells me it’s cold–how’s that for 21st century digital boy subjectivity?).

What I’m really talking about, however, is Warren Ellis’ latest graphic novel called Fell.  It’s fantastic. You can get some basic info about it here. I am mostly interested in it, since I write about, well, for the sake of brevity: the return to nature (and the ideological forces behind this).  The graphic novel is really worth reading (and it’s visually quite appealing as well). Additionally, I am spending my day writing about neo-tribalism and movements such as urban tribalism, or anarcho-primitivism and their critique of technology (which also brings me back in interesting ways to Ted Kaczynski–and, this is the kicker, to Marcuse). You can find info on the movements here:

http://libcom.org/thought/anarcho-primitivism-anti-civilisation-criticism

http://www.eco-action.org/dt/primer.html

Day 225: Glimpses of the Real

I had a relatively productive weekend. I got a lot of studying done, made revision outlines for my job material and read the latest volume of Ex Machina (not bad but no Y). I took a break last night to drink some beer and watch the Bears lose (in retrospect not the kind of relaxation I had hoped for). My only problem this weekend surrounds a question of (political) subjectivity in a situation of the presence of a total discourse of the Other that cancels out (logically) any discourse of the Other (which is supposed to be good). Yet, this creates serious problems for the project of thinking political subjectivity itself and tends to represent to me a kink in the symbolic that may give us a (terrifying and paralyzing) glimpse of the real. The logical problem is much like this well-known kink in the symbolic, so riddle me this:

Consider, the dilemma of someone trying to create a catalogue which includes only those catalogues which make NO mention of themselves within their own covers (in other words, a catalogue would be selected only if it did NOT include its own title in the list it provides of other catalogues). Should that person include the title of the catalogue he or she is making in the latter’s list? If he or she does not decide to include it, then it too will be a catalogue which does not contain itself as an entry and which therefore should be included. If, on the other hand, he or she decides to include it, then it will be a catalogue which DOES include itself as an entry and which therefore should not be included. What is the catalogue maker to do?

Day 222: Here I Am…

… to blog you like a hu… No, I just can’t do it.

In any case: thus begins another chapter in the never ending struggle to maintain a daily posting routine. Today’s post will be shorter than expected, however, since I have to rush to a meeting soon. A colleague and I are trying to get a collected edition out and need to meet about several annoying topics (publisher bureaucracy, babysitting people who are turning in their essays late, etc.). I am also perpetually searching the job list for new postings, hoping for jobs that are not in the middle of nowhere. The countdown to job market has officially begun, thus, and I will have to begin sending out applications in about two weeks. Before that happens I still have to revise/polish my job materials and I would really like to get the article I have been working on out there as well as revise the second part of my dissertation. Hmmm… looks like there is not going to be a lot of sleep in the future. But I have to say: that whole job market thing is rather exciting–in a psychologically completely devastating way, but still. I wonder where (city, state, country, continent) I will end up.

Oh, and just to give you and idea of the state of my life at the moment: I woke up this morning and saw that I apparently stuck a post-it note to my laptop before falling asleep that read, thrice underlined: “Get fucking organized!!!”

I will go shopping for some serious office supplies today and devise a spectacular system of organization–I will post about that tomorrow.

Day 221: Almost Back

I will put up a more detailed post again tomorrow. I finished the revision of the first three chapters of my dissertation, drafted some of the job materials I will need soon and now have to move on to new pastures. The next few days, however, will not be quite as bad as before and I think I’ll be able to post regularly again.

Today just this little excerpt from a job posting. A job that initially seemed really great and well worth applying for strangely enough lost its luster somewhat after these last few lines:

“…X University, an equal opportunity employer, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with disabilities. All faculty are required to abide by the universitys honor code and dress and grooming standards. Preference is given to qualified members in good standing of the affiliated church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

“However, we do discriminate based on religious belief,” should really be added here. And grooming??? Screw you guys! Seriously, don’t make me put up that picture of Jesus with a mullet again.

Day 219: Madness and Dissertation

This whole writing thing may be getting the better of me. I haven’t really slept in a few days (just got up after three hours of quite troubled sleep), I have only eaten crap (bars, coffee, LOTS of pizza by the slice from around the corner and that’s pretty much it–I can really feel my body begin to shut down) and I am still desperately trying to catch up with my insane workload. I am also beginning to feel that I am going crazy, which is a phenomenon that, in respect to writing, does not truly fill me with large amounts of jouissance, since being in the process of completing a work similar to that of famous Judge Schreber is not what I initially intended to do (see Memoirs of my Nervous Illness and Freud’s and Deleuze’s treatment thereof). I have also felt guilty for not posting but seeing as I am still lacking the time to put any thought into a post I will just provide you with an example of the effect of my beginning insanity on my writing.

Here the title of a subchapter and its accompanying footnote:

2. The End (of the Center) is Near or, not a parvenu, not yet pariah[1]


[1] To the tune of Britney Spears’ “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.”