Day 383: Almost

But still not yet. We’re still in the Blochian phase of things. I am still holding my breath. However, the Blochian phase is really not so bad. After all, forward dawning is not just the location of utopia but also the birthplace of desire and enjoyment (or so I’m told by people who evidently are not as chronically impatient as I am–but I can see what they mean–it also explains the link between pleasure and pain when considered from the perspective of the paradox of desire). Less cryptically: the contract is in the mail. It will get here by the end of next week. Only then, once my signature is actually on the paper, will I allow myself to celebrate, and only then will I reveal what has happened/is happening/will be happening. Should the contract get here before next weekend and should all go well and should I have signed it by next weekend, all of Chicago’s north side better put on a helmet, because this boy has a lot of celebrating in him that needs to get out (for a detailed discussion of why this is necessary see Bataille’s discussion of the concept of squandering excess for an economic system in The Accursed Share, Vol.1) . But until then the official part line remains: no congratulating and no celebrating yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Day 378: Me So Political…Me Believe Everything You Say Loong Time

Yesterday, a very excited and “visibly angry” Hillary Clinton gave a speech in which she accused Barack Obama of distributing campaign material containing false information (wait, or was she angry at him for winning?…not sure…I tend get confused). Obama returned fire claiming that all statements made in the material are factually correct. I’m not known as one to get involved in the truth business very often, but here I feel I have to make an intervention. Hillary, in the name of all better-suited Democratic presidential candidates such as Obama, I apologize for hurting your feelings. In lieu of financial reparations (which we all know you need badly, but alas…), here a website with only true statements about you (to play just keep clicking’refresh’). best, cj

http://hillaryismomjeans.com/

P.S.: since politics is so exciting and in the U.S. first and foremost an identity choice, I have decided to end all phone messages I leave on machines until November with “ok, I’ll talk to you later. My name is X X and I approve this message.” Seems only right for a responsible polit-hipster these days, no?

Day 377: Pabst Blue Ribbon…

…was had in large amounts last night. Effect: brain damage that results in stylistically terrible passive constructions. Cause: cool shit has happened. Very cool shit. I, however, will not reveal what it is until everything is set in stone (which will happen in about a week or so). Hence, there is not yet anything to celebrate (the PBRs last night were “not yet” celebratory beers, Blochian beers, if you will) and nothing to congratulate me for (I’m still scared of jinxing stuff, even thought that’s almost impossible at this point). So, what this post is officially really about is Pabst Blue Ribbon: what a great beer. Everyone should have lots of it on a daily basis. Out of cans. In dive bars. Especially, when it causes yuppie-dive-bar-tourists drinking Sapporo and chilled shots of Patron to stare at you in disbelief. Oh PBR, how happy you make me. So, no congratulating, please. Only comments on PBR will be accepted.

Day 374: Depeche Mode

Yes, if you like them, you must have liked my blog recently (lame “Enjoy the Silence” reference).

Explanation: stuff is going on and I don’t want to jinx it. Also, chances for that stuff that’s going on to actually happen (i.e. produce results) are really slim, so I have to force myself not to think about it, which has the same effect as someone telling you not to think of an elephant (you think of an elephant–just in case that wasn’t clear). But: stuff may or may not be happening.

Other current projects that take up my time:

1. I am training for the first annual Summarizing Infinite Jest World Championship.

2. I am preparing the launch of my new line of merchandise–evidently you don’t have to be famous any more these days to release your own fashion/fragrance line (mine will include shirts with my confused faced as standard logo and a variety of lines that say things such as “Heisenberg may or may not have been here” — my current fragrance that will be released later this week is “Eau D’Espair for Men”–it will be part of a Humanities Ph.D. toiletry set).

3. I am advising a friend on the pros and cons of getting various Greimas-squares tattoos.

Just thought I’d bring you up to speed.

Day 374: Packingtown Review Contest in Critical Writing

Department of English, UH 2027 MC 162, University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S. Morgan,Chicago, IL 60607

www.packingtownreview.com

Packingtown Review Prize for Critical Response 

Acclaimed poet and UIC alumnus Paul Hoover has donated his poem “The Windows (Speech-lit Islands)” to Packingtown Review’s contest for the best essay on the poem. This poem can be accessed via the contest page at http://www.packingtownreview.com/contests.

Please submit a critical response between 1500 and 2500 words discussing Paul Hoover’s “The Windows (Speech-lit Islands)” in light of the poet’s aesthetic and in the context of contemporary poetry.

The winning critical response will be featured in the first issue (November 2008) of Packingtown Review alongside the poem, as well as on the Packingtown Review web site. The winning author will receive two copies of the journal.  Two runners-up will be posted on the Packingtown Review web site.

The jury will consist of the current editorial staff of Packingtown Review.

The deadline for the submissions is March 31, 2008 (postmarked). Winners will be announced on the Packingtown Review web site on May 31, 2008.

The contest is open to the public and there is no fee.

Please mail your submission to our journal address or e-mail it to: contest@packingtownreview.com.

Day 370: NIU Shooting and UIC Threat

Another shooting. Another set of guns that were legally purchased. Another round of useless arguments about gun control that leave the status quo unchanged due to assinine arguments that claim that the problem will be solved by teachers carrying guns to defend themselves and their students.

Here a massmail we just received at UIC:

SECURITY ALERT FROM UIC POLICE

This afternoon, an anonymous e-mail was received by a number of people at UIC,
threatening violence on campus sometime this spring.

While we have no way of knowing at this time whether this is a genuine threat, the
UIC police department is pursuing it very seriously. A full-scale investigation is
underway in conjunction with the Chicago police, and patrols on campus, already
stepped up in the wake of Thursday’s tragedy at Northern Illinois University, have
been increased further.

In the meantime, all campus operations will continue as normal. However, we ask
everyone to be attentive, and as always, if you see criminal or suspicious activity,
please notify the UIC police immediately at (312) 555-5555 (or 5-5555 from campus
phones), or, if you are off-campus, dial 911. For general questions about safety and
security, the number for UIC police is (312) 996-2830.

Please also be aware that an update from me on campus security in the wake of
yesterday’s shootings at NIU was transmitted earlier today and should be arriving in
e-mail boxes sometime tonight or in the early-morning hours, and already is posted
on the UIC Emergency Information page (link on the UIC home page). This note gives a
further overview of security measures in place on the UIC campus.

Sincerely,

XXXX, Chief of Police

To all those opposing gun control: what am I to do in the face of a threat like this? Should I arm myself, just in case there will be an attack? Even if this were the logically correct thing to do, consider this: I am not a U.S. citizen. I educate your children and am one of those people who will not be able to purchase a gun to defend themselves from those people you refuse to disarm for reasons I do not comprehend.

There is no reason on earth why any civilian in any highly developed country should carry a gun. There is no reason why civilians should have access to guns, especially not legally. It will never be impossible to get a gun, but we can sure as hell make it harder. If you do not agree with this logic, we must also stop trying to regulate access to illegal drugs and instead provide all cilvilians with methadone syringes–in fact, if we claim that regulating guns makes no sense because people will always be able to get their hands on guns we would have to abandon any commitment to law and justice just because people will always be able to break the law. Most highly develped countries understand this. How long will fanatical devotion to tradition (which in the U.S. actually just describes cultural practices that are little more than 200 years old) stand in the way of logic and progress?

Day 369: I’m Back…

… in the country. Turns out that traveling the north via airplane in February is not a good idea. Fundamental realization arising out of this trip: Dramamine really works.

Other really disturbing news about the U of Illinois: yesterday a U of I sociology grad student opened fire at a lecture hall at Northern Illinois (which he previously attended). Here the latest version of the reports we’re getting: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080215/ap_on_re_us/niu_shooting