I am supposed to be writing my dissertation. I am supposed to be working on the fourth and final chapter (although second structurally), currently titled “Techniques of Aerology.” It is supposed to be a close reading of four pieces of electronic literature and media arts that engage atmospheric data in some capacity. It is supposed to use the frame of “media technique” to perform these close readings. It is supposed to be a relatively fun and easy chapter to write, the one that was most in my wheelhouse when I proposed the dissertation, and which draws from prior articles and essays I’ve written.
This past year, I began the process of looking for post-graduate work. More specifically, I faced The Market, the year-long competitive process of attempting to secure gainful employment as a college professor. Like the vast majority of graduate students, adjunct instructors, independent researchers, and early-career faculty who try their hand at The Market, I didn’t succeed. Given that I’ve used this blog to reflect on career milestones and points of transition, I want to do the same for this first—and final—year on The Market.
Putting the brandy in last, after the wine has mulled for an hour or so, helps cut down on the acidity. At least if you’re using cheap brandy, I suppose.
I don’t know why I picked election week to finally bite the bullet and redesign my site in Hugo after using Jekyll for over four years, but I did. Do things look different around here? Maybe a little snappier? That’s the power of New and Fresh Code™.
Earlier today, a friend asked me how I write. Not like, existentially or anything (although it’s a challenge these days!), more my workflows for writing. Since they’re not the first to ask this, and since I went ahead and wrote it up for them, I thought I might as well post it on here for anyone else interested in workflows that incorporate plain text, citation integrations, and open-source software.
Every academic’s favorite short story is Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener.” Or at least, every academic’s favorite line is that famous one from “Bartleby”: “I would prefer not to.” Sure, Bartleby is probably clinically depressed (I’m not the hugest fan of psychoanalytical literary analysis but this one seems pretty straightforward), but in those five words Melville concretizes one of the great desires of all those who struggle under wage labor: the desire to simply not.
A few weeks ago, I indulged in one of my favorite past-times: pouring a glass of chilled rosé, putting on Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and setting up a command-line program to delete all of my tweets.
stop the clocks
It is long past time to abolish time. I have felt this strongly for a few years now and the pandemic’s askew, endless, perilous temporality has only convinced me further of this. And so, on a Sunday evening, a time once characterized by a far better writer than I as “the long dark tea-time of the soul”, I have decided finally to make good on my repeated threats to write preliminary notes for a manifesto for the abolition of time.
My wife and I often joke that a sign of our ultimate compatibility is that our longest, most protracted, knock-down-drag-out fights have always been about copyright. Nothing specific about the topic lends us to feel this way, but rather that out of all the things to get in a tiff with one’s spouse about (neither of us are lawyers), that’s the one? I usually occupied the anti- side and she the pro-, although over time we’ve more or less dropped the argument because it stopped being all that interesting to fight over after a certain point.
When I wrote “Against Cop Shit” back in February, I did so because I was angry about how many educators prefer to assume adversarial relationships to their students rather than to treat them as equal participants in the project of classroom education. Little did I know that the occasion of a global pandemic would give cover to whole new genera of cop shit, and today I saw a post on Twitter that sufficiently broke me such that I felt compelled to Blog Through It: