May 2009

quite remarkable photos of how the US military is utilizing Saddam’s palaces. gaudy meets functional in a whole new imperialist aesthetic. perhaps we can call it noveau regime.

California could cut its budget deficit by shit canning the morally repugnant California Supreme Court. That way biggots who earn too much money and impose bullshit laws would rightly loose their jobs and needy people wouldn’t loose their public programs.

WOW. Some shit is really coming out on the bush administration. This new article detailing how inept Rumsfeld was also has copies of the memos he used to brief Bush. They say Reagan liked his briefings to have cartoons, well Rumsfeld used huge pictures and bible quotes to ‘inform’ dubya. They are like a cross between the christian propaganda you get through your door and a military recruitment power point. So, yeah, the whole invasion thing– no overtones of imperialist crusade, none.

As we all know looking for working is tedious. Its not only humiliating and time consuming, its counterproductive cuz the only possible outcome is (a) you have to continue to look for work (b) you have to work. Ideally working should be fine. In reality- where it presently has the potential of consisting of service jobs- it sucks.

I have been looking for work since I moved back to Brighton in October. There have been many ridiculous, dreadful experiences. I don’t know why I didn’t blog about them before. After all it is an important aspect of everyday dehumanization. This will then be the first of several;
In other news, I have continued to look for work. The other day I had the most farcical trial shift at a coffee place on campus. (trial shifts are normal for service jobs here i have had two at another coffee place and busing tables i was not hired at either) I applied cuz the ad said it would be 2-15 hours/week. the guy kept on changing when i should come in, which was enough of a pain in the ass cuz he was doing it via email and i was in london. cut to when i show up for the trial shift, at 930 am. the guy greets me. i can tell at once he is a highly disorganized flake; one in the long line of burnouts who moved to brighton years ago, did a lot of drugs and somehow ended up in a line of work. he asks if i can work until the afternoon. i agree to cuz i need the work. but then he proceeds to tell me the position is actually only a sub position for 5 weeks. i get slightly annoyed and consider leaving. he then decides to ‘train me as a barista.’ i quickly find out he has no idea what he is doing. this is made quite clear when he tells me to make a mocha by disolving the chocolate in hot water before putting it in the coffee instead of disolving it in the milk and the fact that he doesn’t know yr supposed to clean the machine between each shot. this is probably why their coffee is disgusting. anyway, i make a few drinks with him leaning over my shoulder, micromanaging me. i m not looking forward to the next few hours. i consider leaving again. this job clearly isnt worth the free labour i am providing. luckily, his flakyness works in my favour. another student appears that he forgot he told to come at the same time as me. its an attractive girl. he suddenly tells me he’s seen enough and i can leave. he will get back to me. a few days later i find i havent got the job. shame. Luckily, I have an interview for the new apple store. If you would like to help please tell me about what apple apps you use and why you love apple. i’m also crossing my fingers about another job i applied for at the library archive. but with the market the way it is, i aint banking on nothin.’

Reading up on all things Lukacs for the next chapter. Reread “Reification.” It manages to lose status with each reading. This time i was thoroughly confused as to what reification wasn’t, found myself sick to death of his schematic critiques and his argument structure of: on one hand this is wrong; on the other hand that is wrong: guess what Marx is right. Plus those Bergson bits about fluid time etc. are a bit too romantic. I can’t see why he privlages time over space. Guess its a hegelian thing. Or a German thing according to Said. Now I only see Lukacs as important because he influenced people who did his shtick better. Probably just need sometime away from him.

His talk of time did get me thinking, tho, about the qualitative difference in time between my MA and my PhD. (Isiah Berlin would probably separate the two with some cute entirely false distinction. The MA is the hare. the PHD is the tortoise. on one hand, on the other; guess what liberalism is right. thank god he never finished a book.)

My MA was constant overwhelming time. It consumed me. I was bombarded with new subjects and worked long days practically everyday for a whole year. i didn’t have time for other things. i didn’t really even have time to thing about everything i learned.

My PHD is longer. I already know the subjects to some degree. I have years to work on it. I am managing my obssession. I have decided to treat it like a job.  I work about 6 hours a day, 6 days a week on it. I have time to think about it.

But somehow I feel guilty about this. On one hand i don’t want to burn out. I couldn’t work on it at the same pace as my MA. I also don’t want to. I find that after working on it since October, I want to do other things. I still enjoy it. I just don’t feel bombared by it. Its not a bomarded obsessesion. Its an obssession that it always there. That will pop into my head on my day off. or after im working. It there, but alongside other interests. Its not my MA.

I present my thesis outline tomorrow. This is not an event itself. Just another bureaucratic requirement. At the part of the outline process I am in, I am supposed to take comments on my outline presentation into account. The problem is I only have 15 minutes to present my 45 page outline. So, while I won’t exactly be summarzing Proust

I still feel like the ostensible point- my getting comments- is being sabotaged by my time limit. Another point against ol Lukacs’ theory of bureaucratic rationalization. of course reification doesn’t hold a candle to the disorganized clusterfuckery of neoliberal prescribed education targets.

I don’t know who reads this blog. I don’t know how its read. I don’t know where its read. Sometimes I don’t even know why its read. Does anyone read it on a regular basis? Did you stumble upon it? were you looking for a way to get your money out of Nigeria? I’m not trying to survey you, I’ve just been too busy to update, and I wondered if anyone noticed– sorta like that silly ‘philosophical’ question about the tree falling in the woods, which always makes me think of the steve martin bit on philosophy where he’s talking about all the perennial philosophical questions he learned in school– like if the pope shits in the woods does he make a sound? Anyway, just wanted to apologize for not updating. I was busy organizing a conference. now i’m finishing up my first chapter. working on it doesn’t make me feel like blogging unless its stream of consciousness drivel like this.