Tag Archives: Post-Academic

TfH Summarizes Critical Theory

Friends, I’m in the muck of drafting a study of Dana Spiotta for the Gale American Writers series and thought I’d share what’s been happening in contemporary literary studies since I’ve been gone.

Postmodernism: No stable, coherent subjectivity is possible given the way media technologies, the war machine, capitalism, racism and sexism have colonized everything about our experience as humans.

“Post-postmodernism” (no non-dumb name for this yet): Yeah, but we have to find a way to live anyway.

This is why people get so worked up about David Foster Wallace saying fiction is about what it means to “be a fucking human being.” And why people talk about feelings affect as suddenly mattering. And why the canon got splintered by people with non-normative experiences like being LGTBQ or black or women or generally¬† people who’ve had their identities smashed by mainstream culture forever and were like yeah, duh, when the white straight guys realized this in the 60s-90s.

Finding an ethics within fragmented subjectivity–> That’s Dana Spiotta’s work.

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I’m Baaaaaaaaack

My Munro article is in the can, y’all, and here are the things Imonna do now:

  • Read the fourth Neapolitan novel
  • Write a long think piece about my mixed feelings about Hillary Cl– oh wait Rebecca Traister locked it down already
  • Negotiate at least three cease fires
  • Clean out my car
    • which farts trash every time I open its door
  • Purchase and assemble a standing desk so I can finally be vaguely smug like the toe shoe people
  • Resist calculating the hourly rate of my contract to write an Alice Munro article for a lump sum, thus maturely strolling past the rabbit hole of post-academic rage about labor equity social value of humanities knowledge should I really have quit academia etc etc without even a cursory glance back into said hole wait too late daaaaaaaaaaaaaang
  • Relish having weekends back again again
  • Acknowledge getting paid in love, still, in my current child health policy gig too, is better than getting paid in hate but still not as good as getting paid in adequate dollars
  • Drink beer
  • Read all the reviews of Purity so I can maintain my opinion of Franzen without having to read more than the New Yorker excerpt through which I couldn’t hack the slog
  • Drink wine
    • Cuz Wine is Fine
  • Blog more again
    • For reals
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Stick With Toilets and Condoms, Bill Gates

Why does a Thinker for Hire waste even a fragment of a second?

A fragment of a second is 3 seconds too long on these cover stories about (I can’t even TYPE the phrase “education reform” without feeling queasy) in national magazines.

But when it’s spread out on the kitchen table, and reading is a temporary but welcome respite from weekday morning chaos, and her eyes must rest somewhere while chewing her sugary cud, where else should a TfH look?

And here’s what those fragments of time taught me: that as bad as I already thought Bill Gates was for education, with his self-made billionaire high school dropout hubris,

IT’S WORSE THAN EVEN I THOUGHT.

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Orphan is the New Black

What if our darkest feminist nightmares came true?

Girls who disagree with their fathers get locked in a cage with their mouths sewn shut?

Women are killed unless they can reproduce? And when they can, they are no more or less than incubators?

Women’s bodies are objects of science, subject to constant observation and kept ignorant of their status as experiments?

Sometimes they are artificially inseminated using animal husbandry tools?

Sometimes fathers commit incest meditated by reproductive technology so it’s NOT ABOUT SEX AND/OR POWER AT ALL. Nor is it creepy. Nor is it anti-Christian.

Women on TV are seemingly infinite variants of the same thin, beautiful, vulnerably strong white woman in leather?

Everyone lives in Canada?

 

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Zombies on Mad Men!!!

Zombie nouns in a zombie finale of a zombie show.

The nouns: Post-industrialization. Financialization.

The post-post-war economy based on ideas and services. Based on abstract ideas of “value.”

An economy that by the zombie finale of Mad Men is any moment now, just about, right on the edge of fully usurping the old order of pensions, factories, and loyalties.

Bert Cooper’s elegant valediction celebrated this culture as it died out—and as Cooper helped wreak its death.

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Book Reviewlets: The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For

You, like me, were wondering. Every night, the salty breezes blowing across the bow of your yacht. Wondering while savoring the peaty elmish notes of scotch.

Scratching your chin stubble and wondering.

What’s the best way to relive the Iraq War?

Through Rachel Maddow’s and Errol Morris’s investigative cinematic journalism?

Through dinner parties where everyone comes dressed as their favorite CNN hologram?

Through nightmares of Abu Graib?

Man. What a bummer. Except for the hologram.

Thinker for Hire, are CNN holograms the only answer?! They CAN’T BE?!?!

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