Monday, December 12, 2005

this weekend

this weekend, i witnessed a gangsta youth throw an obnoxious, disruptive man nearly twice his size to the ground and all of mc donalds united to cheer on what would have been a hilariously pitiful fight between two men with no shirts on. an old man informed me that this is precisely the reason he carries THIS (producing, i shit you not, a butterknife that he had concealed in his jacket) and made little jabbing motions to emphasize just how he would use it while murmering creepily, "yeeer....like that... yeeeeeeah...."

also this weekend, i waged my very own workers general strike at cafe gigi's and won my full shift pay.

AND... i made little to no progress on my papers, whose deadline's are fast approaching. *sigh* whats a boy to do?

i mean, like, besides weep uncontrollably...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

writing

is there an art to writing? can i expect to get better at it? do other people enjoy reading what they write?

some questions going through my head as i've been finding writing my papers for the end of the term so difficult. words come out of me easy enough, but i can't help but wonder if they will make any sense to their intended audience. and further... whether its compelling, or interesting, or even noteworthy at all. perhaps partly because i'm familiar with the thoughts i'm attempting to express—although, i must admit, every now and then i surprise myself—when i read my own writing in an attempt to edit it, it seems so... blah. is writing a gift that some have and others don't? can it be cultivated? i really hope so.

i've been trying to assume a new relationship to the papers i'm writing. it seems there is some consensus amongst artists and the like that actually attempting to complete their work is gut wrenching. their work seems to constantly beg to be manipulated, changed, perfected... of course, in aesthetics this lends itself well to the debate over when an art work can actually be called an art work. but for me, its merely illustrative of a greater truth. these works that come from ourselves are important to us... the plays we direct, the journals we edit, the books we develop, the papers we write... we expect that their presentation to others be the best that we can present. but the sad truth is, we can always perfect it.

nietzsche's philosophy has been appropriated by certain ethicists to preach the value of the life lived creatively. the idea here is that we should live as though our life were a production and that once we've created it, we let it go, claim no further responsibility for it. there is something compelling in this, even if only for the idea that perfect creation requires a lack of responsibility. levinas agrees—though in a pejorative way—that art is irresponsible.

but at least if my art is irresponsible, the papers i write will get finished. i'm reminded of the horribly inspiring grad student motto which is 'don't get it right, get it done'.... i'm not sure what sad state of academics necessitated this mantra, but i find it inspiring in that its a place to start. at least it can open the vein so that something is created...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

the eternal recurrence of my paper topic?...

i woke up this morning to a virginal blanket of snow covering the streets outside. magnificient. not only had i been exhausted enough last night to fall asleep at 10p, but i managed to maintain a peaceful slumber until 10a the following morning. well rested and cheerful, imagine my delight when i discovered the coffee jar empty, meaning a trip to the store was in order. rosy cheeks, the smell of snow, and excited faces greeted me all the way.

but now i find myself presented with a task... a paper.

"The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum! What does this mad myth signify?

Putting it negatively, the myth of the eternal return states that a life which disappears once and for all, which does not return, is like a shadow, without weight, dead in advance, and whether it was horrible, beautiful, or sublime, its horror, sublimity, and beauty mean nothing." --Milan Kundera The Unbearable Lightness of Being

this will be the starting point for my reflections on hermeneutics, the process whereby we seek to understand and interpret (primarily texts, but also) our experience of the world. is hermeneutics a weight? a lightness? or is it neither? could it be, instead, an 'unbearable lightness'?

Friday, December 02, 2005

i feel lost

how can a person go on living, forgetting their place in the world? i know where things are. i can find them if i want to. i can see you if we schedule a date. i can visit you in my reflections. but who is the i throughout all this? the i is a searching, wanting, desiring for things. the i is a longing for what it isn't.

what am i? whats my personal contribution? why can't i see it?