Someone recently told me that I am photogenic. I think it was this peron’s way of paying me compliment. Although I am not too sure, because ugly babies pulling ugly faces while teenage-years-torturously dressed up as bugs are ‘photogenic’ enough to be the subject of calenders. Whatever. My mug is on the Blogtalk Downunder blog in a post notification of the flickr conference photo set. I have the rocktastic Daniel Boud to thank for capturing me at such a crucial moment of my presentation (and for introducing me to the expression “Rock out with your cock out”). If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this photo captures the thousand words I didn’t say and should have… Here is Glen trying to explain something with emphatic hand gestures, or that is what I must have been doing, because I certainly wasn’t doing it with my awesome use of non-spoken words. I should’ve had a back up band that punctuated my presentation with guitar solos or at least a drum solo or two. werWEEEeeEEEErrr. That would’ve made shit more exciting. Yeah, more on that below… But before you go down, here is Glen jovially grinning as if Daniel was doing something really funny like taking my photo. I think at the time I was trying to seduce someone that wasn’t there.
Anyway. I am funtabulously knackered. Three solid days of partying at night and reasonably intense intellectual efforts during the day. It reminds me of my time in Sweden… Hmm, I need to differentiate between being an intellectual in the pub with my mates and being the ‘rock and roll’ evental supplemental at an academic conference. Yeah, I learnt a lot from this conference and not all of it was about blogging.
Part of it was my reaction to the overwelming ‘functionalist’ approach of many of the papers. What do I mean by ‘functionalist’? Many of the papers were coming from an e-learning perspective and attempted to figure out how to use blogs in an educational context. A number of the people in the audience were commercial punters or representing commercial interests or there to extract some sort of commercial benefit from the presentations, which made me feel like someone had squirted lemon juice into my eyes and then used my red-eye tears to flavour their newspaper-wrapped, corner-shop-bought fish and chips. On the second day, as my train-commute reading material, I brought along a text Christian had brought up from Melbourne entitled Hatred of Capitalism to use like a kind of crucifix to vampires. Well… exactly like a crucifix to vampires. I am sure they are all lovely people, but they still want to make money by extracting the surplus value from someone else’s labour. Anyway, they carry problems with them from their respective areas, which is cool, you know, whatever, but it is not my thing. I wanted to figure out some aspects of what made ‘blogging’ problematic, or, at least, talk about some initial thoughts I have had along this vain. Yep.
Much needs to be said about the conference. At the moment I can’t be fucked. I guess I should write something about my catastrophic presentation. Indeed.
I wanted to exploit what I thought was a blogtastic genius idea. That is, I thought: because my conference paper emerged from a blog post, why not treat the mode of presentation in a similar way and attempt to replicate a blog post accordingly? I will tell you why not!
First of all, here is a list of three ‘should haves’:
1) I should have premised my talk with outlining what is good and bad about a blog post (and hence my paper and, in turn, my presentation). Instead, I simply stated that is what I was going to do. Bugger. Moral of this point: YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN THINGS, GLEN!!!!!
2) Realise before giving my paper that not everyone has a) read Deleuze, or b) has an interest in philosophy. Realising these self-evident facts during a presentation is not a good thing.
3) Prepare for a conference and not try to wing it with creative bullshit. I can speak fine to one or even 10 people in an informal setting, but there is something about getting plugged into what Jon McKenzie has called the ‘lectern-machine’ that makes me feel like I am meant to have a competence (bestowed by the lectern itself) I sometimes don’t think I have. Especially after realising point 2) above, so that any competence I do have is elided.
Second, here is a list of positives:
1) Engaging in a dialogue with people from outside of the philosophico-cult-studs domain is a good learning experience. Especially when I fail to engage properly, because it also me to resharpen my tool-set so as to be more effective by focusing on exactly what aspects failed.
2) As someone said to me at the conference: Heaps of really smart people said really smart things, but my presentation will be one that people will not necessarily forget. Perhaps, not for all good reasons, but potentially unforgettable nevertheless. Who knows?
Anyway. Bed time. I will post more on this tomorrow, including a photo of my presentation notes for my blog-mode presentation. I wrote them on Blogtalk conference note paper, so, you know, it is authentic and was done at the conference. Plus I have posts coming about Star Wars Episode Three, the weekend’s night shananigans, and Christian’s stay at my joint and how we are going to do a thing together based on my Swedish ‘sequels paper’.
Gee whiz. I can’t even be stuffed doing a spell check. lol!