between

I seem to be doing a lot of rushing about without getting much done at the moment.

We have moved into our new digs in Annandale. The place is almost set up. House warming BBQ some time soon.

My parents were over last week for my graduation. They were quite ill most their stay, which was unfortunate. We went out to dinner a few times and they got to see the new place.

I have done none of my own work over the last month. This is starting to annoy me. I think if I don’t secure some sort of academic job, then I shall forsake academia for some other industry. As I have previously written, I don’t think I need an academic job to produce my next series of publications. I just need money for rent and what not. Anyway, there are a few jobs (and a fellowship) I am applying for. Maybe something will pay off…

I need to get back into a rhythm so as to start writing properly again.

Ghost in the Spielberg

Dreamworks has bought the rights to the Ghost in the Shell franchise. Hmmm… What is to come of my favourite Deleuze-and-Guattari-citing, massive-robot, sexy-cyborg work of Japanese popular culture? A 3-D live action thiller apprently. Ok… Live action rhizomes? The ‘ghost’ and the ‘shell’ correlate with what Deleuze described as the incorporeal and corporeal dimensions of events. For example, the ‘Laughing Man’ only makes sense as an event. What is cool about GitS is that much of the time is spent exploring the metaphysical problematic of events in a futurstic virtualised world as much as it is about chasing down the bad guys, etc.

swamp monster

I am feeling a little bit swamped at the moment.

I put my notice in two weeks ago on my flat and I am moving into A.’s place. We are looking for something together for us and B. We think we have found a realy nice place. Fingers crossed. A. got notice about three weeks ago; the owner of her rental is selling. She gets 60 days. I had moved my computer and work stuff over about six weeks ago and have basically been living here since then.

Tuesday week (22/04) I graduate. My folks are coming over, and maybe my big brother if he feels up to it. He has been having another rough time of late. This has been a bit stressful. It will be cool if he can make it.

On Friday, after we viewed the property we are hoping to rent, A. was involved in a car crash. A young bloke drove through a stop sign and A. crashed her brand new MY08 Subaru Forester with 1800 kms on the clock into the side of his car. No one was hurt too badly. I banged up my knee a bit.

Lastly, on the work front. Lot’s happening. More on this later. Nothing fun. I have figured out that 2% of students cause 98% of problems. Managing the 2% takes up most of my time. Lots of marking. I am thinking that in terms of an academic career I need to get a book contract. I don’t really need an academic job for this. Academic work is fine, but the employment conditions are nonsense. So I might be trying to get work elsewhere in the future, doing work that doesn’t operate according to silly sessional contracts and/or which can be relied on the whole year. Now I am living with others who rely on me to make sure I pay my rent and have money for food and other such luxuries. During the teaching session this is fine.

The utter stupidity of the casual teaching system in the tertiary education sector needs to be rethought. 12 month contracts with a certain contact hour/teaching load that are staggered (some signed at the start or halfway through the year) should replace sessional casual contracts. Sessional contracts should be banned because they force workers to have 3 or 4 half-time jobs to produce a tapestry of incomes of various durations.

Oh, and I have been a shithouse friend to most of my friends lately. I promsie to be a better friend very shortly when a lot of this calms down a bit.

French Theory and an Americanism

From the emerging hoopla round this book, “French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States,” comes this comment:

Derrida himself (or itself) lamented the “turning into method” of his more ethereal “movement” of de-construct-ing. Americans try to get things done with things. It is much like French versus American porno—in the French version a naked man scales a 40 story building and appears, uninvited outside the window of a naked woman, who, being French, invites him in for coffee, whereupon, to the consternation of horny Americans viewing in some French hotel, the two of them proceed to talk about the meaning of life for an hour and a half (where’s the sex, the practical Americans lament!!!). In the American version, pumping rapidly reaches it unoriginal conclusion, unencumbered by feeling, sensation, reaction, subjectivity, objectivity, -tivities of any sort. Cusset and Fish, both, would have been wiser to put all this de-ing of things into a cross-cultural porno perspective. It both simplifies while bringing out the essence.

Hilarious!

I would like to know what Cusset has to say about the material reception and circulation of some of Deleuze’s ideas in the US. All the current bullshit in the comments to the Stanley Fish New York Times blog post on the topic about deconstructionism — or a group of people called ‘decons’ (what? the fools leaving comments can’t spend an extra 1.7 to 3.1 seconds writing ‘deconstructionists’?)– is a typically American way to talk about poststructuralism. Derrida? Very narrow utility and writing doesn’t inspire me into thought, but his concepts have their strengths. So do those of Deleuze and Foucault, who also happen to be in the title of the book. Deconstruction is not poststructuralism. It shits me to read critical comments from intellectually myopic Americans about some stupid grad course they took 10 years ago. Decons… Fuck. They are seemingly oblivious to Fish’s point about their conceptual-discursive tools constructing them.