Start Again

I have decided to start my dissertation again. Not completely from scratch, but just a complete reorganisation. Reading Latour’s Reassembling the Social has enabled me to rethink what I am doing in my dissertation. I hadn’t even started to include my fieldwork research and I have already written 60,000 words, and most of this was archival magazine/newspaper work. I need to the fieldwork to limit the archival work as the way (and rate) I had been writing was going end up with me not completing in time while attempting to write some 110,000 word diss that would need to be reduced to 70,000-odd words anyway.

OK, so now the idea is to combine Latour’s ANT as a particular example of event-based fieldwork with Foucault’s event-based archival work, both through the Deleuzian concept of the event and D&G’s notion of faciality. It allows me to keep it sensible with 2-4,000 words of fieldwork and 3-5,000 archival work per 12-15,000 word chapter. Plus, a ‘methodology’ chapter explaining the event, a cultural studies of the event (or ‘faciality’), and Foucault’s and Latour’s respective works. The bit on Foucault’s work is basically done. The event stuff is tricky but doable. Writing up my fieldwork notes is very easy. The archival work is easy enough, too, because I have done it all.

Stupid? Maybe!


PS. I was watching community tv last night while eating dinner cause they show concerts on Saturday nights. They had a concert by a band called Yellowcard. I couldn’t believe it! I was like, “Get fucked… Emo-punk violin?” If you have heard Blink 182’s “M+M’s” then their music is like that. The violin is awesome. My favourite track is “Miles Apart” off the Ocean Avenue album. When I actually get the CDs I’ll write some more. Fuck it is sick!!

PPS. I have done two 6:29’s on the rowing machine for 2km! Which means I would be ranked 64 in Australia for my class (19-29, heavyweight). Plus I have done I whole bunch of 6:34’s. The next goal is to row a 6:25 and consistently be able to row around 6:35 (instead of around 6:40 which is easy now).

17 replies on “Start Again”

  1. haha. you’re right, i am usually not alarmed.

    no, but really…if I may introduce a lame metaphor, when do you start driving the thesis home?


  2. You watched Happy Gilmore last week, didn’t you? 🙂 “Just send it home…”

    Thesis is a panelvan and I am a nomad! Or, maybe, I am just so used to cruising about that I don’t know how to go home? Hmmm… Such rich metaphor territory.

    No, ok, seriously, my problem was having too much stuff. At first I thought I didn’t have enough material with just my fieldwork and not enough understanding of anything, which was true, then I realised that I had too much stuff with the archival work, which was a relief quickly turning into a worry, now I realise that my fieldwork material is actually quite substantial (cause I understand more) but manageable compared to the archival stuff (cause I now know what Derrida meant when he said you can’t exhaust the archive!). So I have changed tack and I am using the fieldwork to limit my archival/historical work, but using both strands (archival and fieldwork) together in a complementary way.

    Also some things have become obvious which maybe should have been obvious before, regarding the writing up business, except they weren’t obvious, and I think this was because I am actually quite stupid. My own inadequacies are made very apparent all the bloody time doing this thing. Like, for example, I have crapped on here, and in my thesis, about this thing called a ‘scene’. My insinuation into the scene at the beginning of the fieldwork is actually quite important and yet I had never thought to properly write about it as a substantial part of my diss. Now it is the third chapter (after intro and ‘event’ theory nerd chaps). It allows me to talk about the ‘scene’ in a historical sense coming from two points of view — the cars (and the process of me getting my car) and the organisation of enthusiasm (and me joining a car club). Now that seems dead simple to me now because I had been wrestling with a lot of this stuff in a disconnected way. So by structuring my diss in this new way it allows me to connect up as much of this heterogeneous stuff as possible.

    Even my appearance on national tv as a ‘former self confessed hoon’ is going to appear as fieldwork as it offers a brilliant way for me to demostrate how the media selects certain bits of information from a given situation to create an image (like none of the media crews wanted to hear about my PhD and the road safety industry, they just wanted to know about the times I was hooning and almost stacked it). Not everyone gets to be on tv as some kind of fucking pariah so I am going to milk it! Yeah!

    It is like I am finding homes for all these little disparate ideas I have had and assembling a diss from them.

    Plus I am a bit of a single-minded perfectionist and don’t fuck around too much when I really want to do something well. It has been the same with other things. I really dislike the notion of ‘good enough’. But isn’t this what everyone goes through or what? reorganising the diss in dozens of different ways?

    But I am going to get it done. Feb. Done. It has to be. Done.

    Accelerate to attack speed!

  3. ;7

    …drag race!

    it’s on!

    [cue simpsons sound effects]

    ummph ewWf thuMpo umphff must beat jean umpphh ewWWff thumpehf….

    (2557 words so far today and even though Fat Cat’s gone to sleep it isn’t even bed time yet)



  4. that is what i got up to last night, the word count for the day!

    today has been much slower… meh! only about 1000 so far. Need to do at least another 1000.

  5. man. you guys make me feel brutally incompetant. i’m completely floundering half-way across the world, but you two are managing to get it done. i have my reasons – what the hell are yours?! 😉

  6. coffee!


    fucking emo post-post-post-punk-cum-goth the-world-is-shit-but-i-love-your-smile music!!

    you fucking rock! and loud!


    oh, and the gym. and some sex.

    hmm, and and every now and then talking to teh normals who don’t know who deleuze is or what a turbocharger does.

    and crunching baked wasabi-coated peas!

    hot dang!


    don’t flounder, anne, become the salmon. jump up the stream, against the flow! you just know those salmon are having a kick arse time, showing off to each other, fucking around, dodging bears and shit. it is the extreme sports of the fish world. phding as extreme sport! fuck the capitalists! and become the nike ad! just w00t!

  7. I can tell you are pretty much a total fuck head. I mean what kind of a fucking moron posts his indoor rowing times on his blog? Are you some personality disorder nightmare? Oooh “I would be 64th in Australia” oh my fucking god pal do you think there ARE 64 cunts as stupid as you and that is not even mildly impressive pal. From what I can see you are doing phd on the most bogan of interests, you call that culture? You’re a fucking absolute moron. And I am GLAD you don’t get any pussy. Fucking eat shit and die and I hope to christ you fucking die.

  8. “Fuck you homo” – is it just me, or do you not have any idea about the car/cruise enthusiast culture in Australia? Unfortunately for you, not all of us are Winfield blue smoking, flanelette and black jean wearing, fluro green vk owners that get together around the outside of hogs breath at Penrith on a Saturday night. In fact, it would be interesting to see Bazza piloting a CRD built r34 gtr track car. Unfortunately, it is the absolute dim wits like you that give us a bad name. FYI, you’ve probably enlarged the fuel injectors on Glen’s thesis as to how absolute halfwits such as yourself guide public opinion! Anyway, quite funny as to why you even bothered to read Glen’s blog – a disgrunteled culture and tech student perchance?

  9. Don, there is a battle of representation here, that is for sure!

    I am surprised that Fuck You Homo didn’t think of the possibility that I am actually a bogan! lol! Just because I read crazy-ass Francophone philosophy for my popular culture and turn popular culture into work doesn’t mean that I do not derive from a certain lumpen class element. I have been given every opportunity in life to succeed in becoming strictly middle class and yet I have pursued other directions with a relentless passion.

    Anyway, on the subject, I admire car peeps for wanting more that the tightly cramped and sometimes crippling confines of banal surburban life which most of them have grown up with. However, I don’t have much time for those who are into status seeking. Everyone knows, for example, that speed cost money, so for me the greater skill is going fast on a budget and limited resources. Yet, there is also an extreme element within the car scene, of a certain type of enthusiast for whom their car literally is all that they have. It is not just a question of identity, like how a new BMW owner wants to be identified as upwardly-mobile middle class, any peanut can do that with money. It is a question of existence, of an existential territory marked or carved out through the enability capacities of the car. This is extraordinarily powerful and in my opinion it is what partially redeems modified-car culture from its suspect social and environmental excesses.

  10. Quite funny you should mention that Glen. Back in the days of being able to stop and chat in the rocks, my “group” was made up of a ridiculously diverse group of people that were bonded by a common interest. It wasn’t relegated to the confines of ethnicity or socio-economic status. Thinking back, it was made up of your stereotypical “bogans”, your middle class suburban “wogs” and those lucky buggers who had their parents hand them their car… and their modifications on a silver platter. I find it amusing to think that in any other social setting, we wouldn’t have dared to speak to one another…

    Also, I’m part of a few car clubs that have a strong bond and are made up of people that come from all around Sydney and are in very different financial and social positions. I really believe that true enthusiasm builds bonds that deny social barriers from preventing otherwise good human relationships.

    Don’t let me get started on bmw owners… I’m part of (being a bmw enthusiast ever since I had a ride in a mates e36 m3 and drove an e46 320ci) and it is ridiculous to see the amount of young guys that will get their hands on any old e36 318is or 318i throw chrome wheels on it and consider themselves “ballers”.

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