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Archive for December 2010

the boston manifesto: a side effect

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So the occupation that I’ve been involved with has ended after a majestic run and I’ll have to find something else to do with my spare hours. Lots to say about it all once I’ve calmed down a bit. But one final wonderful side-effect: they / we had an “after party” at the Boston, a block or so from my place, last night. The Boston is the ultimate source or at least the venue where so many of the life-crisis horrors that I’ve obliquely chronicled on this blog over the last year or so occurred or at least occurred to me. It would be hard to describe what an intimate relation I have to the place, which has served for me as a sort of outfolding in the world of the infolded shit in my head.

But last night in that place I was surrounded by students that I’ve come not only to respect in a new way (lets say ethically rather than simply intellectually) but also to love a bit. One is continually faced, in this business, with the question why bother. It’s hard work, and hard in ways that other work isn’t. But this has made me remember why it’s all worth it and so Monday, despite the fact that I can’t stop off at the Jeremy Bentham Room after work and despite the fact that Higher Ed is generally heading into the shit, I’ll go in happier and more sure of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

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December 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Posted in academia, occupations

the chalk that is not one

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Oh dear. What have we here. From an email I just received:

In other news, Luce Irigaray is in UCL and won’t come to see us because the chalking has upset her so much.

Run, academics, the new kids are behind you…

I admit, I get pretty excited when I see chalk at the university too, given the proliferation of fucking dry-erase whiteboards.

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December 5, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Posted in academia, occupations

finally, an ad without products

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Finally they’re coming. You have no idea how happy this makes me… A lifetime of learning and teaching, and then you get to see something like this:

A few fleeting glimpses of yours truly in there… And, um, my protest mullet.

Dog days are over…. Couldn’t have picked a better song to go with it…

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December 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Posted in occupations

anti-coagulantism

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The media loves the concept of “generational shift,” at least sometimes when they can get out of their permanent mid-life crisis for a column or two. Mostly very boring, and the students don’t really care about the meta-narrative. But it is quite funny to see students that I’ve met in the room winning on-line arguments against people my age, people that I’ve known from my dalliances in theoretical left circles for several years. I won’t link, as that would be cruel. But it is lovely to see. They’re learning an enormous amount in a very short time, and I’m learning an enormous amount from them. And maybe the bloodclot that has been the left starts to dissolve….

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December 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Posted in occupations

when ’68 posters have their place in the current occupations

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This is the person discussed, um, here. From this rather brilliant site….

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December 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

oikonomeia

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Despite the massive increases in productivity that have come of computerization and roboticization, the massive efficiencies that come of the continuous rerevolution in transportation and thus the globalization of markets, despite the possibility of “just in time production” and its low over-heads, despite the development of the internet and vaccines that render horrific diseases a thing of the past in much of the world, despite the end of the cold war and the necessity of massive state spending on armaments, despite incredible advances in the sciences of agriculture and mineralogy, despite labor saving advances in informational technology which render the necessity of expensive bureaucracy obsolete, despite steps forward in cheap and sometimes green energy and the introduction of the ethos of recycling and a general social campaign against waste, and despite the fact that nearly all of what would have been single-earner households have now been turned into dual-earner households, somehow we’ve run out of money and all of those mid-century advances, like cheap or free education, cheap or free medical care, cheap or free mass transit, welfare benefits for those who need them, the possibility of a reasonable state or private pension, the probability of a job for life, and affordable housing must now be phased out as they are no longer affordable. Sorry. Despite the fact that the future was supposed to be better than the past, and that capitalism is most tremendous engine for economic growth and social development that the world has ever known, we’ve discovered that the standard of living we’re accustomed to as citizens of modernity has to change profoundly and the free ride is now over. We’ve apparently run out of money.

Except for things like this:

It’s a funny old world, but that’s simply the case. And everybody knows, right, that a national economy is exactly like a household wherein when things are tight, you have to cancel the satellite tv subscription, put off the renovation of the kitchen or… end the public funding of universities altogether.

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December 3, 2010 at 3:33 am

Posted in crisis, rationalization

ye are many – they are few

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The big banner, which I saw them making today in the department common room and which may or may not have made the tears well up in my now outrageously bloodshot eyes, quotes the last five lines of this. Absolutely brilliant.

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

Starting to write a talk for a TBD appearance at another occupation. Something having to do with the often very, very complex relationship between what we study and our political commitments. Inspired to take up that topic by this vigil tonight. Will continue my new highly exciting, if life-shortening and blog-informed, habit of writing at speed and think about it between essay marking, teaching sessions, union meetings, kid mindings, and of course occupation visitings tomorrow with an aim of writing it all down on the train.

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December 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

Posted in occupations