Miscellany

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Essay: "On Being Postacademic"

Wow, in my perusal of Invisible Adjunct this evening, I found an essay by Kenneth Mostern, a former professor of African American literature at the University of Tennessee. He taught there when I was doing my M.A., but I unfortunately did not take a course from him. I have benefitted from hearing his story.

Awww... the KEIs are all grown up.

Feministe has blogged about KEI, or "Kids with Entitlement Issues," who often throw god-awful tantrums. I think they grow up to be like Adrienne Samen, a Connecticut bride who went ballistic on her wedding day:

Restaurant managers had trouble keeping some of the 80 or so guests from repeatedly raiding the bar Saturday when it closed after the agreed-upon four hours, said Helmar Wolf, 58, co-owner of the converted gristmill.

But the real drama didn't begin until the newlyweds got into a screaming match in the idyllic restaurant's parking lot.

Samen - who sports a tattoo on her right arm and one above her left breast - "spit on her ring and smashed her wedding cake on the ground," Wolf said.

Then she took out six or seven flower-filled vases, he and cops allege.

The bridegroom "started driving off and she took a run at the car and, like an eagle, spread herself on the hood in her wedding gown and fell onto the ground," said Wolf, who noted he had never seen anything like it in his 19 years as a restaurateur.

What a comment on class, both in the economic and mannerly senses. Ugh, and they just had to point out that she has a tattoo. She must be a reprobate!

Back from Michigan

Am I ever tired! I got back into town last night after an 11-hour drive that started at 3:00 p.m. At the end there I was using my stay-awake-while-driving-alone strategy: sing along loudly with any song I know that comes on the radio, even if I hate the song. Luckily "Hey Jude" came on toward the end and gave me a second wind. I absolutely love that song. I should really get a Beatles CD one of these days. :-)

As far as the festival is concerned, I think I need to sort everything out before I write about it. For now let it suffice to say that I had a great time, and I participated in the march for trans inclusion.

The Ultimate in Bad Taste

Your Nutz. Well, at least some of the proceeds go to testicular cancer research.

Link via Leigh Anne.

For some reason...

I'm the #2 MSN search hit for "photos of man and women without their clothes together and sexing with each other." Gasp! I'm trying to picture the person who used this awkward syntax.

Comfortable sandals

I really want these but don't have the money. My friend Pamela has a similar pair and can walk all day long in them.

Added News to Blog; Things to Do

I added a News block to my blog. Now you can see what a lefty I am! [grin]

My to do list is always a mile long, it seems. One of my little idiosyncracies is, for the past two years, I've had Star Trek 365-day desk calendars. The first one was a Christmas gift from my friend Susan. I bought the second one myself. Anyway, I thought it would be so nifty to use the back of each day's slip of paper as a to-do list just for that day. At the end of the day, after crossing off each item on the list, I tear up the paper and dispose of it. It gives me great satisfaction. I'm forced to make my lists realistic. The pieces of paper are only about four inches by five inches long, so I can't put too much on there. Today's has a picture from Star Trek: Voyager with the caption, "Chakotay and Janeway work the helm of a new starship. 'Hope and Fear.'"

Tomorrow I need to send a bunch of citations to the Copyright Permissions Center for the course packet for my Rhetoric 1101 class this fall. The theme for the section I'm teaching is "Identity and Multiculturalism," and I have several ideas for assignments. Audre Lorde and Jamaica Kincaid are high on the list, and there are more I'm thinking of too. That needs to be my main task for tomorrow. I also have instruction sets to grade for the class I'm teaching this summer. I want to do some pleasure reading tomorrow, too, and laundry. Sheesh, I never get bored; there's always so much work to do. I feel like a workaholic sometimes--or, rather, a "stress puppy," as I was called during my time at the University of Tennessee. :-)

Anne Galloway, calm technology, resistentialism and Bjork

Anne Galloway delivers the sharp content as always:

Calm Technology and Resistentialism
- Today's word from The Word Spy: calm technology. For more on this, see The Origins of Ubiquitous Computing and Calm Technology. And then there is resistentialism (ri.zis.TEN.shul.iz.um) n. The belief that inanimate objects have a natural antipathy toward human beings, and therefore it is not people who control things, but things which increasingly control people. [Anne Galloway]

After going to the definition of "calm technology," I found this:

calm technology

(KAWM tek.nawl.uh.gee) n. Technology that remains in the background until needed and thus enables a person to interact with it in a calm, engaged manner.

First of all, after spending some time in the south (Mike Keene suggested that there's maybe a southern Clancy and a northern Clancy? Could be.), I'm surprised to see that the pronunciation key is saying "KAWM tek.nawl.uh.gee." Kawm? Tek-nawl-uh-gee? I would have thought it'd be something more like "noll."

Anyway...calm technology remains in the background. Galloway sees a connection between calm technology and resistentialism, "the belief that inanimate objects have a natural antipathy toward human beings, and therefore it is not people who control things, but things which increasingly control people." She says she'll blog more about that connection later, but to show you a little how my mind works, I immediately thought of the song "The Modern Things" by Bjork. The first and last parts go as follows:

All the modern things
Like cars and such
Have always existed
They've just been waiting in a mountain
For the right moment
Listening to the irritating noises
Of dinosaurs and people
Dabbling outside

[...]

All the modern things
Have always existed
They've just been waiting
To come out
And multiply
And take over
It's their turn now...

The calm technology has been waiting, but it has agency and hates us. And, in the unsettling words of Bjork, "It's their turn now." We'd better watch out. Paranoid fantasy reminiscent of The Matrix and The Terminator? Sure. What an influence popular culture has. :-) Heh--I'm sure Galloway has something serious and intelligent to say about the connection, so I'll stay tuned to Purse Lip Square Jaw.

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