Monday, February 28, 2011

Teach to world to sing in perfect harmony...

(a symphonic blank stare--it's not designed to make you care!)

I had a dream last night that I was pulled aside by a professor who, having taken a number of courses with while an MA student, went on to give me good advice about something or other. I can't remember the details. The dream moved very quickly from one space to another: first in a college building, then outside in some strange sort of landscaped garden. I lost my phone in the manicured brush. He helped me find it, all the while scolding me for being so careless. It was a bizarre dream.

I find I am having more of them. Perhaps because I am drinking less. Or smoking less. I don't know. I had one about an orgy erupting in the locker room after ballet class. I haven't been back since. That was 3 weeks ago. "What are those men doing ing my head, having sex with me?" I asked a friend who I related the story to. How fucking pathetic. For all my talk about wanting to arouse the bodily pleasures the very idea, vivid and visceral, felt, makes me retreat.

J. never actually came to the club. I felt robbed of my chance to act and feel differently when confronted with an event that would stir powerful feelings of jealousy and inadequacy. I went home with my friends and we fucked instead. Wrestled in the hallway first, and then fucked. I wonder, though, if I just needed someone, anyone, to pull my ass out of the muck of disappointment that seeped up over not seeing him. Part of me thinks that those nearly 2 weeks of not seeing him were necessary--I almost long to have them back again, for the clarity of my position: I'm not with him anymore. Seeing him, sleeping with him--all of this was so much like what I wanted it to be, but not: it is not us getting back together, it is not us falling back in passionate love, it is not us making promises and compromises. Yet, I don't know what it is, and to the extent that all of the possibilities are not ruled out, I can't stop wanting to see him. I can't ask him for clarity, though: that would force the issue and I am afraid of what he would say. My cowardice on both sides presses me into a paraplegic listlessness.

In other news, my paper on Grindr is a go. I have departmental support for it. It is the paper I'm to present at the conference in Napoli. Professor "Just Dashing" thinks it's a great idea, and actually said I don't need to take the exam for his class since I'll be working on the paper. And he wants to me to work on it with the conference in mind, too. FINALLY! I am SO grateful that someone in my subfield is interested in one of my intellectual projects.

Of course, now I have to deliver, and a substantial part of me seriously doubts my abilities. I'm distracted and restless, my thoughts wandering so often to hover around the endlessly multiplying "what-if" questions that threaten to permanently shroud J. I don't know how to stop them except to muscle through. It took me almost 2 weeks of nearly insane flight-from-myself (fucking, drinking, dancing) to actually begin to feel like I didn't need to think about him all the time. I am like a freight train. It takes me almost forever to stop, and I can't turn on a dime. But fuck all, I can haul ass. I need, in such moments, to be my own saboteur. Ka-BOOM go the tracks, and crunch goes my "all steam ahead." Haha, I SO need a new paradigm!

And I have a meeting with my MA readers in about a month, which will be wonderful. I need to go and print out the fucking thing. Blah. 56 pages. But I managed to get them both to agree to meet, and considering the fact that I haven't been able to get that kind of response before, I'll take it. Now I just hope that the project holds and I don't walk into a meeting where the essay is drawn and quartered. If that happens, think I'll just scrap the damn thing and write a completely new project over the summer with professors who I will work with on a dissertation, using the MA as a chapter. I doubt that the meeting will go that way. But who knows. I just am SO sick of this essay at this point that if I had to devote serious attention to it again I wouldn't think it worth the effort.

(Prof. Just Darling accidentally called me "Gabriel" in class and when I showed-up at his office later was he mildly self-deprecating about the mistaken appellation, so I ran with it: "It must be my angelic face..." to which he says, "Your new haircut does show more of your cherubic face." I melted, putty in his hands...)

Anyway: he is SO prolific, and in part because, like me, he just gets BORED with a project if he has to dwell on it too long. I agree with him whole-heartedly: it starts to stagnate, putrefy, and become noxious to creative thought. He said to me, "Stop thinking about it, just start doing it." He's so right. And now I have someone to encourage me in that direction (i.e., productivity!) so I am super-excited. And goodness, he's just SO darling!

Future Plans:
1a) Nietzsche paper: letting Bersani and Nietzsche have at it, conceptualizing the Ubermensch as a 'post-human' subject viz., beyond notions of selfhood idealized by Enlightenment moral philosophy; refiguring ethics as relations of disinvestment of the unified subject: the role of pleasure, plurality, fragmentation (engaging: Arendt, Deleuze, Agamben, Berlant).
1b) Social Movements Paper: Anonymous as a social movement organization? Thinking through the implications of collective political action as mediated by technology, esp. internet. 2/3 of the paper=BORING lit. review of social science blah on social mov't organizations. Then: interesting stuff on new media and political desubjectivization (Gladwell v. Cheyfitz, Deleuze, Agamben).
2) Cigars w/ the Writer (remember him? he's now, more properly, the Psychologist, but I can't really bring myself to change his name...) He'll be in town mid-March and we will get to spend yet another St. Patrick's together, only this time hopefully with good gin and not crap bourbon. Two years ago we did this, too, but it was his birthday, and I was wildly in love with him. He read the Rimbaud's "The Stolen Heart" ("My sad heart slobbers at the poop..."). How could I resist?! Well, two years does wonders. Who knows, maybe all I need to do to get over J. is remember I got over the Writer. And that doesn't stop me from loving him, just from being incapacitated in my loving. (Of course, part of getting over the Writer entailed finding and falling for J.... haha how twisted these strands become!)
3) Dental insurance!
4) Visit Gramsy and get a tan!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm not the percent you think survives

(I need sanctuary in the pages of this book).

The upcoming syllabus of the course on Hannah Arendt's THC has been quasi-leaked, and sports the following authors:
"Plato, C. Wright Mills, Allan Kaprow, Martin Heidegger, Herbet Marcuse, Roland Barthes, Arlie Hochschild, Karl Marx, Leo Strauss, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Aristotle, Tim Ingold, Thucydides, André Gorz, Steven Shapin and Simon Shaffer..."

It will be interesting to see how these thinkers are all woven together--or not. Sometimes the best courses are the frenetic ones, that sort of bounce all over the place. When what is experienced is the buoyancy and flightiness of thinking as an activity:

"It is like seeing two mountain climbers standing before a wild mountain stream that is tossing boulders along its course: one of them light-footedly leaps across it, using the rocks to cross, even though behind and beneath him they hurtle into the depths." (N. Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks)

Finally finished and sent out a nearly final draft of my MA thesis "Please/Forgive: On Natality in Arendt and Nietzsche". As I almost wrote to my readers, "I often wanted to scrap this essay and start from scratch, but since that impulse didn't prevail, here it is!" Well, I may have undersold it, especially since I think it is quite good at moments. But, as I also said, if I had to address the question of forgiveness again I would approach it from a totally different angle. I think there is an effort in the text to try and consolidate a heroic, no doubt melodramatic subject of superhuman 'overcoming.' To the extent that Nietzsche's incisive observation holds that every philosopher constructs his own system out of a moral prejudice, that essay was an autobiographical testament to the desire to get my shit together.

But I've recently been taken by the COST of such a project. In multiple sense of the word, but mostly in this regard: the projection of that kind of superhuman confidence is bullshit--that is, it is the occasion for a sort of hypocritical event, the closure of the gap between the plurality of experienced, felt selves: this leads to a hysterical overdetermination of subjectivity I think, of a reactive posture.

Lauren Berlant recently wrote about the "combover subject" and I love the figure! How would Nietzsche have felt had he started to bald?

Tonight will be an exercise in embracing, that is, restylizing, my combover. J. is going out w/ a boy he's met (i know, i know, old news by now--sorry for being so repetitively boring!) and it is inevitable that we will see one another out. Our mutual friend is gonna be there with a boy I no longer talk to because it got really out of hand so I don't have him to spend the night with, getting drunk at the bar, being distracted and reassured. And the boy I wanted to spend the night with just bailed on me, and made it sound like he isn't really that interested in seeing me again. Whatever. It's lame that boys get so stupid. <= see how I did that! As if I were now "Man" or "Girl" or "Woman" or wolf or bug or moon rock and not one of these stupid boys myself! hahaha...

My former boss--an amazing queer theorist and personal hero--tells me about this woman Catherine Millet who writes this amazingly torrid tell-all (The Sexual Life of Catherine M.) that rivals Sade's 120 Days of Sodom. This same fearless author finds out that her husband has been having an affair and is overcome by jealousy, and her next book, Jealousy is all about dealing with it. This queer-theorist friend of mine says, "Even I still feel jealous... X will say something about one of his dates and it hits a nerve!" and I am so relieved! I'd always felt like a failure for not being able to face my jealousy and dominate it into submission to my desire to be cool with an open-relationship. It was a terrible feeling: letting myself down was also letting J. down, who would then rip into me for being such a failure... People keep saying to me, "Maybe you just can't do it," and I say to myself, "My grandfather went into Catholic elementary school a lefty and graduated Catholic elementary school a righty: I believe in the utter plasticity and discipline-ability of the body." Foucault did, too. The gay Foucault--though, if he had lived longer he would have, I think, been quite pleased with the rise of queer theory--even felt we could begin to exercise these practices on ourselves: askesis baby: practices of pleasure! (Enter Bersani...)

Who knows. I'm confident that I will see someone cute to dance with, and who knows, go home with. (duh!) And I'm also confident that I will be cool with seeing J. out with this boy. That he's going out with someone else doesn't foreclose the possibility that I will see him again. I need to stop feeling like every time I see him will be the last. It over-loads our time together, blocks it up with an affect of inchoate disappointed expectation. Mostly, though, J. WANTS to see other people, and I should be happy for him that he is. (It isn't always easy...--duh...) But that it is easier to default to a position of wounded pride or an offended sense of propriety is no justification for the dominance of that posture in my repertoire of responses. When I was struggling with J.'s relationship with M. not too long ago I had to admit to myself that there was a part of me that was turned on by it, and so I couldn't really be angry or put off: I was pleased by the situation even as I was terrified by the possible implications of it all, and in my better moments I was able to amplify that feeling of pleasure, to take comfort in the pleasure that was somehow of a kind with the pleasure that was felt by J. and M.--that we were somehow doing something hot and caring together, and my role in it was to understand, to encourage, and to be strong enough not to feel threatened. (I failed on that front, which is why we aren't boyfriends... but, whatever...)

Ok, time to get the fuck onto a dance floor. Tomorrow I do my taxes, but will only file them if the government is giving ME money. Otherwise, I'm taking a page out of Henry's book and I'm gonna resist out of probity and principle... and rage.

Which leads me to my final thought of the night:


(Both charts are courtesy of Mother Jones.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

I press trigger, I don't press people button.. how I have 22--now ain't that something? (10 are for you, so who's gonna get the next dozen?)

Walking to the train this morning I was listening to Robyn, which isn't new: I've been succoring my emotional malaise with her eminently danceable tunes. There is a song, though, that makes me start to cry every time, even when I'm on the street walking to the train. So there I am, hurting with every heartbeat, choking down sobs, walking to the train. And I don't look back...

It is 7.30ish, by the way. So I am fraught, emotionally fried, physically exhausted. Cf. last post. Ugh. So fucked up.

Thankfully the song ends before I wheel around the corner into the Addison Red Line terminal, which is where, after slipping my CTA card though the turn-stile, I find my hand in Rahm Emanuel's. His smug little face is grinning back at mine. I wonder if he is enjoying his own reflection in the sheen of my knock-off Gucci shades.

"I think you're a prick," I say. It doesn't register at first I don't think because he says, "Thank you, sir."

But I don't let it go.

"No!" I yell as I make my way up the escalator: "You sold us out to private corporate and financial interests while you were in the White House and you will do it again as the Mayor. Fuck you!"

Now he has heard me, and he scoffs, smug prick that he is. A flare of rage flashes across his face, but another wave of commuters washes through the turn-stiles and he is distracted. And I risk getting arrested if I keep yelling, seeing the thugs with their ear-pieces and semi-auto side-arms getting a little too restless for my comfort. I shut up and let the escalator swoop me off. The people around me are shooting looks of puzzlement, disbelief, repugnance, curiosity... I turn up the volume on my headphones.

Well, what was this stunt anyway? A "thank-you" meet-and-greet for the rich, white population that got him elected. No thank you, I'm disidentifying from that crowd! The crowd that drives me off the road when I'm biking? Who sneer or blush when they see the dildos I sell through the windows when they walk by the place where I work? Yes, that crowd who moved into Lakeview because it was (finally) a perfectly bleached shade of boring--save those pesky faggots, but they are easily enough assimilated/co-opted/bought/priced-out... Oh, this crowd of yuppie fucks who descend on Wholefoods every Sunday with their wide-load strollers! How could I love this city if I gave myself over to the people who cannot tolerate the diversity that makes it interesting? 6% population decline in the city of Chicago, and we all know who's going, and why. (I love Arendt's rationale for executing Eichmann: It's because you had the audacity to attempt to determine who to share the world with, that is, that you offended against the plurality of the human race you forfeit the right to keep company with any of us.) Sometimes I wanna roll out my guillotine. Even if a mini one... for another of Rahm's fingers: let's really shut him the ____ up. hahaha...

I'm moving out of this neighborhood anyway. Not that I don't love it, but I've seen the lines shift: the gay men come here to play these days, while the rich white straight yuppies come here to live. I've seen the evolution of the neighborhood in Kit Kat as a microcosm of the phenomenon: what was once a cocktail bar for gay boys and girls to sing along with and lavish love upon the performers has become a tranny revue for bachelorette parties. Yuck!

A friend and I are talking seriously about being roommates, and I'm excited about it. I've never had a roommate in any real, meaningful sense. I'd always been dating someone, and so it was never two people sharing a space, it was a couple and a guy sharing a space, and that rarely works. In fact, in never did. But, the joy of spending so much time with J. and his roommate was seeing how they negotiated their relationship. It works, not always perfectly, but always 'lovingly.' It made me want to try. So I'm giving it a shake. Plus, saving some money is never a bad thing. Uptown, here I come!

Ok, back to the Rahmifications of my outburst. I was instantly struck with the ambivalence of my sentiments. My rage, mixed with my longing... what was 'legitimate' to feel? Did I lash out at a politician because I was listening to a song that made me miss J.? Is there just beneath or barely discernible within my desire a profound anger? That is: just how symptomatic was this event? I want to claim discrete affective states: longing evaporated with my prehension of Rahm, giving way to indignation. But I should know better, right? That's just a nice dream, right?

Well, either way I was productive today. I registered for classes. Only one, but at a ghastly hour of the morning. If it were anyone else, teaching anything other than Arendt's THC I would say fuck it. But I cannot say no to the class that, no joke, I have been yearning to take since 2006. It was, after all, the idea of being at this school, in a classroom with this professor, reading this book with him, that filled my youthful soul with just so many fantasies of the nobility of Academic pursuits. I feel oh so very disabused now. Perhaps I am hoping that this course will be redemptive, perhaps curative of whatever intellectual fatigue has been plaguing me.

I suppose it's that I lack the conviction that my intellectual efforts are actually meaningful in any substantial sense. Who the fuck will ever read what I write? Goodness knows that just getting someone to read a draft of my MA thesis has been dispiriting--nearly 3 months of silence, and from someone I wanted to work with no less. I never know with these things: I default to a personal inadequacy: if it was good, it would have been read, and I would have heard from her. But after the first 2 pages interest was lost, and so... blah blah blah. So for 3 months I say nothing either. Fortunately I was successfully laughed out of that way of thinking this afternoon by our department guru. Thank goodness for her!!! A million and one thanks!!!

Today was just a good day I guess. It all went smoothly, you could say. Except I keep getting snagged, hooked, caught, on J. I return again and again to thoughts of him, perhaps enjoying the feeling of running my mind over that jagged point. Obsessional neurosis as the psychic equivalent of cutting. I may be seeing him later tonight, and I'm exhausted. Tomorrow if I see him, I will be seeing him out with a date--a friend of his. He reproached me for calling them tricks. He described my language as 'tired'. I'm trying. I wonder if he appreciates how tiring it is to learn new languages: we exhaust one another when we speak. The last time I saw him out with another boy who he went home with I cried myself to sleep. I'd never actually done that before, and that night especially I thought it impossible because I was so tweaked out I didn't even think I could fall asleep, and then low and behold, I woke up the next morning. I don't know how long it took, but it was agonizing. Or was it? What, exactly, hurt about the crying? I'm not sure. Maybe it didn't hurt at all, maybe I'm just scared of crying--that other bodily experience of loss of control.

It's so funny to have been awake at this point for 12 hours--a full day! At this time 12 hours ago I was shouting down Rahm Emanuel! Hahaha, how ridiculous. Sometimes I just can't take myself seriously. It makes it hard to think anyone else does. But then, I suppose, if I didn't take myself seriously, I wouldn't have something? I don't know... maybe that was a reckless, rude, over-determined effort to prove my words mean something. Blah. I can't go on with this any more. Ok. Done.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

BGE #200

"Such human beings of late cultures and refracted lights will on the average be weaker human beings: their most profound desire is that the war they are should come to an end."

This is the mantra of the man I am: please, just some rest... from myself.

J., who no longer is mine--who never was, never will be mine!--demands of me a new relationality, one without fixity, no telos, no limits: no end.

I should be so ek-static. I am not. I am launched into myself. Horrified and lonely. Interiorized.

Deleuze: "If you put thought into contact with the exterior, it assumes an air of freedom, it gives birth to Dionysian laughter. When, as often happens, Nietzsche fiends himself confronted with something he feels is nauseating, ignoble, wretched, he laughs--and he wants to intensify it, if at all possible. He says: a bit more effort, it's not disgusting, it's a marvel, a masterpiece, a poisonous flower; finally, 'man begins to become interesting.'" (Nomad Thought)

Nietzsche continues: "But when the opposition and war in such a nature have the effect of one more charm and incentive of life--and if, moreover, in addition to his powerful and irreconcilable drives, a real mastery and subtlety in waging war against oneself, in other words, self-control, self-outwitting, has been inherited or cultivated, too--then those magical, incomprehensible, and unfathomable ones arise, those enigmatic men predestined for victory and seduction, whose most beautiful expression is found in Alcibiades and Caesar...."

The man that I am and the man I wish to (cunningly) become draw life from the same well-spring: a body that has in it "the heritage of multiple origins, that is, opposite, and often not merely opposite, drives and value standards that fight each other and rarely permit each other any rest."

To put to sleep, to bed, to knock-out--one way or the other--by hook or by crook!--let us try and give these drives what they so yearn for, at least for now: to finally give them... some rest.

Anti-Social? I'm all apologies...

Above the coffee station in the 7-11 there now hangs a huge flat screen TV running adverts for all the little toxic goodies you can buy for what one almost wants to say is cheap (until the actual cost of the destruction of your body is considered). And its loud. Bright and loud. And I'm like a mosquito or a fly with one of these things. It just becomes light and humming and I am sucked into the mind-zapper. I stood underneath that damn TV for like five minutes until I became self-conscious, afraid drool would start slipping out of the crease of my gaping, dumb-struck mouth. The TV is really scary. So is the Redbox station outside the 7-11. (When did 7-11 become purveyors of the most junky crap ever?).

When I finally peeled myself away from the TV I was offered a .50cent (BANG! BANG!) sausage biscuit. I giggled and politely declined, but really, how freakish! I say to the guy behind the counter, "You must hate these things! How long before you just wanna..." and I pantomime pump-loading a shotgun before desperately shooting the screens. He sorta lets a queasy smile flicker across his face, and I say, "Because it must play the same stuff again and again!" "And it's loud..." he mutters. "It IS loud!" I say. I break out my miming skills again but his smile doesn't get any less queasy. Now my smile is queasy, too. Or at least limp. So I thank him, sorta pissed at the whole fucking experience. And as I walked out there was the manager, not in uniform or anything, doing the books. He'd been hidden from sight behind a register, hunched over his invoices.

Well, that at least explained the poor bastard's queasy smile. "Please don't say you want to explode the bosses new TVs--he's RIGHT THERE!" That's what his smile was saying... hahaha how ridiculous. I can't imagine the boss really wanted those TVs either, though: they are loud. (Well, maybe he does, but not in order to play these fucking advert loops. Maybe a film or satellite-beamed TV show from home. It's funny to think that people wouldn't want to see a movie from another country in a 7-11--why not? How else would you see cinema from X country?) And I only stayed for part of the loop--I can't imagine how horrible it must be to listen to the damn thing again and again and again. It's a sort of neoliberal torture.

And that's why I when I finally put my headphones back on, as if to break the spell of the TV, I had to dance a bit, to get myself back into my body. And if I am always losing my body and needing to catch it. I suppose I am, in some strange sense, feeling my body escape me. But most of the time it feels like my body is being snatched away. I feel robbed. But that's silly, because it's like a seduction scene. An abduction! (Cf. Araki's "Mysterious Skin" for the ways trauma can manifest itself literally. Still--thinking of Delezue on Klein in "Nomad Thought": give me your intense, lived experiences, and i will translate them in to fantasy--the psychoanalytic contract, and why Freudianism is still a bourgeoisie ideology--even the great Klein, theorist of the partial object, succumbs.) Wickedly difficult to think through. Taxing. Unjustly so. I want to pantomime a shotgun and make the TV screen in my brain cower a bit. No such luck. I grimace, and then dance again, and greet the guy behind the counter with a smile, my coffee cup in hand. "Sausage biscuit for only .50cent more," he says to me.

(Has the light gone out for you? Because the light's gone out for me... It's the 21 century. It can follow you like a dog. It brought me to my knees.)

So I have less patience with those kids who start to shoot their mouths about us anti-social kids who sit on the train with their headphones on listening to music, totally zoned out. Like, what, paying attention to you is better?

I'm trying to learn a new style. Take this example as a case in point: At Irving Park and Clark there is no bus shelter, despite this being a major intersection. Even if it isn't a major intersection, its far more major than the bus stop half a block down the street--the one in front of the retirement home. So the geezers get a shelter while the rest of us freeze and get rained on or snowed on. But, of course, if you're gonna catch the Clark bus going south, you just walk down to this shelter to catch the bus there. This is the practical thing to do. I'm the sort, though, who will bitch about corrupt Aldermen and the undue influence the elderly exert on politics, especially at the expense of the (racialized) poor. But J. doesn't do this. He just writes "poop" in the snow in front of the shelter.

Kids these days! But what else were we to do? The thing is the way it is, and no amount of bitching would change it. So, here we were confronted with privilege, and we made it suffer our little spectacle. "Hey, Gramps! This is what we think of you getting a shelter when no one else does: POOP!" Not that anyone asked, and not that it will ultimately change something. But we laughed, and in the face of freezing and feeling like no one gives a shit about kids like us needing to get to a pervy public sex show, it was enough, and more than that, too.

I've been seeing J. more regularly again, and it's unsettling. I feel out of place with him. I need to find a new sense of familiarity with him. I think I've been confusing comfortability with familiarity. My dear friend turned 29 yesterday, and she is advancing admirably on her dissertation, working on Cicero. She's deep in "On Friendship." "You must read this!" she says to me, "because he is challenging the Platonic notion of desire as lack." It sounds promising. We will see. Still, the idea of loving what is common, or the same, is part of Bersani's project in Homos and I'm into it. He even went to the Phaedrus, which is the least Platonic account of desire Plato gives for precisely this reason: you fall in love with what is properly speaking your own in some weird way, and not what you lack. I think J. and I have been figuring out what it's like to be ourselves again, but there is a lack that compounds this: I miss him, and he misses me. It is not an intrinsic lack, of course, but it is hard to feel self-sufficient when these impulses confront and must negotiate the longing for companionship that he provided. But not well enough--that's the point, I suppose. I wasn't a friend enough to myself to be sensitive to the ways he was friendly. Still, in it's ideal rhythms, the temporal prioritization of self/other dissolves, and the boundary of I/You really is just a practical convenience.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Carry On

(The taste of life. i can't describe. its choking up my mind...)

Over the summer--oh the summer, the heat, the passion, the comfort of his body (even when I ached over its absence!)--I ran into a professor randomly on the street walking w/ J. to the CVS. I was mortified, stoned as I was, afraid of making a fool of myself. She took one whiff of us and, laughingly, referred us to Araki's "Smiley Face" when I said we were getting snacks for our movie (it was Araki's "Totally Fucked Up"). Her suggestion was far more on point, which isn't surprising. I told her what books I was reading for the queer theory component of my Political Theory exam and she said, "oh Judy and the boys." I said, "well, you, too." I was just afraid of sounding like a sycophant, and so I left her out. On purpose. Leaving out the people who I actually care about. (...and heaven knows I'm miserable now.) It's some sort of bizarre haughtiness: "Well of course I care about you! I'm talking to you, aren't I?" But I also think it's a thing like this: it's very Gaga (a la Poker Face): I refuse to tip my hand, for fear of...

It's funny though, because a friend who is a colleague related a story where precisely this same professor found it rather hard to say, "Good job!" to him, yet did not hesitate to esteem his performance to his partner. My friend goes, "WTF?!" We laughed because of course it all makes sense: the erotics of pedagogy. And so too the psychical violences of erotics haunt the hallowed halls of the Academy. Duh: the institution is named with all the aspirational hopes of a civilization claiming a mantel (Plato as the founder of the cannon, as the adopted Father--an inverse relationship [how gay!], almost as if Plato were behind Socrates the Scribe)--a mantel it could never avow, could only every affirm in the manner of a disavowal. And this, still, a double disavowal: the influence of the East on Greece, and the homoerotics that fueled the cultural generation. (Nietzsche recovers both in the figure of Zarathustra.)

I was lying in bed the other night, really turned off by a friend's Facebook status, which somehow suggested that visiting Auschwitz was more enjoyable than whatever little petty drama he was engaged in. It prompted me to go off on the myopia of so many people, especially the so called intelligentsia. And then I paused, and said, I wonder what I do that is absolutely, ridiculously, obviously obnoxious, the thing I do which aggravates other people, but which I am blind to... and the boy lying next to me just says, "Breathe, it's ok." I laughed, because there it was: this horrific propensity to over-think everything. To follow a wormhole of insane speculation. Undisciplined thought, I suppose. Or just, under worked: My mind isn't being worked hard enough, and so it just hums incessantly rather than roaring into a project so it may rest and simply live. My brain is like my libido: it is must be relieved, or I am pitched into a dull hum: the low-burning expenditure of water-laden fire wood: lots of smoke, but little fire, little heat.

At least I was smart enough to listen to his advice, to shut the fuck up and close my eyes and fall asleep.

Today I deactivated my Facebook until the end of the quarter. I feel like something of a hypocrite given how much my own work wants to argue that social media is not detrimental to the soul. And, indeed, it isn't--I just think that there is a way in which, like all social spaces, cyber-sociality is an excellent distraction. Social spaces can be the dwelling place of the rabble (Nietzsche's contention), or they can be the figurative mountain peaks (what Nietzsche fails to fully appreciate as a social space). Facebook, I suppose, was becoming more like one of my speculative wormholes. And, it's precisely because I don't believe that Facebook is "creepy"--I think the idea of the profile is beautiful: it is a profile, an always already limited in dimensionality casting of a figure--I can turn away... so as to see with different eyes, as it were, and from a different perspective (because it isn't as if being "in-person" somehow gives a complete picture of the Other--perhaps more perspectives on the profile, but we always already view the face of the Other from an ANGLE).

I grow increasingly disgusted with the pretensions of Academia. Which is what I started this post with. No: I started with the joy over seeing my professor--my once professor. And the relief that even my heroes are capable of the sorts of things I am. But this made me think of the depths of the culture of negation, its pervasiveness and seeming naturalness. This same professor once said to me, "Nietzsche isn't right about everything, you know?" (I thought at the time: that can't be right... how naive and desperate for certainty!) But what I think he does get right is the pervasive force of the culture of negation. Reading Nietzsche with new eyes entails this: looking for what he himself denies, since he is embedded in this culture of denial as much as we are. (If she is, he is... as I am: resisting!)

It's like the boys at the Robyn concert last night (which was amazing!): they stand still, lip synching! I think to myself: I'm at a concert, I know these words and I love the way they work together with this beat, and how this couple seduces my body into movement, into rhythms and undulations! I say to one of them who gives me a particularly severely dour look, "Baby if the architect had wanted to put a pillar here, she would have, now DANCE!" That was easy enough, he laughed and was, as if by magic, released of the shame felt over dancing by the shame over not dancing: may he learn to dance for fun, and not for shame! But the boys dressed to the nines, looking like they feel off the cover of an album: these boys measured their devotion through lack of expressed enjoyment. I can't stand any of it. So I dance it, and quite quickly I am done standing anything anywhere: I am dancing, and transported. I look to the stage and Robyn is moving in this beautiful jerky, emphatically bouncy way, spinning and throwing her arms in the air (she and Thom Yorke dance alike). I danced WITH Robyn last night (I'm done with idols--this is their twilight--I want dancing partners!): and we had a great time! So did all these kids around me--trendy fags, sporty dykes, trixy bytches, hipster queers: we had a great time! (We dance to the beat...)

A professor writes to me: your prose is overwrought. I write back (but have yet to send this): you are absolutely right: I am out of shape. I'm afraid of admitting it, because that makes it true, and that makes it a mark against me (as if it weren't obvious: my prose is 'overwrought'--this is polite for 'barely coherent')... My prose needs to become choreographic again. Tight, fluid, poetic. This entry as a first essay...