metamoment

I’ve decided that–while I still like the blog being primarily a space for textual reflection and theoretical workouts–I should on occasion devote more time to writing about personal things.  Of course, that phrasing suggests theory etc. is not personal and that it’s just something I do, not part of who I am.  Which is silly: I’m a theorist.  Or, at least, aspire to be so.

So, faithful reader(s), why the decision?  Well, the blog I read most attentively is Yellow Dog, and although Jeff’s theory/pedagogy/discipline/profession posts are always great, I often enjoy the little slivers of personal info that find their way to the blog.  Again–the t/p/d/p2 stuff is, I’m sure, “personal” to Jeff as well.  But I like those moments, and they’ve been echoed in certain ways by Collin’s recent Barthesian “Summer of Personal Reflection” theme on his blog (until recent undisclosed events have made it difficult for C to blog), and the floating webmemes like “7/8 random things” that encourage bloggers toward similar “personal” scenes of invention.

So I’m introducing the new, semiregular feature called the “metamoment” which is devoted just to those scenes where the object is solely or primarily myself–again, with the caveat of the personal/professional divide being one of those dichotomies that Derrida warns against (and Ulmer and others have tried to deconstruct or work against through mystorical invention).  This decision also finds its roots in last week’s chat with Jessica–one topic was whether, in the process of professionalization, one feels some sense of “authentic self” slipping way.  For me, no–I’ve always been into theory and abstraction, and the professionalizaton merely gives me an appropriate database to draw from in expanding those interests.  But one way to destablize that risk of losing authentic selfhood–ill-defined, true, and troubled as well by questions of essential/discursive subjectivity–might be to offer–against the usual concerns of theory, rhetoric, pedagogy that dominate the blog–insights into myself.  And, to show I’ve been reading Jeff’s book (why I still kiss ass when he’s at a new university, I don’t know, haha.) to juxtapose (personal and theory) and commutate (blog becoming site of personality rather than theory).

I’m nearly done with both Jeff’s book and Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good for You, which by chance I’ve found myself reading along one another.  There are echoes btw the two, and when time comes to write about that, I’ll try to address the two together .  Also, I have yet to do the full Derrida post (where in god’s name to start?) and the post of Lackoff/Turner (easier to start, but not much to say).  Also like to do one in response to the aforementioned music post from Jeff’s blog.  I guess that prompts something else: “Metamoment” will be category for those such posts, whereas category “meta” will remain the category for blogging about blogging.  So I guess that makes this a metametamoment?

Lastly, a cry for help.  Very generously, my mater has decided to purchase a laptop for my upcoming birthday.  I’ve pretty much decided on a PC (sorry, my Mac-lovin’ pals) ‘cos I’m a glutton for punishment, if you believe the recurring Mac vs. PC ad campaign.  But most new PCs I’ve checked out have the new Windows Vista OS, and I dunno much about it–I’ve heard the folks at Microsoft are still having a lot of problems with proggies not running on it and such, so I’m hesitant to choose a Vista-based PC if that’s the case.  So, here’s my cry: if you know aught about Vista, pro or con, drop a line or two; or, if you want to plead your case on Steve Jobs’ behalf and convince me to come over to Mac, take that up.  Why not?  I’ve already abandoned lit studies for rhetoric, right?  I’ll just do whatever you kooky folks tell me to do.

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4 Responses to “metamoment”

  1. jeff Says:

    Go for the Mac. Even thought it is pricier, it will be worth its price when you don’t fret over viruses, drivers that don’t recognize new software, drivers that disappear for no reason, crashes, and so on. Get the cheapest Mac. Or look for a used Powerbook.

  2. mary Says:

    1) go for the mac. I listened to jeff when I was at a similar juncture and went with the mac and haven’t looked back since. In truth, jeff suggested it, but it wasn’t until I saw Hawisher and Selfe at 4c’s two years ago and they had recently changed that I finally gave in. It wasn’t a mistake!

    2) we tried the beta version of windows vista when they were giving it away free for testing, and I hated it. It was a pathetic attempt to emulate Mac/Linux and they didn’t so it very well. Also, they made major changes in the way you could organize your files. They made it so you could tag everything, which in theory I approve of. But in practice it just was too time consuming to find anything, contrary to what the tags were supposed to faclitate. Anyway, don’t do Vista.

  3. vitaactiva Says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I fail to see how professional life in academia is not part of one’s personal life. At least in my case, there is no objective self that teaches in the classroom, shows up to seminar, or presents at a conf.

  4. M. L. McGinnis Says:

    Jessica:

    I very much agree, but I think the question here isn’t one of objective/subjective; that is, I’m not implying that I “turn off” my personality when teaching, attending seminars, etc. Rather, my interest lies in how I use this particular writing space–the blog–to reflect concerns that are both professional (i.e. theory, pedagogy) and personal (i.e. popculture, romantic entanglements should they occur).

    For instance, the Me of the FoolsCap is not the same me as the Me of Facebook–where FB foregrounds much more strongly my interest in popcultural forms, I very rarely address those interests here. FoolsCap has been sort of hermetic of late, and I think I’d like to change that.

    And, just to further needle you (haha), yes, of course professional life in academia is part of one’s personal life, but is one’s personal life a necessary part of life in academia? That’s an interesting question, of course, for which I don’t have an answer at present.


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