The Hot Eight

It is the weekend, so we are singing. Today we rather incongruously practiced danzón behind the stage while waiting for the Hot 8. Resignation is not one the Hot 8′s strong points. I, however, have discovered that resignation, that machine to reproduce ideology and the social order, is all the rage. People call it “acceptance” (it was formerly known as “realism”). I have only raw data, of course, and I do not know how to crunch the numbers, but my study has two important implications.

One: there really is a class of people for whom Reeducation is designed. Such people have a problem they do not want to name and / or are afraid to solve. This group of people is larger than one might think and that is why Reeducators assume one only wishes to “manage” situations (while also clamoring incessantly, inanely, and superficially that “change is good”).

Two: when people try to talk me into remaining a professor, as they have been doing for almost twenty years, they assume that I am the type of person described above. At first they thought my dislike of academia was only disinterest in having a career and a desire to be supported by a man. “Would you rather be married and stuck in the house with little children?” they sneered. When after some time I did not do that they changed to the condescending and supercilious “There are problems with all jobs, you know!” (If I wrote a Greek play, the chorus would say these things.)

What I find fascinating is how they managed to speak to me, a person above thirty and then above forty, as though I were below ten. I would furrow my brow, not understanding their logic. Were they mentally impaired or otherwise incompetent? Could they make it through the day on their own? Should I help them? But this is the paradigm. People complain, but only out of weakness and irresponsibility, so they must be taught resignation. I find the belief in this paradigm quite strange, and the existence of people who actually fit it even stranger.

Axé.

About these ads

7 Comments

Filed under Banes, Songs, Theories

7 responses to “The Hot Eight

  1. Such people have a problem they do not want to name and / or are afraid to solve.

    Perhaps this is precisely what Lacan meant when he said that knowledge is “paranoiac” — ie, that we think we want to know something but actually do not want to know it.

    That said, I’m not sure what kinds of things there could be that I would simulataneously want to know and not want to know. I suppose there are such situations. During times when I doubt myself, or feel that I have lot track of my performance and do not know whether or not I am achieving at the level I want to be achieving, then I can sometimes simultaneously want to know and not want to know others’ appraisals of me. However, such an attitude is becoming rarer, the more I learn to objectively evaluate myself without relying upon outsiders to perform this task for me.

    IN terms of the expectations that some people have that you and I and everybody else has the emotional maturity of a ten year old, I think that perhaps the explanation for this immaturity being a common outcome is the way people have been brought up. I think a lot of people are brutalised into adulthood. And this can be the case even when there is an ostensible softly, softly approach and micro-management. So long at the child is not free to explore his or her environment on their own, their spirit is being drastically stunted … to the point that they cannot learn to rely upon their own judgements about themselves. Thus, the child grows up to NEED external monitoring and control, and becomes conditioned to rely upon external approval, rather than learning to make judgements about their own performance.

    Perhaps this is the unfortunate situation of the majority these days?

  2. PS Sounds like the Hot 8 are having a great time. Nice rhythm. Not always in tune.

  3. servetus

    Is there something about the whole “professor” status that complicates these conversations?

    I grew up in a house where I learned an awful lot about being adult at a young age. Practical skills. Housekeeping, cooking, planting, child care, etc. I also worked hard after I was legally employable at a number of part time jobs. But somehow since I have donned the professor garb people who knew me when I was 16 and thought i was eminently practical have decided that I am ethereal and far from the real world, so that I can’t possibly understand what it would be like to have to leave the university.

    OK, I have been “at the university” since 1987. However, I can also imagine not being at the university in a realistic way.

  4. I think (re Jennifer’s comment) it must be that more people are more immature than I realize. I do not consider myself to be particularly mature but I am far moreso than many adults I meet.

    Re Servetus’ comment, I don’t think it’s a professor thing as much as it is a white collar wage labor thing more generally (I got that from you) and very importantly, a gender thing. I also think that what many men call “mature” is just “following Daddy.”

    Jennifer – “Perhaps this is precisely what Lacan meant when he said that knowledge is “paranoiac” — ie, that we think we want to know something but actually do not want to know it. That said, I’m not sure what kinds of things there could be that I would simultaneously want to know and not want to know. ”

    This is why I was not good at Reeducation: I do want to know, and then I want to act on that knowledge. Reeducation is designed for people who don’t want to know or act. This is causing them problems, however, so they need Reeducation so as to gain a small amount of insight – not more than they can handle – and then dare to act on that just a little bit, so that they can remain in their places without quite as much discomfort.

  5. Also: on things one knows and doesn’t – my phrase “I do not want to be a professor” means most fundamentally that I do not want to put up with abuse. I tend to think it means I want more agency – professors have to live where they get stationed, like the army or something – but really and most basically, it means I do not want to put up with abuse. That that is what I mean is one of the hardest things for me to see.

  6. That that is what I mean is one of the hardest things for me to see.

    The cry from the heart often needs to be deciphered an unpacked. I don’t know how we can ever get around the fact that we are at war. An unnecessary war in may respects. Like that in Iraq.

    Here is something to cheer you up or not, as the case may be.

  7. Useful to remember that it is a war, however.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s