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Elijah Wald

This is his current blog, and I think we should invite him.

Axé.

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The neoliberal self

To reread today, chère, along with that Wacquant piece on neoliberalspeak.

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Mais today, cher

I really should print and send that contract, in addition to other bureaucratic things.

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What I learned today

1. I need some grounding techniques for when grief / pain / fear take over. One of the main ones is to remember I am a person and I have rights, and that I might not automatically be wrong or be guilty.

2. I take on entirely too much responsibility for everything, and really need to see this and then stop it.

3. I cannot talk myself out of the fact that too many things are happening to me now (too many responsibilities, abuse in the family, abuse in the workplace, unwieldy and inadequate support) — all of them really are happening, and all of the bad situations are real.

4. Again, I have to remember that I am a person with rights.

5. The fundamental issues — the fear that if I do not self-harm I will be executed, the idea that there is something terrible I have done that I must atone for, the idea that I am flawed and must recognize it — are things I should address in therapy.

This last is very frustrating since I have been in therapy for 27 years for precisely this, and I articulated it that way when I started. “I am caught in a family system and I fear extreme violence,” I said.

6. I have been ruined by psychotherapy because it kept asking, insistently, what did you do to deserve this? Admit it, be honest, you must have done something!

7. Anything else that may have been said, and that I have not written here. This was all most enlightening. Points 2 and 3 are the ones that seemed the most resonant, but looking back at this points 5 and 6 are the most surprising.

The idea that I should NOT “take responsibility” for everything, look at everything from everyone’s point of view but my own, and so on, is SO surprising. And of course that “grounding technique” is point 4: I, too, am someone, and I, too, may not be all wrong all the time.

Axé.

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Marta Rodríguez

The photocopy I am recycling today is of an interview of Marta Rodríguez and Iván Sanjinés by Kinetoscopio, a film organization in Medellín. I’d like to give a class on her, her films, and her contexts. Students would learn a great deal about indigenous cinema, indigenismo, the FARC, research, and Colombia generally. I would need to a lot of preparation for it.

I so long for peaceful, yet stimulating days and peace of mind. I so long for places with cultural life, not just rural folk culture but intellectual life as well. There would be directors’ talks, humming libraries, long museum halls under cool arches. There would be bookstores you could stand and read in, pigeons strutting near fountains, newspapers in kiosks.

Axé.

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The summer rhythm

Every day I will do:

– One thing for Dad (for example, get in touch with HCU for documents, and LTC for confirmation and verification; do some shopping for him; call him).
– One thing for research (for example, print out that contract and send it, but also, have a writing session).
– One thing for bureaucracy (for example, deal with my leave situation).
– One thing for my professional organization (for example, follow up with Academic Affairs, and then on the fall meeting).
– One practical thing (for example, get glasses and sunglasses; call my carpenter; get reservations in Apalachicola and the sea islands; pick up cleaning; get hold of a tool to repair the surface of clothes; put up those blinds; in July, order more blinds, so they come in August; see about tent repair; call the city on drainage; find a genuine arborist to prune that orange tree).
– One file organization thing (get rid of a paper file).

On SATURDAYS, when I am in town, I will go to New Orleans, and on Sunday afternoons I will go to the collective garden and then, the gym.

There are other things I will do each day, like wash dishes, get exercise, and so on, and enjoy life; this is how I am going to keep up with things, though — the idea of doing one key thing in all of these categories per day, if there are things that need doing.

Today, somehow, all I did was: get in touch with Academic Affairs; write a newsletter; write an important e-mail; make some key travel arrangements. But my general goal and desire is to live with a rhythm — not a schedule, a rhythm — and not live in the state of emergency into which I was thrown by Reeducation.

Axé.

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Sobre la honestidad en la mujer

A friend of a friend writes:

In patriarchal societies, women unbound are not trusted because insecure men fear that their offspring could be fathered by others and that created a societal need to subjugate and control women. Even in this day and age, for men and unevolved women, the worst and also most believed insult about a woman is that she is dishonest. It’s a knee jerk reaction for men when confronted with a strong independent woman. You can thank thousands of years of patriarchal societies and the evangelicals that perpetuate the Dominionism crap on which they have a death grip. [Emphasis added]

This explains the accusations of dishonesty my great-aunt and I got from my mother, and that I have periodically gotten since. I am sincere to a fault anyway, and I even allow myself to be trampled upon in an attempt to demonstrate loyalty and non-hostility, but I am still accused of dishonesty, and it still hurts especially, and I do guess I understand it at last.

Axé.

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