Sur le temps

I, too, dislike scheduling to death because it is altogether too intimidating. A schedule is good but it must have a great deal of empty space in it.

But I am more than ever convinced that scheduling and time are small issues. It is far more fundamental not to allow unbearable pressure, to do what you like, and to speak kindly to yourself.

In Reeducation I learned that these were coping mechanisms; they would make you feel well and you lose access to the truth of your situation. This is false.

I do have difficulty discerning what I like; it is only easy to see what I do not object to.

Do I like my profession? Not at the level at which I am asked to practice it, no; nor in these conditions. Could I? Yes. Is it the only one I could like, or the one I would like the very most? Not necessarily.

My question is, why does academia require this kind of loyalty? Why must one say it is the best and the only, and not just that out of the things one could have done, it was what one opted for?



Filed under Da Whiteman, Questions, Working

Ce que j’ai fait

“Yesterday, the first day of vacation, I worked on classes, met with students, and worked on classes again. I finished some more pieces of the departmental website and felt greatly relieved.

“Today I am reading articles. Several students will take the foreign language reading examination. Each must have an article with no English abstract or translation, and that fits their interests.

“I am taking this as a chance to read.”

That was what I said before falling apart from exhaustion — a place where I stayed for a month because I did not think I could afford to rest. It was not pleasant, although I could have just declared vacation and should have done.


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This was a draft post from three years ago. I had been asked to join yet another honor society and did not want to, I don’t have that kind of disposable income and if I did I would donate it elsewhere. But the chapter really wanted more people, needed me it said, and I was in physical pain for days over saying no. That, as I say, was only three years ago.

Recently I had a nightmare wherein I was in high school and my parents were trying to live my life for me. Do my homework, go to my classes, wear my clothes. I escaped down the street but they chased me in the car I have now. That car, it occurs to me, is a one they gave me when the car I had died and I got tenure.


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The election

My main reason for not voting Clinton is that her record and her policies are so poor. What makes it impossible for me to vote for her at a visceral level is her supporters, who feel I owe them my vote. The idea that the DNC/DLC own me because I am registered Democrat is ludicrous. I think Clinton is a terrible candidate, and her presidency will bring us little good. I am sure the Clintonistas disagree with me on many policy related issues — they must, if they are that enthusiastic. The reason I like Sanders is not because of Sanders but because that many people were willing to vote for the things he stands for.

Yes, fascism can happen here. On the other hand, hasn’t it already? Aren’t Clinton and Trump just two faces of it? Are Trump’s ugly nativism and ability to name Supreme Court justices really so much scarier than the activities Clinton’s men will undertake? On the other hand CenLaMar thinks Clinton could win Louisiana. We could vote for her and help stop Trump. That would be good, if one considers he would be worse. Or not, if one believes a Trump victory means a Democratic sweep in 2018 and beyond.

Clinton would be good for Louisiana as she is a strong supporter of the oil industry and proponent of fracking. With her backing of private prisons we would strengthen that industry, and she could help us privatize more of the public school system. That is why I don’t find the idea of voting for a lesser evil to be enough this time. I do normally say it is better to choose the less-bad because that puts you in a better position for organizing. But I don’t think that view applies in this case, or that it is compelling, because Clinton isn’t a liberal ally — actually, I was voting for Sanders as a liberal ally.

I don’t like the people who say you have to vote for Clinton, and I don’t like the ones who say you should not vote at all (because it is their Constitution, not ours, because the system is rigged, because, because, because, because, because). I also don’t like the ones who say Trump will not be worse than Clinton. I think they only say that because they are personally in positions to be protected from Trumpesque devastation. Nonetheless there will be Clinton devastation and the Clintonistas don’t know or don’t care.

I still don’t entirely believe the candidates will actually turn out to be Clinton and Trump, or that they will be the only major players. I also think Trump could drop out, or if he stays and wins, resign. I am at this time still voting Stein, although if the polls get really close I could vote Clinton, against Trump. All of this is what I said I would do originally. But mostly, I think the time to decide is in November.


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Filed under Movement, News

Pour faire

  • Drop as much teaching and service as possible.
  • Write down a list of all papers you have in the works with your students, and write a revised, accelerated timeline for the submission of each. Meet with students at least once about each of those papers in the coming two weeks.
  • Write down a list of all proposals you have in the works and write a revised, accelerated timeline for the submission of each. Meet with yourself at least once a day on one of these for the next two months.
  • Read one non-technical book a week for the next two months.
  • Do no work related email on the weekend for the next two months.

This is from here. Not all of what is said applies, but these do.


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En torno a los romances fronterizos

I like this article and the writing in it. There is a great deal to say about it. It is out of field for me so there may be more articles like it. I think you should indicate them to me.


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Filed under Borderlands, Poetry

Fragment from 2013

…The concept of raza is thus not a merely a particular system of classification, but a racial order in which culture and cultural identity have an important role and the meaning of color varies. It is nonetheless administered by the state as racial, and despite its flexibility as a category, it remains inflected with questions of color and descent. Piedra’s discussion of the Hispanic self as a text into which Otherness is woven in a “tactical compromise” shows why mestizaje as state policy has not meant racial tolerance but “literary whiteness,” or subjugation to the colonial letter (307).

The estatutos de limpieza de sangre, created in 1449 to identify descendants of converted Jews, persisted through much of the nineteenth century. In the Americas, they were used to exclude people of African and indigenous descent from access to education and from some government posts. Latin America’s fabled valorization of mixture, furthermore, coexists with racial hierarchies in which European descent is highly valued (Portocarrero 2007). The idealization of mixture reconsititutes originary or essentialist identities, reinforcing the bases for racism (Wade 2004). Nicola Miller notes that “ideologies of racial mixing were based on racialized state structures and official national iconographies” and excluded darker or less Europeanized people (2006: 304). Joshua Lund discusses mestizaje as a statist discourse that hardly moves beyond race, as it purports to do, but rather confirms racialization as a state project (2012).

This is to say that inclusivity does not resolve the problem of racial difference but functions to mask or render unspeakable the mechanisms of exclusion and hierarchization which still persist. The elasticity of the category Hispanic does stand in contrast to the less flexible categories that have operated in the United States or South Africa, enabling José Martí to posit in 1891 the existence of a specifically Latin American cuture where “[n]o hay odio de razas, porque no hay razas” and “El alma emana, igual y eterna, de los cuerpos diversos en forma y en color” (38-39). Yet inclusion in the raza hispana does not confer recognition as blanco, as Martí’s own text suggests by positing a Latin American “we” that is identifiably criollo (Ramos 1989). Bolívar’s earlier call for mestizaje had come in the wake of the challenge to elite classes that the Haitian revolution represented, and he expressed concern toward the end of his life that Venezuela would become a “pardocracia” (Helg 2003). …


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