Hello world!

February 23, 2007 at 6:29 am 14 comments

Right. Well, Jetsam paved the way, and Anaj asked, while K said she might read it, from time to time. So here it is:  cabbage.

New Entries will go up every couple days when I’ve managed to read something of interest. Your indulgence as I stumble to work with what must be intuitive technology is appreciated.

An entry on Donald Pizer’s anthology, Documents of American Realism and Naturalism, is in the works.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Morning at Noon

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mr WordPress  |  February 23, 2007 at 6:29 am

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  • 2. anaj  |  February 23, 2007 at 7:33 am

    Welcome on earth, Mr Cabbage! What’s this this with soup? Cabbage soup may cause severe flatulation. Reading the blogs of you guys make me wish I hadn’t given up my PhD Project (but nothing that I regret for long – anybody who wants to do a PhD at a German university must be a bit daft to consciously subscribe to being a slave).

  • 3. skunkcabbage  |  February 23, 2007 at 7:59 am

    ha, thank you! i guess i was thinking of soup as warm and comforting, but then there’s borscht, which is usually cold…

    it’s quite possible that there will be some textual flatulance here. when it gets out of hand I’ll politely excuse myself, and leave the room.

    what was your PhD project? i’ve heard that German universities are pretty hard-core.

    off to bed for now.

  • 4. anaj  |  February 23, 2007 at 8:39 am

    It was called “Phenomenology of the Onliner” (being a person who lives online) and was supposed to build upon my MA thesis “Illusion, Simulation, Virtuality. Modes of Reality of Cinema, TV, World Wide Web”.

    It was the perfect ivory tower topic, but then I felt the need to break free. Just looking at my MA thesis topic alone makes me feel sick (also, I was disenchanted by the fact that society does not reward you with anything for your solipsistic intellectual work).


  • 5. cerebraljetsam  |  February 23, 2007 at 3:17 pm

    Hello there Harvey! Welcome to the second life. Isn’t this the greatest thing for grad students? By having a blog you can actually pretend you still have a social life.
    I am very much looking forward to the posts on Naturalism, as I have a sneaking suspicion that there is a direct correlation between shows such as “Survivor,” “Lost,” and “Fear Factor” and Naturalism.

    Hey, do you remember Tim Dayton’s definition of Naturalism? “Naturalism smells! You know when you’re in naturalism when you read a novel and it you can smell it. Six people living in one room cooking cabbage. Naturalism smells.” I still love that one.

    And, yes, German universities seem to be quite Oedipal with that whole Doktorvater structure–very condusive to slavery indeed. But even though I was crazy enough to decide to try to write a dissertation, I still get sick when I look at my M.A. thesis–what a piece of crap! Guess that is a common symptom, though.

  • 6. skunkcabbage  |  February 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    @anaj: I’m completely sympathetic to never wanting to peek at the MA thesis again. Mine was on Dos Passos and History, which could be quite interesting, but in my deft rendering surely was not.

    “Phenomenology of the Onliner” does sound really interesting, though I’m also sympathetic to having enough of the masochism/solipsism/solitude of academic production.

    I’m actually really interested in phenomenologies. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll find time to return to Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason. Merleau-Ponty is also interesting. Back there somewhere is Husserl. Not to go on and on, especially if it’s tedious, but I’d be interested to hear more about the onliner.

    @jetsam: This blog business is kind of wonderful! I’m in cold PA and yet feel somewhat connected, nevertheless. My social life heretofore was versions of movement from my bed to a couch and the couch back to my bed (hello, samuel beckett!). Along the way I might encounter dogs. Now I have a community, which is actually kind of lovely, and helps me to get out of bed and stop moaning.

    I do remember TD’s naturalism def. Pretty darn good. May have to visit the smell of naturalism in an entry.

    I’d not thought of the connection to shows like “Lost,” “Survivor” and the like, but that’s really interesting! I’m at work formulating a theory of naturalism as the dialectical movement between realism (ostensibly what may be happening in reality type shows) and the romance (which is gratuitous, excessive, monstrous, and relies on “types”). In many ways naturalism, or the thematic treatment of atavism, degeneration, evolution, the development of mystical Force, or even just the world in the absence of God where people eat and are eaten–all of this is quite contemporary.

    Do you remember the party where people where burning papers they didn’t like at K-state? We should have maybe tossed in the theses?

  • 7. anaj  |  February 23, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Blogging is nurturing. I’m not a grad student, but still have not much of a social life (spending my evenings scheming how to get out of the West of Austria and to Vienna).

    The damn thing with my MA thesis is that I thought (and still think) that it was fucking brilliant (even got a prize for it). But it was so far out… I used Merleau-Ponty (well – my version of Merleau-Ponty; I’ve been having problems with reading for severals years so I only manage to read very little – and make up half of the stuff that I think I read… has been getting better lately, but was one reason to give up the Phd project, at one level you have to stop pretending;-) ok, I’m digressing, I used Merlau Ponty to develop my theory of perception through media. And in the end I thought that I had the clear-cut phenomenological proof why TV is addictive and destructive, while cinema is food for the soul (the theory for WWW still needed some tweaking). So far out…

    Merleau-Ponty is absolutely awesome (unfortunately, the Phenomenology of Perception is also very very difficult to read).

  • 8. skunkcabbage  |  February 24, 2007 at 7:41 am

    I find the idea of making up half of Merleau-Ponty hilarious. I think probably everyone does make it up. Would be a good drunken party game.

    I’m not trying to make light of your problem with reading, though.

    The only MP I’ve read is his late (posthumous) work Visibility and Invisibility or something like that. it discusses a post-cartesian pre-conscious tissue that connects all beings and from which a radically alterior ethics might be derived. 50% of what I just said (or less) may be made up. 😉

    Your MA thesis sounds, as an enthusiastic aquaintance in Chicago would put it, “cool as shit!” I am sympathetic with walking from academia, though. I fantasize about my last day in the grad program as much as some people fantasize about sex.

  • 9. anaj  |  February 24, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Thanks:-) Not being able to read as swiftly as others has its advantages. You are probably right that everybody who reads MMP makes half of it up. In my case, I have developed a certain ability of making things up from texts, which – outwardly – maybe even gave me the air of a particularly autonomous thinker (I can obviously read. I have started to read novels again last year and that went quiet well. I just have difficulties reading longer, and particularly theoretical texts – when I wrote my thesis, I knew in advance what I wanted to write and then looked for texts to back me, accidentally finding out that MMP – which i had bought three years earlier, bought never managed to finish more than five pages of it – was just perfect for my theory:-)

    I wounder whether that is also some type of consumption disorder: taking out tons of books from the library and then taking all of them back unread;-)

    Anyhow, your recent posts were probably the most advanced thing I’ve read in ages. The Pizer posts above is still scaring me, but I’ll try. Maybe blogging is a way to _relearn_ reading, in a new way.

  • 10. skunkcabbage  |  February 24, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    It’s definitely happy when you find theorists to support you and who have also conveniently not written about the topic you’re covering. MP would have found the web interesting.

    I too take out a million books form the library, put them iin piles, and then for exercise move the piles around–not the same as readling them–but clearly it does something for me.

    ha!, is the relearn reading a web2.0 joke? I wouldn’t have gotten that had I not seen the video you posted. funny.

  • 11. anaj  |  February 25, 2007 at 9:14 am

    It wasn’t intended as a joke (damn! I’m really not good at picking up jokes, not even my own ones), but I more or less referred to web 2.0 (although I’m duefully sceptical about the current discourse about web 2.0 – when web 1.0 came around, everbody got excited about the hypertext, dragging along guattari/deleuze’s rhizome, everything’s interconnexted; that film’s rallye cry is now ‘we teach the machine’). I guess the appropriate term to describe blog content is microcontent (see http://www.microlearning.org) must that seem equally presumptuous at times – maybe I have been exposed to the web for too long and hence lost my ability to read? I’m an addict since 1996…

    Oh my…. I would indeed say that reading became difficult around the the year 1998/1999.

    “Learning, living & working in New Media Spaces” is cool, but I still think it would be better for our minds/culture if we exercised them using books, not bits of content, loosely connected (terms the microlearning crew like to lose – I shouldn’t rant about it, because they still haven’t told me whether they accept my paper on microplagiarism or not…)

  • 12. anaj  |  February 25, 2007 at 9:15 am

    1999 – after I had written a research essay on Adorno…

  • 13. anaj  |  February 25, 2007 at 9:16 am

    A freudian slip: I would like them to lose these terms, but they use them anyway…

  • 14. skunkcabbage  |  February 26, 2007 at 1:10 am

    I agree about book exercise. Long sustained attention to mostly everything seems increasingly difficult.

    ’96 was the year that the web really became a regular part of my life, too. I hope the microlearning folks take your paper. Is microplagiarism plagiarism of blog content?

    If I’m reading you right, reading became difficult after an essay on Adorno? That makes perfect sense. Life becomes more difficult, more bracing after Adorno. Sometimes you end up looking at the motions that everybody goes through and think “is there anything past reification?”


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