Sunday, May 15, 2005

the long walk of death

The entrenchlings of organized academia have denied access to myself for the past two months. In that time I wrote four essays. "What Happened to the 'Marketplace of Ideas'? Social implications on Civil Liberties.", "The Politics of 'beyond being: A Criticism.", "The syntactic correlates of functionalism.", and "The Phenomenological Foundation of Hegemony: Limitations on Identity and Liberation in Marx and Hegel." The day after I turned in the fourth paper I sat down to read a few passages from Bertold Brecht's "Kalendergeschichte." Something unenforced and enjoyable. It had been a long time. Within a page I felt a bit nausieated. Was everything I worked on not only useless but actually restricting my own creative and perceptive potential? Intellectuals often say they are attempting to "figure things out"or "make sense of the world." The evolution of experience towards categorization has been extensively figured into all "fields" of science, psychology, philosophy and literary studies, and the effects perhaps exhaustively documented. Having said that, an answer of "it's better than nothing" seems inadequate and unjustified.

2 Comments:

Blogger Emma Cunningham said...

Well. I think there's a difference between pursuing what you love and pursuing what you think you have to do to do what you love. Who knows if these silly papers we're told to write help us or hurt us? The only way forward is forward and through the bullshit.

I don't know how often I hear someone saying they're trying to 'figure things out' in a metaphysical sense. I think usually when you hear someone saying that, 'things' represents, you know, more grounded things. Rent. How to make dinner. Or a syntax problem. We may be trying to understand our experiences, but doesn't that itself create a new experience? I don't know, if we weren't trying to 'make sense of the world' what would/could we be doing instead? The world we live in today was created by the ideas of people just trying to make sense of the world. And while it's not perfect, I much rather prefer being able to spend all day reading about Event Semantics and Spanish past tense usage than plowing a field or tending to the children. I think we try to 'make sense of the world' to satisfy some inner curiosity due to being sentient and also to make better of the world.

7:37 AM  
Blogger matt said...

I agree to everything you said... to an extent. My point remains the same I think. Does the categorization of organized education/intellectualism inhibit or add to the existential experience, i.e. the experience of life? It certainly alters it, and that may all we can be certain of. Moral questions concerning which adds 'more' or 'something better' are difficult, perhaps impossible to make. This is probably the most frustrating part, and explains why we have intellectualism in the first place. I'm just not sure how I feel about the repurcussions it imposes.

12:17 AM  

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