Friday, February 27, 2009

Me Glorious Me

Big news: I am done my MA thesis. My committee approve it Tuesday. Now to present (sort of like a defense but not nearly as mean), and to haggle with the graduate department over format, etc. But no more major changes. This thesis writing thing has been a hellish process but I think the end result was pretty damn good. I read an earlier version and as I was proofing through the latest edition, and the thing has come a long way. I am actually really happy with my argument and I think some of the writing is really outstanding. I blended theory with the memoir in a way that, I think, does the memoir justice. That was important to me as Debbie Palmer is still alive out there, and if by any chance she ever read my memoir, I would want her to recognize some kind of self in those pages.

Other sacrifice course is getting utterly fascinating, and I find myself ever more drawn to the story of religion and violence. So far the critics have all described this violence with a kind of horror but I am hoping we get at least a few people who talk about the erotics of violence as well. Coupled with spring I am starting to stir, and my body has stories to tell. Now to carve out the time to tell these stories to you.

With three other people, I am planing a fundraiser for our school. A show basically. We're hoping to get the local art district, NODA, to donate some spaces, and then we'd run an all day and into the night festival. My friend D has already got some tentative band commitments as have I. It should be a lot of work but maybe fun work to get this off the ground. I wonder if I could get A Place To Bury Stranges to play. I could offer them food. I am a good cook. And I'm really in need of a fix:P But anyway, as I am busily planning this, I keep thinking that this would be the best job. Maybe even better than being an academic. I need to get rich.

Music fixes coming soon.
March 9, Morrissey. Again! In an even smaller club with H and D.
March 12, All the Saints whom I saw with APTBS in October. The drummer is fucking phenomenal. I wasn't even going to give them a listen until I heard those drums start. Jesus. I could so be seduced by drums.
April 29, Dinosaur Jr. right down the road from where I live. I'll be able to walk.
Ma7 28, The National.

And tentatively I want to see Mogwai, Vivian Girls, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. An acqutiance/friend wants me to go see Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls) with her. Dont knwo about that one. There are rumors that NIN will be touring with the original members of Jane's Addiction which I will likely go see if they come near her. Fixes! Hurray!

Miss you all, and hopefully will be putting these stories onto computer, into the air, setting them free.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Piece of the Thesis

From what I am editing today.

Foucault calls this kind of analysis a “search for instances of discursive production, of the production of power, of the propagation of knowledge”(8). This analysis challenges notions that power merely holds people down. A commonplace idea about power is that it is always repressive for those who “hold none” but what if power is something always in production? What would happen to repressive theories if power could be understood to proliferate rather than clamp down? Foucault writes

Hence, too, my main concern will be to locate the forms of power,
the channels it takes, and the discourses it permeates in order to reach
the most tenuous and individual modes of behavior, the paths that give
it access to the rare or scarcely perceivable forms of desire—all this
entailing effects that may be those of refusal, blockage, and invalidation,
but also incitement and intensification: in short, the ‘polymorphous’
techniques of power.’90

Power proliferates rather than stagnates. Power in this exploration does not lie within one area. Rather power uses various channels that flow out and back into each other. Power does not merely close off channels of knowledge; it also opens them up to us. Power functions (and indeed creates) in discourses. Discourses are not one-sided. The very nature of a discourse involves a multiplicity of voices. And these discourses function as techniques to shape human bodies towards certain behaviors.91 And there is desire driving this flow of power. The discourse creates not just a will to know but a desire to know. The discourses excite and create a desire to know and grasp who we are which becomes tied to sexuality. Our desire for others’ becomes a way to know we are. Part of powers ability to shape is the pleasure inherent in that shaping. We desire to know who we are, and there is a pleasure in feeling that we do know. In addition, power through the discourse of sexuality shapes what we desire and who desire and what that desire feels like. It has a real physical effect on our bodies. If one looks at this metaphor as a channel of water, it is easy to see that these channels will function in a variety of ways due to different circumstances. Sometimes channels will be blocked up due to debris or a dam. Other times, they will flow into another channel creating a bigger body of water which eventually leads to even a bigger body of water. Power works in this way. The directions it takes will depend upon the discourses surrounding it. And indeed, it may be repressive but that is not the only form it takes. And there is pleasure in that release of power, pleasure in that shaping. Power is polymorphous creative force, that shapes people in ways both expected and unexpected. Through desire it always out of reach and always changing. Desire rests on that which we cannot fully lay hold of, and the small pleasures we feel when we grasp the desired if even for a moment.

Friday, February 06, 2009


February is an odd little month. So short. In the South, it is what March/April is to the North. The last two days have been cold. Our poor little old house has not been able to keep the warmth in. We spend lots of time in our attic room, huddled together under piles of blankets with a tiny space heater churning out warm breezes. But tomorrow it is supposed to reach a high of 66 and 68 by Wednesday. We will go out in the park, and bask in the sun knowing that the week after could bring snow, ice or just more cold. We steal those snippets of warmth, and store them away to keep us going through the cold. Already I am longing for summer, long sweaty nights, afternoons so hot you can't really move but rather laze about the pool, or take naps in the cool of the house. I am dreaming already of the little area outside the side door which will hold a patio set. Here we will sip wine with our friends while the kids run around the lawn. 

My life has been swamped with business. A good way to keep the cold at bay. I have edited my thesis...the whole thing, all 128 pages of it. Those who do Facebook no doubt remember my daily updates. I am buried under books--Freud (again), Lacan, Tweed, Bivens---and every spare moment I have is spent reading and reading. But sometimes I have to put those books down and write. 

I have a new toy...I've finally joined the Mac world. I couldn't resist the adorable glowing apple on the front. And I must say I'm quite in love. Once summer comes, I need to persuade E to send me that link to the comic book program but I do not need yet another distraction right now. 

And I am submitting three photos to charity art crawl the kids' school is hosting. A brave step for me.

Music wise...I saw "Fucked Up a couple of weeks ago. Amazing show. I sort of got swept into the mosh pit...on the fringes but enough to get banged around. I need to write a review, and I will soon. The next planned show is March 7 for Morrissey and then March 12 for All the Saints. I think I may need a fix before then though but I"m starting to venture forth into the Charlotte clubs and will likely find something before March.

And I am going to NYC for the weekend. I fly to Baltimore to meet up with my friend Ros, and then we drive to NYC to celebrate the Bear Maiden's birthday. Very excited as it's my first alone vacation in nine years. 

I miss you all, and promise to return in a more solid form soon.