June 07, 2024

Anthropology of Apartments

Yesterday: the first sunburn of the year. Nothing tells me I'm living like the gnawing fever at the back of the neck as I nibble on nectarines in the cool Sunday evening of the apartment. Not a paycheck, nor a promotion but the visible evidence of an afternoon spent drinking beer and watching bands at an outdoor festival.

The laundry room had been taken over by a large man with five loads of dirty clothes, so I moved my furniture around, attempting to add a bit of personal feng shui to the place by arranging things according to my own psychic geography. The more I thought about unpacking my books, the more I realized that since my writing is so very central to the core of who I am (and how it shares such close quarters with love, sex, and other pursuits of the bed, including lazy naps), that the geography of my bedroom should reflect this. Thus, as in college, my desk has now migrated toward the center, and has taken up position in the bedroom, beside a window that overlooks Grand Avenue. The books have been moved out to the living room, where they will wait to be retrieved.

I'm still not entirely comfortable in the place. "Give it time...role with the punches," B. says. I still have no phone (fingers crossed, I should have one by tonight, but I'm not holding my breath), and my modem should be hooked up by Saturday. My routines have been shattered. The comfortable routines of my old apartment have been destroyed. No longer able to walk to the grocery store, the gym, the Chipotle, and a half-dozen other yuppy central-city comforts, I'm cast adrift in beautiful Whittier, to whittle out a new set. In the meantime, I realize how safe routines feel. Without them, I clench my teeth, like a wild animal removed from his natural habitat, snapping at strange noises that wake me in the middle of the night. Like what? Like a power drill undoing the joins of a table on the front porch of the house next door at midnight, for one thing. Here I was concerned that living on busy 24th would be too noisy; instead, It's the house on the other side, inhabited by gutter punks, that irks me. One of them is very fat and only wears kilts or skirts. I believe it's him that falls asleep with the t.v. on at four in the morning, or uses power drills at midnight. On verra...

This morning on the bus I though that it is true that theory is indeed dead, then it has left behind some very important unanswered questions of mine...

  • Can psychoanalysis offer any insight into the whys behind the philosophical pusuits of pundits and ideologues? Could Nietzsche have been right?

  • How do we account for the prevalence of the phrase "oh god" during sex acts (our own and those filmed)?

  • If not theory, what will disband for the populace the binaries of sexuality and gender?

  • What does it mean to have at our fingertips a way of replicating images to infinity?

  • What is our relationship to food these days? From anorexia to the epidemic of obesity, what does food signify?

  • Why do I enjoy Pornography of the Uncomfortable and voyeuristic images? Why do I like to lie to people? Am I a sociopath?

Posted by Jason at June 7, 2024 01:04 PM


Eagleton-Schmeagleton. The guy writes the standard text on Literary Theory and then gets to declare its death? Since when is Terry Eagleton the arbiter of an entire discipline? Post-theory, "Critical Realism" whatever you want to call it... just academics trying to be the next Butler or Spivak... responsible for their own branch of theory. Kepp asking questions, Jason.

Posted by: Brian at June 8, 2024 12:34 PM

I think what Terry Eagleton says is not that theory is dead but that it's boring. Or at least that the people who got theory into universities are now bored with it. And well they might be--just look at the list of any university press. Oh, oops. Sorry.

The problem is that everybody's ready for the next big thing and there isn't a next big thing. It's like Godot, or Santy. Get to work, Brian.

It's time for my nap.

Posted by: glen at June 9, 2024 02:15 PM

Jason, you just admitted what I have suspected for years. Yes, you ARE a liar! That story about the brushwolves was all malarky.

Posted by: mike at June 10, 2024 08:52 PM
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