Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Academic Groupie

It must have been all that Slavoj Žižek I read. Or my frustration at not having seen movies I’ve been waiting quite sometime for {[X-Men 3: The Last Stand, Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest], so I had better not miss Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly (my schedule for May 4, 2007 is already booked for Spiderman 3)]}. Or maybe my irritation at Kira’s preference for a particular brand of cat food {Friskies, she hates Whiskas [I fed her Alpo for an entire week at the height of my annoyance (dog food is cheaper, and Gani Tapang said there wasn’t much of a difference anyway)]}. Or perhaps, my absolute lack of social life {the Collegian doesn’t count, and even when my mobile phone still worked [the battery has been busted for a week now; it would only take about five minutes to fix it have I had the time to visit the nearest Sony Ericsson service center], nobody ever told me anything or invited me anywhere [the last couple of times I went out, it was convenient since I was just there and was dragged (more like I dragged myself along) by default]}. Or maybe nobody wants me around anymore.

Notice how I placed the parentheses, braces and brackets in their proper mathematical positions – I’ve been reading Jacques Lacan too and his mathemes reminded me of my dormant interest in mathematics.

That’s how distracted I am. So when I went to interview Jonathan Beller at the Chocolate Kiss cafe last Saturday (didn’t mean for that to rhyme), I really wasn’t prepared, and had only three hours of sleep the previous night. Well, I was quite disappointed at first that Neferti Tadiar didn’t tag along (and Kat said they were “kaladkarin”), but as the interview went underway, I was quite relieved to be spared from more embarrassment. The cafe was quite crowded that day (the wait list was as long as my arm) and the rain added to the noise. Moreover, Dr. Beller’s thick American accent prompted me to follow his every word, preventing me from thinking in advance what I would say or ask next.

And Kepi wasn’t much of a help either. He arrived halfway into the interview and asked two or three questions, tops. How embarrassed I was? Start laughing...now. I started on Fredric Jameson and was yakking quite a bit on globalization and the standardization, more like Americanization, of world culture, before I realized that Beller was actually a student of Jameson and was an American. So I digressed and agonized over Žižek’s problematics. Then he started talking about Žižek’s writings I haven’t read yet. It went on for quite a while, digressing from Mikhail Bakhtin to Michel Foucault and Jonathan Benthon. While these thinkers’ ideas fit in with the general trend of the conversation, my fragmented thinking didn’t give the discussion any sense of direction at all. And did I mention I hated interviewing people?

So when he left (just to the other table, where Sarah Raymundo was), I stuffed myself with pasta and cake and coffee and ranted to poor Kepi (who escaped from class to go to the interview). Then I went back to the Collegian office and slept.

When I woke up, it was time to confront the Dark Ages. No reprieve. Then I had to go back to my article and Žižek. No rest for the wicked.

Current playlist:
1. Jeff Buckley - Satisfied Mind
2. Death Cab for Cutie - Brothers on a Hotel Bed
3. Bright Eyes - February Fifteenth
4. Interpol - Evil
5. XTC - Spiral
6. The Deadlines - A Winter's Dawn
7. Badly Drawn Boy - Pissing in the Wind
8. The Postal Service - This Place is a Prison
9. Death from Above 1979 - Blood on our Hands
10. Sufjan Stevens - The Man of Metropolis Steals our Hearts

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