Monthly Archives: February 2018

The market university

In the Verhaeghe book, in the chapter on identity, is a great deal of material on the market university including a list of euphemisms like those I discuss in my article — although his choice of examples is, conveniently enough, a completely different set than mine is. (The list is on page 161.) There is a discussion on how the conversion of the student into customer fits the neoliberal paradigm and signals a completely different vision of education than what some of us may still have. Part of what I am saying in this article is that many of us do not even realize what the world we are working in now is. The market university repurposes our vocabulary and adds new terms which we laugh at and shrug off when we should examine them. There are additional examples of neoliberalism’s use of language (cf. the word “invest”) in this interesting newspaper article. There is also this popular piece on the falsely rational language of (neoliberal) technocrats, and there is a film we should see on the privatization of public education or “corporate school reform.”

I am going to put half an hour into that article early tomorrow morning.

Some more notes for this I have are:

KEYWORDS
– financialization
– monetization
– corporate
– entrepreneurial
– business model

A decent education is now an elite dream, and if we do not mouth the neoliberal line we are just dinosaurs. Uber is “sharing.” Religious freedom is the freedom to oppress other religions. Fox News was founded to offer “fair” reporting.

Axé.

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Psychoanalysis

My mother had food issues. Being ill, and being served food in bed on a tray, was one thing she liked. Another was being in a restaurant and eating something unusual, warming and good. These events caused her great pleasure and she would exclaim: “Someone is taking care of me!”She felt that she had been very poor, and that she was still low income. I was one of the causes of the current precarity, and I could not possibly imagine what it had been like to be as poor as she was. My goal in life was to become poor enough that my mother will recognize me as real and respect me. I engage in self-deprivation and self-destruction to impoverish and weaken myself. Not completely, of course, because I want to be in good health to begin my life once I get my mother’s go-ahead.

Negotiating for existence with our parents, wresting care from them, taking care of them so they would be well enough to care for us, was important and became yet more important as time went on. Now I think it was just that they abandoned us too soon in favor of alcohol and protecting neuroses (how long have I been holding onto my own neuroses?). But I did not realize this; I thought we needed to work harder, improve, rise in quality, to merit inclusion in the family and the open kind of communication other people had.

I insist on privacy because my mother would interrupt work constantly, when I was young and then later in more serious ways. Time-space limits stricter than “I’ll break for lunch at noon, do other things until five, and then come back to this” cause me great anxiety because of my mother’s piercing cries, always just when I was about to solve the algebra problem: “Help! Come, now! I am hurt, badly!”

It is a bit elementary but this means I must absolutely remember: 1/ I do not have to let anyone interrupt as my mother did; 2/ I can be confident in my rejection of Reeducation–I need not seek further confirmation of my views; 3/ I should note that having to wrest or earn care and love from people who claim to be offering these things freely is not right; and 4/ It is not actually true that my mother did not see me as a person, at least part of the time; I should accept that gaze and distance myself from the deprivation compulsion. All of this would mean peace.

Axé.

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It isn’t time management, and it isn’t depression, either

1.

This article is from Clarissa‘s blog, and what it says is true. It is also to be noted that most of my intellectual energy in the past 25 years has been used to convince myself that I suffer from depression and then try to cure it with recommended methods.

I found, once again, the critique of psychotherapy that I wrote in the fifth year, having gained some perspective on the first two, terribly destructive years. Those were the years in which I would say I was basically bludgeoned to death. After that I had to come back to life, and deal with the difficulties — including near-complete career destruction — that had been created by my effective demise. At the same time, the situation that had caused me to seek analysis in the first place was exacerbated and not alleviated; this was ironic since I had sought analysis precisely because I had solved so much on my own that I thought one last, professional push would help me break free.

It shocks me, though, that I have not really progressed beyond that critique. This is to say, I am still trying to absorb it, understand its implications, put it into practice, actually reject what was done.

2.

The reason I dislike academia is that it is in my experience a space of destruction and fear. School was not, and the research-extensive universities I have studied and worked in were not, but the other institutions, provincial and teaching oriented, have always terrified me because they are driven by the irrational projections of those in charge. Managing fear takes a great deal of my energy.

Every explanation I have, though, for not feeling I am a “real” intellectual is irrational; I should stop allowing the introjection of peoples’ irrational projections, I should stop being tentative. Everything I’ve ever allowed myself to do fully has gone well.

3.

Why do I do the things I do? It has often been to gain my parents’ respect, earn their love, or mitigate their pain. What other reasons are there to do things? What would I like to do? My answer to that question has always been that I wanted to feel a certain way, and that what I actually did was less important. I wanted to feel free enough and relaxed enough, confident enough, self-sufficient enough to make uncoerced choices.

Axé.

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On tenure

They have made it too difficult to get. Why should you move across the country to a less than desirable job on the theory that it will be stable and will be a space in which you can do your work, just to be tossed out — particularly when it is not a job that paid enough for you to save, and that you may even have gone into debt in order to keep?

That is why there are so many people who do not want tenure, but only long-term contracts and good salaries. Then they do not have to move to the wilds, to the one tenure-track job they can get, and they are also independent of the tenure system. This is considered rational.

I am against it because by abandoning a tenured post you abandon the university to the administration and the staff, and you convert faculty into employees and contractors. That, in turn, means the university is not a university.

Axé.

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Ça change

1.

I have changed my perspective and will change it more. I seem to be integrating. I also note that my extreme desire for life is very inspiring to some, and at the same time very repellent to others. This is quite interesting and by Googling “desire for life” I discovered Morita Therapy.  I do not have time to explain these things now.

I do note that Reeducation was centered on the idea that you should allow yourself to be engulfed by emotions (if they were negative ones). But in Morita therapy this is not required. I was incomprehensible to the Reeducators because I was comparatively Zen-like. They considered this a problem and I was very shocked by that. But I was not wrong.

The most irritating thing about me is how I hold myself back.

2.

Speaking of which: how do you know if you have a work ethic? I was recently told I had an amazing one, which surprised me since I think of myself as an overburdened and disrupted slacker. That is, of course, since Reeducation.

Before Reeducation, if you had asked me about work ethics I would have said what? I am not even Protestant, let alone Puritan, and I do not think in those terms. Was I a hard worker? I would have said hard enough, but not work obsessed — I kept a regular schedule with time off, during which I did not think about work. During work time I would work, and I was efficient. I suppose this is a work ethic but the entire concept seems so very Western to me, and foreign.

I would have said: you place yourself at the center of your life (I was never in favor of the decentering of the self, I had spent too much time dealing with peoples’ attempts to decenter me to consider any kind of decentering, liberation), but you do not pay too much attention to self, you pay attention to what is happening and to what you are doing or working on or thinking about.

Morita therapy would say these things, but it is not a behaviorist therapy even though many Western adopters appear to have molded it that way. Here is a short text on it. I appear to be Zen, existentialist, and anti-colonialist in ways most people aren’t. That is because of the intellectual and political atmosphere there was when I was a child. Many did not pick up all of these things.

Axé.

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The light

I was always so used to the Mediterranean, sea and mountain light. I did not know the light could be different. I did not know that a key reason I was happy with what I was doing was that it was making it possible to stay in this light.

Coming home was easy this time, though — partly because I flew to Houston and drove, making the transition easy, and partly because it was good to get to any space that was mine.

*

I wish I had felt I had options when I was younger. I had them in fact and could see them, but did not have the strength to take them. The overriding priority was not to upset our parents and this was a very difficult task, all-consuming, always. It always seemed we must define and fulfill their true wishes and I did not realize that the reason things were so opaque was that they were in irrational states, and that much of what they said was incomprehensible because of that or was to some degree inaccurate because of that. Divining their wishes, fulfilling these, earning love or at least preventing mistreatment or terror were the only really important things and this has shaped my life.

*

In any case, I will stop tearing myself apart. Nothing is a question of time management, or of priority management, or of self management, it is a question of authority, of having authority, of having any belief that my own instincts and insights can prevail, or any belief that anyone will see I have honesty and integrity. I am so used to not being trusted and to being told not to trust myself.

I feel as though something twisted in my stomach were straightening. Perhaps this is the proverbial umbilical cord, loosening. I will encourage it.

*

The worst professional advice I ever got was to cram schedules and rush. I never did this and I always made deadlines. Once I started cramming schedules and rushing, I began to fail. Even now I was afraid to start preparing class because I thought that once I started I would need to go at warp speed and finish in under 25 minutes — or be accused of spending too much time. It felt as though I must be finished in 25 seconds. I did not want to enter a space in which I would be goaded like that, so I could not begin — even though I in fact had the 2.5 hours I wanted.

Now I only have 25 minutes, because I was so scared to start and give myself only 25 minutes. But if I had reminded myself more squarely, you have 2.5 hours, you do not have to rush, then I would be well finished, happy and relaxed by now.

Axé.

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Le prochain voyage

Costs so far: Flight + car deal, MSY (New Orleans) to SFO, March 31-April 7, including travel protection but not rental car insurance or taxes (yet): $1085. Lodging: $998.

Then there will be rental car insurance and taxes, combustible, airport parking, and pet care. I will not ask to be reimbursed for cost of food or tolls, and may not ask to be reimbursed for any other costs although I really should.

Todo esto es muy caro.

Axé.

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