Monday, August 18, 2008
(1:57 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
A slight changeDue to inexplicable disk space overuse charges from my ISP, I have decided to move The Weblog to a Blogspot. The old address should now redirect to this one.
All previous links to The Weblog are now broken, because I have deleted all the files at the adamkotsko.com address. You may also have to resubscribe to the RSS feed. All those with posting privileges are able to post normally -- publication will likely also be faster. (It seemed to republish the entire blog to the Blogspot server instantaneously, for instance.)
I'm considering moving to Wordpress as well -- the switch to Blogspot doubles as a necessary intermediate step should I decide to go that route. The only drawback is that their free accounts offer no control over the template, and you all know how much I love my design.
UPDATE: I decided to go through with the switch to Wordpress, and the new address is much better than my stupid name. Please update all bookmarks, blogrolls, feed subscriptions, etc. Thanks for your patience.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
(6:20 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
The hell?I notice many people saying "the hell" when they seem to mean either "what the hell?" or something along the lines of "the hell they did." They need to stop doing that, because it's ridiculous.
They also need to stop saying "natch."
Friday, August 15, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: John EdwardsI confess that I was led astray by John Edwards. What has led me to this conclusion? It's not just the fact that he cheated on his wife who had cancer -- though I have to think that even in more enlightened Europe, people might be able to work up a little outrage about that. It's not the fact that the woman he cheated with appears to have been really into New Age bullshit and honestly wasn't very attractive. It's not even the unbearable hubris that led him to seek his party's nomination even knowing he had this skeleton in his closet.
What really cut to the quick for me was the fact that his poverty non-profit was in large part a slush fund allowing him to keep up his public profile in anticipation of running for president in 2008. I further confess that this article, which just came to my attention, was actually from last year -- meaning that I should've known. The one issue that not only made me vote for Edwards but also made me a little bit smug about it was poverty.
I confess that before his affair was revealed, I might have dismissed any ethical questions about this non-profit -- in fact, maybe I already did and simply forgot about it. After all, wasn't the best way to fight poverty precisely to elect John Edwards? Now I'm wondering how much of that money was spent on healing crystals for his little fuck-buddy.
(I confess that though I've been writing in the first person, this post grows out of an IM conversation with Brad.)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
(3:27 PM) | Brad:
Sports Nerds Unite!Weblog football fans, a couple of you have mentioned to me a desire to assemble a fantasy football keeper-league. What say the rest of you, anybody interested.
We're looking for five committed football fans with time on their hands ready to waste in the service of meaningless competition, and is keen on at least a three-season commitment. We're not aiming for a high-stakes league or anything. The first step is to glean the interest, and then we'll work out specifics.
If you're interested, just include your email in the appropriate comment field -- or, if you're daring, paste it into the comment itself. Preference goes to those who comment early and/or we like more.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
(8:33 AM) | Adam R:
Publishing Genius press pressThere's nice press on my press and Stephanie Barber's book in this week's Baltimore City Paper. Bret McCabe's article says
These Here Separated to See How They Standing Alone is her new book, just issued on local poet/performer Adam Robinson's Publishing Genius press, and it is both the printed text of her shorts' narration and another ripple to Barber's works in and of itself. On the one hand, you can follow along with the film's narration in the book--which comes with a DVD containing the six shorts covered in it--but divorced from their visual counterparts and the often distorted vocalizations, they become their own little catalysts to imagined headspaces. And seeing only the words on the page reminds you just how powerful a spell her often simple and still images cast over viewers.I'm happy to see the book's title understood like this. The article references her work a lot, sort of more than is typically seen in alt-weekly arts writing. He even characterized me as a poet and a performer, which is how I like best to be known.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
(1:11 AM) | Ben W:
Tuesday Hatred: Bringing in the consultants
I hate that Adam offered me the chance to hate again after I had already written something that was at least supposed to be hateful at unfogged. I hate that jms will probably jump all over me for even mentioning that other thing, because she's such goddam purist about repetition. I hate that even though some guy called Dan thought it was a good post, I thought it sucked: I felt in writing it as if all my vitriol, of which I formerly had such a large measure, had disappeared. I couldn't go through with it. They say this is normal, but I can't stand it anyway.
I hate that the art library only checks books out to people for one week, and that their generous online renewal offer extends to two (2) one-week renewals for grad students (undergrads get only one!), which meant that I had to take Painting as an Art, a moderately heavy book, back in just so that some library worker could fumble his sweaty paws all over my ID card for what seemed an eternity. Then I had to take it back, of course. This despite the fact that I read the first lecture and a half in the book the day I checked it out, then didn't read any of it at all until today (that is, three weeks later), and actually only decided to check it out again after reading some of it on the train and deciding that it possessed sufficient interest despite its many manifest flaws. Maybe I won't read any of it until three weeks from now. WE'LL SEE.
I hate the fact that, on facebook, one can "become a fan" of modus tollens. Come on. What the shit is that. (Asks the person who's facebook-friends with Cicero.)
Adam recently IMed me to complain about his dissertation progress—I hate that. It is a cosmic upset that Adam should complain to me about procrastinating or whatever the substance was. I don't even have a frikkin' topic, by gum.
Did you know that our gracious host really is bringing in an outside Hatred evaluator? I don't know if this person works for McKinsey or some such or not, but I do know this: this person and I have a history—one enacted in part on this very blog—so I fear that this background might color the evaluation of my performance. I hate this fucking uncertainty.
Monday, August 11, 2008
(11:37 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
A neglected pun makes a comebackWhatever else one could say about the fighting between Russia and Georgia, one thing is for certain: it has led to a major upsurge in the number of articles and blog posts entitled "Georgia on my mind."
"The Devil went down to Georgia" is also enjoying a bit of a renaissance.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
(11:06 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
A thought on BatmanIn the DC universe, there are plenty of superheroes to go around -- so why wouldn't Gotham City try to recruit one with actual superpowers?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
(11:48 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
A Quick ReviewThe top three Democratic candidates for president this year were as follows:
- A white guy who really wanted to stick it to the rich, was regarded as a "phony" -- and was cheating on his cancer-afflicted wife
- A woman who is regarded as being essentially the devil by a substantial portion of the population
- A black guy whose middle name is "Hussein" and last name is one letter off from "Osama," whose father was an atheist, former Muslim, and non-citizen, and who attended a church headed by a Scary Black Preacher
Friday, August 08, 2008
(9:09 AM) | Anthony Paul Smith:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: Sleep is for closers.I confess that the bank and I have made up. They have, after a month and a week, finally given me the money the deposited into someone else's account. I confess I feel bad for Anthony Smith of Phoenix who the bank inexplicably gave my money to. I confess that the bank depositing my money into the account of Phoenix's Anthony Smith really ruined my shit. I confess to near-crippling bouts of anxiety caused in part by the bank cock-up. I confess that I've taken to a rather strange set of sleeping habits for the past few months. I confess that staying up all night in the red light district of Nottingham while watching all five seasons of The Wire at once is making me paranoid. I confess to having an understanding now of the hookers lines of territory and being freaked out by this one pimp in a track suit who looks like he's got the devil in him. I confess to having ill-will towards those who wear track suits.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
(4:28 PM) | it:
Wednesday Sex: A Question
To all Weblog readers:
What do men resent about women (if anything)?
Answers in the comments, please.
(12:12 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Prolegomena to Any Future DissertationI am planning to start writing chapter 2 of my dissertation soon. Once I am finished with it, I plan to rearticulate chapters 1 and 2 into a tripartite argument, though I am currently unclear as to whether that will require the use of three chapters or a single long chapter in three parts.
At that point, the project will be fully laid out and broadly situated in terms of the contemporary field, and the sensible thing to do would be to proceed to actually do what I say I am going to do. Yet isn't there another, equally attractive option here? Couldn't I continue to expand the argument of "chapters 1 and 2" to the point where they were effectively an entire dissertation, then write a concluding chapter pointing toward my original dissertation topic as a promising avenue for future research?
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
(7:20 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
Dogs watch TV nowA previously mentioned local TV station is in the habit of showing commercials in which they introduce a dog, tell the neighborhood that the dog lives in, and then claim that the dog likes a particular show that the station shows. Sometimes they have the owners make these outlandish claims, and sometimes they just have a voiceover.
If it is true that these dogs watch TV and have preferences, then one thing is clear: dogs have shitty taste in TV shows. Seriously, who watches Becker?
(12:31 AM) | Ben W:
Tuesday Hatred: Presumption.Adam asked me several hours ago, am I feeling hateful? I am. But I was not present to receive his question—so even characterizing his asking me as taking place at a more or less distinct period might be inept—and now he's gone. So I can only assume that he was asking me, or preparing to ask me, to preside over this Tuesday's Hatred. The Monday-Tuesday transition in Chicago already having come and gone, with no Hatred yet being posted, I decided to quick quick quick write one up and post it. One might call this presumptuous—hence the title. See how that works? This used to be a regular gig of mine, you know. I know what I'm doing.
I hate the way people went about solving this puzzle. Once you get a list with no correct answers, it's easy, people! Let's introduce some names and notation. Call the list with no correct answers "Wrong". Makes sense! And say that, for any list, L[i] denotes the ith element of that list, and L[i/e] denotes the list L with the ith element replaced by the element denoted by e (so the thing before the slash is an index, and the thing after the slash is a potential list element—here, a song). Then, once you've got Wrong established, you just toss out a bunch of other potential lists. If any of them has even one right answer (call this list with at least one right answer "R"), your next eight guesses are Wrong[i/R[i]] for 0 <= i < 8, assuming zero-indexed lists (as god intended). This will quickly allow you to suss out which answers in R were right. You can then build on this in short order. GOD!
I hate this shit, and also that my reaction to it is, you know, what else is new? Maybe I can change things through graduate study—oh wait, except I hate that too, or maybe would if I were actively engaged in it in any but a nominal way. If I were going to invoke nautical metaphors for my hateful situation, they would probably include "listless" and "in the doldrums" but not much else, because, let's face it, I don't know much about the nautical life. I'm pretty ok with that, though.
I hate bad improv. I hate that the much of the first act at the concert I attended on Sunday consisted of bad improv. I hate that I accidentally took the wrong CD from the merch table after the concert: I wanted Trignition (Vinny Golia, Bertram Turetzky, Barre Phillips), but took Triangulation (Vinny Golia, Bertram Turetzky, George Lewis). I hate that there seems to be no remedy for this. I don't even like Triangulation very much; plus I already own it. I hate that Achewood runs so irregularly and that Chris Onstad seems to have decided to devote so many energies to this paid update text message bull flop. I hate that at an earlier concert (Some Ensemble of Lisa Mezzacappa; Aaron Novik's Catastrophe Practice) some attractive chick was totally, like, looking in my direction, even at me, like, you know, totally eyeing me, man, I wasn't making it up this time, fer shure, but I resolutely persisted in the stoneslessness required not to even attempt to converse with her. I hate that variations on the preceding can probably be found in every previous hatred of mine: can't I at least not repeat myself in writing, even if I do so in life? No. I can't.
At times I hate Stanley Cavell's writing style. Is that ok? Can I say that, you know, in public? It doesn't seem poetic or profound or anything to me, but rather self-absorbed. I guess that's no surprise to anyone. I also hate Jeff Malpas' book about Davidson, which seems calculated to shed no light on anything, but rather to teach the student that, whenever a problem seems about to crop up, one can simply mumble something about holism or indeterminacy or whatever and TA_DA! problem solved, just as common sense would mostly have it! I'm also prepared to say that I absolutely loathe, really detest, Word and Object, and I haven't so much as opened it. I'm pretty sure that if I were to open it, I would not be able to stop myself from hurling it across the room soon thereafter. Even if I didn't read any of it: just opening it would be sufficient.
I harbor a certain attitude towards the job that Oxford University Press did in editing Mark Wilson's Wandering Significance, which was really transcendently (in the sense of being inexhaustibly) shitty—the editing job, that is, not the book—there are many nonsentences or ungrammatical sentences, typoes, and misuses of words per chapter, misattributions (e.g. authorship of Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman to Gleick, who wrote Genius), simple mathematical thinkos of the sort that a copyeditor with a modicum of domain-specific knowledge ought to have been able to catch, and so on and so forth. I can only assume that actually no one edited it at all.
I hate campylobacter.
Monday, August 04, 2008
(3:04 PM) | Dominic:
The Body's GraceIf you haven't read this, you should. I'm both surprised and unsurprised at how close it is to what I would have wanted to say.
(11:57 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Monday Mad Men BloggingIt really is as good as people say!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
(9:16 PM) | Adam Kotsko:
AAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!!!!!Obama is haughty now!
Yes, he's a proud man -- but then, you'd expect that since he's fucking running for president! And maybe he comes off a little superior, but that's because he actually is superior to his opponent, whose greatest achievements in life are having been shot down in Vietnam and unceremonially ditching his first wife for a wealthy heiress.
I should probably stop following the news until some time in late October. At that point, McCain will probably be trick-or-treating in black face handing out campaign literature, just having a good old time.
(11:20 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Not knowing what to doI have spent close to a half hour sitting on the couch sipping on a cup of coffee -- essentially, doing nothing. I don't know what to do.
This morning, I finished my usual morning tasks early (go through my feeds on Google Reader, do vocab exercises on Super Memory, read a couple pages of German), leaving a gap before lunch. The problem is deeper than that, though. I don't know what to do after lunch, either.
I could clean the apartment, having only cleaned the bathroom yesterday, but I don't want to inconvenience my roommate by mopping the floors while he's home. I could do other non-mopping tasks (dusting, the small amount of vacuuming we have), but they would only take a trivial amount of time.
I could do some review in preparation for writing my second, "easy" dissertation chapter, but I've hit a roadblock there -- some stuff I was going to consult from Ritschl's Doctrine of Justification is from volume 1, and I only have volume 3. I don't even know if it's really necessary to use the Ritschl stuff, since my main concern is Aulen. Still, it's a roadblock.
I could read some Nancy for my AAR presentation. I could also read Laclau's Populist Reason, seeing as how I've agreed to do something for a panel thereupon that may or may not come together as an additional event at the AAR. I could also finish a book that I've been nursing for about three weeks, or at least make some progress.
I could even take advantage of the fact that all extant episodes of Mad Men are available "On Demand" currently, or watch one of my Netflix.
I could also write a blog post with some kind of content to it, but I feel drained of all content unrelated to my dissertation and have decided not to blog directly about my dissertation. I'm not especially overflowing with dissertation-related material at the moment either, in any case.
Instead of doing all that, though, I apparently chose to express my inaction actively, by writing a blog post listing everything I could be doing, but am not in fact doing.
Friday, August 01, 2008
(12:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Friday Afternoon Confessional: The Bible doesn't mention usI confess that I routinely go far too long without getting a haircut. It is such a world-historical event that everyone notices, even bartenders and clerks at Walgreens. I confess that every time, I think to myself, "Maybe I should go closer to once a month rather than once per quarter," but I never follow through.
I confess that I am similarly negligent about shaving, which I only do if I have a date or, failing that, if the itchiness becomes distracting.
I confess that I really don't want to clean the bathroom.
I confess that I could easily turn around and rewrite the chapter draft I finished yesterday. Moving forward is probably the best strategy for now.
I confess that I can imagine what it would be like to be a sports fan and it seems like it would be a fun thing, but the time commitment deters me.
I confess that I often marvel at the persistence of internet trolls. Think what a different place the world would be if we all had such sociopathic fervor!