Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today (Subtext: Habermas)

This morning I quit a job I just got that was already proving impossible. I'm pretty pleased: I agonized for about a day, S told me I had to quit, and then I just did it, with significant grace and pleasantry on both sides. And then I was glad I'd done it, though it means significant financial loss. Then again, getting the job was a pleasant surprise, so really I'm right back where I was a month ago, before the job suddenly materialized, and back then I was fine.

In other news, all you Mac fans, I so don't buy it. My lemon computer has gone kaput once again, and I have really an unbelievably huge and important deadline tomorrow. Luckily all relevant pieces are accessible in gmail, and S has been a total saint trying to set it up for me to get to everything on the Mac--no Office on the Mac, so he installed OpenOffice, but the documents are not opening correctly, plus I can't find anything on the Mac, which is probably my problem, or perhaps a result of the Mac featuring S's organizational logic (i.e. no logic, though it works for him), but at any rate the whole thing is stressing me out, so I'm giving up and going to my mother's tomorrow to work on her PC, where everything makes sense.

But really I wanted to take up the challenge of Jackie's post today--not the birthday party part, I'm all about outsourcing birthday parties, M's next month will be at the rock-climbing gym, but the recent events about which she had nothing to say...I'm going to try to say something.

Austrian basement incest - I said to my friend M today, "So what do we make of this? Is this pure evil? Can we find a cause?" and he said that it was just so far out there, there was no point in analysis. Which I think is true. I mean, this really is perhaps the most outrageous thing ever, outside of Pol Pot, Hitler, Rwanda, and all that, which is to say, in the private sphere. 24 years? In the basement? Seven children? And how many women have tried to imagine going through labor alone in the basement seven times? Just beggars the imagination.

Texas polygamy - The children should not have been taken from their mothers. Period. Total insanity on the part of the law and social services.

Yale abortion artist - OK, about this, I have nothing to say except YUCK--whether she actually did it or made it up...

Miley Cyrus - First instinct: what the hell is with the power of Disney and branding that she needs to go out and abjectly (and fakely) apologize for something she obviously chose to do that is not really a big deal. Shades of Obama and Reverend Wright (if you can't make the connection, I'm sorry, I'm too stressed out by the Mac to do it for you, but take my word for it, it's there). Second instinct: who are the parents who are so dependent on the media machine that they would either 1) allow their small children to see half-naked pictures of Miley, or 2) not be able to negotiate Miley's half-naked pictures with their older children. Third non-instinct: should I be upset that a fifteen year old is taking half-naked pictures in Vanity Fair? i.e. sexualizing young girls, etc.? Maybe, but I'm just not. I'm really much more disgusted by the post-picture hypocrisy on all sides, except for Annie Leibovitz.

Really, all this--mainly the conjoined media furor over Miley and Reverend Wright, plus the wrongheaded actions of Texas judicial and social services--is making me feel a strong desire to abandon the public sphere altogether and just do my work, read novels, and hang out with my kids. Of course all three of those necessarily engage the public sphere, and clearly today's news shows that the private sphere has its own demons, but, oh, politics and media, I wish I knew how to quit you...

(Sorry about the lack of links...blame the Mac stress.)


Kelly said...

computer woes can really make the day a tough thing to navigate. I've experienced the same thing but towards a PC when my Mac was in the shop getting a hardware upgrade. Everything took 432x longer to do on the PC and I wanted to take it out in the backyard and go all Office Space on the bastard.

I have nothing to add to your thoughts about media and politics. Other than the more I read the more my head explodes and the less I want to be out there in it at all. Thank goodness it's spring and I can get outside more. If I had to winter over with the current news I'd probably drink too much.

Libby said...

Sorry for the mac stress. I never had any luck with Open Office and run Office for the Mac instead, but that's pricey. Still, it does seem (to me, anyway) a workable compromise. As for the media & politics stuff, yes. What are we to make of this crazyness? That the world is crazy, I guess...but we knew that, so...were we better off not knowing? (This in re the Austrian basement...)

jackie said...

One of the thoughts I had about the Miley Cyrus thing later was that if you're comfortable talking to your kids about sex already, it's not a big deal. If you aren't comfortable, than that's a bigger problem than little Miley Cyrus.

I too often dream about abandoning the public sphere. I just spent two weeks in my college class teaching about Internet-enabled surveillance, commercial, governmental and personal, and now I want to scrub my brain out and forget everything I learned about it.