Posting has been light because it’s the beginning of the academic year and I have a lot going on research-wise.

Here are some things that I’ve been doing aside from writing and setting up the semester:

1. I’ve gone to an outdoors pool just for myself. For the first time in 13 years. What prevented me from going for 13 years? Well, it’s obviously not the lack of $5 that one visit costs.

I had an amazing time. The pool is surrounded by cornfields on 3 sides. It’s extremely peaceful to sit there and stare at the empty fields. I got a ton of work done.

2. I finally managed to have a good cup of coffee at work. For the first time in 9 years. I got a very beautiful free coffeemaker in a retro style through Vine and brought it to my office. What prevented me from doing this before? Well, it’s obviously not the lack of free coffeemakers which I get offered almost daily on Vine.

3. I’m teaching myself a crash course in post-crisis literature because I need to write a talk for Germany, and it’s not like I can show up with a bunch of recycled material I published before. Post-crisis literature is outstanding, by the way.

4. This is the second month I’m getting a BomiBox, which is my Korean beauty subscription. I couldn’t be happier about it. Great selection, great variety, interesting new products. They need to do twice-monthly boxes to be completely perfect.

5. I’m trying out an experiment where I only pay cash for anything that isn’t bills. Unexpectedly, it saves a ton of money.

6. I’m level 907 in Candy Crush.

7. In a curious reversal of roles, N now makes breakfast for me. And it’s delicious. He does steel-cut oatmeal with all sorts of add-ons: sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, dried apricots, bran, etc.

8. I resigned from being a union rep today. Not for any ideological reason but because I have too much going on and I can’t give it the time it deserves.

9. I have 7 trips planned this academic year but I have hopes that one or two more will surface. They are not all work-related, obviously.

What’s been going on for you?

Chronic Deficiency of Meaning

On the subject of what we have been discussing in the thread about the death of religion, here is a great quote from Alfonso Pérez-Agote:

In general, we can say that modernity produces a chronic deficiency of meaning for the individual because of the systemization of the world and the privatization of the processes of production of life’s meaning. Postmodernity, with its distancing through globalization and systemization and through deterritorialization and anomie, further exacerbates the individual’s sense of deprivation.

When everybody is completely responsible for everything that happens to them – which is the neoliberal narrative of the self – that’s a very heavy burden for most people. If bad things only happen to you because you are a bad manager of the self, then you are completely alone with all of the bad things you might experience.