Monday, February 19, 2007

Master and Procrastinator

This 'perpetual recurrence of the same thing'...based upon behaviour in the transference and upon the life-histories of men and women, we shall find courage to assume that there really does exist in the mind a compulsion to repeat which overrides the pleasure principle.

- S. Freud, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle"


You know there's something not quite right in the world when you can start understanding Freud without batting an eyelash. Well, granted, Freud isn't as complicated as Derrida or, God forbid, Homi Bhaba, and at least he uses words and sentences that I can understand.

This is the thing with research: you have to go through a messy and (usually) incomprehensible pile of psychobabble in order to make sense of how other people view the world. Sometimes, you like what they say. Other times, you absolutely want to kick them in the shadowy darkness in places where it will hurt in the morning. Some of them are so sexy you want to jump into bed with them and make loud, unabashed love - and yes, there are materials that you just want to commit to memory because it sounds soooooo amazingly mind-blowing, kinda like the first time you've truly had amazing sex.

So yeah, I'm preparing for this presentation for my Cultural Studies class, which has been occupying my mind for the past month or so because honestly, I'm no good with theory and it bothers me that I'm reading up on things and ideas that I'm not sure I can use. Academia can be a rather dull and self-involved affair, because no one's really right or wrong here; it's just how clearly you articulate your point of view and how good you are at arguing for your stand. Any form of creative writing is subjective to a greater degree than with hardcore literary criticism, because at least a writer can fall back on the (oftentimes pathetic, but is nevertheless used) excuse, "I felt that way, anyway, and who are you to challenge MY feelings?" Literary critics, on the other hand, will tell you, "You can't feel that way, because there's no such thing as feeling anymore. You have been constructed by society and so you are a mere puppet on some shadow theatre being played around by an omnipotent puppet master."

The funny thing with this degree is the fact that you feel like you've been fed several apples from the Tree of Good and Evil. There's no serpent, and while Eve might be prettier than me, you know that after a certain point, you're no longer innocent, and that you view the world with shifting rainbow lenses. Reading is lovely, as always, but the ideas you imbibe as you go deeper into the world of scholarship. is something that makes you wonder how easy it is, or how difficult it could be, to apply such ideas into a practical world situation. I mean, it would be quite funny to work in media with Baudrillard in your head, screaming, "NOTHING IS REAL ANYMORE! EVERYTHING IS A SIMULATION!"

Actually, Baudrillard must be the first "serious" theorist that I'm actually interested in. Must pursue that track somewhere in the future. (I *heart* postmodernists!)

EDIT: Okay, I've been coming back to this entry for almost the entire day and now I really need to get back to reading Freud (not even trying to understand, just READ) and to get my ass off the floor and start writing those articles that I should have been working on a couple of days ago but was simply too lazy to start. At least it will be quiet in the flat - not that it's not quiet in the first place - but simply because this is the first time I'll be home alone EVER since both flatmates will be out of the country: C is leaving for Australia later and F is in Manila as of this writing.

And i've just realized that my flatmate and I could do that entire "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" routine since he works for Microsoft anyway, and I'm now leaning towards the Mac. And in case you don't know what I'm talking about, this ad might help jog your memory:


The latest in a series of advertisements from the Apple website. The entire series can be found here

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