More than a Grab Bag Candy Game: Citing Social Capital

In my column for TERSE. this month I discuss privilege, failure, and the myth of meritocracy.

TERSE.

Candy on human canvas: from “Wosit All About” by James Ostrer

“Did I tell you my mother, she never did stop dancing?”

“Yes. You told me. And mine, she never got well.”

Roberta lifted her hands from the tabletop and covered her face with her palms.

When she took them away she really was crying. ‘Oh shit, Twyla. Shit, shit, shit. What the hell happened to Maggie?”

from “Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

In my English Composition II course this spring a student gave an exceptional presentation on Queer Theory citing J. Jack Halberstam’s Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. They discussed precarity relating to queer people, something I wanted to prod when we got to Q&A. A problematic moment arose, for me, when my student, to support Halberstam’s thesis about Lady Gaga being the beacon of queer fluidity and new conceptions of the individual, said “Lady Gaga…

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The Phantoms of Culpability

Here is my column this month on TERSE. Journal. I discuss the coming culture of transparency, eeriness of photographic memories, making mistakes, and being wrong.

TERSE.

“The sensation of the eerie occurs when there is something present where there should be nothing, or there is nothing present when there should be something….In the case of the failure of absence, the question concerns the particular nature of the agent at work. We know that Stonehenge has been erected, so the questions of whether there was an agent behind its construction or not does not arise; what we have to reckon with are the traces of a departed agent whose purposes are unknown.” Mark Fisher, The Weird and the Eerie

 

Your DropBox is closing in 30 days unless you take action.

 

“The internet does not have room for my 300 pictures,” I joked to everyone and no one on the internet as I shared a screen shot of DropBox’s threatening automatic e-mail to Twitter.

Last year the laptop I used for 4 years died during the…

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Processing Karma

I’ve been posting more frequently at TERSE. Journal, the new publication I’m working on. Check out my writing on memory, karma, and ancestry. You may appreciate the other writers too–I know I do.

TERSE.

The author 10 years in the past.

Processual learning, in classrooms and in life, emphasizes the intricate and unfolding manner of transformation. Karmic lessons are not always fully carried out in this life; we may only know one piece of a lesson we are supposed to learn now. That lesson needn’t exist in a linear frame. When you look up at the stars to notice how they are ordered, you won’t see a straight line or set of instructions, but we know we are made of the materials of stars. We are scattered, dynamic people.

In my post “Transfiguration,” I discussed cultural memory because, as I delve deeper into secular spirituality, I wonder: “Who was I in previous lives?” Some maintain we stay within our family lineage, believing we are one of our ancestors.

Maybe you were your great great grandfather or grandmother, a great aunt.

I once…

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