Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Opening Post

     So, I have decided to start another blog to get back to writing on a more regular basis.  I found myself writing less and less for the last blog, Work Resumed on the Tower, largely, because I had found myself at the end of two major projects that animated my writing during that period, my work as a graduate student, and my work within the reform movement of the graduate student union, Academic Workers for a Democratic Union.  With those projects finished, it made increasingly less sense to continue working on the blog.  I was also in a position where I was fairly substantially underemployed, and at a loss what I would do next with my life without those projects.  I initially considered creating a blog that would focus on my work on science fiction, but I don't feel focused enough to create that blog, and I'm not entirely convinced that I want to get involved in the fights of science fiction fan community.  Perhaps, I will come up with a way to engage with the genre that will avoid the kerfuffles and focus on the formal structures of the genre, but that will have to wait.

     Instead, I'm going to put together a blog that will let me write about any particular topic that comes to mind.  Not surprisingly, I'm probably going to cover a lot of the same things that I covered in the earlier blog, politics, culture, and theory.  You're not going to get the same sort of inside baseball coverage of the union, and the activist and academic politics of the University of California-Irvine, but those were issues that were of interest to a very small group of readers, in any case. On the other hand, I'm not sure what is going to be the focus of the blog because, despite getting some relatively stable employment, I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to be doing with my life.  I'm still in the process of trying to find a tenure track job, but that search is not terribly promising given the state of the humanities.  Additionally, I'm interested in getting involved in political activism again, hopefully outside the subcultural activism that I was previously involved in, but I'm not sure what direction that might take.  In any case, the structure of the blog remains open.

     The title of the blog is taken from a brief inter-title within Jean-Luc Godard's film, Masculin/Feminin, where Godard notes that, if he were to rename this film, hew would call it The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola.  The name always appealed to me because it gestured towards the dual influence of radical politics and popular commodity culture on the new left and counter-culture, which largely still influence the radical politics of the United States today, even if that social formation lies in ruins.  It also allows me to recognize two streams within my work, the first being the substantial influence of Marxist theory and practice on my work as both an intellectual and an activist, and the second being my interest in popular culture in a variety of forms, most notably in the form of science fiction, but also music and film.  In any case, the title provides quite a bit of latitude in what I can discuss in the forum, while remaining within the rubric of the title.  Let's see where we go from here...