Okay, we’re back and it should be really, really fixed this time.
First, OMG. WordPress says this is post number 1000. I feel like I should do something special. Here’s a pony:
Okay, I cannot possibly tell you the best of anything over the last 10 years. I don’t think that way. So here’s some stuff I discovered in the last 10 years that I really like. I knew about some of the pre-2000 stuff before 2000 but maybe didn’t really appreciate or understand it. Also there’s lots of stuff from before 2000 that I love that’s not here. Feel free to explore for yourself, or not. These appear in no particular order except for the first one.
all of the awesome friends and colleagues I have met in the last 10 years–some people don’t meet this many wonderful people in a lifetime; tenure, Montreal, Canada, global travel and knowing people all over the planet as well as all over the continent, writing books, TV on DVD or downloaded, listening to the ocean and beach vacations in general, regular vacations (notice a theme? thank you, Canadians), saying no, reading in languages other than English, seeing youth in other people, the beauty of natural structures and plants (in moderation); driving a lot less. Actually, this list is harder than the ones below. Actually, as I write this I wonder “how have I really changed in the last 10 years?” Don’t answer that.
dubstep, stoner rock, post-rock, post-metal, IDM, glitch, ambient, dub, lounge, a gazillion other electronica subgenres and sub-subgenres, classic jazz (a rediscovery from high school–I just hadn’t listened to it) all sorts of various Canadian indy bands, letting other people select, plugins and softsynths, editing instead of punching in, simplicity over complexity, and that it is impossible to distinguish the electronic music of abstract DJs and “new music” composers but they sure do like to argue when they get into the same room. Oh yeah, bitTorrent, myspace, bandcamp, usergroups and lateral learning online.
Science and Technology Studies; German media theory and its various offshoots; process sociology and early sociology of science; disability studies; all the other amazing sound books that have come out in the last 10 years (and the sea-change in music studies when I wasn’t looking); my hidden realist streak and reacting against some of the doxas of cultural studies like constructivism, the retreat from normative thinking and an instrumental theory of culture; large-lecture pedagogy; lecturing and not lecturing in graduate seminars; doing real research online and getting journal ToCs sent to me; IP politics; oral historiography; phenomenology (but only as seasoning); long-term history–the 18th century was really not that long ago.
dried porcini mushrooms, cheeses that are illegal in the US (and some that are legal but I didn’t know about), neighborhood fruiteries, fast and low-effort risotto, things you make in the ice cream maker; the concept of the “nite”; Carrie’s famous guacamole and the ceremonial super bowl cheese dip; the foods of places I’ve visited; the sweetness of broccoli stalks when you peel them; caffeine addiction (2008 to be exact, and it’s tea, not coffee); and a bunch of kitchen techniques, gadgets and recipes not worth mentioning. Except Epicurious.
All of Canadian and Quebec politics.
This list was composed quickly and with not too much thought, and probably edited later when I thought of something better.
Oh, yeah. Cancer. Like I could forget you! (I mean, me. Wait.) More on that later in the week. Today I had two doctor appointments and enjoyed Barbara Ehrenrich’s Bright-Sided while waiting. For a taste, go here (thanks, Nick). Her breast cancer chapter is called “Smile or Die.”
As for predictions: no flying cars by 2020. Thank you and good night.
Thanks for the pony, Jonathan. I always wanted one as a child and needless to say, it was not forthcoming.
I loved your list. It showed real appreciation for things. I never think to name intellectual movements as things to be grateful for, but of course it makes sense. I would have to list transnational digital media theory as mine–those Sarai people have got it going on, and they deserve more play. They have been thinking about digital labor in a whole different way for a long time–fan studies is foofy business compared to the global digital sweatshop stuff they work on.
I’m grateful to count you among the many awesome people that I get to spend time with because of this often super stressful but always rewarding academic life we have chosen. Even though it is more work than it ever was, it is still a big privilege.
Okay – chemotherapy as “using a sledge hammer to swat mosquitoes” has proven to be ever so true, since there are bruises that live on. Yuck to that. I have never felt that battling” or “fighting”, sometimes intensified with “bravely” or “fiercely” related to my journey with breast cancer. It was “what the hell are you doing to me!?” So thanks for Ehrenreich’s piece. And peace to you, Jonathan, as you scream (every so softly I realize). J
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