Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Many Out of One

I've been trying to revive my commitment to Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life without really having the time to do much. Members of the collective have pointed out that the energy some of us are expending on our personal blogs is energy that's not going to Bad Subjects. True enough. But I haven't felt particularly comfortable in the group of late, due to a combination of burn-out -- twelve years is a long time to belong to anything -- and my sense that much of what interests me is no longer considered proper for the publication. There's a fair amount of projection involved in the latter perception, to be sure, yet I think there's some substance behind it.

My mission, then, is to find a way to do work for Bad Subjects that doesn't leave me feeling burned out by making a place for the work I want to do within its fold. Right now, that work consists of A) interviews, both cultural and political; B) music and film reviews that aren't focused on the latest thing or that aren't purely a vehicle for a political point; C) speculative thinking, informed by my reading in cultural theory, that is content to stay spare and, well, speculative.

The first step towards accomplishing this goal has been redirecting the blog function built into our new "plone" website so that it is a collaborative effort directed at a public rather than a clearing house for our own internal debates. As I noted in my previous entry here about the "Bad Blog," in which I linked to my first contribution to it, it will take a while before we have the momentum necessary to make readers stop there regularly. We're getting underway, though, and I'm optimistic about our ability to sustain the acceleration.

The hard part for me is figuring out where my LiveJournal identity ends and my Bad Subjects identity begins. Most of what I do here in De File was inspired by my experiences in the collective. But it also represents an outlet for precisely the sort of communications that I no longer feel comfortable sharing in Bad Subjects. Somehow, then, I need the two blogs to converge so that they feel like a common project rather than a contest.

I'm not sure when or even if I'll be able to pull that off. For now, I'm striving for balance. I'll continue to post some of my theoretical or political thoughts here, while also making room for them over there. My next entry in De File will be the complete text of the one I made this morning on the Bad Blog, as an indication of what I mean. There is also a response there from Jonathan Sterne and my own follow-up to read. Let me know what you think of them, as well as any input you have on my dilemma.

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