Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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American Slip?

So I'm in the process of trying to make sense of some of Skylar's art supplies. The first step is to sort all her blank paper. I get out a cardboard box of hanging file folders and begin tackling the bottom drawer of her desk, pulling out a ream of laser-printer paper. I start writing a tab for the file. Kim walks into the family room to put in a video for Skylar. I remember a question I'd wanted to ask her last night, after she'd already gone to bed. "Kim, does that portable CD player you bought have an electrical power adapter?" She says it doesn't. "But maybe we already have one that will work." I finish writing the tab. As I slip it into the slits on the file folder, I realize what I've written:

And I can't stop laughing. It's such a wonderful illustration of the return of the repressed. Because the archivist's attempt to make order out of disorder is always already bound up with a call to order of a far less innocent sort. Goodness knows that my superficial tendency to forego neatness derives in large measure from my recognition that once I start organizing I can't stop in a timely fashion. On the other hand, there is something alluring about the fantastic notion that one could contain white power by filing it away in a box. Sadly, though, that's one archive that has a way of escaping every fold meant to hold it in place, defiling everything in its path.
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