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Belatedly - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Belatedly
In the process of belatedly adding a new LJ friend charliegrrrl, I belatedly stumbled upon this feature on Other magazine. It's a blast, though I winced at the reference to Bad Subjects. Annalee is right, to an extent. There has always been a little too much academia in its pages. But I also can't help but hear the strange-mixture of bravado and insecurity of the former academic in her characterization. There's a difference, after all, between "academic" and "pretentious." Plenty of those who go pop lapse into pretentiousness from time to time. Then again, maybe it's good to have a little pretense from time to time.

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Muse: Tu Veux Ou Tu Veux Pas - Brigitte Bardot - Brigitte Bardot

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masoo From: masoo Date: January 28th, 2004 09:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Considering that I'm still an academic ... at least, I'm teaching ... I guess I can't say I share the bravado/insecurity of the former academic ... but then, the reason I don't think of myself as a "former" academic isn't because I still am one, but because I fear I never was one. It's the curse of the autodidact ... the work I've done as an academic is rarely informed by my actual experience working for a decade in a can factory ("oh," Fred Crews told me upon meeting with me for the first time when I began grad school, "you must be interested in literature about the working classes"), but everything I do intellectually is tainted by my fear of being found out for the former steelworker I "really" am.

I don't think of BS as pretentious ... it's more academic than it used to be, I suppose, but the real split I'd note is reflected in the links Charlie has on the side of his blog: I'm listed under "Personal" while BS is listed under "Political." It's what I was trying to get at when I posted my "Why I'm Not Really a Bad Subject Anymore" post on my own blog.
leela_cat From: leela_cat Date: January 28th, 2004 09:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You are really cool though, and the rest of us Bad Subjects miss you dearly. Us non-academic types really need the help some days.

I don't think of BS as pretentious either. I do think we get too academic for the average reader. Certainly some articles are too academic for me. I start reading them and my brain starts sliding sideways off the page.

Then again, I don't think we need to lose all of the academic stuff, but we have to pay more attention balancing it with a lot more non-academic pieces. Some of us are working on that. We recently had someone who had published with us before tell us that he wasn't going to write for us because we're too academic. He changed his mind after the Protest Cultures issue.

Then again, the next issue, Marx and Theory, isn't going to help. Most of the articles are pretty academic, IMO.

After that, however, comes Family which will be primarily non-academic, as will Nation (since I'm editing that issue).
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 29th, 2004 04:03 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Personal and Political

I agree with both of you that we need to strike a better balance between academic and non-academic contributions.

But I laughed when I saw your point about my links, Steven. I keep renaming the subheadings, as you've surely noticed. The reason you're in the "Personal" category, though, is that it's for personal blogs. All my LiveJournal friends would fall there too.

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