via Bill DeGenaro (thanks, Bill).
and then, to be honest, RSA intimidated the crap out of me. maybe "intimidated" isn't right. more like, "wow, this is really so much about ancient rhetoric. i had no idea." which is all fine, but i'm not as well versed and not as much invested/interested there (of course, of course, but you know??). i'm more comp-y w/ a cultural studies/film/personal/visual/affective thing going on. but comp-y, to be sure. for the reasons we recall: for Mike Rose helping returning veterans and other "underdeveloped" students; for Sondra Perl's "felt sense" and how it movitates and remotivates our personal/political projects, our investments and our sense of agency; for Sherrie Gradin's reanimation of "expressivism" via the Romantic poets and their rhetorico-politico-cultural (jeez, bonnie!) aims. not for this: in one session i attended at RSA, there was during the Q & A (after a session in which one particular paper invited us to be in the moment with the ideas, silently agreeing to much of what was said even as we felt convicted about our less-than-lovely inclinations as agents within institutional life), everyone in the room seemed compelled to argue about the precise meanings of Levinas; it felt like a competition when the paper of note simply wanted to enable us to dig it (if even for a tiny moment). and the argument was there. and the delivery was there. it was all there. and then it was not.
sure, one distasteful conference experience and a rejection do not say much. but they say something. and, well, combined w/ my felt sense about RSA, i'm thinking that rejection is fine. appropriate even. i'll likely go (hey, it's Seattle), hear others' brilliance. sit silently. wonder about what i'm doing here (as usual). i'm not whining, mind you. just trying to capture the affective in this moment (and to recall others). because it's part of what i'm about in my film work and my desires for it (which means that, again, rejection from this particular academic venue may be what i need, what i've needed).so but i hate it when others do this, whine about rejection, but i figure i'm up at 4:22 ("the morning breeze has secrets to tell you; do not go back to sleep" -- Rumi), so why not see where it goes? i've even chatted w/ M via email about his disenchantment over a less-than-ideal Sundance reception. i encouraged him to move on, to see that just getting your film in is/was massive (and, um, from my perspective, having been rejected . . . ) and that there are some good people at Sundance who know what's what. so. take my own advice. and, maybe this time, don't think about my filmwork as something that sort of "luckily" is "hot" in academe right not (which, um, apparently it is not, for reasons i've described here -- rejection -- as well as this). but as something that has worked for me in this context for a while and maybe now needs to work in other contexts. liiiiike . . . the free form film festival (i want to do stuff w/ them) or the various cell phone film festivals (i LOOOve the way cell phone movies can achieve serious arthouse effects w/ their grainy ambiguity) . . .
come on. that's hysterical.
so again, i'm not trying to diss NCTE, in particular. i'm more about observing/commenting upon our rhetorical flourishes regarding "21st Century" biz because it sounds kinda sexy, but it's the thing that gives rhetoric a bad name (as in used car salespeople bad rhetoric). it's fantasy, facade, and the sad thing is that the performers are prepared to deliver, but the missing elements keep holding them up.