Monday, December 7, 2009

" ... crippled in the use of myself ..."

"I began to see myself as crippled in the use of myself [...]. My breathing was inhibited, my voice and posture were wrecked, something was seriously wrong with my imagination--it was becoming difficult actually to get ideas. How could this have happened when the state had spent so much money educating me?" -- Keith Johnstone from Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre.

Friday, December 4, 2009

C.R.A.P. design principles

a while back, i had a lovely link to a teaching resource on the C.R.A.P. design principles as asserted by Williams and Tollett. that link is no longer active, but thankfully Presentationzen has a lovely page. i'm linking it both here, and below (under "tech, text, and design") but wanted to call attention to it in a brief post (said post also acting as a nudge to start posting again).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

complicating Polanski

Don't hate. I'm as confused as anyone. But I keep thinking that anyone who is so horribly outraged about support for Polanski might a.) see Marina Zenovich's documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, b.) read Robert Harris' NY Times Op Ed , "Why Arrest Roman Polanski Now?" (09/29/2009). And, although it represents a "fictional" extreme, c.) re-watch L.A. Confidential.

All of this is to wonder ... I mean, the issue isn't completely about Polanski's crime. It's also about the legal system and its flaws, the desire of The Law to have the last word, despite legally-negotiated terms that Polanski had met by serving time in a pscyhiatric facility. I still don't have it all worked out and but of course it's all very troubling. But I see people creating such decisive scenarios in ways that seem to play directly into the LAPD's longstanding public image as the defender of moral decency even in light of their own corruption. Good cop/bad cop. Adversarial rhetoric. With us or against us.

Potential bias disclaimer: While I watched most of the film, I was also called during the screening to serve in the lobby of the Sundance Screening Room, where I am the Theater Manager during the festival. There, I sat with a nervous and exicted Marina Zenovich at the 2008 Sudance Film Festival, generally trying to keep her hydrated and helping her with her cell phone issues (signals are weak on Mt. Timpanogos). Although she wanted to be in the theater, experiencing the audience's reaction, she sat in the lobby and tried to respond to the many calls she was receiving about her film; presumably many were after a purchase and distribution rights. She seemed appreciative of my attempts to help. She was gracious (where some filmmakers are not). So maybe my perspective is colored by the charming impression Zenovich made on me. But then also my view is informed by what I saw on-screen, by my sense that Zenovich had taken great care in creating the film, that she sought to explore beyond the surface of Polanski's crime and into the matter of the legal proceedings with which Polanski had (until it seemed obvious that things had become somehow tainted) mostly complied. Even so, I was struck by how complicated the case was/is, despite my sense of it back then, my sense that Polanski had done a horrible thing and was a Fugitive-capital-"F" and all that that meant to my young mind.

What Zenovich's film makes clear(ish) is this: While much was made in the press of Polanski "fleeing justice," few realize that Polanski's conviction compelled him to serve time in a psychiatric facility, which Polanski did. However, when it became clear to Polanski and others around him (and anyone really looking into the bright lights of the LAPD) that the judge (whom nearly everyone questioned) was going to alter his original ruling (that Polanski would upon leaving the pscyh facility be released for "time served" in the psych facility) in order to make a more profound example of Polanski ... it was then that Polanski fled the country.

I am not here suggesting that there is any obvious "right" or "wrong," but I would love to see the terms of this conversation shift. I myself want to avoid making clear-cut pronouncements about Polanski's recent capture and historical crime and instead look further than the fact of the crime and into the history, into the proceedings, and especially into the present motivations for capturing Polanski now (the latter, what Harris' piece questions). It's just that (thanks to Zenovich's documentary) I see the entire "story" as worthy of careful contemplation of the vexing questions it raises. Zenovich tries ...

being in facebook

i posted a while back about my fluctuating desire to leave facebook because of my insecurities, the timesuck, the mostly surface-level discourses happening there (which has never been a secret or anything because i mean the name pretty much announces the name of the game). and whatnot.

more recently, i am wondering about the extent to which dialogue can happen in fb. it's probably just not cut out for it. mix that possibility (fact) with the fact that many/most of my friends there are colleagues with whom i work and i've got a pretty complicated venue (not a simple partytime) ripe for/with complicated exchanges and misunderstandings.

i am thinking about film, but i could contextualize my concern within the context of any "matter of taste." i see myself and others using fb to identify certain tastes (via a positive response to a particular drink, a negative film review, a powerful reaction to a political move ...), but within any one thread, it seems often to be mostly about agreeing with the original post. this is fine, another way of a.) asserting a taste, b.) identifying with the original poster, c.) affirming the original poster's tastes, d.) sustaining a mood, and e.) all around group belonging identification.

but so when i recently responded to a thread on a particular film with my positive review (against the near-unilaterally negative ones), i expected and even hoped to invite other perspectives to the chat or maybe to encourage someone/anyone to reconsider the film, to recall something about it that had perhaps worked for them, to maybe even reconsider their brittle, sound-bitten reviews. so when more negative reviews poured in and it became clear that my contribution would not be taken up in any of the ways i'd hoped, i took my thoughts down. weak. i know (i have never proposed that i am strong, Helen Reddy, notwithstanding). but it's also an indication of how powerfully fb affects me and not always in productive ways. and but then is it fb? or do i simply not have what it takes to engage in a conversation where i am completely in the minority? (and if so, what am i doing in rhetoric?!). whatever the case, this has me wondering again about fb and the powerfully lingering effects it generates, despite the brevity (or, perhaps certainly because of the brevity) of the assertions that express themselves there.

and it's all just fine. but i am once again pricked and insecure following what should be a simple fb thread. but so maybe i need to learn ... again ... to be quiet, vewy qwiet. and that's probably for the best (she says, from out in patriarchal, group-identity-generating Utah). or f*ck it. maybe not. maybe fb is not "surface" at all but a useful tool for reflecting precisely upon our own trends in rhetorical action and group participation (and if so, i wish i'd had it in first grade).

Friday, September 25, 2009


Manohla Dargis on highlights from the 47th new york film festival.

i look forward to many films this year. and but i should hate to admit it, but Coco Before Chanel excites me because, well ... an "ambitious, difficult woman, taking note of the obstacles and opportunities offered by her time, place and circumstances"! (A.O. Scott)

dear facebook,

it's been fun. kind of. and then, it's also not been fun. see, you make me keenly aware of how unspectacular my life can be. i mean, truly, i'm delighted for everyone, so pleased to discover the exciting things my friends are doing. but. it's always sort of happening when i enter ... this unpleasant sensation ... vibing out in your world, a sense that i am whispering into a void my pathetic hopes for recognition ... not being asked to dance but just. sort of. standing there. and so but sure, these gestures are sometimes met by well-meaning friends. but also. these faint cries often vanish in whispy non-threads, ghosts of irrelevance.

i may be nearly done with you, facebook. you will thrive. you will not miss me. you will be fabulous. i will peek in from time to time, vewy qwiet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

how many blogs?

i realize that many of my colleagues create specific blogs for specific aims, but i am still reluctant to do so (thus, my massive subheader "thinking about representation," which in essence says, ... "i'm going to write about some stuff here"). my reluctance is related to my longstanding concern for "the personal" (even) in professional matters, and this is to say that i have spent a career trying to find ways of making my teaching and my scholarship matter in ways that feel important or cool or fun or interesting or not simply "work." the distinctions we make about our work and our life are useful, but i can't seem to solidify them without sensing that i am a fraud. i'm not saying that those who multi-blog are frauds; they are rhetorically savvy, to be sure. and but i don't know exactly why, given my understanding of the multibloggers' sophistication, i feel as though *i* am a fraud when i contemplate separating out my family photos from other thoughts about image, film, rhetoric, writing, teaching, and whatnot. i will keep working on thinking that through.

all of this is to say that i am still using my blog to think about a variety of concerns that interest, please, anger, and delight me. some are professional; some are personal. maybe some day this will change, but not today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

dear blog,

i've missed you. and i'm sorry. yes, facebook and twitter have stolen some of your shine, but i promise to return to you soon. after all, i need you to help me refocus on projects that benefit from more reflection than sound bites can help to generate and sustain (although it's true, yes, i've always enjoyed a short story or an abstract painting more than the weighty tome or intricate realist portraiture).

say, i may be writing here soon about the new film i'm trying to get moving. i think Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher have stolen my idea** with his The Social Network, a fat, bulging extension of my short film, Status Update *(currently attempting to enter into production).

* earlier posts about my film are found here and here.

nb, the film originally wanted to work specifically for academic audiences, but now it considers status updates as everyday communication/performance/desire more generally. so, the limitations of "my film for C's" and the specificity of the film's conceptual frame no longer (wholly) apply. if you are interested, simply create a video tweet and send it to me at

** by "stolen," i mean to say "wow! look at how my work resonates with the smartypants work of these Seriously Cool Filmmakers! ... see that?!" so see, it's simply a matter of "shared genius." -- your humble "friend," blk.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

what happens between "hidden" and "plain english"?

nothing here on the performance aspects of twitter. the video elides the possibility of fantasy, humor, the real agent-enacted hopes of/for career/dating/etc. forms of networking. so it essentially presumes that tweets tell what people are actually doing rather than what they wish to articulate as the nature of their activities/lives/selves. perhaps a response video is in order? still, for the basics ...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

dear shirtless, sweaty dudes using the interior campus hallways as your track,

your sweat is schkeeving me out. use the designated indoor track. come on.

professorily civilized and curmudgeonly yours,

dr. bonnie kyburz

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

hipster interview

so my friend, filmmaker Andy Blubaugh, is blogging about what is sure to be his fabulous new feature film. i have always loved Andy's style and method. i especially love the personal nature of Andy's films and their ability to move us both with and also beyond Andy. essentially, i like how Andy's films motivate us to think more complexly about certain, deeply human and (that is to say) problematic concerns.

recently, Andy and i chatted about some of the stylistic (more generally, rhetorical) aspects of his new film, The Adults in the Room. here is how that went. and here are some clips. enjoy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

like a virgin

so while i have been working with computers in the teaching of writing for something like forever (since 1992, let's say), i have not written much about that work, nor have i attended the Computers and Writing Conference. 

i almost attended when the conference was in Detroit but didn't. travel budgets being what they were, i couldn't justify it. now, as i continue to emerge as ... eh, let's not give it a title ... someone who works with computers (most recently as a digital filmmaker), well, it makes sense, the extra effort. so tomorrow, i fly to Davis, CA, to attend C & W 2009. i had decided to go and pay my own way, but happily, our department Chair "found" some money (i love it when that happens!), so i'm getting financial help to go do this thing i both should and want to do. yay.

but here's a thing (this is the therapy part, so if you're not into personal spillage, stop reading here): something that's happened as my career ID has been shifting? i have lost a LOT of confidence. oh sure, it wasn't just about becoming (oh, hell) a new media "person," actually producing and sharing what i do with computers; there was also (major, and probably by now pretty boring for my readers, but this is my therapy) the loss of my role as a WPA last year -- devastating. also, devastating family drama, life in general and the world we live in, and etc., etc. 

and but so one critical upshot of all of this lost confidence is more anxiety, ESPECIALLY when traveling. now, i don't mind flying. i actually like it a lot, although it's true that i used to cry on airplanes (ever little noise ... i was a sad mess). no, my anxiety is about the preparations, specifically: 

1.) what to pack? 
2.) when to leave for the 45 minute drive to the airport? (and the related anxiety of arguing with Mike about my choice because he always thinks i pick "too early")
3.) how many potty breaks to expect because of my DI and/or my anxiety-related "other needs"? 
4.) double check the aisle seat designation
5.) take stomach-calming medication, and etc., etc. 

i sometimes work myself up into a burbling mess the night before, and sometimes it waits until the morning of the flight. these days, i take pre-emptive potions and tinctures as a way of apprehending the anxiety before it starts. i am currently drinking Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra tea, which contains 25 mg of valerian root,  and it is lovely and calming; i am also now attempting to use this writing as a way of naming my fears so that i may possibly begin to think about possibly coming to understand, laugh at, and overcome them. oh, and i also have a Robinul Forte, an Alprazolam, and a Hyomax near my bedside, the first two poised for consumption (a nightly, doctor-recommended ritual), the second, in case i am unable to transcend the gastro-funk (again, doctor recommended).

see, i desperately want to be the person who feels good about traveling. i want to feel good. i want to be carefree. i am devoted to achieving these goals, especially prior to my Big European Tour (ever? hello?), but it's also a very humble goal for girl whose identity seems to avoid her very own attempts to capture, understand, and name it (which is, ironically, often what goes on at these conferences ... a pattern??)

i may decide that this writing thing, right now, is good. i may even take my laptop to sessions and take notes, blogging them later. i usually try simply to be present, to take it in. we'll see when i get there just how i feel about this choice. for now, i feel generally pretty good, and hey -- i have at this point only drunk the tea. but so as for my long-term goal, i long to lose the meds, and i'm going to use my writing to aid me in the effort. you've been warned: this could get messy ...

Monday, May 25, 2009

refreshivising (10 things)

some of my speculation will seem self-defeating, but i assure you that i am in a very fine and decent mood, contemplating my reality as opposed to striving in ways that (often) disappoint and frustrate. even within my self-doubt*, however, i feel renewed in my efforts, however limited and/or limiting or otherwise less-than-ideally grandiose and appropriate to the academic's sense of largesse. aka, it's fine.

so then, the list:

1.) finish Kairos revision.
2.) advance house projects: master bath caulk project, new house #'s, organizing office, continue creating Mike's separate office out of what has become the "storage" (aka "dumping") room.
3.) pull weeds & general yard work.
4.) continue exercise plan. i have been p-r-i-t-t-y dedicated, i must say, and i'm very pleased with myself. no one reads blogs anymore, right? so, i can say things like this :)
5.) get back to reviews of literature for book project even as i feel somewhat defeated about print publishing and, as is often the case, more invested in delivery via live performance (fancy!), preparation for which gorges on my time.
6.) continue drafting introduction and early chapters of book project.
7.) maintain contemplative mood re: whether a book will be/is necessary, given my status at my institution and seeming inability to land a new job (i had considered placing some cursing symbols here, but i'm increasingly chill about it, despite collegial notes about "not giving up" ... life is short ...), even as i am hopeful about new publishing venues/opportunities appearing in my inbox like shiny magic :)
(i love and will complete my book. enough already!)
8.) continue filling in my film history by catching up on docs and indie classics.
9.) discover a new look for my insane and schizophrenic hair.
10.) redesign main web page and links.

* which is obviously a function of The Grand (Academic's) Success Narrative.

Monday, May 18, 2009

w/ the fam ...

Recently, i went to Atlanta to say "good bye" to an old friend, Frank Mullen (aka "Frank-o"), my former brother-in-law and father of my nephew/godson, Kyle. Frank loved his life and enjoyed it like no one I know. Every bite of toast, every sip of Coke, every band gig, or chat with a friend was filled with Frank's desire for laughter and delight, and he always found it. What an awesome friend. In Highschool, I was pretty fat, a loner ... didn't get invited to any of the big dances, but Frank invited me to my school's Homecoming ... even showed up with a corsage (!), just like a "real" date. And we danced like goobers in the dry ice, sipping rum he'd brought, mixed with the school-sponsored cokes.

There are too many good memories to share, here. He was way too young (48). Still, many of us are relieved that his suffering is over.

Last Saturday (05/09/2009), as I was flying toward Atlanta, I had a feeling I'd miss my chance, and as it turned out I didn't get there in time to see him before he passed away at 9:15 that evening.

The week I spent in Atlanta was filled with silence and prayer and joking around and memories and reconnecting. Recalling Frank's life and his impact on me revitalizes ... renews me in my efforts to seek The Pleasure; life and work and striving can grind it down, and, regrettably, I've been quite expert at letting it all happen. but so Frank-o reminds me that I must f*ck the bullsh*t (profound, n'est-ce pas?). and so here is a great picture (2005, by Jim Stawniak via Atlanta's Creative Loafing) of Frank doing his thing, taking pics at a rock show (see his portfolio for more).

Mostly, I am and will always be grateful that I was able to spend such an intimate time with Carrie (my sis, Kyle's mom) and Kyle. It's so truly humbling and remarkable when people let you into the depths of their lives ...

nb: to read the captions and enlarge, click on any image to get to the album in Picasa. i recommend that you view via "slideshow." By way of explanation: many pics are in Kyle's room, which i redecorated while i was there (my "gift": i like to make the pretty). Shoutout also to Carrie's current husband, Rob (thanks, Rob!).

Friday, May 1, 2009


i hate capital letters. i can't fully explain it. but as a new project in working conventions, i'm converting references (in links, @ right) so that names and titles are properly capitalized. this, as part of my ongoing my efforts to figure out what is wrong with me (ha!) and in my attempt to fix myself (HA!). i hope this helps. and, until you are "converted," please be patient.

this is painful. i hope you appreciate my gesture.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

workspace images

Would you be willing to send me images of your workspace? home, campus, wherever? i'd like to create a presentation involving these images, inspired by a recent FB comment via Trish Harris re: her office poster of Jim Jarmusch's film Coffee and Cigarettes. Trish's comment reanimated an interest i'd let fade and motivated me to think about the extent to which our workspaces (workspaces as images -- thinking w/ WJT Mitchell and Bruno Latour, to name a few) speak. There are many ways to imagine the value of this project, and i won't elaborate them all here (some are just now emerging), but i was most recently thinking that such a presentation might work in ways similar to the National Council of Writing Program Administrator's Network for Media Action, in the sense that we might "show" ourselves and our work via these images and what they are able to say. Other, less specific reasons emerge ...

Either way, if you are willing to share, please contact me at, and i will update here regarding the potential uses of the images (for conference presentations, for on or off-line journal publications, for local faculty workshops, etc.).

nb: the above is my sister's home office, in Chicago. my niece and i are watching Beck's "Hell Yes" video. and yes, i'm imitating the SONY robots, as one does when "working" with one's niece. and, okay -- i've shown you my double-chin, so come on!

Friday, April 17, 2009

"i have to think these things up, you know"

so looking forward to seeing Drew Barrymore take on this role in tomorrow night's HBO production of Grey Gardens. as you may recall, i wept in honorific self-flagellation for my inner Little Edie at Christine Ebersole's performance of the same role on Broadway when i was in NYC in 2007. here (from the 2007 Tony Awards  -- she won hers): 

i've seen clips, and Drew seems remarkably good, as well. can't wait. and it must be said that if you've never watched Albert and David Maysles documentary, Grey Gardens, you simply must, daw-rhling.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

hello ...

it's been a while. i've been busy. preparation for CCCC's was monstrous in the midst of my new 4 course lifestyle, other conference matters, family issues, life, and etc., etc. 

but so now i'm looking ahead to the summer months. i would love to make this the year of my Big Trip to France (ala my heartbreakingly gorgeous Margo Martindale in Alexander Payne's amazing "14√®me Arrondissement" in Paris J'Taime. what? you *still* haven't seen it? set that up. bring tissues), and i do not want to write "but that probably won't happen," so i'll just leave it at what i don't want to write. 

[deleted other stuff re: summer plans]. 

but so while i'm not focusing on the future, i'll be working the meditation and 12-step mantras and sutras and even some conventional prayers because my former Palmetto First Baptist Church dunking still resonates its hopeful affects.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

status update: "socially awkward"

i have been socially awkward for most of my life. my parents* started me in 1st grade one year early, believing that they'd seen some genius in me or that some groovy 1960's theory on education held some actual merit.

as it turned out, i was paranoid from day one: it was clear that relationships had been formed. earlier. pre-dating my entrance. nevertheless, i made my mark; i was "notable" for a few things:

1.) i got a role as an angel in our school's Christmas tableau. i was hung from the ceiling, laid on my tummy in a wooden box that had puffy "clouds" glued to its sides, and i watched, hands folded into tiny praying cages, full of hope for what my performance might mean for Peace on Earth and whatnot ..., and

2.) i pooped my pants during naptime. my teacher had been standing just outside of the classroom, talking to another teacher, and we were supposed to ask before we left the room, and i, being so "good" and so eager to do things right (especially given that i was so *clearly* out of place), sat with knees bent, bouncing up and down on the heel of one foot that was crossed over the other. i waited until my teacher entered the room to ask if i could go, scary-oblivious to the fact that i'd already "gone." when i returned, she was spraying lysol around my nap area, and it was clear that everybody knew.

make of the above what you will, but i can't help going there as i reflect upon recent experiences in social networking via Twitter and Facebook. yes, i came to it very late (just as my latecomer status re: blogging has marked me in less-than-ideally positive ways). you see, just as i was about to post that "i am having pizza for breakfast" (who cares?!), i was also reflecting upon how offended i'd been over a question that appeared in a presumably inoffensive meme in which i'd been tagged to participate. it's nothing really ... who doesn't want to talk about their children? i get that. but so the question, "Do you have children?" just sent me off. because no. i don't. and it's very sad for me. and no one needs to know that. and i could have avoided answering, but the question represented the move that signaled my need to leave. retreat. stop pretending to be participating in a carefree and totally-normal-human-social-participatory-way when i am (as in the above anecdote):

a.) not ready,

b.) too serious (i "read too much into things," as my students often tell me), or

c.) just plain "socially awkward" (and thus, a & b obtain, b being, however, less necessary and more of an occasional tendency).

i have almost left FB and Twitter several times. but there was this one notably positive exchange in FB that has kept me hanging in there. it was late at night ... i was lonely and feeling pretty badly about my life, my career, and etc. , etc. (achh! who cares?!). but so *one* of my many "friends" IM'd to see if i was actually okay. and i wasn't, but he helped. and it helped, the whole exchange. and i'm grateful for it. but i'm not sure it's enough. because on the whole i spend entirely too much time worrying how one tiny status update may offend or be taken in ways i did not intend or otherwise get me into trouble (recently, one has done all of these things). and don't tell me "you're a rhetorician" as if this means that i am immune to making mistakes because clearly i am not (hint: no one is). and apologies may mean nothing once it's out there (apparently). and the retracting and revising and recontextualizing and all-around worrisome nature of sharing tiny blips of Serious Life Information ... it's just plain freaking me out. and now, you may tell me to chill. fine. it's fine. i'll try.

* nb, i am not blaming my parents for my social awkwardness. just associating, and that's what i came up with. they meant well.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

SF CCCC's 2009, v. bonnie & Mike

some pics from our trip to San Francisco for CCCC's. to better read the text, click on the images and go watch the slideshow in Picasa (choose "slideshow" to get the more visually pleasing and easier-on-the-eyes black frame; you can also slow down the rate of movement from frame to frame).

Monday, March 16, 2009

post-screening reflection

i am in between blogs (altho blogs are, i hear, passe ... still). so but i thought i'd share some reflection on my documentary filmmaking process over at maybe. here you go.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

personal ads (?)

emboldened to think aloud along these lines by both Andy Blubaugh's fabulous short film, "Hello, Thanks" (2005; info here, @ Andy's filmography), and Ondi Timoner's 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, We Live in Public, i offer:

"tenured MWF (R/C) seeking ... "

ha. (?). i'm thinking that maybe the day will soon come when we use our blogs or other webspaces to formally advertise our virtues in ways that don't require committees to sift through our performances of professional and social selves in their efforts to tease out potential "fit." i keep hearing that this is already happening via (insert social networking source here). i've seen it in blog entries, in tweets and in FB status lines. our comments about job searches happen in ways both clandestine and out there. generally, people know. would it be so awful to be candid about it?

i'm talking about the emergence of a straight up "i-need-a-job-and-here-is why-you-should-hire-me" genre.

i suspect that we believe we are already behaving publicly in ways that invite potential employer speculation, and i wonder about the extent to which this infiltrates our prior-and-possibly-quite-intensely-productive sense of mission about our discursive online presence(s). i'm thinking about Craig Saper's 2006 Reconstruction 6.4 (2006) piece, "Blogademia," in which he describes some of the fears we might associate with blogging (many tenure commitees take a dim view of them, Saper suggests) but also about the kinds of cultural work that academic blogs reveal through "a desire to lay-bare the machinations of academia." in other (fancier) words, "[B]logademia," Saper writes," resists the hegemonic academic machine." might a personal ad similarly resist the genre of the job search in productive if not frightfully honest ways?

sidebar(ish): at the very least, structuring one's job search via a personal ad might enable a job seeking candidate to put oneself out there in ways that distance her/him from the implausible veil of secrecy regarding what's going on, liberating her/him in a variety of soul-sustaining ways. and perhaps it would encouage search committees to be a bit more accountable to 2 rather than 1-way flows of information (regarding acknowledgements, timelines, and rejections, say).

i'm tempted to reproduce huge swatches from Saper's insightful piece, but instead, i'll compress with 2 of the culminating questions he smartly poses. just after citing a scary comment about how some academics view blogging as "frivolous" ... "non peer-reviewed" (Burgess) --the latter pointing me to Academic Evolution's "revelation" that "peer-review is vanity publishing" -- a wild series of considerations i haven't had time to indulge in because of my brand spanking new 4/4 status at our fabulous new university! -- Saper compellingly asks:

"What if blogs' gossip demonstrated a structure (a type of knowledge), rather than expressions of speakers' situations and passions? What if the apparent opposition between scholarly knowledge and gossip was more porous than one might suspect? " (emphasis mine).

i was going to emphasize only key terms from this passage, but i want to emphasize the questions in their entirety, instead. because, speaking only for myself, i believe that a.) search committees are already viewing blog knowledge as knowledge that forms (or at least contributes to) the basis of critical evaluations (thus, as, well, knowledge), and b.) that that opposition is p-r-i-t-t-y porous already (and maybe especially now), and as such, it's available for commentary and critique.

so maybe we will soon be seeing the emergence of a bold new(ish) genre that enacts a kind of intervention whereby we might stop pretending that scholarly knowledge and gossip aren't uniquely interrelated ... something straightforward and direct, even if a bit suited up (or not) and formal ... something like a personal ad.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the hit counter

yes, it's vanity, but i like to know. my old counter was up to around 3000, and the one prior to that was even higher. but after discovering that it was counting my own visits (i revise a lot and read other blogs through this portal), well ...

so but we're back to the beginning, which is rarely a very bad thing.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

jason calacanis on empathy

it's simple, maybe even too simple (simplistic), but i also find value in Jason's post. i don't want to elaborate but simply to point to it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

i'm lame on "causes," but ...

i was deeply moved by the amazing documentary The End of the Line. see it. visit the website. follow the campaign link to reclaim your piece of the ocean. and forgive me if i suddenly seem to have found my activism and act a little nutty in my enthusiasm ...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

beyond words ...

mylittlefilm. i wrote about it, its evolution and its potential "meanings," at maybe (early 2007 entries). mostly trying to explore affective experience of place(s) in the context of my evolving work with textuality that happens off-the-page.

some of you saw this at PSU. i later submitted it as my "manifesto" for that Kairos issue, but it didn't get accepted (although a different short film did). and while i now see some elements as a little corny, it was a lot of work, so i want to honor that. that is to say, i wanted this to be cooler than it is. so while it originally enjoyed the pithy title "beyond words," i've renamed it to reflect my sense of it at this point in time. i still recall feeling quite proud even as i cringe a bit. but so ...

n.b. MBV may object, so this may soon disappear. we'll see.

Monday, January 5, 2009

project updates (you. can't. wait.) ...

i want to write something witty and fresh, a nod to a new year ... and i will. until then, know that both the book and the doc have happily found greater clarity. the process of preparing to tell other people about one's work, maybe (as in, say, a sabbatical report, for one ...)

for now, i'll have to be brief. so ... although it's still surveying historical discourses, the book is about much more than how we've talked about film in Composition. maybe too much, but i like it because of how the theoretical and ethnographic elements i bring to the conversation sort of "complete" earlier arguments, arguments for film in Composition that were hopeful and passionate but not ideally sound (i.e., lacking reasonable reasons and/or substantial forms of evidence). so i suppose i'm thinking that the book will both round out and honor those earlier arguments, and this seems to me a fine purpose in and of itself (but there's more ...). the documentary is now focused more broadly on DIY filmmaking and distribution practices and is not centered on M Dot Strange but looks at his work as one case study. i would also like to look at Andy Blubaugh's fine work as another case. additionally, i see the documentary coalescing around inquiry regarding The Shared, Communal Cinematic Experience narrative, a story i've long found enchanting, a story i've long defended. and while the narrative obtains, i now see it as a narrative, perhaps a "myth" worthy of reconsideration in light of the audience-engaging practices of DIY filmmaking/distribution via Web 2.0. it's sort of ... duh. but on the other hand, critical ideational/ideological breaks are contingent upon time. for me, it's time.

and but oh, i still find great (truth) value in The Shared Communal Cinematic Experience, so i am likely to find myself engaged in more of a dialogue than a straight-up, didactic sort of argument about the alleged superiority of DIY film practices. i'm glad for this.

more ... coming soon ...

stand up straight & let me get a look at you

It's awards show Sunday, so i'm giving Margot. I'm through with the wishfulness and angst and regret, and Margot, more than an...