Monday, May 28, 2007

Before There Were Blogs

Because I hate and fear packing almost as much as I hate Bluebooking:

And since I am not looking forward to living out of boxes for the two weeks before I leave for a research seminar at Cloudy Cul-De-Sac Law (a double blind pun if you can figure that one out, but don't be surprised if I don't post your comment or email):

I give you something more fun to read as I disappear for a couple of days, because when I'm not packing/unpacking, I'll be preparing for the seminar and kicking up my (fashionable, psychosis inducing) heels with this secular bible of sorts:

Barring another "WTF?!" post of course.

Before there were blogs, there were:

1. Zines.

Although you might want to look at this handy compendium first.

2. Slate Diaries.


Richard Posner. About being a tireless public intellectual. (you know you can't resist Judge Posner)
Untenured. About being a, well, untenured associate professor. (my favorite passage below*)
Eric Weiner. About adopting a baby.
Seth Mnookin. About recovering from a heroin addiction. (cousin to law prof Jennifer Mnookin btw).
Ingrid Katz and Alex Wright. About being medical interns.
Dave Koch. About attending the Bread Loaf Writers' conference.
Stanley Fish. About returning from the AALS and being his theoretical Fish-ness.
Ira Glass. About being my ultimate nerd-crush.
David Sedaris. About being his weird, fabulist, fabulous self.
Robert Pinsky. About being one of the greatest poets of our time.
Bill Gates. About being a rich and generous geek who inherited the earth.

3. Open Letters.


Daniel Arp - on his passion for
Ian Brown - on a moment of clarity.
Scott Carrier - on crickets and desire.
Dishwasher Pete - on a clean conscience.
Jonathan Goldstein - on an old flame.
Paul Tough - on a moment of coincidence.
Sarah Vowell - on casting her ballot.
Amy Sohn - on long-distance love.
X. - on her son, and his father.
Jonathan Lethem - on his favorite band.


(Picture credits: , except for the one of my feet)

* From Untenured, one of my all-time favorite ways to describe teaching (and yes, I've read Vygotsky, Freire, and bell hooks):

Teaching often leaves one feeling a little like chopped liver. It is like some intense romance which retroactively turns into a one-night stand. But weirder still--it is like a one-night stand you keep having over and over. Students come and go but always stay the same age. I sometimes have the feeling that I have had several similar relationships with generations of their slightly older prototypes over the years. I had met B. in his many previous incarnations. In my graduate student days, he might have been what we liked to call the Heidegger boy. The Heidegger boy would always find a way to fit a discussion of Heidegger into any and every conversation. The Heidegger boy is brilliant, aloof, and a bit cold around the edges. The Heidegger boy has some interpersonal limitations.

But emotional attachment to students takes many archetypical forms: These range from grand, unconsummated courtly passion to raging, unconsummated, stuttering lust. There are more complex forms as well. There is the love one feels for the beautiful young woman who doesn't know she is brilliant and the love one feels for her twin--the brilliant young woman who doesn't know she is lovable. There is the earnest frat boy who learns to think. The boy one wanted to date in high school but didn't. I have always had a particular penchant for young men of 20 whose intellectual excitement translates into a steamy sort of vulnerability. Sometimes one falls in love with a class as a whole, like an adorable Borg whose every part is equally adorable. During these semesters, a random absence from any student feels like an amputation.