When some people blog, they revel in getting all dark and esoteric. What does that get you? Does this bull look like the expression usually on your face?
Today I had a heartbreaking conversation with one of my graduate students. A quote board in the common room asked the question: “Name something on the top of your bucket list.” I wrote: “More fun, love, friends.” This elicted a 30 min conversation with a grad student about the postmodern dilemma of annhilation and consumption by the forces of discourse. I told him to get over that. I said we are SO PAST that false subjugation. I told him we were moving on as of a decade ago. “To where?” he asked, almost hopefully. I cheerfully replied: “Popomo!” (Thank you Matt Holtmeier). I begged him to consider Anthony Giddens’s who moved us past the myth of endless swirling in the man’s structures. He was beyond hope.
He argued strenuously for Niche and Marx. I told him to throw Foucault into the mix and really get depressed and resort to death poetry. In blackest tones and despair, he could not. He truly saw no alternative. He mockingly told me to enjoy my [critical tone here] “fun and love and friends.”
The disheartened, poor man has NO belief in self-agency. No joy, no hope, no power in his life. (Made me wonder if he actually GETS the notion of a bucket list.) I told him he only believes what he believes because he believes it. He has the power to believe something else. No. Not possible in his ideology (remember that ideology tells you what is, what is good, and what is possible a la Althesseur. My heart is sad for him.
On the other hand, because I do know what a bucket list is and am taking responsibility for what I do now that I’m facing it in general, I offer these pictures to represent what is possible: