“Finished, it’s finished, nearly finished, it must be nearly finished. Grain upon grain, one by one, and one day, suddenly, there’s a heap, a little heap, the impossible heap” (Samuel Beckett, Endgame).
It has been nearly two months since Cindy’s post, Looks like We Made it (Almost). I remember reading that title and feeling the drive of a marathoner entering his final mile. Right now, I’m a ten year old kid again, staring out the classroom window, longing for the baseball diamond and waiting the bell to ring. The only difference is that I’m situating my experience in theories of ‘disciplinary societies’ and ‘societies of control.’ I wonder how talking ‘Foucault’ and ‘Deleuze’ would have gone over with my childhood friends in the midst of trading Pokemon cards? Come to think of it, I’m not sure that my Pokemon memories are even real. Maybe they’re their own pure simulacrum.
Which is why I need this semester to end! The more and more I read, the more I become incapable of having ‘normal’ conversations with family and friends. The other day, my dad visited. When he started talking about his childhood as a better and simpler time, I commented, “Of course you’re going to say that; that’s your habitus.” In the minutes that followed, I became a Pierre Bourdieu one-man show. When I finally managed to muzzle myself, my father mustered: “Hey, how about that Raptors season!”
If only my awkwardness ended there. Recently, a friend returned from living abroad and told me: “I really enjoyed meeting new people and having a chance to start fresh again.” Instead of replying “Oh, isn’t that nice,” I launched into the theories of Erving Goffman. I congratulated my friend on masterfully ‘defining the situation’ and reminded him that now, he had an obligation to consistently play the same role on successive occasions for the same audience. Steve left my driveway puzzled. I haven’t heard from him since.
And now, as if my studies weren’t enough of a mind bender, Macaulay Culkin and Ryan Gosling are complicating the coherence of my thoughts by wearing tee-shirts of one another! Ryan Gosling wearing [a picture of Macaulay Culkin wearing [a picture of Ryan Gosling] wearing a picture of Macaulay Culkin)? Does physics even allow for this? Walter Benjamin predicted this exact situation! Adorno and Horkheimer both know how this is going to end. Soon enough, all of humanity is going to be on one tee-shirt affectionately known as the ‘culture industry.’ Maybe we’re already there. Maybe I don’t even know where I am anymore.
Which is why this is my last post for Don’t Panic as we head into the summer. It’s time for me to go off the grid for a while – a difficult task considering my entire thesis project is rooted in the impact of digital media on the music industry. Professor Sally Chivers despises the word ‘impact,’ so now that I’ve used it, I have even more of a reason to go into hiding.
And so Don’t Panic Trent, I bid you adieu until next academic season. Thank you for reading, writing, commenting, liking, sharing, suggesting and supporting. The pleasure was truly mine.