Thursday, July 24, 2008

5 Thoughts on a Thursday

1) I am still unemployed. Today marks two weeks since my German class ended, and I am still arbeitlos. Last week, I had an interview for a job with the UChicago Press. The interview, I think, actually went quite well, but at the end of it the man who was interviewing me said something that nobody fresh out of graduate school wants to hear: "Well, you're obviously qualified for the job, and seem like a wonderful person, but we've had so many strong applicants for this job." And this is for an administrative assistant job, too, not exactly the work that you need a Master's in Humanities for. Of course, I am still not sure what kind of work you DO need a Master's in Humanities for. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to you on that one soon.

2) On the other hand, unemployment has provided for the opportunity for me to catch up on some much needed work and errands. For example, in addition to writing in this blog (finally) I have also been able to read a little bit of Henry James, to e-mail some old friends and professors, do my exercises, work on my resume and cover letters, and, oh yes, spend hours online. Hours upon hours online. I read the New York Times, check up on the latest presidential poll numbers, go to my Facebook page, check all of my Facebook applications, go to, then to, then to, then to, and so on and so forth. You get the idea. So, my question is: Does anyone know of any way for me to ban myself from certain websites? (And then maybe forget the password or something?)

3) Also on the other hand (which I suppose ought to be the first hand) R.A. and I have a new apartment! Yes, we signed the papers yesterday to move up to the first floor of an old graystone house in Roscoe Village starting on September 1. Roscoe Village is pretty far north, and is chiefly populated by young, urban, professional couples who all either have dogs or very small children. Being that we're moving up there from Hyde Park, that may take while getting used to. However, what won't take getting used to are the hardwood floors, the dishwasher, the backyard, and the lack of drug using/ child abusing neighbors. (If you don't know, don't ask.)

4) I am a little disappointed in the way that the New Yorker Obama cover outrage has dissipated so quickly. I got the latest issue of the magazine in the mail today, and other than a few letters to the editor, there was no mention of the political implications of that cartoon. An issue with which I am still concerned is the New Yorker's defense that the illustration was not racist because it was intended to be racist. I think that is, at best, a shoddy defense, and completely underestimates the importance and the impact of this kind of politically motivated art. There is a larger conversation brewing here concerning the responsibilities and obligations that independent organizations like the New Yorker may or may not have to the broader political discourse, and it's a conversation that we should and will have. But all I want to say for now is that Goethe never intended for "The Sorrows of Young Werther" to cause a rash of suicides amongst the German gentry, but he apologized for it anyways and included a warning against suicide in the second edition of his novella.

5) "It is always irony to say something and yet not say it." - Søren Kierkegaard

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