Posted on | August 6, 2007 | 6 Comments

Since I started having something approximating a social life on top of a heavy workload some of my usual blogging impulses have been somewhat sidelined. I want to improve on that if I can, but for the moment Monday now seems to be the best bloggy day for Mel. It feels a bit like a desk-clearing exercise, an analgesic for Mondayitis, a chance to put some structure and aspiration into the week’s beginning. Especially when weeks have had a habit of escaping lately– slipping from my grasp and losing their crisp promise despite my best hopes for how many writerly hours they might contain. My Week of Organising finished on Friday putting pieces in place for another MACS meeting. I’ll post the details up here separately. That followed booking two interstate family trips, planning two conference panels (CSAA and Crossroads), prompting for peer reviews, nudging for chapters, submitting one of my own papers again and even answering the phone now and then. The following couple of days indicate that this will be Meeting Week: the not so fun work-related kind and later the exciting encountering of new important people in my life kind. This latter means I’m heading to FNQ for the first time on the weekend. If you’re not Australian, that’s not a swear word, it’s an acronym for Far North Queensland, a place that’s apparently very different to the Queensland I’ve come to know so far. I’ve wanted to go for such a long time!

Some good news is that my submission for M/C’s upcoming “Home” issue has been bumped to the lead article. It’s the first thing I’ve ever written specifically on queer theory and politics, and it also talks about the Government’s “intervention” in Northern Territory indigenous communities, so it’s clearly my least controversial piece of writing to date, heh. I’ve had a few people read it already, including Lauren Berlant (!) whose work enables my argument; still, delight that it will now open the issue is tempered with some Big Nerves. From the Upcoming window on the side you might also detect I’m now speaking at the Sustaining Cultural Research day prior to the CSAA conference, which may or may not be because of my trouble-making here previously, but I’m hoping to use the occasion to voice some of the concerns that discussion raised. What else… basically I’m pivoting between writing my half of the Affect Reader Introduction, expanding my recent “ordinariness” article for a book chapter, editing the Wireless issue of MIA and feeling bad that I’m not seeing more films at BIFF

One other thing: Facebook during work hours is my new pet abstinence. First it was messenger clients to beat RSI, then it was MySpace (well, that wasn’t very hard), and now I’m not Tweeting very much either. You know why? I’m beginning to recognise that blogging is what I enjoy most out of all of these platforms. Why is this? Is it because I’m a control freak-y un-re- or de-constructed Author who likes the sound of her own voice? Is it because I can’t bear to reveal just how boring my days are? Is it because all of these other sites are used in ways that don’t accord with my regular affective states? Is it because I *like* the elitism of blogging (by which I mean, few people feel they can blog, but so very bloody many feel they can Facebook)? Or is it because I still believe that blogging is great for academics to enjoy writing as a craft, because their professional life does so much to kill it?

As a blogger by choice, am I already retro? I definitely need to work this out before I write up my “Banal Bohemia: Blogging from the ivory tower hotdesk” paper for publication. The more I sit on that paper the more interesting I think it could be. Then again, maybe I’m just terrifically bored with using computers in general–particularly their role in an insidious and inescapable workplace noose of contactability–and increasingly worried about how many of my and my “Friends”’s remaining days they seem to lay claim to.


6 Responses to “Sharing”

  1. rowan
    August 7th, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    Mel, I find the last part of this post especially interesting. I’m really pleased you’ve provided this sketch of some of the different structural, discursive, temporal, and other differences between these respective modes of CMC, as well as how your own personal preferences/inclinations influence your (changing) uses of them. As a long time reader of your blog, I have found the inclusion and use of Twitter on your blog site quite fascinating. For instance, in reading your twittering alongside your blogging, what strikes me is not how boring your days may or may not be as represented in the former as opposed to the latter, where your posts are of a different ilk altogether and are generally very carefully constructed and much lengthier reflective pieces. Rather, what strikes me most is the very different textual and discursive strategies and uses that each demand or encourage – or, perhaps, to put this slightly differently, how each leads to different aspects of your workaday life (and associated ‘affective states’) being revealed and documented. It is these differences that I find fascinating and have led me to think more about Twitter in particular. What I personally find interesting about applications such as Twitter is that they seem to be getting closer and closer to the sorts of practices of documentation that were explored in the 1970s by the likes of Georges Perec and other contributors to the journal _Cause commune_. That is, mechanisms for unlocking, for prying open to view, the seemingly inscrutable inner workings of the infra-ordinary. In short, they tend towards (replicate? are modelled on?) other, prior practices of list-making and description, many of which are documented with such extraordinary insight and care in the early chapters of Robert Belknap’s _The list: The uses and pleasures of cataloguing_. I’d be interested to hear more of your thoughts, Mel, on this stuff, particularly your experiences of twittering versus blogging.

  2. M-H
    August 8th, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

    Ever the lightweight, I hope you enjoy FNQ. I went for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Palm Beach: quiet and peaceful with great food. The Reef: bloody amazing – I couldn’t even swim two years ago so snorkelling the reef was a real buzz for me. Daintree trip: hilarious – all the guides should be as unintentionally funny as Xavier was. But his mixing up of various Kings of England wasn’t as funny as the fury it provoked in some of the other passengers.

  3. melgregg
    August 9th, 2007 @ 8:23 am

    Thanks both: being away from the computer for a few days should give me some time to reflect on these matters! Rowan, as ever, thanks for your ideas on further readings/contexts. I’ll be sure to follow them up. A lot of these thoughts will probably make their way into the book I’m writing with Catherine Driscoll, so these references are really useful for that project too. But maybe *you* should write something about it– for your own book?! Heh.

  4. Melissa
    August 9th, 2007 @ 9:37 am

    Hey, definitely interested in reading the paper on banal blogging from the ivory tower. Encountered plenty of that lately. Have also been dipping into yr book, by the way, and wrote something about it in the latest entry on my own blog: .

  5. c
    August 9th, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing Rowan 😛

    [just stirrin’]

  6. melgregg
    August 16th, 2007 @ 10:28 am

    Thanks so much Melissa, it’s wonderful to read someone else’s interpretation of my work… sounds like you really engaged with it, which is wonderful! Glad it is painting cultural studies in a good light for you.

    And well done! De-lurking must be applauded! Blogging is all about participation… I am looking forward to learning a lot from your blogging too!

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