Wait, That's Inverted

I had an odd time of things today: my morning talking about history and politics with a bunch of very smart academics totally sucked and my afternoon of working totally didn't.

I don't have the energy to write the long version, so here's the short one: I'm pretty far to the left, but not as far as people likely to wind up in History of Consciousness seminars at the UC to the SC. I hate arguing, but somehow I always manage to open my mouth to a level of great bigness, and I find myself talking even faster than I do normally as I explain exactly why "revolution" was a really stupid idea as of the 1950s in France. I've asked two people why they think this is (why I always end up arguing) and they told me it's because I state my opinions definitively, which leads me wide open to getting problematized....right in the butt.

(This of course, speaks to the larger academic phenomenon of "problematizing" things [right in the butt]: it's always easier to trash someone else's idea than come up with one of your own. I'm not saying my ideas are all that great, just that grad students are like ravenous hyenas when confronted with definitive statements.)

Anyway, after a very frustrating couple of hours feeling stupid and defensive, I went to work. There, I fixed things, surrounded by the perfect clarity of electronics. It either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't, you figure it out and then it does. I've got a thick skin for complexity and ambiguity, but even I reach my limit eventually. By the time I left, I felt much calmer, and I'm happy knowing that when I wake up tomorrow, all I have to do is get on the bus and get back up to Natural Sciences 2 to get back to finishing up that laptop. It won't claim that rioting is better than voting.


Rachel said...

ravenous hyenas?

Kelly said...

I hope Tuesday didn't leaving you feeling like that. I feel less like we're disagreeing than 1) agreeing loudly or 2) what I think of as "refining" - which basically means your said some really incredibly intelligent thing, and referenced a whole litany of folks I should have read but haven't, and I'm trying to catch up with part of you at square one.

So then, what is the definition of fascism anyway? ;)

kungfuramone said...

No, no, Tuesday was fine + good.

Fascism was a distasteful Italian pastry that became very popular in Germany after WWI.

kungfuramone said...

Oh, and yes. I stick by my guns: ravenous hyenas.

Mike B. said...

My experience has been that if people on the edges of the political spectrum hear you taking a position that's less extreme than them, they assume you agree with every position they associate with being less extreme than them, all of which they think are stupid, and they proceed to attack you based on this understanding, i.e. "you are wrong about everything" rather than "I disagree with you on this, but we mainly agree." This distorts the discussion something fierce. Maybe I am being unkind to your conversants, but your description reminds me of the times when I've disagreed with a far-left position and been called a Republican.