- Considerations of "Modern life"
- Creative writing
- Joie de vivre
- New York City
- The law
Last night, between writing a draft of my 25 page final paper for China Intellectual Property and browsing Cyber Monday deals, I uncovered this piece of gem on Daily Intel: Yale is offering a seminar class on night life in NYC.
I took my fair share of culture studies, namely just the freshman intro to rhetoric, the syllabus for which was built around relevant pop culture and media, you know, so as to appeal to the sleepy freshman brains who are in class at 8:30am in Binghamton where the sun don’t shine. And, yeah, I did write papers discussing the reciprocal/symbiotic influences between Hip Hop music and fashion, analyzing the seemingly divergent female narratives on the deterioration of a relationship in a Kelly Price R&B jam and a Eve rap hit. But this was in my first semester of college, I was 18 and I never thought for a second that this would be permissible topic of study as a thesis to a 4 year program that is supposed to be the build up of my 21 years on this earth. I assumed dedicating 4 years of education would add a new facet to my life, and that I should at least acquire new knowledge. College, in short, was not supposed to be an extension of my life before or out of college, because if that were a legitimate topic of study, then why would I even need to be in college? Even after composing a thesis on the cultural nuances I witnessed between living in Shanghai, New York and Paris, I always assumed that this intellectual curiosity is a natural by-product of, oh say, living a life. It was not until much later, after having worked for a year, did I realize that there are people out there who take on pop culture and lifestyles as a course of study and then as a overarching theme to a CAREER. People are making a living out of simply synthesizing fragments of everyday life through verbal articulation.
My ninjas, that is bullshit.
I get it. There are implications upon implications in every trend ever in society. But the implication of this particular phenomenon seems to be: this is a generation of people who is so existential so 24/7 that they find enough relevance in these trivialities to not only dissect but to create a whole discourse out of as if such extrapolations can have even a de minimis worth to the society beyond themselves. Not only that, but that the few who are “elevated” as studied in these issues, means that there is a whole generation of people who are interested but are capable of even less.
I am all about reading the casual blog post on fringe social issues that come thru in the movies, ads, or songs on some inadvertent philosopher business, but a seminar class? What do you suppose is the pre-requisite for the class? What are the accompanying texts? Perspectives on the gaze? Feminist response to the male gaze?
A quick google search of the instructor turned up his catalog of works on the Thought Catalog, after which I read a few more random posts on the site, which are desultory, if anything. These are published. When Charlie sent me a NYT post by Edith Zimmerman 2 weeks ago, she was critical of the casual style and generally lax standard of writing. I lamented that it is a new norm, that this is apt as blogs are increasingly legitimized as a medium of expression.
But these jawns are making me weep. I never considered pursuing writing, because I hold the discipline with esteem, and didn’t think that I had the requisite skills. Apparently, those skills? Not such a requisite! These writings make a mockery out of the craft by simply existing beyond a private realm. I mean, I just CANNOT.