I’ve been meaning to dust off this old corner of the internet for quite a while. Since my writing here thinned and eventually stopped altogether, I completed my MA at the Institute for Christian Studies (writing a thesis on Peter Sloterdijk’s analysis of cynicism and his later work on religion), entered the PhD program at ICS (where my research focuses on the intersections of media studies, Critical Theory, and philosophy of religion), and reverted/converted to Roman Catholicism (the tradition in which I was raised, though not without an endless string of qualifiers, footnotes, parentheses, etc.). Back when I was blogging regularly, it was a pleasure to work out some thoughts in-process here and, especially, to get feedback and make connections with other folks. Naturally I have a lot more to process now, so I figure I’ll jump back in.
Over the last year or so I’ve been conflicted about what to do with my past posts, the moments in-process, on this blog. Somehow the blog still gets hits despite being wholly inert. At one point I went through many of my old posts and made them private, a process that was somewhat arbitrary but mostly an attempt to get rid of especially embarrassing lines of thought–some of those remain, but instead of making them private (and rendering public some of the posts that on second thought I don’t think are so bad) I’ve decided to simply move on. Thus I humbly ask readers not to go digging too far; or, rather, if you do go digging I hope you can sift what gems remain and forgive me for the dirt.
At the beginning of Foucault’s “Discourse on Language,” he confesses “I wish I could have slipped imperceptibly” into his lecture, and that he “would have preferred to be enveloped in words, borne way beyond all possible beginnings.” “A good many people, I imagine,” says Foucault, “harbour a similar desire to be freed from the obligation to begin, a similar desire to find themselves, right from the outside, on the other side of discourse, without having to stand outside it, pondering its particular, fearsome, and even devillish features.” If I’m honest, despite my interest in “beginnings,” a good Kierkegaardian theme, I fall into this good many people Foucault imagines who want to simply get going, or rather want to find themselves already moving without having to do the hard work of beginning well.
It would be nice to have some profound insight to open up with, but I quote Foucault here as a means of basically licensing myself to not worry to much about this “first post,” one that doesn’t really have any parameters or promises apart from saying “hey, I intend to use this space now and again.” That’s not a very compelling way of (re)gaining a readership, but if I don’t start now I’ll be stuck deferring the beginning for so long that I’ll never get back into this thing at all. Looking forward to meeting you all again!