occupation: prophet


This afternoon I found myself sitting just outside the Madison building of the Library of Congress.  What I found in the Manuscript Reading Room was so goddamn disheartening that I just had to go out and absorb the unnaturally good weather.

So much greed.

I am aware that the evils of capitalism aren’t accidental. I am not surprised by anything I’ve found, but something about holding the actual genesis of Regeanomics and Bush public policy in your hands…


I am reading the papers of conservative think tanks from the 1970’s and it is fucking horrifying.


I got to the part about how all the business owners need to take a page from the liberal play book and combine their power to influence policymakers, and that shareholders are just as important as labor, and I walked out of the room dry heaving.

It wouldn’t be so terrible if they hadn’t been so damn successful.

Tomorrow I am going to be watching a video of seminars born of that mindset. 8 hours of anti-union, pro-management tactics. I bet I make it an hour before rage quitting.


Okay, I still have to check for grammar errors and add the images but I am going to do that when I get back from DC. But basically,

I am finished with the thing no one will read ever! Fuck yeah!

Holy shit it is done! I wrote the thing! Now I just have to format my citations and edit for grammar! Holy Fuck!

*looks at final word count* Huh. I’d thought it would be bigger…

Here’s Something Strange.

Classical Studies keeps me up at night.

In the spirit of the free exchange of ideas, here is a strange thing I can’t stop thinking about.

So, I read this not very good book that suggested that the Sirens become so sexualized later because of their juxtaposition to Circe. The idea being that they both pose similar threats, but thru different means. The Sirens stroke their victim’s egos (depending on your reading) and Circe just strokes her victims off. *rimshot* Either way, fall for it and you’ll never return to your wife and have your happy homecoming. The article stretched the idea a bit much (hence being not very good) but it got me thinking. That is totally what happened to Mary Magdalene.

So hear me out. The Sirens don’t really get sexualized in classical antiquity. They become more chthonic, but they don’t get sexy until the 10th century CE when Suidas calls their songs lewd.

It is all downhill from there. Forget prophet birds, forget assurances that you will be remembered after you die, and forget the offer of forbidden knowledge. From there on out the Sirens are about nothing but temptation of the flesh because some Christians were still lusting over Circe and getting their sticky-Catholic-guilt-riddled-shame all over the place. The same thing happens to Mary Magdalene. She’s suppose to be a disciple for fuck sake. However, because Mary’s story textually appears right after Jesus okey-dokes a sex-worker with the whole “he who is without sin” bit…

BAM! Slut shaming by proximity!


I need you all to assure me that it shouldn’t take more than 8 hours on Friday to properly add all the footnotes, citations, pictures, and formatting to this thing or Medusa is getting cut for time and really hasn’t she been thru enough?

I am slowly watching this paper become, “No those aren’t sirens, those are harpies. No really, they are. Shut the fuck up you fucking twit.”

I break my day up into 3 parts.

  1. coffee writing at the table
  2. beer writing at the table
  3. beer writing on the sofa while watching star trek

This would likely go faster if I could commit to all day wine writing at the table. However, I am alone at the moment and without company that can quickly spiral into wine weeping at the table.

Day 3 of my self imposed isolation.

I haven’t spoken to another human since Friday, with the exception of one phone call from my adoptive grandmother. She requested to borrow my television. I consented. What use do I have for such a thing now?

I went outdoors today with the intention to buy some sort of lunch. I returned with only beer. This is acceptable.

This project is not complete. I doubt now that it ever will be. I doubt so much.

Pray for my eternal soul, if your god is not yet dead.

Two hours later and I have a complete first paragraph that I will probably end up deleting in the final draft!

Great! Now the only thing left to do is to turn this all this clusterfuckery into a readable paper!

First things first! Let me just turn this ramble-y paragraph into a coherent introduction with a… with a thesis… statement…

Pro-tip: Giving your paper the title “Almost no one is going to read this” makes it easier to write

Alright scholarly F/friends,

I am two hours into my first super rough-ramble draft and I am already boring the fuck out of myself with this repetition.

What are other ways to about talk creatures in ancient art and texts without using the words shown, depicted, described, or represented over and over again?

Clicking my heels.

I am absolutely ecstatic to be going home. This is an odd feeling, as I am technically homeless. Tomorrow morning really can’t get here soon enough.

The most valuable thing I’ve gotten from this experience is the knowledge that I would rather gargle hot glass shards then pursue library sciences. I might have a natural skill set for it but at the end of the day you have to get job satisfaction from helping other people. I’m not that good of a person. It is the same reason I’d be a lousy teacher. I’m not that patient.

If it was just organization, sure. But people go into libraries. People are the worst.

Rant as Promised

Matt Damon ruined my life. Okay, not really… but a little bit, yeah.

Will Hunting was wrong. Let’s start there.

That movie fucked me up. Good Will Hunting came out shortly after my brother died, when I was just entering high school, and I watched that movie a lot. A lot. As one of those somewhat clever kids raised in a poor, working class environment, I understood the struggle of being torn between my hatred of pretentious assholes and my shame for feeling that I was meant to be doing something else. I’m not a genius by any stretch, but I’ve be on the receiving end of the “if you’re still livin’ here… I’ll fuckin’ kill ya,” speech more times than I care to admit. I related.

That stayed with me as I got older. After high school I couldn’t bring myself to pay money to learn anything frivolous (i.e. the humanities). I really took the “fuckin’ education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library” to heart. When I was 19 I worked in retail and then would come home and read Machiavelli because I thought I was suppose to. I was a janitor at 20, sweeping the floors of an industrial factory and tearing my way through Marx on my lunch breaks. Now, years later, I can confirm that Will Hunting was full of shit.

If you want to be generically well-read, have critical thinking skills, and be able to shut up a smug asshole in a Boston bar then yes, you don’t need student loans. However, if you preach that your local library has all the access to everything you’ll ever want, you’re perpetuating the idea that knowledge is accessible to all people if they just want it bad enough and that is bullshit.

The number one thing I’ve learned at this conference? How much information is out there you can’t have. During a conversation about how fucked up academic access really can be, my suite-mate summed up the problem perfectly by saying, “I never realized how much knowledge you have to pay for.” I know I am not the first person to talk about how academia isn’t a big fan of access, but being here and getting to use the Harvard proxy this week… Holy shit.

I understand that people put a lot of work into collecting and organizing this information. I understand that even more work goes into researching that information. I understand the argument that a person’s life work shouldn’t be free to use, and that people need to get paid. I know servers cost money to run.

But the only way a someone can contribute to the discussion is if they can access the discussion in the first place. When the only way you can access that conversation if you’ve been accepted into an elitist club, or into an expensive institution (like any college), then you have to acknowledge information is being held hostage.

I am aware that this isn’t news, but after spending a week being shown all these great resources that I know I won’t be able to access ever again has made me a bit bitter.

side note:

It occurs to me that the reason the FoxNews crew (by which I mean tea-party republicans) intuitively hates academia might be because it is only place where they feel themselves denied all access privilege.

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Sign this thing, then encourage others to also sign this thing.

In DC. About to see this with maryjosephineblake. Awesome.

In DC. About to see this with maryjosephineblake. Awesome.

YES THANK YOU AWESOME you are a gentlewoman and a scholar and I hope you have all the coffee and pie you ever want in life.

Two things.

One: I love when you call me “a gentlewoman and a scholar”. Hands down the best compliment I’ve ever received and it makes me very happy every time.

Two: Wishing me all the coffee and pie just goes to show that you know me better than most.