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[- Do theoreticians have lives?
By Aileen, Section question corner
Posted on Tue Nov 11th, 2003 at 08:53:59 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Or artists or activists or programmers or any of the many other people producing words and ideas and important different perspectives? What happens to the important words and ideas and perspectives, when the people producing them are burdened or even overwhelmed with a sad child, aging parents, a dying friend, an altercation with the neighbors, a painfully disintegrating intimate relationship, physical ailments? Do priorities shift when vital household appliances break down?


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Working together - almost exclusively online - with different changing groups of people, I have noticed that it makes a difference, to me at least, whether the people involved are more likely to look after one another, shifting responsibilities and workloads if necessary to allow for different needs, unexpected occurrences. In other groups, where more people are more concerned with making sure that they are not stuck with carrying too much of a load for the others, I think it seems less efficient.

I like to read the "acknowledgements" sections in books, just reading the names of people who somehow helped to make it possible for this book to be written. Does it mean something, though, does it affect the words and ideas and perspectives that are produced, that someone somewhere has to cook and wash and take care of the cat's litter box? How does it affect the ideas we have of the kind of society we want to live in, if those everyday chores and irritations and pleasures are taken for granted, considered too trivial to mention?

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Do theoreticians have lives? | 7 comments
[new] can one be a theoritician... (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#4)
by joerabie on Thu Nov 13th, 2003 at 10:44:03 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

...if one doesn't have a life? What does one produce theory about, in that case? I am not much of a "theory" person, especially when I read what is written here by the people with academic careers. If I have "profound" thoughts, they are born of anger or passion or sublime experiences. My work over the past year in political media has come from feelings of extreme emotion and protest, rather than some logical, rational process.

As for the "contradiction" of family, it was very important for me to marry a companion with whom I could share professional complicity. We have been working together for over ten years in a company we created, so we share our creative work along with business hardship, and the kids, of course.

[new] priorities and compromise (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Stranger on Tue Nov 11th, 2003 at 09:51:07 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME

Reaching that stage in life where even the queer community and once-staunch anti-nuclear family folk I know are pairing up and settling down, I am ever more aware of the disconnect between those who are following traditional patterns of family and those who remain fiercely independent, and hence alone.

In college, a number of my friends promised that down the road a bit we'd remain a group to look out for each other. Maybe adopt children into these groups, raising new family structures from the broken foundations our parents displayed for us and from the glorified models of perfection our government demanded of us. Our politics, our production, our professions followed, at least for a bit, this hypothetical trajectory.

But in the last five years I've seen much of that come undone. Loneliness gave way to couplings. Family and societal pressure spilt same-sex relationships for heterosexual ones. Ill parents and family members altered the courses of profession, geographical direction, and politics in the cases of those who found the need to reconnect (with churches and communities as well as families) "before it was too late." And then there is what money moves many to do. Can't work at a not-for-profit making $30,000 a year with three kids at home. Can't get arrested in DC as the boss, the husband, the sick mother wouldn't approve. Can't drop out and start that commune in the woods if one needs money to support a sick brother.

Can leave one rather alone not to follow suit, I'm afraid.

Do theoreticians have lives? | 7 comments

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