All right, it’s my first time doing one of these Flushing posts, so bear with me and be gentle. Now, prepare to know more about my life than you have any interest in and offer up your own expressions of frustration with an uncaring world.
The Good: As most of you are probably aware, thanks to the magic of Facebook, I recently paid my first visit to Austin, Texas. I was there to attend the annual convention of the Modern Language Association. For all you non-nerds, this is the major professional organization for North American academics in literature and modern languages. The convention is held in a different city every year, and scholars and aspiring scholars fly in from around the world to give talks on topics you would all probably find mind-numbingly soporific, interview for jobs, drink heavily, and engage in ill-advised hookups.
Personally, I was mainly there for the job-seeking part. However, I also got to reunite with a few people I know from school and meet up with some bearded jerk who runs a heavy metal blog with a dumb name. I paid visits to two barbecue joints (no, neither was Franklin’s), an Alamo Drafthouse, and a whole bunch of bars on 6th, catching some sweet local bands like Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes and Leche. So, all-in-all, good times. I would love to return sometime, preferably with my band in tow.
Speaking of which, the other good thing that’s been happening of late is that Nequient has been gearing back up after a few months of relative inactivity. We had to find a new bass player and practice spot, but now we have a couple new songs, we’re getting some fresh merch ready and we’re finally booking shows again. We have vague plans to play in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Iowa City, Louisville, Nashville, and St. Louis, among other places, in the near future. If you have booking hook-ups or just a floor to crash on in any of those cities, please do get in touch. Either way, you’ll hear more about it as our plans solidify.
The Bad: Well, simply put, I’m 20 months past completing a terminal degree in my field of choice, and the future remains quite uncertain. I imagine the majority of you are probably at most peripherally aware of what’s currently going on in American academics, so I will just tell you that the career prospects are far from ideal. Basically the trend over the past few decades has been to funnel university budgets away from paying faculty and into, well, pretty much anything else. The result has been far fewer tenure-track jobs for people like me and more departments that rely on horrendously underpaid and overworked “part-time” teachers (most of them are stringing together full-time hours or more by working at multiple schools). I’ve done that contingent faculty jazz and it’s awful, so now I’m working an office job that at least has benefits, even if the salary is still questionable.
And man, both Lemmy and Bowie down so close together. Still not over that. Blackstar is unquestionably a final masterpiece, though. Let’s all watch that awesome video and feel sad together again.
The Ugly: I have a longstanding compulsion to watch television news, no matter how much it annoys me. Can you believe this Trump bullshit is still going on? It’s just goddamn embarrassing.