For the last month I’ve been immersed in trying to write a thesis for my bachelor degree. Emphasis on write. The concept of it all grew into an idea sometime around two years ago back when I wrote Ghost Ghosting Ghosts for Doll Hospital. Gathering materials, reading and reading but mostly obsessively researching off-topic notions has basically been going on since. A certain lack of a consistent stable mental health is, surprisingly, not that helpful. First I needed to finish it last school year, then I set my eyes on January, later I figured, all right May it is. But I’m still at it and at this point I don’t know where academia ends and I begin. My whole being is oversaturated by these ridiculous theories, essays, books, nonsensical wikipedia entries, weird fan-made websites… This week I caught myself trying to read Japanese just to find source material. I say this because I find it absurd; me, the whole of academia, university… life? Not nihilistically, existential life crisis absurd, well sort of yes but in funny absurd way. That Belgian absurdity. René Magritte and all that. Life is but a joke, is anything real; oh yes it is haha that’s hilarious. You know the part where you feel like you might be losing your mind but that part where everything feels surreal and you’re just having fun laughing at the absurdity of it all. Like Trump and… his all and everything. But less evil and also less on the track of losing my mind. You know, the wholesome kind of black humour.
Do you know what kind of academic work is out there? Some of that stuff is bonkers, just totally unrooted in reality not even backed up with any proper sources. Like, out there. These academics sometimes get into academic feuds in academic form. Posted on Jstor. I went through some of them and I swear one of them started off (I believe this was round four of a reply to a paper) saying something along the lines of, ‘listen, I’m not going into this just because I’m mad or anything but anyway you wrote some shit eight years ago about me and so anyway in this essay I will explain why you’re a bitch.’ I do think a lot of academics can laugh about themselves, their work and ideas (because when bunkered up writing what else is there to laugh about – I mean that’s my experience and I can’t even get through a bachelor thesis). Or maybe they are bored and take it out via wordplay. Because, I want to ask, how else do you explain some of these titles? (All right these are only part of a greater title but to make things fun for myself I only screenshot what makes me laugh.) I had dozens upon dozens of these but had to let them go for the sake of my computer and, arguably, my sanity. A couple of gems from the past few days:
In order of appearance: 1) what?, 2) no., 3) why?, 4) I don’t want to know, find out or ever see this again.
Give me strength and willpower to finish this because I don’t want to be a spectre caught up in the hauntology (*) of it all. So that’s been me, this is my life, don’t let it suck me up.
* I hate that this is a concept, goodbye.