Today seems like one of those days where every relationship I'm involved in crumbles away underneath my feet like an Indiana Jones action sequence. All drama aside, I have these periods where I doubt the sincerity of my commitment to everyone that I seem to care about, and it bothers me quite a bit. I worry, maybe not unfoundedly (but that's the paranoia talking, no?) that all the pleasant and happy experiences are feigned: feigned pleasantness and forged happiness. But that can't really be the case? Can it?
On moving in with new roommates: the root of my concerns. How will this play out? I'm extraordinarily optimistic, and that might be why I'm worried to begin with. They are really (and this I don't really doubt at all) two of the nicest people I know, and two of the people that I enjoy most being around. But moving in with a couple could be troublesome: I don't function well as a pivot between two sides, though I am capable of not taking sides, very capable (too capable). Though I don't really foresee too much bickering and side-choosing, I have had a taste of some mild discomfiture between the two of them, though my role was never an uncomfortable or compromising one... Nevertheless, how far does my non-committal stance go when we're in the trenches? It's hard to say, and hard to see.
Lately, and lately means here 'for quite some time', I feel like I'm on the edge of some sort of precipice: something is happening and I'm not quite sure (or sure at all) what it is. I'm racked, as I mentioned above, by really awful worries about my friendships and, even more, about my more amorous endeavor. But, alternately, I feel so happy I'm close to tears when I walk around in the day, or when I'm by myself walking home at night and it's very quiet. (Why is it quieter in Montreal than Halifax? The why doesn't matter: the quiet is my favourite part of this city, and I hope it stays). Lately I've been feeling more capable of insanity than I ever have before, and it is both relieiving (insofar as I'm capable of being affected more than momentarily) and frightening (for obvious reasons).
A job interview today, and somewhat successful, I think. The woman interviewing me was rather pleasant, even affable, but also very committed to what she is doing, which is nice to see once in a while. It felt odd looking at a list of adjectives and having to point out which ones I excel at ('self-starter') and which one's I are less applicable ('team-player', 'pleasant'). What an odd 'test': maybe it is to see how 'honest' you are, though it seems odd that they should test your honesty in an interview! Hopefully I get the job, though I'm a little nervous at that prospect too... I haven't had a real job (Teaching Assistant is not a real job, it's just a fact) in over a year, maybe even closer to two years, and the idea of 'working' is not exactly one I warm up to. Though, to be fair, this job sounds more like teaching than my teaching assistant job did! We'll see how it goes.
I start (I think) another job, this one even easier than TA'ing, tomorrow: proofreading. That should be fantastically easy, and I get paid well, perhaps even fantastically well. There may be a snag if I have to work with the narcoleptic person I think I'll have to work with, but I can be patient. The good Lord knows that.
Writing day-logs still seems like an odd thing for me to do, though I'm not exactly averse to the idea. I've been drinking and smoking a lot of weed lately, though I'm not of the opinion that this is yet a problem. As all of my papers this term have been handed in early, and I've been receiving excellent grades, I think I've handled myself rather well. The incidence of drunken idiocy, and its concomitant comic results, has lessened, though the incidence of 'high as fuck' and its concomitant 'let's draw for five hours and play video games' has dramatically increased. And I can't say that that's for the worse either!
Hanging out at this giant warehouse loft was the most sedate fun I've had in a long time. Playing drums, skateboarding, sleeping in boxes of sweatshirts, drawing, going on the internet, benching trains, hanging out with two of my favourite people, all in one place. And you can't beat that with a sack of doorknobs. No sir.
Philosophy. Well, lately, I've been reading a lot of Wittgenstein, and a lot of Norman Malcolm's thoughts on Wittgenstein. The more I read, the more Kantian (in my vision of Kant anyway) Wittgenstein seems to me: that we have to accept our position like grownups rather than play pretendsies about what we're doing seems to be the common theme. I find this in Nietzsche too, but with more vitriol and a more robust passion. Though, there is a passion in Wittgenstein that is almost terrifying: something different than Nietzsche's but of the same intensity, but colder, much colder. I'm looking forward to a detailed reading of the Critique of Pure Reason next semester, as well as a detailed reading of Zarathustra which I've arranged with a fellow enthusiast. I'm still somewhat caught up in thinking through McDowell and Heidegger together, and I got my paper on the subject back today. One insightful comment, in particular, has me thinking: something about the limits of how we are or can be in the world. My suggestion is that I'm not so interested in showing the limits (like Kant, Foucault, Wittgenstein) as in expanding them (something Foucault also does, and convincingly). Just how I do that, and how I do that within 'philosophy', is something that will be engaging me for a while, I'd wager.
I read Operation Shylock by Philip Roth a couple of weeks ago. It was a rather excellent book, and reminded me ('idea wise') of Foucault's Pendulum in that the distinction between reality and fiction is always blurry. Though, at least in my opinion, Roth seems to obliterate the line more completely than Eco does, and that is satisfying in its own way. The weird anti-Semitism, Zionism, Diasporism rants are interesting... it's odd to read something so 'topical' that avoids being garbage.. or it's odd to me insofar as I rarely read anything that refers to things that 'matter' today. Fiction-wise anyway. I believe I'll be reading some more Roth soon enough, I heard he's got a book about baseball....
I've just read Norman Malcolm's memoir for Wittgenstein, interesting look into the later part of Wittgenstein's life, I particularly liked the letters at the end (as I usually do). The parts in the letters where Malcolm and Wittgenstein talk about Moore are very interesting: the picture they paint of Moore is strange and surprisingly engaging (surprising insofar as I dislike much of what Moore has to say, philosophically). Malcolm also presents a lot of Wittgenstein's unpublished work in an interesting way, situating it all in a context that makes his thinking look more like a development than a series of disjointed masterpieces. Malcolm's presents a picture of Wittgenstein that shows how the Investigations grows out of the Tractatus, though he doesn't do so rigorously (for obvious reasons) in the memoir. There are also some hilarious little anecdotes about Wittgenstein that I've seen nowhere else.. a good read overall, though not the most complete 'biography' of Wittgenstein (if that is what you are looking for).
I read Ecce Homo a few weeks ago from cover to cover in a fit of sleeplessness... One thing that always strikes me about Nietzsche is how fast I read him. I am, by nature, a very slow reader: it takes me a fairly long time to wade through a twenty page article. But something about Nietzsche (which I've only found elsewhere in Deleuze and Guattari) makes me read his sentences so rapidly that I almost fail to notice I'm reading half the time. I don't have much to say about this book other than it is always a pleasure to read, and especially so in light of some of his later letters and the fourth book of The Gay Science. It is a book that makes me happy, it makes me smile and it makes me nervous.