Crap week

Once, at the reception for a lecture given at Roosevelt, I found myself in conversation with a woman short hair and a British accent who was a friend of the guy who had given the lecture. We were both sort of standing around, not talking to anyone particularly, and so we started to talk to each other. I do not remember her name at all, but she seemed nice. At some point I launched into a spiel about how I was interested in farmers markets and so on, and got completely off-track. I kept talking, despite being aware that she had lost interest and I was making very little sense – politeness is a powerful thing – and I remember at one point she made this face – wide eyed, as if in a state of disbelief –  that said “I really can’t believe you’re still talking” while I kept talking. That’s kind of where I feel like I am right now with this blog.

On the one hand, what I want is feedback – I envy all those blogs out there with lots of comments, although I cannot for the life of me figure out how some bloggers keep up with the sheer quantity of words. I do not know what it is I would expect anyone to say, or how anyone saying anything would make me feel better. Sometimes I worry that my students will read this blog, and that that will somehow cause me to no longer be a teacher (i.e. I will get fired for writing inappropriate words in a public place).

Reading Hunter S. Thompson has been inspiring for me – his extremely personal style is very appealing to me because it seems courageous. His style is all at once lucid and utterly corrupted by the world. He’s constantly inebriated, dealing with liars, crooks, and every variety of hypocrite. The performance of corruption is ironic because it feels so honest. William Burroughs’ work often feels the same way. What’s really odd to me is that it reminds me of 19th century Wall Street financier Jay Gould, who was one of the central players in the original Black Friday crash of 1869, in which he and his partner James Fisk attempted to corner the gold market. Gould maintained throughout his life that he was basically an honest person trying to do the right thing (more or less), but was also legendary for operating amidst the fog of lies and innuendo that was (and still is) Wall Street finance.

At the moment, I feel a bit lost, and maybe directionless, especially regarding politics. But I want to keep writing this blog. And I have some ideas for posts coming up to keep me going.


Published by samuelbarbour

Besides writing a blog, I also teach, farm, cook, and play music. I live in the Illinois River Valley with my partner, Molly Breslin, who sometimes posts stuff at

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