Post solidarity (?)
There’s enough dissing of cultural studies in the blogosphere to make me want to get therapy. Seriously: if anyone has reason to hate cultural studies, it’s me. It stole my social life. It made me move state twice. It pushes me to work the longest hours. And it’s making me blinder every year. But I don’t blame it. It’s not even a thing. I’d like to know what cultural studies ever promised – as if ‘it’ could, as if ‘it’ has enough coherence in any regional let alone national context to be accountable to any of the charges people persist in levelling at ‘it’ – that makes people so pissed off, aggressive or disappointed.
If expectant mums can have support groups to break the isolation of having a baby, can I start one to deal with being a blogger and writing a book about cultural studies? It could be just like a mothers’ group. We could meet at the local community centre and do stretching exercises and learn how to breathe under pain and stress… we could take walks in the park and sit on benches talking through each tiny trauma that’s developed since we last met which could affect the health of the baby. We could cook meals for each other so that we felt cared for; we could make phone calls in the afternoon to help with the constant doubts. We could even go out together on Friday and Saturday nights so we didn’t feel so pathetic and lonely – and go home kinda earlyish without having to make up excuses about why. We would understand each other, because we would know what the other is going through.
Imagine that. Imagine wanting to empathise with someone. Imagine wanting to hear someone say something positive. Imagine thinking that solidarity in writing and intellectual life and, you know, life generally, might be possible. I do all the time. I wish I didn’t have to. Oh – but maybe it’s why I spend so much time reading cultural studies?