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2am Musings on Vague connections between valuing intellectual downtime, TV re-runs, feminism, and testing the boundaries of Blog Title Length

March 27, 2012

My computer screen has stared at me all day. Aside from an hour break for the one class I had today, the drive to and from school, and the random breaks to return blood flow to my extremities via getting up to get food from the kitchen or dancing around to Katy Perry’s good songs (because let’s be real, she’s got some pretty bad ones too), I have been in front of my computer all day.

I promise the following thoughts are related, for the most part.

So, as I’ve been practicing web design and trouble-shooting some code (for way longer than I know it takes the seasoned programmer, making me feel pretty pathetic), I have had trusty Friends re-runs going on in the background. At times it was the only thing keeping me from bemoaning the misplaced semi-colon that was ruining everything.

I’ve realized recently that these re-run marathons in the background are my way of telling myself I’m sort-of integrating something relaxing into my life. I’m sure yoga would be better for me but I don’t really have time for that on a regular day. Whatever. But this got me thinking about back in the day…

When I was a kid, I tore through books. I was so taken by the Ender series by OSC that I read the 7 books that were published when I was younger three separate times from start to finish. Three times! I couldn’t even imagine doing that these days. And not just because I don’t have time but because (and it hurts me to admit this) I’m not sure I want to. Somewhere between this whole thing called “growing up”, I lost my desire to read for pleasure. I am halfway through Shadows in Flight, which is the next book in the Ender series. I used to put off everything to finish a new book and now? It’s sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting for me to pick it back up.

What happened?!

This got me thinking of a conversation I recently had with a friend who really needs to go to grad school and theorize. It’s just his calling, you know? He’s got a way of thinking and speaking that you can just tell he needs to be able to just think for a living. Our conversation eventually led to me musing about the potential societal devaluing of intellectual rest and free stimulation. By rest I mean actual rest (not the Friends re-run kind) and by free stimulation I mean free (read: FREE!) exploration of things that you want to think about and talk about and discuss.

When I entered college I was around ¾ of the way finished with working through the personal journals, works, and essays of Albert Camus. For no reason than that I just really liked thinking about the stuff he liked writing about. Now those books are neighbors to Shadows in Flight.

And then all of this culminated in me, tonight, at a very late (early?) hour bringing all of these parcels of thought together to think about what this means for a feminist and for feminism. And all of this writing everything down has led me to forget what that thought even was. But I remember it being somehow related to women being historically (and still) devalued on the basis of our status as “emotional beings” (or for those who see it as a downfall, the “overly emotional being”) and how this could be tied to the oversight and undervaluing of intellectual rest and free exploration as a practice in a society that prides itself on individual, measurable achievement (that is in competition with everyone else, of course).

So for my friend who needs to be somehow employed as a professional thinker, I would tell him that maybe his struggle (in the U.S., at least) is potentially similar to that of the struggle of women to be emotional beings (in whatever capacity or fashion that feels right to them) without being undervalued, diminished, and debased for being as such.

And, you know, if I had more time, I could start reading again, even though it doesn’t get me a grade or count towards a line on my resume or make me more likely to get a job.

General apologies for the difficult to follow stream of consciousness that occurred just now, hopefully the ideas transferred somehow.

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