I am a lawyer and a Phd candidate in Political Theory at the University of Florida. First off, I will use this place to host info about classes I am teaching (syllabi, assignments, etc). This is so that most people will be able to have up-to-date info. I might also keep academic works-in-progress here, as well as a current CV.
That being said, I write--academically and informally--about culture and politics. Stick around if you like left-ward slanted politics, discussions about academia, indie-rock, genre and subculture films, pomo literature, comic books, continental political philosophy, and/or TV shows like Lost, Buffy (RIP), The Office, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire (RIP), or Twin Peaks (RIP). I might also write about my family, my house, restaurants and shops I have enjoyed, the little hamlet of Gainesville, and/or how someone SERIOUSLY annoyed me today. But mostly politics, art, and culture. Enjoy and give me feedback.
One of our great contemporary authors committed suicide. David Foster Wallace killed himself.
I feel bad because I had often mentioned that I did not think Wallace was as good as his reputation; I thought Zadie Smith or Denis Lehane or Norman Rush or Philip Roth were better. But Wallace's "Infinite Jest" is clearly a modern masterpiece. This is a sad day.
This is simply a litany of things I have really enjoyed lately.
"On Beauty" - by Zadie Smith
Smith's book is one of the best I have read in the last year or so. It is simply a hilarious spoof of the identity politics, academics, liberals, conservatives, rappers, poets, and all kind of people. It is a wonderful read from the very first page.
"Friday Night Lights" - Season One
This show has been very entertaining in its somewhat bleak portrayal of small town America and how it clings to high school sports as a source of meaning. I do not think it is "'The Wire' about small-town Texas" as some people have written. In fact, I do not even think it nails high school as authentically as "Freaks and Geeks." That being said, it is similar to "The Wire" in that it attempts to show the way the 'upper' and 'lower' echelons of society have a symbiotic relationship. Overall, I enjoyed the season, especially the episode "I Think We Should Have Sex." Also, the coach and his wife are a nice realistic portrayal of the complications of a marriage between people in their 30s and 40s. Plus, the two of them are just lovely:
Just a wonderful dark comedy. To say more would be to give it away. Just rent it.
A grand P.I. detective novel. Lehane offers the standard "gotcha" moments of noir novels, but also is able to address issues of corruption and race-relations in Boston. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro are Lehane's protagonists/detetives, and they have a great flirtatious-but-frustrating relationship. Lehane's work is a fun, and intelligent, read. (Lehane wrote several episodes of The Wire because David Simon liked his dark and complex style.)
Evan Longoria and the first-place Tampa Bay Rays
My three favorite CDs of the year so far:
A few more theoretical works that have expanded my mind in the last few months: