What’s with me? Don’t I have any ideas for posts? Actually, I have a great idea! Yesterday I read something by a sociologist that included this passage about her/his research process that I thought was so implausible and conveniently self-serving that the post calling it out practically writes itself. But, for political/niceness reasons, I’m not going to post it. What’s more, I’ve a great idea for a post about whether it’s really more about political reasons or niceness reasons that I’m not posting it, but I can’t post that without worrying that I’m giving away who and what I’m talking about, and if I was going to do that I might as well post the original post that I’m definitely not going to post. So, here I am, mum. Mum!
Problem is, when you have an idea for a post that you can’t write, it has this strange capacity to cognitively crowd out other post ideas. It’s like a brainstone that needs to pass in order for you to blog again.
Besides two other subjects of major recent preoccupation for me have been:
1. The election, mostly regarding my growing dismay about (1) Bill Clinton and (2) how a Clinton(s)-McCain general election is such a bad scenario for Democrats when otherwise Democrats would win easily (see a couple especially interesting takes here and here). But I don’t really feel like writing a political post and can never do so without throwing myself into even more of a snit than whatever snit inspired the post. Besides, it’s not like Internet marketplace for ideas about politics is not already hyperoversaturated.
2. My participation on the graduate admissions committee here. This is already involved a lot of both tension pitting My Inner Meritocrat versus My Inner Diversitarian, and with graduate admissions the issue is not “diversity” merely as polite-academic code for “racial/ethnic minority” but encompasses intellectual and biographical diversity of all conceivable sorts.* Sometimes I’ve had to catch myself and say, “Jeremy, you are not casting a reality TV show here.” But, I definitely do not feel like I’m now at liberty to write more about that. Maybe sometime.**
* At Northwestern, all applicants have an opportunity to write a “Diversity Statement,” about how they would contribute to the diversity of a program, and it seems like there could be a absolutely fascinating paper using as data the diversity statements of white applicants. Does anyone know if something has been done on this?
** Almost always, when I think I might post about something “sometime,” I never do. I think this is because it’s not like I have some preordained block of time for blogging where I think, “What’s next in my queue of post topics?” Instead, ideas for posts come to me more like itches, where they nag and writing the post is like scratching that itch. A “someday” post usually has to independently re-manifest itself as an itch for me to write about it. I don’t know how well this accords with the experience of other bloggers.