Saturday, 11 August 2007

Disconnection of Emotional and Intellectual Self

Le grand précieux

Lately I've been considering how I approach topics I cross in my ongoing 'academic' research. Last year during my film theory class, my much respected Greek visiting lecturer noted that I had a very 'romantically emotional' approach to deconstructing media we were given to analyse -- it was apparently an amusing notion to him and, subsequently my class mates, that my responses were heavily based on feelings I harboured towards the subjects at hand. Apparently I spoke in abstract prose rather than analytic or rational terms, I suppose. I didn't think much about it at the time, but as the new academic year approaches I've been reconsidering what that means.

I like to consider myself to be a thoughtful, rational person -- I like to consider the different ways of approaching subjects at hand. I know how I feel about topics personally and like to consider why I feel the way I do -- but with that, I also typically take the time to put myself in another persons perspective, as it were, and toy with the other vantage points to consider any given topic. Circumstances which alter views on things always enthrals me - different situations, possibilities, intentions on words...

Because I had never been sent to any traditional educational institutions until I enrolled in University, I have never had the opportunity to join a debate team. Oh how that saddens me at times! As I know it'd be an activity I could very well flourish within - having the opportunity to analyse a proposition and argue its points, be it for or against, regardless of the topic and how I personally felt about it. Certainly in my own views, I would be be labelled a liberal -- I am a democratic socialist who believes strongly (for the time being, HAH) in the pseudo-libertarian approach to self governing factions deciding on their own fates socially and politically. Pro-choice, anti-war-for-profit, ecologically-aware, marginally anti-capitalist fiscally...

Yet I am prone, as my stepfather so kindly pointed out earlier, to going wildly off topic. Or at lest digressing widely before reaching my main point.

Regardless of my political/social views, I can disconnect myself from them in sake of conversation and argument. Why? It's fucking fun!

But in an academic setting, when asked to discuss or analyse topics impromptu, I speak from the heart -- and I am aware now that on occasion, my passionate (always passionate) rants, excuse me!, deliverance of personal ideation can, or may be, viewed as horribly sophomoric. I really like how... When I saw this I felt... I love the part... -- how can that at all be considered objective? Is it even a bad thing that when I take to something, I take to it passionately -- or does that limit me to one viewpoint that is without exterior reference to keep things 'in check' as it were? I know one thing; being emotionally involved with the analysis of things heavily undermines an audiences ability to take what you say seriously - instead you come off as; A) like one of those religious preachers who refuse Science for pure faith, B) an airy fairy self involved vacuum-inhabiting poetry student from Wellesley College who refuses to read poetry that doesn't emotionally validate their life.

There is another aspect of this heart-felt analysis I do which irks me incessantly -- when I do not like a person/subject, I mean personally do not like them/it for whatever reason, it dramatically effects the way I approach their/the subject in discussion. This goes as far, in one example, as my creation an entirely factitious doctrine of why painting as an art form - abstract in particular - was a dead medium whose only subscribers would be economically secure idealists who overly romanticised a dead school of art purely to reside within its comfortably established boundaries and, thus, remove themselves from the daunting task of having to create a new and thus risky aesthetic which could potentially alienate them from their market.

Me? Asshole. Because, fuck, I like painters - both dead and contemporary. I just didn't personally like this one painter and wanted to plant a seed of doubt in regards to their abilities. Because I am, yes, an asshole.

See what happens when you can't engage in a debate club?

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