At the outset of a new year, I finally return to blogging, cataloging a selection of my thoughts, in whatever form, and present them at time of cultural, social, and political turmoil. Perhaps describing, and understanding, this tumultuous social and political environment will be the ultimate guiding theme of this blog: my academic interests concern agonistic political conflict, and it's uneasy to separate my life as a graduate student of political science and my actual life outside the classroom. Perhaps this academic lens muddies things a bit. Maybe it's an advantage.
Through this blog I will attempt to navigate those conflicts, in there various forms, across various spaces. Politics will always be present here, in all of its forms and all of its moods. But I could also, in these dark times, write about how I can find comfort in my academic work, how a new album makes me feel, how my latest viewing of The Empire Strikes Back revealed something I hadn’t noticed previously, or what I thought about during a long, meditative bus ride to my barber in East Los Angeles — all of these moments, the political, social, racial, and cultural conflicts they all speak to, the joy and pain they describe, and their imprint on how I view the world, will find their way here, provided I find the words.
And there are words.
This might be me writing my way out of these conflicts, or feeling my way through them, minimizing the noise and the discord and making my own way to some kind of understanding, while still fully realizing that even this, for now, may be too optimistic. Still, there are many paths worth traveling to explore these themes and navigating these conflicts. The sheer variety of choice, the amount to talk about, overwhelms… so many places to begin the line of inquiry — where does one start?
This had been, for a while, difficult for me to answer. But if Baldwin is right, and we indeed do write to change the world, to alter how people see and interact with the world around them, then, perhaps, any place will do as a place to start.
So then, for now, let us begin.