Worlds smallest violin

Next Friday (as of 23/02/2020) I will be having a class where I am part of a group discussion where we all thrash out what our research projects might be for the next term. This is the second research project I’ve undertaken in this particular field, the first being a group project investigating sound pollution. This will be my first project based on my specific research interests. And if you can’t tell by my rambling introduction, I’m bricking it a little bit. The thing that undermines my work during projects like this is my lack of specific focus. I want to try and make sure my work is embedded and contextual. I want to approach any project with the understanding that we are inexorably enmeshed in a multitude of balls of wool, tangled in another beings hair and that we are complicit and explicitly involved all the time, everywhen. But this makes it baggy and superficial (and badly researched).

It’s pretty overwhelming I have to say. I had an idea recently for an imagined speculative app which somehow calculates what your key cause would be for that day, for the maximum amount of self masturbatory aggrandising smugshittyness. It would be a systems based solution for the ultimate first world problem – what to care about more. Say it’s a sunny spring Tuesday – that’s a day for caring about the rights of sex workers – a rainy spring Tuesday might be a day to reflect on the problem of overfishing, a moody Thursday in Autumn is an FGM day for sure. This feels macabre and funny – at least to me – not in that I feel that any of these specific causes are funny or trivial, the complete opposite. It’s more of my own stress and guilt for not being a more active participant in alleviating the suffering that I am complicit in by being alive, now. For instance, I just looked up how much Dona Harraway: Story Telling For Earthly Survival (DVD) is on Amazon – I mean what the fuck me. It’s available on there for 20 euros but at what cost?

Would this be the ultimate ‘woe is me’ act – to remove the burden of choice from someone who has no existential threat to their existence (bar the big ones we are all ignoring (nukes etc)). Or – would it be really subversive and funny? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ll talk to some people and see what that say. I should probably talk to some critters too.

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