Intellectual labor.
Saturday, 04.01.2017 - 4:09 pm.

It's been a productive Saturday. My nephew is out at a film festival so Andrew and I had some time to ourselves in the house. We also went charity-shop shopping (which seems to have become our number one weekend activity), and he helped me turn around the furniture in the studio so it's more comfortable for me to write. I can't explain why but facing one side of the room feels more right than facing the other.

The week was ok but I keep not making progress in my PhD. Meaning, I haven't had participants in three weeks. I try not think about that much but, you know, I should! And more importantly, I should do something to fix that and I don't know what.

The actual PhD aside, life's been nice. I bond with fellow PhD students, some of them I call them my friends. However, there's still this guy that I've mentioned before that is not only ignorant but also rude. He was making the rounds this week after jumping on one of my PhD friend's tongue-in-cheek Facebook post about feminism. He was ranting and bringing up percentages and demanding a huge amount of intellectual labor from my friend to get answers he'd dismiss anyway. He hears patriarchy and he becomes a walking open wound...which is also what prompted him to be rude a few days before. Spitting "so is it X, is it Y, or YOU DON'T KNOW?" is no way to speak to someone who is giving a lecture, even if you dislike their research subject.

It's awful that sometimes I find him sneaking into my train of thoughts, all the stupid shit he says and the answers he should hear. He gets my gurgling/acid reflux going, I just see him, even just his name on Facebook, and my blood boils and I want to get away from him. He can be nice but usually he's just whiny, condescending, snarky and angry at everything, and he will mock you for just about anything you do or think. It's easy to see through that, he's very weak and insecure, but usually we (those who deal with him) try to reason with him. Which is a mistake.

One of these days I was having lunch with some fellow students, in the kitchen of the PhD floor. We were actually discussing this thing of people demanding intellectual labor from you, "you educate me, prove me wrong but I won't listen to you". Right then he came in. He joined us to eat his lunch with us, and we all tacitly wrapped up the discussion in vague terms, stuck around for a few minutes, and left. It was late for us, anyway, we'd been in the kitchen for a while and had to get back to work. But I loved how everyone just knew that the best tactic is not to cater to this guy. I've had enjoyable conversations with him but ultimately he brings up a "sensitive topic" (gender, migration and refugees, qualitative research, race), and confuses the gaps of his knowledge with the gaps of reality. And then you deal with White Man Hurt Feelings (oooh, boy, the ranting I'd get from him if I told him that, I am discriminating and systematically oppressing him!). No, thanks.

Shit, instead of complaining about this guy, I should get back to working on my AF story. I'm revising the draft, a PRINTED draft. Call it the big leagues. I'm correcting a few things here and there but, fuck, I think it's a damn good story. I think I write well. I think those guys, the characters, are doing an awesome job. I hope the world thinks the same some day. I'm not holding my breath, if my written work so far in life is any indication, but I do hope so.


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