04 June 2008


This blog began both as a form of travelling and as a way to negotiate our own travelling from one continent to another. Once that period of transition seemed to have come to an end, i.e. as we made a home here, I found myself slowing down in the blog department. I felt too out of context to say much about American culture and politics (after all, I now spell travelling with two 'l's). For a while I was able to comment on both British and Welsh culture as an outsider, sending missives back to the homeland. But that phase passed as I felt less like an outsider here, and the 'homeland' felt less like home. Yet (on some other hand) I didn't think I had a readership here that would want to hear my thoughts on the collapse of New Labour, the election of Boris, the role of Plaid Cymru, the promise of Compass, etc. And thus I didn't say a lot.

Now that another transition is about to start, I find myself with even less to say. I don't think I'll have any revelations about America for my American readers. Maybe I should promote the blog and widely circulate the web address to all my friends and colleagues over here - then I could tell them all about the truly insane land called America. No, if they want to know about America they can just turn on their television, open their Macbooks, pick up a newspaper. This is the other thing that's odd about living in the UK: America doesn't go away; it's hardly even distant; it's front and centre. Turn on BBC24 while eating lunch earlier this week and what do you see: breaking headlines, crane collapses in Manhattan. The US primaries have a central story on BBC and Guardian websites every single day. Hell, American culture and politics are what we UK academics write about, and then publish in Australian journals!

I suspect that my US culture shock will bring out something in me to write about. Obama is still inspiring, but I fear that putting that in to words will make it disappear. But if all else fails, I can talk about all the cool new technology I plan to buy in the states: iPhones, Plasmas, and MINIs (oh my). And if I get really desperate I'm going to turn to Philosophy: this Meillassoux guy is either a great sophist, or he's got something serious and radical to say - but I'll need help from TG on that 'transfinite' in order to understand it.


Louis Althusser said...

Don't sweat it:

a) the kind of thing that is happening around Obama could not ever happen in Wales or the UK. Never. British people do not whoop about Politics. Be proud of the Republic.

b) Since nobody in the US knows anything about what goes on beneath the surface of UK politics you can reinvent yourself as a Brit.Pol. specialist and get funded research trips back.

In between is a good place to be.

tenaciousmcd said...

Fro, I always miss hearing your distinctive voice when you take blog hiatuses. Here's hoping you find something to write about. You may sometimes bore yourself, but you won't bore us.

BTW, welcome back to the States, just in time for Obamapalooza.