Monday, January 14, 2008


Dear Colleagues Across the Curriculum
& Always For the Sake of Argument,

Still another way to frame the practice of

(as differentiated from & opposed to its
use/abuse as mere description-after-the-fact
looking backwards at paradigmatic shifts
and political alignments, opposition, conflict,
contest from the stand point of the Monday
Morning Quarterback, pundit, historian, news
analyst, critic, Howard-Cosel-commentator,
sports fan, movie-goer, blog-meister, retro-
spective spectator & red-carpet fashion critic
not actually in game or play but looking on)

…is this triad here:

Z) Ways we Talk about Hap
Y) Ways we TALK about
Ways we Talk about Hap

I sometimes urge my students:

be a phenomenologist !

See if you can look-at-what-we’re-doing-here,
our school-room stuff & college-as-a-whole
NOT just in the terms & determinations of the
Ways we Talk about What We’re Doing…

(Engteacher talk, Physicsteachertalk,
Sociologictalk, administratortalk,
recruiting&admissionstalk, etc—all
these ways-of-talking: common sense
ways and then of course in courses
the expertise talk of discipline and

But: (I was going to say), look in terms of

What’s Actually HAP hap-ening

—what’s going on at any be-here-now moment
not included in the terms and terminologies of
common sense, discipline, and tradition.

But of course those


terms don’t exist. Un-hap-ily.

All we got to talk with are the ways we talk
about what we got. And sometimes (and this
is dia-lectical): we might talk about the ways
we’re talking but that’s a strain & awkwardness,
potentially demoralizing—like asking someone
in the middle of his lecture: well, Dr. K. what
do you MEAN by the term “citizen”? Or—more
subversive maybe: by the term “meaning” which
always generates groans and impatience among
the conscientious.

You know what I mean.
We practice dialectic all the time,
not even calling it that: anytime we
shift Talk Going On from it’s instrumental
getRdone & cover-ground purpose to what…?
what the..? what the hell….? calling us out
on our terms and images, hidden assumptions
and controlling metaphors, threatening to start
it all up again from old scratch, reinventing
wheels, round and round and don’t seem to be
going any where any more—the dialectical turn:
BB Wolf, damnit, slouching towards Bethlehem,
rough beast, time come round again.


HAP: infinite resource, way beyond my impoverished
pathological purposeful always fallacious
representational systems &
substance use & abuse. .

Any one true to his idiocy can tap into IT: — one’s
original relationship to the universe as Whitman
called it.

But: whether & how IT gets translated into the
Common Sense (Ways we Talk about Hap),
there’s the rub. Call it liberal art.

Talking about the Ways We Talk: how else crack
thru the system sustainable terms & determinations
of common sense, discipline, & tradition?
I’m just asking.

The practice of dialectic: sustaining a distinction
between game-going-on-in-process versus
(not to be conflated, collapsed. or confused with)
commentary on its completed patterns now
seemingly perfectly clear because all done;

It’s a difference between conservatory values and
academy: the ludic and the illusory:
a difference between in-play
on the one hand &
not-in-play on
the other.

Clap & Clap or just clap.

Walking on 3 Legs

Me: phenomenologist-wanna-be trying to come to my
own idiotic terms with what’s actually HAP hap-ening
in our occupational pre-occupational business rather
than merely always using/abusing the Ways we Talk
about IT.

Naïve surrealism, I guess.
Embarrassing. Behind bars:
a Fool’s Rush Inn—trying to
make virtue, service project,
good citizenship & a silk purse
out of my ignore-ance &
attention deficient spam.

xxxooo, Sam

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