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Seated beside a dark, dark, dark roast of spectacular warmth I find myself awash in a reflective calm. And in such a position of resplendent warmth and contemplation comes the temptation to share something meaningful with this blog. A blog that will flash in a brief and brilliant period of existence and flicker away at the semester’s end—after accomplishing its brief stint as “replacement for email cc’d to TA’s”. A stinging witticism that may shed light on the precarious and pernicious state of seniority which I find myself in—yet exactly what I want to talk about.

Why does this “seniority” rear up in protest against the sad ephemeral nature of this blog? It is because, like Roy Batty in “Blade Runner”, I want my time here to have a life beyond itself. My simile is not completely inappropriate: Replicants are only given 4 years and so was I. And like them, when work and life become labour instead of worship the product is grief. In many classes the fruits of my labour were quickly dropped like a disinterested child leaving its toy (I stole that one from Rilke). And in these moments feeling of waste and disappointment on my part is palpable.

Perhaps in order be good citizens and informed actors the best I can do at this current moment is inherit the language of those more deeply steeped in the discourse and politics of their theory worlds. Their mouthpiece is a seeming relief from ideology—that all encompassing Hydra multiplies every time you think it has been defeated. But inhabit their mania for a little while and the reign of symbolic misery may overcome you. Learn a simple parlour trick I discovered. The most crushing invalidation of any post-modern argument is outing is as another perspectivist frame. It is a common trick that must be a part of every student’s toolkit: exposing a critique of ideology as ideology.

When we identify the perfidious ideological underbelly of an argument, the writer may be circumscribed, shelved, and mastered as yet another agenda operative among many. This allows the reader to remain sovereign over any contrarian or sympathetic biases that may contaminate their retort, while simultaneously granting the appearance that they have “won” over the text.

The history of this method dates back to the 19th century, when it was popularised by Nietzsche—a writer who created a superlatively catastrophic philosophic mess, to which his only answer was the paltry fiction of “Ubermensche”. The laudable success of Nietzsche’s diagnosis of Western thought, when matched with the laughable failure of his cure, has thus cemented a faith in deconstruction and a phobia of structuralism that rules to this day.

Yet all these backflips and frontflips are quite strange, and at no point in this contested space does epistemological uncertainly leave us. Greek and Hindu mythology both describe four ages, but we have miraculously stumbled upon a fifth, the “Age of Anxiety”, which denies us redemption or apocalypse. But what is good about anxiety is that it is a sixth sense. Let this anxiety pilot you through every quandary. The wish to be well is a sort of knowledge too, but one that gestures towards quietism—no more ages.