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Of academia and why Sam shouldn't wear chinos. - Tactical Ninja

Jul. 13th, 2012

10:21 am - Of academia and why Sam shouldn't wear chinos.

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Note to self: next time you decide to make a dress, stop when you start to get tired of it and go back later. Otherwise it will lead to much unpicking. Of overlocking. Pay attention, self. You hate unpicking overlocking.

Also, I can do a bridge! A bridge looks like this:



Actually, I'm not sure it looks like that when I do it because I go up on my toes, but that's not the point. The point is, I haven't done one of these since I was about 10, and my first few attempts were a bit abortive, but now I can do it and stay there for 30 whole seconds before I collapse in a heap. I see this as progress!

Meanwhile, today I was going to have a moan about course coordinators who don't put the course info up on Blackboard before the course starts, but instead I'm going to praise the ones that do. Or more specifically, the ones that did, ie my one. It's a bit weird because the discussion board still has all the questions from the last lot of students on it, but I checked and the assessment details are up to date: 2 x 2000 word essays and an exam. So I guess no primary research for me this time round, which is probably a good thing. One essay is a comparative exploration of some dude called Young vs Durkheim in the context of competing criminological theories, the other is answering one of 13 questions (each about a specific theory). So, no drugs for me this time round either.

Ooh, here's a nice one though:

What theoretical assumptions does White* make when he says ".. the adequate study of environmental harm must proceed from sustained analysis of the basic institutions and structures of contemporary capitalism."

But yeah. Theoretical paper is theoretical. Me, I likes me some practical applications, and with these theoretical papers the only way I can get that is through endless discussion. ;-/ So new folks, please prepare yourself for at least one post a week of me wanking about criminological theory, until the end of October when I will be all "Thinking? I don't need no stinking thought! I plan to not think for at least the next six months."

Oh, and the lecturer recommends reading four chapters of the (incredibly dry) textbook from the prerequisite course as preparation for the first lecture. Naturally, I'll do this. Then I will go flagellate myself with a leather thong while kneeling on broken glass because that will be more fun. Unless you can think of other suitable displacement activities the equal of reading four textbook chapters in one go?

Can someone remind me again why it was that I started doing this?

* No idea who this is but since when has that ever stopped me?

The other night I had a dream that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (of Supernatural SamnDean fame) came to our Christmas woolshed barbeque. They were just visiting, not chasing ghosts, and Mr Padalecki insisted on wearing those saggy-crutched short chinos that are getting popular again and I was all "NO JARED NOOOOOooooo!" because for some reason it is really important to me, but to no avail. And now I will never view Supernatural quite the same again.

Comments:

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From:myrrhmade
Date:July 12th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
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I used to be able to do that, but I doubt I can now. I always wanted to be able to follow with a back hand walk over, but I never had the talent to do it!
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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 10:38 pm (UTC)
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I wasn't able to do backhand walkovers even as a kid, so if I pull that off you can guarantee I'll be shouting it from the rooftops!

(and it'll probably be more from brute force and determination than any talent)

I watch the other circus people doing all these things as if they're easy, and it's starting to dawn on me that it's just like shearing sheep - yes it looks easy, that's because I spent 20 years practicing! *sigh*
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From:clashfan
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)

wanking about criminological theory

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I will repeat wot I said a few years ago, closer to your start on this journey through sociology, criminology, and all:

Lombroso was a cock.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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This oft-repeated phrase is one of my mantras for getting through the tough times. I expect it'll be an intrinsic part of this course too.
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From:clashfan
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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Really? I'm . . . oddly flattered.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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Seriously. It's pithy, short, easy to remember, and importantly, it's true. And thanks to your flippant four-word takedown of Lombroso, I've never had any trouble remembering the basics of positivist criminology.

Which is one of the reasons I wank about theory on my blog. Because of people like you. ;-)
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From:pombagira
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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oh oh and Durkheim was over prosaic,easily distracted and has a big beard!!

O.O

*beams*
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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:46 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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I think of Durkheim as the father of all sociological theory ever, and thus he gets the biggest beard in my head. Also, he gets the title of driest writer, and I've avoided reading him where possible in favour of more accessible reiterations of his work.

I am hoping to be able to do the same in this course. Whenever I see the name Durkheim, I think "Here be really boring old dragons."
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From:pombagira
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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yeah he was a boring old dragon, although i have to say reading his stuff in the voice of Eddy Izzard was helpful!!

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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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I will keep that in mind! ;-D
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From:pombagira
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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it aways helps to be dressed in dragg!!

*Twirls about*
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From:richdrich
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:47 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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no drugs for me

I'm impressed you can handle Durkheim while undrugged.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)

Re: wanking about criminological theory

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Durkheim is a soporific narcotic that has been known to induce coma-like states, especially among the very young and those with psychological vulnerabilities. While potentially dangerous, the nature of ingestion makes it impossible to indulge in Durkheim while operating heavy machinery. Its effects can be countered through the use of caffeine or other stimulants.

If Durkheim were new on the scene, it would have been classified as having no medical purpose and substantial potential for abuse. However, it remains unclassified having become socially acceptable and encouraged through institutions prior to the advent of the current classification system.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
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Well I recall hearing a story about how the Mongrel Mob leased a floor of an office building in Auckland and started using it for *insert whatever they do here*, which made everyone else move out. Then they bought the building for cheap.

I've no idea if this is true but if it is, it suggests they are more organised than one might assume om face value.

My personal experiences of brushing the edge of that scene would bear out the above theory, just saying.

More after I've read the article.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:July 13th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
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This morning walking to work I start to think at how criminalising drug use in rave culture is the intentional suppression of minority culture by the majority (or rather, by an authority elected by the democratic majority).

Yet for many minority cultures, we talk about preserving them. Preserving their beliefs, their languages, traditions and rituals.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 01:46 am (UTC)
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The Illicit Leisure study and normalisation theory take this a step further by pointing out all the ways in which mainstream nightlife has appropriated rave culture to increase its own saleability.

Interesting reading, if you can get over the horrendousness of the academickifying of rave culture.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
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That'll be the one, and yes it is accurate. Normalisation theory has its critics but I suspect it'll come in handy for me in a few years' time when I try to justify my thesis.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 01:43 am (UTC)
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In my travels around the construction of ecstasy last semester, I came across several articles on this very topic. If you're interested, I'll dig them out.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 02:07 am (UTC)
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I should also point out that governments have long associated use of a particular drug with specific minorities that they are currently attempting to marginalise - opium/the Chinese, crack/urban blacks in the US, marijuana/Mexicans.

I'm not sure what happened with ecstasy/rave culture is the same sort of thing in terms of impacts on the groups in society, but I think that the idea behind it (we don't agree with these people's values so we must other them) comes from pretty much exactly the same mentality.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
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OK briefly, what I gleaned from that is that Mafia-type crime orgs arise out of the kind of political situation that creates the opportunity for their existence - instability, poor policiing, corruptible government.. it's notable that many of them seem to have come about during periods of increasing privatisation.

NZ has traditionally had a relatively non-corrupt government, a reasonably effective police force, and a somewhat equal society (in the grand scheme of things our stratification is pretty minor). So the large crime orgs didn't really flourish.

Our gangs, I suspect arose mostly from symbol-sharing - it's notable that Black Power was one of the first and the division on ethnic lines follows that writer's theory. However, since the 80s NZ's had increasing inequality and from my understanding, some of our larger gangs have moved into various forms of organised crime.

I think that because of our small size (small market), isolation and relative stability, the nature of this is likely very different from in large or volatile countries with easy smuggling borders. I think also that there is probably a level of cooperation between those doing things like smuggling people and drug precursors, and those fencing stolen property.

I think that as inequality increases in NZ, gang involvement in crime-org activity is likely to escalate (as in, become more high-level, rackety type stuff), and it wouldn't surprise me to find that in higher levels of such organisations, all gangs become one gang. NZ seems too small for such things to work otherwise - and as you said, there doesn't seem to be enough bloodshed for there to be rivalry at the top.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 13th, 2012 12:28 am (UTC)
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That is awesome and I hope your kids were suitably amused. It's neat to find out you can do something you weren't sure about, eh?
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From:damnitnicole
Date:July 13th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
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I can't do a bridge, but I successfully flipped my dog today without falling. On both sides, even!
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From:elven_ranger
Date:July 13th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
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I used to be able to do it, I havent tried for a while...
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