Thursday, October 05, 2006

Judy and the Beach

According to my little Sitemeter widget, which tracks visitors to my blog, readership has blossomed to a whopping 33 unique visitors a day. Why is this? Is it the trenchant commentary on Beethoven, Kandinsky, and the perils of British horse farms? No, 90% of the visitors to my blog come here, apparently, by googling the phrase"What does Fergie's song London Bridge mean?", whereupon they are directed to my epic exegesis of said song, which unfortunately comes to no solid conclusions. Sorry kids. That, and a bunch of people doing image searches for Boston terriers are being directed here, for no reason I can fathom. Pablo does indeed look like a Boston terrier, but no pictures of Boston terriers are to be found here. Just one slightly loopy looking cat.

Anyways, today I tried to achieve the perfect day for an academic living in Los Angeles. That is, I attempted to combine, in one day, a trip to the beach, and a lecture by Judith Butler. The beach went great--we went to Will Rogers, and spent a happy two hours splashing around. Unfortunately, the equally important Judith Butler aspect of the day was unsuccessful, as the the lecture hall was so full we couldn't even get near the door. Apparently, the entire world is dying to hear Judy speak about "Sexual Politics, Torture, and the Secular." I did get up on my tip-toes and actually saw Butler (greyer hair than I expected), so I can at least now say that I've seen her. My friend who arrived earlier and made it inside the hall reported that the talk was great, even humorous. So I'm actually quite sorry to have missed it, especially given how awesome her recent work has been. Incidentally, did you know that Butler's first teaching job was at my alma mater? Forward-thinking institution that it was at the time, Wesleyan didn't think it prudent to offer the future Smartest Academic of the World a permanent position. But for a brief shining moment in the mid-eighties, it was possible to take her course "Philosophy of Sex" concurrently with Henry Abelove's course "History of Sex," with frequent campus visits from then-unknown Eve Sedgwick, who was up at UMass-Amherst adjuncting and finishing Between Men. My non-queer studies readers might not appreciate what that all means, but trust me--man, that would have been cool.

Finally, this evening, a trip to the theater. It's Mary's birthday in a week, so her mother got us tickets to see the LA production of Doubt as an early present (Thanks, Phoebe! Great seats!). I will let my more eloquent and theatrically-inclined roommate review the play when she goes to see it next week, but we both thought it was really terrific. Crisp and intense.

Enough for now. I've been a bad TA recently, so I need to go do the reading that I've been telling my kids to do. E.T.A. Hoffman on why Beethoven is his boyfriend. Tomorrow we're doing Ludwig's Piano Concerto No. 5, the "Emperor." Ironic footnote? I first performed this work when I was a last chair violist with the Oakland Youth Orchestra, circa 1996. The soloist was a young pianist in the area, who later went on to Juilliard, and is now... a classmate and friend of mine! Small world.

No comments: