What I Hated the Least Today 121/365: Labour May Day

I love you forever. Duh.
I love you forever. Duh.

I celebrated Labour Day by labouring on my research paper, which I hope to publish in an obscure academic journal. The deadline for submissions was 1 May, and I started writing on 30 April, deploying the classic tactics of motivation through pressure.

My paper turned out somewhat differently than what I promised in the pre-approved abstract. In fact, I disproved what my abstract implied that I would prove. Since we live in the age of (post)-postmodernism, it is to be expected that writers-authors will contradict themselves—which probably does not apply to writers-researchers, but I may just as well start working on introducing this approach.

My paper was characteristically postmodern also in that it concluded rather abruptly, without concluding anything, at the point when I reached the required word count. As I mentioned though, I’m hoping to publish in an obscure journal (also, I exaggerate for humorous effect). I did as well as I could, considering that not only am I not getting paid for my effort but I am actually paying to be published (administrative costs, they call it). Welcome to academia.

The consolation prize is that I do what I want. I write papers that nobody reads about books that nobody reads. This sounds depressing but it’s quite enjoyable. It’s much more pleasant than being at school and being forced to learn by heart romantic poetry for the May Day. Such as possibly the most horrible creation of this genre, Karel Hynek Macha’s notorious “May” poem (the first few stanzas I can still recite by heart—and cringe while doing so).

17 thoughts on “What I Hated the Least Today 121/365: Labour May Day

    1. I’m too cynical to haphazard talking about love, but I do think it ludicrousto engrave I LOVE YOU FOREVER in a poor innocent tree, which will retain the inscription long after the person who made it breaks up with the person for whom he did it. I have the curious skill of feeling under pressure even when I write something that I know no one will read – such as my dissertation. I was hugely surprised when it turned out that my opponent actually read at least parts of it.

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      1. I am guilty of etching my undying love for Kim into a tree trunk way back in 1983… I’m sure the cuts have long vanished as has Kim and I. Guilty as charged.

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  1. So you know the first two stanzas of that May poem…my question is WHY?
    So writing for journals which no one will read about books no one will read I guess is a means to an end? Being published always looks good on your CV I think…..I could list a few myself from 1973…lol….I doubt you were born then……then again I should be careful what I say as i am not studied in schools and universities as far as I know, though a play I wrote was used in a local Uni as a workshop piece, does that count?

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    1. I’m not sure why exactly schoolchildren are required to learn poetry by heart – presumably so that they could be traumatised forever. I did learn with some enjoyment some nasty poems – social realist poems and poems like Baudelaire’s “Corpse”. I can recite it at parties to revive the mood. Ha.

      Yes, academia is a means to an end. You’re surely not missing out anything by not partaking in this nonsense. And creative writing is a whole different thing, which certainly counts, but in a different way, I assume… You surely have a larger audience than me.

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      1. I only remember the title of one poem we were told we MUST know in primary school….Daffodils by Walter De La Mare……one of the most boring poems ever written. I did know a man who could recite the entire ‘Man From Snowy River’ a classic Australian poem, when drunk at a party. Hope today is a better day for you in academia land…..

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        1. That’s exactly my point. I’m not against learning poetry by heart per se, but when you have some sentimental poem forced on you that you don’t really like, it’s not a pleasant act of learning. Cool to hear that reciting poems while drunk is actually a thing 🙂

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          1. Haha 😀 I was a popular reciter at parties because I could recite Goethe in the original German. Remnants of my German classes. I don’t think I slurred the words even.

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    1. You’d be perfect for academia! But I wouldn’t recommend anyone entering it. Of course, I exaggerated a little, the book I wrote about is read by some, though few; and my article will likely by skimmed by the reviewer and the editor before publication, if it gets published. It is a curious kind of activity. Pointless in many ways, but also strangely satisfactory.

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