Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Standard Ride And Getting On

I have been thinking about turning 45 next month. A lot of that thinking is about living in South Africa where 20-somethings I don't know sometimes call me "Uncle" and the men I call "Uncle" sometimes lecture me on the virtues of finding Mrs. Right and having children.

I don't feel 45. But then again, what should 45 feel and look like?

I thought that growing older would also mean growing up. But I don't think of myself as grown up, except I worry more now than I did when I was 35.

Perhaps I should stop writing here because it is kinda childish for a grown man, right? And what about my ongoing obsession with motorcycles?

Makes me worry.

I am so invested in buying a bike like the one pictured here. Same color too! It is an 08 Kawasaki Z1000 of the standard kind. I rode one this morning.

Just don't know right now if I will be hanging Northern Cape plates on it or Florida plates.

Yeah I said Florida. And no I am not thinking retirement. But I am thinking about leaving. Again.

And soon.

But not before I turn 45 here in the dust-bowl town by the hole.

Onward!

ps. I am going to hate writing this post in the morning. What will the "Uncles" say?

Makes me worry ;)

4 comments:

niteflyer said...

I think living in an era where the net came about kind of makes us the pioneers of the shape it takes. And I think it would be very sad if a relatively free space such as this is were deemed 'fashionable' only for young minds. especially given that the older one gets the more one has to share. Just a thought. Another thought is that i like the red. onward indeed :)

Ridwan said...

Niteflyer thank you so much for your comment.

You are absolutely right about shaping this space. I tend to worry at times but this is not the first time I have felt self-conscious about what is found here.

On occasion I have been 'advised' to take the blog down because it may be harming my career/career ambitions.

I received one of those emails yesterday and I understand, or want to understand, where the 'advice' is coming from.

So I took the post down in part because of my angst about the whole blog.

Then Erica wrote me from South Carolina and asked me why. Said she was disappointed the post was down.

So (part 2) I put it up again :)

We are indeed a community in the project(s) of writing, no matter how small.

And yeah that is a good thing hey.

Thank you for writing here and at your excellent spot.

Peace to you.
Ridwan

niteflyer said...

hmm your context throws fresh light onto the situation.

We are indeed a community in the projects of writingI like the double-meaning of 'projects'. Sometimes writing what we like makes us unpopular. But how empty writing would be if we just did as they liked.

A prominent academic who was ousted from an Ivy league university for collaborating with hip-hoppers on a music project once told me that when this happened he had two choices: to accept their ruling and feel defeated, or not to accept their ruling.

He chose the latter, he said, because that institution was no longer his point of reference. The young people he was working with were. He's now with another Ivy league institution, is still a teacher (no doubt an amazing one), an 'intellectual' and a vociferous proponent of anti-elitest politics and projects.

In short, I'm glad you re-posted this too... "no matter how small."

Ridwan said...

Niteflyer I remember CW's struggle in Boston.

What stood out for me was his insistence to challenge the dominant view of scholarship.

But as you know he carries great weight in the very circles he challenges(d).

It was an important marker at a time when other activist-academics were being denied tenure or simply being fired at US universities.

I think that your point about writing what we believe in is closest to my 'intellectual' being.

I remember a chair of a department I worked for telling me to "tone down" and article I was preparing for a journal because it was too "political" for a mainstream Political Science journal!

I laughed it off but she remembered her advice when the article was published in less than a mainstream journal.

The outcome for her was that my article was less valuable to establishing my academic credentials.

Academia as you know is a strange place of business as Edward Said warned. Academics are in the business of academia whereas the "organic intellectual" must necessarily resist.

This space as you say is therefore valuable, if even in a narrow sense .... though I hardly can ignore that my blog is of Google and its capitalist clout.

But I am not pretending that anything here is revolutionary. I am, nonetheless, saying that what I write here is me.

I am not pretending to write as an academic in the dominant sense.

I write as an alternative production and showing my identity is part of my resistance ... even in times when I am doubtful.

Ok I am saying too much as usual ;)

You be well and warm up there in Joburg ... it is about freezin' here in the town by the hole.

Peace sista,
Ridwan