Monday, 3 July 2006

Forbidding mural in Eaglemont

Down at the shops. It looks all right from a distance, see:



It represents the very same street and shops, and surrounding fields as they used to be back in the olden days of yesteryear (circa The Sullivans.) But when you get up close you see the mural painter got a bit carried away with the verisimilitude and/or the general exclusivity vibe of Eaglemont, and a most pungent vibe it is too.



I freely admit this is not a patch on the magnificent Alice Springs supermarket window display Elsewhere posted a picture of today, but I still don't see the necessity for including such a thing in your friendly local shopper-enticing mural.

In much the same way, I have just now figured out what it is that worries me about much of the commentary I've seen on the subject of the putative scholarly credibility of academics' blogs. (Yes, prompted by the article in The Age.) There are three worrying things, actually. The main one is that boosters of "academic blogging" almost always try to define it by denigrating nonacademic blogging. That's a bit insulting to nonacademic blogs and bloggers, isn't it? (Yes.) Then there are a couple of question marks over whether academics ought to have blogs at all, as if (A) keeping a blog was a bit shady like running a sly grog shop or a two-up game & academics should keep themselves as nice as Mrs Caesar, and, more insidiously from my perspective, as if (B) academics have no business thinking or writing about anything that's not directly to do with their paid jobs and all their waking conscious hours belong by rights to TEH UNIVERSITY.

Just in case you are worrying that I've been away because of freaking out over not spending my whole life on teh university, that is not the reason - actually I haven't had time to go on the internet (a fine distinction there) because of school work and also because of a quick visit to Sydney to see my family and Dorian's (although that implies separate compartments when the truth is that after all this time we do share our relatives.) Basil took care of himself and guarded the house for three whole nights, what a bloody legend. He was pleased to see us when we got home. One of the things I worked on last week was an essay on Shakespeare which is going into a book on the subject of tragedy. Maybe later in the week I will tell you more about that - it's more or less interesting, I promise.

14 comments:

Ben.H said...

Crikey! How big do those Library Thing tags get? I mean, "war" is so big it doesn't fit on my screen. I know this is irrelevant to what you posted, but holy cow that's a big tag.

Lucy Tartan said...

I'm not sure what would be relevant to what I posted Ben.

Zoe said...

Thanks for that link to the Age. Fingers crossed an article about my work's research blog will be in The Australian's Higher Education supplement tomorrow (and the Age article gives me an idea of why it might be getting a run a bit earlier than we thought).

PS - can't believe JustJames had no comment on blogging! Maybe he was writing a job application or something.

Ampersand Duck said...

Obviously the mural painter has a lot of respect for VR's signage. Maybe they used to be a graffiti artist in their youth? Had a few run-ins with Vic Rail? ;)

elsewhere said...

Cheers!

Blogging -- all in the family, hey?

I haven't really thought of this before, but I guess that by virtue of my current job, I am an academic blogger. My boss knows that I blog, tho he doesn't know where the site is and doesn't show much interest otherwise -- it's not a real publication, after all.

Seriously, I've wondered if a rise in academic blogging might actually lower the quality of the blogosphere. Some blogs by academics -- like Bitch PhD's and that of your good self -- are faskinating, but others I've checked out (not mentioning any names) are dead boring, a bit like reading an academic noticeboard or a tutorial aid. Some are marred by that over-earnest quality that infects po-mo cult studs depts -- 'I'd better foreground my critique of Deleuze so that people will know I'm in the right kind of person', etc etc. And if I was in one of those po-mo cult studs depts, I'd find it very hard not to be always looking over my shoulder as a blogger, trying to say the 'right thing' because that kind of academic life is so status-driven and all about being seen to espouse the 'right' opinions or at least a very clever critique of them. I'd find it hard as a blogger to write the silly stuff, even in the name of cult studs, and writing the silly stuff, showing a bit of flair and being a bit of a ratbag, is what makes a good blogger for me. (Not that many academics aren't ratbags -- just the wrong kind for blogging and not particularly interesting writers.) Here endeth the diatribe.

Lucy Tartan said...

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't bored by some academic blogs too El, and I have a phenomenally high boredom threshold. But that's ok! In fact I'm quite grateful to the boring bloggers who present no temptation to read them. (note: nobody who's reading this right now has a boring blog, okay?) I'm just a little saddened by the fact that defining academic respectability seems to involve putting down "ordinary folk....vanity publishing", in the words of the age article, catblogging, what I did today etc etc etc. There must be more positive, less gatekeepery ways to narrow down what constitutes an academic blog worthy of adding to CV or publications list or whatever.

R H said...

Political correctness HAS NOT GONE MAD!

It was always mad.

Robbert!

Tim said...

That reminds me: Watched a few minutes of ACA and Today Tonight last night, and even in such a brief space of time I heard the phrases "political correctness gone mad", "beaurocracy gone mad" and "drowning in red tape". It was a bumper crop of cliche.

David said...

Why does the Eaglemont mural celebrate the station and not what everyone else on earth celebrates Eaglemont for, its Griffin legacy?

Lucy Tartan said...

The mural is next to the shops and the train station, I imagine the shop people paid for it and wanted it to advertise their own territory instead of luring people into walking off in different directions to take in the celebrated legacy of Griffin.

David said...

They have a quite good antiquarianish bookshop there as I recall. It's never open.

R H said...

Yes well where's Miss Brownie coming out of Eagelmont Cellars?

This thing just ain't authentic!

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Abby Tranter said...

I appreciate the mural paintings... I love paintings that's why!! Good job!!

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