Dear Natal-Day Well-Wishers:
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I am feeling better today than I have in a long time, and a lot of that has to do with you, this digital community that has gradually started paying attention to my writing—because you like horror, or film, or cultural philosophy, or some other aspect of what I do—and have largely come together as never before during the last month as I’ve shared more about my personal life than ever before.
And today, which is my birthday, this guy who recently couldn’t think of anyone other than his partner to list as an emergency contact on a medical form is experiencing a digital reversal. I’ve heard from more of you than I can acknowledge. I’ve never experienced a feeling like it. I am humbled.
If all were right in the world, I’d be talking with some awesome students about one of my favorite films– rather predictable for a film prof–Fellini’s 8 1/2, which was my only real plan for the birthday itself, other than being chill.
I’m sorry I don’t get to have that conversation and others, conversations that must be being led by someone, although I’m unaware of anyone with remotely similar qualifications on hand. I feel like students I care about are being cheated out of the education they signed up for, and I can do nothing about it. The solution isn’t for me to submit to unreasonable demands—it’s for unreasonable demands to cease.
In any case, the world doesn’t have to be completely right for it to be looking much better. Kafkaesque trials march on, but I am not a modernist in that I believe only in serious games if they allow interactive play. In other words, any conjecture that I would do harm to myself or others when, no thanks to any university, my writing and scholarship are doing better than ever, is as false as any conjecture that I am not in a highly defensible position, one that is owed quite a bit of justice that I do not believe to be as unattainable as it would be in Kafka’s world.
The darkest hour is just before dawn.
Yours in sanity,
L. Andrew Cooper