Ohio. A cloudy Sunday with temps near freezing. Today I’ve been thinking about systems, some creaky and rotted, others still holding.

The Democrats held the Senate last night. Five days after the midterm election, our votes continue to creep through America’s rickety democratic plumbing, inching along narrow margins. But it’s heartening to know most Americans are still relatively sane and have no stomach for lunatics. And once again, we’ve learned all pollsters and pundits are useless. Imagine the blessed silence of a newspaper without opinion mongers or a newscast without smug panelists.

Meanwhile, the company that has hosted this website for nearly twenty years has become a hostile wasteland after some faceless behemoth purchased it. The only way to reach them nowadays is through a well-hidden phone number, and I listened to a broken loop of sleazy jazz while a robot periodically told me she could not wait to exceed my expectations. After an hour, I hung up. Tonight I’m switching to a new hosting company. Hopefully there won’t be too many outages on this station while I untangle my nameservers.

Combing through eighteen years of digital cruft has led me down an unexpectedly emotional walk down memory lane. Twenty thousand photographs of various and mostly useless sizes. Dozens of abandoned projects. A cache of mp3s. Fourteen domain names purchased during brief fits of enthusiasm. It’s a stark autobiography.

I might go on strike tomorrow. The contract for part-time faculty at The New School expires at midnight. Our class sizes have grown since the pandemic, yet our wages remain frozen. Even though we make up 87% of the faculty, the university continues to nickel-and-dime its teachers when they’re not sending out self-congratulatory emails about their commitment to social and economic justice.

Ten days until C. and I head into the desert.

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Mario Villalobos
15 days ago

Did you ever go on strike? That whole situation sounds intense, and I’ve been thinking about it since you posted it. Hope all goes well with you, James! You make the desert sound like such a nirvana, lol

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