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By: Ian Mathers

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Posted 02/28/2007 - 05:44:24 AM by NickSouthall:
 This is why I decided not to do an MPhil leading to a PhD.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 09:14:47 AM by IanMathers:
 Which is understandable; one of the nice things about the Canadian MA is that it's a discrete step on the way to a PhD, as opposed to something you get if you stop before you do a PhD. So after I'm done I get to pause and decide what I want to do rather than still being on the treadmill.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 09:19:08 AM by meatbreak:
 Is this a 'woe is me' article? I can't feel sorry for you having to spend your days thinking and writing, rather than being chained to some crappy desk job. Sure, there's other alternatives, but spending your days thinking? That's about the most one could hope for in a society whose pririty seems to be trammelling thought along conveniently predictable and profitable lines. Alas Mathers, you don't get my sympathies!
Posted 02/28/2007 - 01:28:21 PM by bassman08:
 Good article, but shit, man...I'm still an undergrad and this makes me cringe and feel sorry for you. I thought I had it bad. Right now my life is (or should be anyway) all Chaucer and the Civil War lit and I'm having trouble actually doing it. I already don't have enough time to do sweet shit like buy lots of music and listen to it while still doing actual work. This makes me seriously think about weather I want to apply for grad schools next year. I'll still do it, of course, because its either that or teach high school English. Fucking liberal arts. Thank God that music exists, that's all I have to say.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 01:34:02 PM by IanMathers:
 Don't get me wrong, meatbreak, I thought about including my customary disclaimer that I have it a lot better than a lot of people... but I guess I just assumed you guys would take my knowledge of that for granted. Sorry? This isn't about "woe is me," though - it's about reflecting on the distorting effects grad school has had on my music listening/writing life, which isn't something I considered at all before enrolling. At the same time, bassman, I'm not trying to warn people away - I'm glad as hell I went back, and it's been so much better than my undergrad.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 01:39:10 PM by NickSouthall:
 bassman08 - you should have chosen a dossy subject such as Popular Culture w/ Philosophy. Like, um, I did.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 02:13:28 PM by grandbanks:
 "Fucking Liberal Arts." Boohoo. If you don't want to teach don't do it. You can write, edit, whatever. Get over your ideas of leisure quick and if you love something you'll make time for it. I live in a town of complaining academics (and many Stylus writers past and present), and they are my friends and I get it, but fuck, it's certainly way lighter than most folks' growing pains. This isn't a slight towards you, Ian, I like your piece and get it, but Bassman, all I gotta say is: Buck up, buddy. The world needs good high school English teachers too. Plus, you know, grad school applicant reviewers will probably care "weather" you can spell, so maybe you are listening to too much music and not working hard enough (just kidding). Maybe you should move to Charlottesville, VA, and join the legions of PhDers waiting tables.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 02:46:24 PM by terrorist:
 If a master's program in humanities is this hard for you, you should definitely think twice about applying to PhD programs...
Posted 02/28/2007 - 03:06:08 PM by IanMathers:
 It's not hard at all, terrorist; I got very good marks in my first semester. The only part that's hard has been setting aside my habit for such a prolonged period.
Posted 02/28/2007 - 05:27:07 PM by NickSouthall:
 It's not smack, Ian. Is it? IAN??
Posted 03/01/2007 - 12:41:50 AM by The-Disexists:
 Posting a doctorate to the underqualified mailbox of an semi-retired philologicist-in-waiting always yields an Ian Mathers, some kind of bore-bomb, a listmus-tested baby boom thesis tethered to the tail end of his career in music writing. Here`s what I hate looking obviously skeptical from on my string hammock, is the wordy journal worms whose paper and theses, whose blown osculations and obfuscations on the snakey backs of other`s hurdy gurdy in a wilderness of this bewildered wordiness; to you I hold my nose to and begin my own hullabaloo on the whole ballyhoo. Yes, it`s the pocket snake charmers, the head-professor`s lecture embalmers that I taunt from high on my swivel chair spinning a winning line about scalp-massaging the balding dears to assuage an A and fuss-rhetoric over their pinpointed & self-annointed ways. Your say in-a-muddle is muddier muddle, your collective brains are huddled in the middle of a panic attack, you wear a self-defensive anally retentive flak-jacket. I join you screeching like a preacher from pulpits rights & wrongs & maybes filling my following`s ears with fire, pulling one-eighties & damning to Hades, kissing your weary theory babies. It`s all in the diction, in the conviction, in the eyebrows keep it up & highbrow people! Reconsider their muddle. They remodel their muddle into muddier muddle. Oh yeah, it`s easy peasy from my swivel chair to wax skeptical, to please the ignorant insensible with elliptical arguments shot from the hip & typical lyrical metrical pencilship.
Posted 03/01/2007 - 02:42:07 AM by NickSouthall:
 You calling someone else a "bore-bomb" is a bit rich.
Posted 03/01/2007 - 06:04:54 AM by The-Disexists:
 That's pretty funny. Of the 160 odd words of my post you pulled out and focused squarely on the only bit of verifiable truth. As a writer on here yourself you instantly recognised the only bit of data in my post that made sense to you and highlighted it, essentially affirming it's jurisdiction. Bore I may well be, but at least I keep my boredom to the comments box.
Posted 03/01/2007 - 09:49:13 AM by meatbreak:
 That's nonsensical of you I'm afraid Disexists. The people that drop one line of bitch into the comments boxes are making a greater contribution that you at the moment. You seem to be getting increasingly nebulous with each post - There was a time when you seemed to hit a few nails with your protracted verbiage though recently you seem to be enjoying the sound of your own voice as it chases it's tail.

Ian, I read your article again, and I still find it melancholic to the point of morose. That's pretty much my specialist field of emotion I guess. I was just jesting with the 'woe-is-me' thing, though you do sound like you're pretty close to that line. Having never had to spend any amount of time writing at such enormous lengths to such tight deadlines your predicament is a little alien to me. Saying that, where Bassman sees this as a bit of a dispiriting read, it only makes me think it the right course of action. People are far too afraid of being upset and challenged and of missing out on 'their time' (not that they can't claim all 24 hours of every day as theirs no matter what their situation) and your piece articulates that conflict. It's good that our hobbies get knocked so we get a chance to question our relationship to them. Probably most people reading Stylus, or any music mag while their desire for music burns will be naive to the fact that it will evaporate as suddenly as it seized them. maybe this is why you write with that tone of desperation, as if time is running out and you've got to have it all now. I believe it was Bill Cosby's father who told him that "There are many beautiful women in the world but you'll never be a man until you realise you can't have them all."
Posted 03/01/2007 - 11:18:18 PM by The-Disexists:
 sigh. I believe it was Meatbreak who said "You`ll never read a tree until you realise that all of it`s pages are glued together" and Meatloaf who said "You`ll never appreciate Jim Steinman until you sing him at the top of your lungs" and just plain old Me who said "There are a lot of words written about music but you`ll never connect with anyone until you read Wynton Marsalis` A to Z of Jazz"
Posted 03/02/2007 - 04:09:23 AM by meatbreak:
 If you cut a tree in half and you can read it pretty well, and you'll find that it's got a lot to say too.