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photos by Lara Shipley

Amor Fati

June 15th, 2009 · 10 Comments

This weekend I got to seriously considering whether perhaps I hadn’t better just pack it in and make a fresh start in some less doomed, more remunerative industry—which at present is pretty much anything short of buggy-whip manufacture. Maybe it’s failure of imagination, but to my own astonishment, I realized I was hard pressed to come up with anything else I thought I could stomach doing, at least without another five or so years of schooling. Logically, I should probably find this depressing; instead, I find it oddly reassuring. Anyone who’s found himself misting up to Carl Dennis’ “The God Who Loves You” will have a sense of what I mean.

Tags: Journalism & the Media · Personal



10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doug // Jun 15, 2009 at 11:26 am

    There’s a Garth Brooks version of that poem, for what that’s worth.

    I wish you the best, friend. Try making a career in commenting.

  • 2 Dan Summers // Jun 15, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Based upon your post above, I have called my accountant, and am moving my retirement savings out of the buggy-whip sector.

    I am sometimes seized by existential angst, and wonder what else I might have done with my life. (This occurs most often when I am on call, and have to drag my sorry carcass to the hospital at 3 AM.) Thankfully, the sandwich shop downstairs makes really good BLTs, which go a long way toward soothing existential angst.

  • 3 daveheal // Jun 15, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    You could always go to law school at night like Stephen Glass. And, you know, skip the ignominious flame out.

  • 4 Greg N. // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Back into think tank world?

  • 5 Andrew // Jun 15, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    My supervisor at work had an undergrad, masters, and half a doctorate in philosophy, and decided there was no way he could make a living with it, so he went back and got a masters in computer science and works using that.

    Is there anything you have an interest in that could be formalized with a 2-3 year masters program? If you’re willing to work extra hard or use one of those mail order universities, you can get it down to 18 months. TV tells me I can be an NHRA mechanic, a video game developer, or a forensic scientist in no time at all from the comfort of my couch. Surely they’re not all lying, right?

  • 6 Patrick // Jun 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    I don’t think Westfield Whip Manufacturing Company is going to go under. I can’t say the same for the NYT.

  • 7 asg // Jun 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    They’re definitely lying about the video game developer prospect. heh

  • 8 Emma Zahn // Jun 16, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Scroll down to the next poem.

    Why not become one of those?

    Think about it. What were early sci-fi writers if not prophets? Not as sure about contemporary writers.

    You even have connections and readers already in the field. I saw a link to you at a Fringe site. And isn’t Yglesias’ father a writer/screenwriter?

    At the risk of making you even more dysphoric, our society does not really have many places for people with your intelligence outside the hard sciences. The only one that I can think of that has potential for both fortune and fame –entertainment.

    So write a short-story, get a Hugo, a Nebula, an Aurora. Turn the story into a screenplay, make a movie and voila, you are rich and even maybe happy.

    Whatever you decide to do, you have my very best wishes for success.

  • 9 Julian Sanchez // Jun 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    I realize this may have come across angstier than it should–it’s just that I’m finally getting around to thinking about what kind of more permanent gig I should be looking for, and in this economy it’s hard not to consider whether journalism is a smart place to be looking at all. And, you know, probably not, but “here I stand” and all that.

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