One day, I shall come back…

As you can probably tell from my sporadic posting, this blog is not my top priority. Indeed, it’s well down the list of priorities in my life. While this is certainly not by design, it’s the unfortunate reality of my life. Accordingly, I’m giving up the pretense of being a blogger, at least for the time being, and am putting DKMM on (more-or-less) hold.

It’s not going away for good, and I’ll certainly post when the spirit moves me (and clouds part enough for me to write here), but I won’t be attempting a regular schedule any time soon. So, don’t drop me from your feed reader just yet, but don’t get impatient waiting for new installments. In the meantime, you can tap into my del.icio.us links (my username there is dkompare), and see what I’m up to on the coming CSI casefile at MediaCommons. Enterprising folks will easily be able to track me down elsewhere online as well (including commenting on others’ blogs).

Before I go for now, I did have one last mini-rant. Amidst all the great discussion about media convergence and fandom these past several months (at Henry Jenkins’ blog and elsewhere), there’s been amazingly little acknowledgment of the elephant in the room: time.

I have a fairly typical junior professor workload, with teaching, research, writing, and committee work all commanding and dissecting my attention. I do have three course preps every fall (and two of these are new for me this go ’round; yay), so I’m a bit more crammed this time of year. However, I also have two pre-school-aged children. As any parent can tell you, kids, beautiful and amazing though they are, basically kick your ass, especially when they’re young. My spouse and I divide our work week up so that one of us is always with the kids. While this is far from ideal (and means that I must function exclusively as “Daddy” from about 3 till 8 on most weekdays, and 8 till 8 on weekends), it’s what we have to do.

So when people talk about the latest Web 2.0 gizmos, or playing the Wii, or this week’s hot topic for LiveJournal fans, I can generally only participate in “meta” mode, speculating about what’s going on, but doing very, very little of the actual stuff itself. From time to time, I’m able to nibble a few of these things here and there. But that’s it. I can scarcely keep up with the material I’m actively working on, let alone with anything else going on in the media universe.

There seems to be an unexamined assumption (especially in fan studies) that one has the time to do all (or even some) of these things, when in actuality, it’s amazingly difficult to make the time. Fandom, if defined as a continual active engagement in creative and critical practices, is thus by necessity the province of the temporally privileged, i.e., those with time on their hands. I haven’t had time on my hands since 2003, and look forward to having some again circa 2023. Like I said above, I can stick my toes in (to use another metaphor) from time to time, but can’t get in the water on a regular basis.

On that note, and as work beckons impatiently, I’ll take my leave for now. Till next time, happy musing elsewhere…

“Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”

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3 Responses to “One day, I shall come back…”

  1. Michael Newman Says:

    Nice rant, Derek. I agree with everything you said. Time is a privilege.

    The beauty of the feed reader is that bloggers don’t have to feel like they owe something to the people who check in on them regularly. It makes possible the occasional blogger, which I think is a great thing.

  2. Jonathan Gray Says:

    Derek, sorry to see the blog’s going on the backburner

    I’m right with you on the time thing. I don’t have kids, but sometimes wonder how the heck I could add one to the existing picture, let alone watching all the shows I’m being told I need to see (no, I haven’t watched BSG), reading all the blogs I should, etc. Indeed, if anything, this is one of the things that’s kept me out of fandom proper, since I just can’t keep up. The average Television Without Pity page for the average show seems to add about 100 posts a day or more, let alone dedicated fansites. Admittedly, we all pick our spots, but I certainly wish I could pick more spots.

  3. Elana Levine Says:

    Jenkins refers to the “participation gap” in Convergence Culture. I’m not sure this is what he meant by it, but for me it always speaks to the fact that some people simply have less time and opportunity to participate in the convergent media culture–many for exactly the same reasons you suggest here. This is different than the “digital divide,” which seems to me to be more about access to digital culture in the first place. There is certainly a substantial group of people who have all the access they may desire, and all the ability to engage one might wish for, but who do not or cannot participate because of time, or other family members’ demands on the computer, or innumerable other factors.

    Anyway, Derek, I trust that these early childhood years will not last us forever. Please!


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