San Antonio Review
CTW: Day 3
William O. Pate II
Published on: Jul 01, 2020License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0)
I realize my first post was muddled and incomplete. So, I’ll try to provide a little more background and fill in some of the obvious-to-me gaps.
To start, being accepted to participate in the Critical Theory Workshop is exciting to me because I’m not an academic. So, getting to listen in and interact with contemporary theorists as they discuss their works in progress gives me a unique opportunity to learn what others are thinking outside of following university presses and Twitter.
My theory background officially starts around 2004 in my undergraduate Theories of Rhetoric class led by Br. John Perron. This would be right around the time my ex, Lindsay, turned me on to cannabis. Since then, getting high and reading theory have become enjoyable ways of passing the time for me.
Before I started college, I’d done your surface-level, adolescent reading of philosophers like Schopenhauer (Mr. Lonely Hearts) and Nietzsche. At the time, I was also mainly interested in security studies and counterinsurgency theory post-9/11.
When I graduated, I worked in Texas politics. I took graduate-level classes in Rhetoric and Composition and Mental Health Counseling. During the Great Recession, I discovered I needed to earn money. So, I ended up doing what I’m doing now — marketing.
It was the intersection of mental illness, student debt, prescription drug costs, the precarity of our debt-driven neoliberal financial system and my family being forced to move back in with my parents after losing our house that led me back to serious theory-ready — for a time.
Only in the past year have I really gotten much deeper in my reading — following footnotes from text to text — after getting sick of listening to free-market urbanists repeat the same bullshit rhetorical arguments they’ve always made while trying to put a new sheen on them for municipal consumption post-recession.
More to come . . .