01 December 2011

5 poverty/panels

once upon a time in the naked lady bar, sensei and/or the dane (sometimes they run together) remarked that maph prepared us for a limited range of experiences. chiefly, poverty and panels.

the relationship here is pretty obvious. the primary gift of the humanities is a very great ability to bullshit at length. lengthy bullshitting lends itself well to panels and panels, in turn, lend themselves well to poverty as panels do not pay.

hence, poverty and panels. we are their bitch.

i've been invited to be on a panel at the biographers collective's spring conference. the panel on social media. which is HILARIFYING. and makes me deeply grateful for the gifts of my humanities degree.

i repeat: i am going to be on a panel of experts discussing social media. from this, we can draw the conclusion that i am perceived as an expert in social media.

for the record, i am not an expert on social media. no, no. i am simply someone who was serendipitously quoted in a newsletter instructing people on how to log onto facebook.

from there- that ridiculous quote that was pulled from an informal email and included in the newsletter without my prior knowledge- i was named the social networking chair of the biographers collective. never mind that i still don't really know how to use twitter.

my reputation as a social media guru only gained further momentum when i went to new york in the fall and talked to a bunch of lady biographers about blogging. despite my deployment of the phrase "and stuff like that" upwards of nine times in a speech severely shortened by the moderator's making my first three points in her introduction of me, i rocked the Q&A and word out of new york was that i did very well. as in, a biographer from florida wrote me and said, word out of new york is that you did very well.

this is ridiculous. all of it. it's ridiculous that so much can have happened in a year. that what has happened has. that i've gained "expert" status by effectively communicating facebook log-in protocol. that my notoriety is rooted in a form of media i don't really understand and that i am still not writing the books i want to write.

it has not gone at all as i imagined it would.

i keep returning to this moment from the biographers collective's conference last may, when it was me and KK, walking around the national press club arm-in-arm, hunting for the open bar. and what i remember most about that moment is that, even as it was happening, i was struck by how impossible its happening was.

yesterday, KK emailed me three times. every single time, upon seeing her name in my inbox, my first thought was OH MY GOD!!!!

here's the thing about the last year: that sensation hasn't gone away. and, i swear, for that feeling- that sense of being smack dab in the middle of the happening of something so impossible- you can sign me up to a lifetime of poverty and put me on all the panels in the word.


Osutein said...

We're a sort of collective consciousness, the Dane and I, except when we're arguing about Bedouin sand-listening abilities.

I need to find me a way to on some panels. I mean, besides "[un]expected careers"

oline said...

but that panel was so unexpected!

should we just start staging our own panels? like improv everywhere but with panels... might lead to both poverty and institutionalization but we'd have panels!

Osutein said...

I think our first step is holding a panel on how to hold panels.

The Whiffer said...

I'm not looking to be panelled but I very much like this post

oline said...

yes, sensei. the unexpected panel on panels. that'll look really good in our norton did you know.