north

Read an article about “burnout”. More specifically “male burnout”. I don’t think my career was ever going long enough for me to experience burnout.

I wanted to write some essays about British culture. The recent auto ethnography anthropology conference I went to was really off putting.

Yet still I feel I am an anthropologist.

I feel I have now either fully jettisoned academia or effectively that is what I have done. Bye bye academia!

Yet I still have these fragmentary essays?

I think in English society the family system

Is fragmented. It is deeply enmeshed in hyper-capitalistic structures, like corporations, job markets, property markets and financial flows. Connections are looser now probably in the digital age. Mobility is global. Some @ thinker has posited that the poor are “local” and the rich are “mobile”.

I would say in a lot of cases family connections are dissolving and being replaced with consumerism. Life is also mediated by expensive devices and high tech telecommunications networks and interfaces. People are increasingly facing life alone or with acquaintanceship. The individual parts become loose and spin faster and faster. They might not even have a job they might be a volunteer. They have social capital not “money”. Advice is replaced with “sign posting”.

It’s like a stock market where people are stocks and some people go up and down.

The guy talking about burn out in the NYT had a professor wife. He had left his professor job to do part time lecturing and journalism so he was still earning money just not the huge salary to which he felt entitled. I in contrast have never earned much from my writing.

English society, men & working life, burn out. I personally try and occupy a “bohemian” niche where I don’t care so much about money and external achievements or status symbols but this creates tension with my partner who is part of the creative class and a small business owner/entrepreneur.

In this sense we are linked into the capitalist economy. Occupying a niche broadly speaking in “Public Sector Broadcasting” or “Arts/Cinema & Media”. It intersects with the worlds of music, the global art world and the worlds of cultural commentary and criticism. Margins are low, there is toxic workload and endless cyclical applications for money which lead to adrenal fatigue, diabetes, burnout and metabolic syndrome.

M is a centre of cultural production with The Guardian Newspaper, Granada TV, The BBC and the arts and creativity sparked by the C19th cotton industry.

In 2022 the middle classes are increasingly sidelined as society is polarised into ultra rich & precariat.

Manchester also has world class football, sporting competitions, architecture and night life. M is a hub for musicians and a cultural melting pot.

In the background to this for me are loose family connections in B. The loose family connections exert a kind of lunar pull but the actual amount of transactions in terms of financial help, practical assistance. There is a wider family but it seems to be reinforced through Facebook. The family wealth is downsized. The younger generation spend money on taxis and food delivery rather than buying a house with a mortgage.

People Often meet at weddings and funerals and say we should meet on other occasions.

Friendship is like a battleground that has fallen away. Life is haunted by the ghosts of friendships. In 2020-21 I have managed to build a few new connections. There is a tension between wanting to reach out and wanting to turn away.

Powerful vested interests have taken the decision to concentrate wealth at the top of society. It’s a conscious decision to decimate public services that hundreds of thousands of people rely on. Then again contrary to Chomsky governments can’t just go on borrowing money indefinitely.

There has to be a happy medium between Chomskyism and Reaganism.

The family has a ultra conservative interpretation of Catholicism “don’t carry two shirts on your back/ a workman can earn his own keep”.

It’s a weird mix of Thatcherism, authoritarianism and ultra conservative Catholicism.

Catholicism conceives of the church as a body and the sanctification of the nuclear family, like the holy family.

Gay cultures don’t exist.

/this ends my mini essay on north_english life and family from an auto_ethnographic point of view!

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