Laing On Loneliness

I don’t believe the cure for loneliness is meeting someone, not necessarily. I think it’s about two things: learning how to befriend yourself and understanding that many of the things that seem to afflict us as individuals are in fact a result of larger forces of stigma and exclusion, which can and should be resisted.

Loneliness is personal, and it is also political. Loneliness is collective; it is a city. As to how to inhabit it, there are no rules and nor is there any need to feel shame, only to remember that the pursuit of individual happiness does not trump or excuse our obligations to each another. We are in this together, this accumulation of scars, this world of objects, this physical and temporary heaven that so often takes on the countenance of hell. What matters is kindness; what matters is solidarity. What matters is staying alert, staying open, because if we know anything from what has gone before us, it is that the time for feeling will not last. (Laing 2016, 281)

Laing, Olivia. 2016. The Lonely City: Adventures In The Art Of Being Alone. New York: Picador.

Research and Education in Illinois

The State of Illinois has withheld $2.2 billion from public universities, according to the bond rating agency Moody’s, since the start of its ongoing budget battles.

States typically subsidize research and education through fiscal appropriations for public universities and financial assistance for college students. Students’ tuition and fees, in other words, only cover some of the cost of their education, and the rest of the costs are covered by states.

Illinois public universities have reduced programs and terminated employees, as reported in the Chicago Tribune. At NEIU, employees have been furloughed again, which means that faculty will have donated two and one-half weeks of income to subsidize the research and education that we’re expected to do for Illinois.

Winners and Losers

Senate Democrats should insist upon a compelling case for why they should show greater respect for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee than the Republicans had for President Obama’s. Once convinced, they should hold hearings, ask pointed questions, and then vote on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch. No one wins when the political process is suspended.