The 7 Days of Habermas

Day 1: 4:27 PM – Professor Hugh Hodges assigns Jurgen Habermas’ The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. Ah, reading, I love a good book! With the fire ablaze and the kettle set to boil, I ease into my comfy chair. I hope it’s a ‘who-done-it’ novel!

Day 2: 2:30 AM – The embers burn down and something’s not right. 25 pages in and not a single murder needs to be solved. Feudalism, capitalism, neomercantilism… I can barely see the argument through the ‘isms.’ I power up the laptop and pray for an answer. Not even Google knows what Habermas is talking about.

Day 3: Power’s out – candle lit – it’s dark outside – Down but not out, I read aloud attempting comprehension -‘Offentlichkeit, Grundherrschaft, oikodespotes’. My wife screams from the other room. She searches the phonebook for healers; she thinks I’m speaking in tongues.

Day 4: Power’s back but time stands still – Jurgen is in the room now. I look into his eyes and realize: ‘this is the moment; this is the man who will kill me.’ Bureaucracies, burghers… he’s beating me down with B words! Ben Chang bursts through the door and peppers us both with his tiger-striped paintball gun. Startled, I come to on the couch with drool on my cheek and a book on my face. The credits roll. I’ve slept through all of Community!

Day 5: Done Counting – The boys are back in town and they’re crowding the page. Hegel, Hobbes, Kant, Locke, Mandeville, Marx, Mill, Montesquieu and Rousseau – this many names in one chapter has to be a fire code violation. In a scene straight out of American History X, Hegel knocks the teeth right out of the public sphere. I need interventionism. Somebody save me!

Day 6: So Finished – The conjugal family retreats to the fringes of the private sphere; I retreat to the menu on Netflix. Refeudalized by 6 seasons of Party of Five, my rational thought is restored. Aura washes over me. Thank you mass media!

Day 7: Back to Base Camp – Our mission complete, Habermas and I return to Hugh Hodges and hand in an incident report. The good professor absolves us of our relationship. I explain to Habermas that, though I enjoyed our time together, I’m an extensive reader, not an intensive reader. I hand him a rose and say farewell. I’m a bachelor again. I’m back on my feet.

The Riddler.

The Riddler.

About dontpanictrent

DON'T PANIC: A Trent Graduate Student Blog

2 Responses to “The 7 Days of Habermas”

  1. Jürgen Habermas may be the only writer since Dickens who gets paid by the word. That’s my story, leastwise.


  1. Who Am I, Who Are You, and What Are We Doing Here? | DON'T PANIC! - January 27, 2014

    […] Alex, my ENGL5901 classmate (please see his very excellent posts on Jurgen Habermas here and here), I will be working on the Don’t Panic! blog this semester. Like most English students, I love […]

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