Today at around 12:30pm, the Myles Files (In the form of I, Myles McNutt) will be speaking to CBC Radio One’s Maritime Noon about the possible faculty strike at Acadia University. So, if you’re on the east coast, tune in to listen to me (likely) talk way too fast.

90.5 FM in Halifax, 106.5 in Wolfville

Will Myles be able to talk slow enough to remain discernible? Will he manage to pimp his blog? And does he have any breaking news about his future involvement with the strike communications effort?

You have to tune in to find out!

The ASU, as if listening in on my earlier commentary, has revealed their plans for the next week in regards to the strike.

Information Meetings – 4pm on Wednesdays

Every Wednesday during this period, they will be holding an information session at 4pm in the Main Level of the SUB for students who want to learn more about the situation. This is a way that, on a non-electronic level, they will be informing students.

They also have some information on a strike website being set up (Stay tuned for more on that), as well as some frequently asked questions, including some of those I posed earlier today.

You can read The ASU’s full post at the link, but here’s an excerpt as well.

TheASU.com – Negotiations Update/FAQ

Will there be a strike? A deal can be signed at anytime, including the night before a strike. This has happened in the past at Acadia and elsewhere. Until the morning of the 15th, nothing is for sure.

How long will a strike last for? If there is a strike, it is impossible to tell how long it would last. Traditionally (Acadia and elsewhere), strikes have not lasted for more than two weeks.

Should I go home? The ASU recommends only those who are able to return to campus within 24 hours go home if they wish. Those who would require planes, etc, to be able to go home are advised to stay on campus, as a strike can end suddenly.

[For information on the Myles Files’ strike coverage, regarding the purpose and intention behind it, please refer to the Strike Mission Statement]

Students at Acadia University are supposed to be worried about midterms right now. As courses begin to pile on the tests and quizzes, and as we reach that lovely point halfway through the term, this is usually a hectic time.

However, most students are able to overcome this deluge of material with some hard work and good study habits. But this year, there is another problem that hours of studying won’t fix, and that students are not currently able to fix. Entirely out of their hands, students are now pondering what will happen if faculty goes on strike on October 15th.

The problem with this is that students are faced with a lack of information: while bits and pieces are making their way into the pipeline, for the most part students are left piecing together whatever they can through MSN and DC++ Conversations. While these have a great deal of value, they are also provided to an extremely limited audience. And I, as well, can’t possibly reach enough of the student body to answer the questions floating around.

Are they going back to the table? What does a strike mean for us? How long will they be out for? When will we know if there’s a strike? Should we go home?

Those are just an assortment of potential questions, and I will be honest with you: some of them can’t be answered. There are too many variables at stake: the state of negotiations is such that a single comment or statement could fundamentally change the answers. For the short term: Rumours have them scheduled (with no promises) to negotiate tomorrow, a strike could mean a lot of things, no one really knows how long, they have to give 48 hours notice so by Saturday morning, and only if you live nearby in my personal opinion. Not really satisfying, are they?

However, I believe that it is possible for someone, anyone, to start informing students. Because as far as I can tell, those streams of communication are not open as much as they could be.

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689.

This was the number of students who felt that a possible strike at Acadia University was worth a few hours of their time on a Friday evening. This is, actually, an impressive number, and I would like to extend my personal appreciation to each of those individuals. An especially large amount of appreciation goes out to the Frosh who have had the least amount of time to become part of this community, and yet still came to voice their opinion. Kudos.

I was going to attempt to write this blog post without contributing to the conversation during the meeting, so as to be able to establish my own neutrality, but anyone who stuck around knows that this didn’t last very long (I’m weak). But, first off, I have a fairly simple message for those who didn’t feel the meeting was worth their time:

Your affliction is apathy. We don’t have a cure. We really wish we did.

The people who didn’t show up to the meeting aren’t “stupid,” “ignorant,” or in any way terrible people: they are simply apathetic towards this cause (To those who had other commitments, I’m not including you in this distinction). Actually, I’d argue that most are likely apathetic towards all causes, but that’s another story. This was about the academic future of this university and a potential strike, and quorum could not be reached. My faith in stopping apathy’s slow march across our society is, well, waning.

For those who couldn’t make it due to work or illness or any other reason, or to those who want to do something about your apathy, you can still make your voice heard. Contact your SRC Councillor via the ASU website, or go to next Thursday’s council meeting to become part of this discourse (I’ll have a summary of events below).

But I don’t need to harp on about that, because there is one thing I really want to deal with.

Hecklers.

I want to talk about how inappropriate and classless it is to heckle during a public presentation…while apologizing for doing it myself by the end of the meeting. During the presentation of the second motion, I reacted with laughter at a comment and Alex (rightfully) called me on it. I apologize for this, as it was both hypocritical and inappropriate for the setting.

This being said, there is a major difference between laughter and even a short one-sentence remark such as “Do some research.” Rather, what I want to address is those individuals who, while the Director of Public Affairs Scott Roberts was speaking, yelled “Shut up.”

Unlike the apathetic people, I am more than willing to call these individuals classless. It is one thing to stimulate someone for more information in a quick statement, but it is entirely another to inform someone who has agreed to speak to students to shut up. I don’t care if you think that Roberts is nothing but a PR flack or that his stance is the wrong one, but treating anyone willing to step in front of an obviously hostile crowd like that is disrespectful beyond laughter or a short statement. It is disruptive, rude and reflects poorly on our ability, as students, to be willing to at least hear someone out on their side of an issue.

As for the meeting itself, for those who either didn’t attend or left before the presentations finished, here’s what went down from as neutral as perspective as someone with opinions on the issue can offer.

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[As part of my Theory3073 Class, we are required to provide three critical responses/commentaries as part of our course work. In addressing Marxist theory, the first of our major perspectives taken within the course, I chose to complete the following assignment as a way of testing its legitimacy and its use as a way into new forms of media.

Normally I’d put this type of stuff at my TV blog, Cultural Learnings, but in this case I’ve chosen to place it here due to its application to academic endeavors. I might end up using certain aspects of this within my thesis, although I have pretty much decided I could theoretically use every single perspective in the history of literature in my thesis, so I will need to pare that down. Anyways, I’m posting it online so I can use YouTube to illustrate my points, and to share with everyone. So, enjoy!]

You Can’t Take The Sky From Me:

A Marxist Reading of Joss Whedon’s “Firefly”

In reading Terry Eagleton’s Marxism and Literary Criticism, my immediate reaction was how this related to television (For those who know me, this should not be surprising). This is, obviously, a flawed perspective, but what I came to understand reading the text is that a Marxist perspective puts a very different perspective on literature, and that applying this to a television show could reveal hidden complexities and detail that would elevate it to a level of literary scholarship. It is with this eye that I turned to Firefly, which I realized was not just another science fiction series. The result was a greater understanding of the series’ representation of class, unique for the genre, and also the complexities of its largely invented superstructure.

The realm of science fiction intended for mass consumption within a popular culture realm is a world in which idealist systems of governance and society have been the relative norm. If we look to Star Trek, it represented a world where there was no struggling working class and no sense of economic structure: rather, food came out of magic machines and life was threatened by arch-villains as opposed to the struggle of the masses. Even Star Wars’ Tatooine, despite the representation of slave labour within Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, is never seen as a class struggle but rather a personal issue for young Anakin and his mother. And really, let’s be honest: they don’t even have it so bad when it comes to slaves.

Joss Whedon, meanwhile, wanted to create a science fiction environment where things weren’t all shiny, and where true political and social ramifications not only existed but set the stage for the action that would follow. Firefly is not a glorified and idealized view of the future, but one that actually features an acknowledgement of the impact of things such as base and superstructure on the production of language, and as a result the production of literature. As a result, it is possible to view the production of society within the series itself as a unique case study of the Marxist analysis we have discussed in class.

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Hey everyone,

When I started the school year, I had lofty goals of posting Welcome Week Retrospectives and looking at a potential trip to Europe and everything else under the sun. And then, well, the school year started. I’ve got papers to write, a thesis to finish, Research Assisting to do, RAing to do…and I had to make a choice. Either keep Cultural Learnings, my TV blog, running during the key fall season, or abandon it in favour of this blog. A quick inspection of the two will show that I chose the prior option.

But I won’t be abandoning this entirely: you’ll find an occasional thesis rant, an occasional picture notice (Some new Close-up Profile shots can be located on my Flickr Page), and an occasional update on Acadia affairs. However, since there might even be another blog project in the months ahead, I don’t think the Myles Files will be consistently updates until I have a degree and an uncertain future at my doorstep.

So, farewell for now…at some point I’m sure I’ll come crawling back.

Myles

Over the past month or so, I have taken to what I will call “taking a lot of pictures.” This isn’t entirely abnormal, but in taking so many pictures I stumbled upon a practice I enjoy quite a lot. This practice? Profile pictures.

By this I mean photos of people’s faces, almost exclusively, that offer some sort of insight into their individual. It’s the most atrsy set of photos I’ve ever taken, and I think that some are better than others. That being said, I also really like the way they turned out, and the way they come together: some of them are truly representative of the individuals in question.

For my fellow Chipman/Rojo RAs, they became the royal court of sorts. Nathan’s photo is Kingly, Rick’s is threatening (The Muscle), Andrew’s is studious (Bureaucrat), Laura’s is pensive (Princess), and Sondra’s is icy (Queen). I’m leaving some out, but only because their descriptions lack such adjectives.

So check out the photo set on Flickr if you’re interested, and be on the lookout next time I have a camera: if I’m taking a really long time to take a picture of you, chances are I’m lining up one of these shots.

In Profile: A Photo Set by Myles McNutt – FlickrĀ 

For those who may also read my TV blog, Cultural Learnings, you might know that I’ve spent a lot of time covering the Jericho renewal and concurrent fan uprising that took place over the summer. As part of that, Copywrite, Ink. (An advertising/business analysis blog) began covering the phenomenon from a business perspective. Rich, who runs the site, and I have had some terse arguments (Including one yesterday that was kind of intense), but in the end it’s all in good fun.

Also all in good fun, apparently, was a Short Story contest. The task was to create a 1000 word short story that fell into the Jericho universe, if you will. And, since it was during the summer and I had not written anything creatively in a while, I decided to submit something. And, well, I won 2nd Place. Which meant a T-Shirt and a Jericho poster. Woot.

It was kind of cool, really, and the reason I post this is that today the story was published. They made some minor stylistic edits (Tense/Word Choice stuff), but in the end it’s my story. There are some parts where the edits were clearly done to remove some of my usual authorial crutches (Such as unnecessary use of Basically, I’m sure), but this simply removes my more annoying habits from the proceedings. So who am I to complain?

Is it genius? No. Is it almost wholesale ripped off from “Damn You, Dr. Phil!”, my Minifest play three years ago? Pretty much.

So if you’re bored, you can check it out and see what you think.

Copywrite Ink. – Jericho “Fan” Fiction – Myles McNutt

It’s Tuesday night, and for the most part things are quiet across campus. There is certainly some people out and about, but tomorrow Acadia turns back to its normal state. Classes will be starting bright and early tomorrow morning, and a campus taken over by raucous celebration will become a place of higher learning once more.

But I think that although higher learning may not have been the goal, Welcome Week is nonetheless a place where a lot of learning takes place. As the campus divides on tribal lines based on one’s residence, and people are assigned names and tasks, it is impossible to avoid new experiences that will challenge even the most out-going individual.

And I would like to congratulate all of the frosh for being up to that challenge. I saw a lot of spirit, a lot of pride, and some really positive developments for certain residences. Whether it’s the small but might Tully, or the veritable army from Chase Court, each group brought to the table their own brand of energy.

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2. The Frosh Photo

I have a thing for photographs, as every single RA and NSO is aware of thanks to my incessant photo taking during our training sessions. So, it is perhaps unsurprising that I have a special place in my heart for this particular aspect of Welcome Week. While the weather forecast for tomorrow (Showers) might bring bad tidings for moving day, I’m much happier to report that Sunday is looking a-ok. And this mean that the Frosh Photo, my 2nd favourite part of Welcome Week, should be taken under sunny skies.

My love for the Frosh Photo derives not just from my love of photography, but moreso for my enjoyment of the purpose of that photography. The Frosh Photo is designed to be a keepsake, something that you can purchase once the local photography studio gets it all nice and prettied up. However, more than that, the event itself creates memories and can bring them back at any time.

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About

The Myles Files are the organized, but likely still incomprehensible, thoughts and ramblings of Myles McNutt, a fourth year English Honours student at Acadia University.

Highlights will include discussion of Acadia politics, his undergraduate thesis about Battlestar Galactica, and the general comings and going of my quasi-interesting life.

Flickr Photos

Hammocks Plains

Promarbor

Too Tolerant For Her Own Good

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