Thursday, March 17, 2005

"You Have Dissertation Sickness... Your Website Will Return in Time..."

Geeks of all ages will catch the Return of the Jedi reference. Basically, here is me:

Dissertation sickness is exactly like hibernation sickness. It's like the rest of the world stops, and you're in double trouble... not only are you completely confined in one position for what seems like an eternity, but you have your hands up in constant protest and this ghastly grimace kind of stuck on your face, even if you're enjoying what you're doing (which, thankfully, I am). Now, in an interesting metacritical departure from the Jedi model, you are both Han Solo and Boba Fett, because nobody put you in this damn position except yourself (especially if you are, say, an inveterate procrastinator, except re: things that don't technically matter). Hyperspeed hellion + bounty hunter = dissertation slave. To add tone and temperature to the analogy, the part about Han being frozen in carbonite is easy to approximate if you happen to be writing your dissertation in Ithaca, NY.

Here is your dissertation:

It is effulgent. It is morbidly obese. It is your gargantuan captor and tormenter. It grows ever bigger, despite never seeming to do anything. It eats everything. It is just sitting there, blobbed down, staring you in the face throughout the waking day, no matter how/where you try to avoid it. It forbids being in touch with your friends, especially the ones in far-off places like Cloud City (San Francisco), the ice-planet of Hoth (Chicago/Detroit), the Creature Cantina (New York), the Jedi Academy (other universities), or the Death Star (Washington, DC). If you look to Jabba's left (i.e., your right), you'll notice the vat of what I take to be Mountain Dew that is ubiquitously present around the dissertation. Dissertations are not accomplished without Mountain Dew; the less said about what counts as a "meal" while writing a dissertation, the better.

You of course have the option of just not finishing it, but the prospects that follow from this plan of action are not all that pretty:

So, I'm'a have to do my best with this thing, but I just wanted to offer an illustrated apology for why my website still sucks so bad of late, and is probably going to keep sucking until around the middle of June. Believe me, I have plenty I want to say! - I've had an Aviator review in the hopper for weeks, I've got a couple things to say about the very few movies of 2005 that I've managed to catch in the opening quarter, and there's all my usual Oscar follow-up stuff left to do, like the Rental Guide. (Here's last year's, so you know what I'm talking about.) But I'm a frozen FlickPicker for right now. Please don't abandon me! I know that falling off the wagon this hard is the best way to commit web-suicide, but for the time being, there's no way around it. I hope y'all will still be here when I resurface. (And do keep checking the blog, anyway, since it will stay marginally more active than the website. Small pleasures.)

All photos © 1983 LucasFilm Ltd. Y'all know that the last thing I need right now is George Lucas' lawyers hopping on my broke a**.

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Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

Nick... I laughed so much for the first little bit of this post and then got totally freaked out / empathetically sad. I'm not laughing AT you. I'm laughing WITH you.

My heart goes out. Even though I have never written a dissertation you explained it well enough that I suddenly pictured myself in my own corporate-hell life equivalent which is too boring to talk about on a blog -even WITH hilarious illustrations!

God bless.

4:36 PM, March 18, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Though these analogies are right on, also remember that Jabba gets totally conquered by the badass bunch that rescues Hans. You don't even have to get anorexic and wear a weirdo bikini and leash; you'll still kick this thing's ass in good time and style. Rock on, Nick!


11:23 AM, March 19, 2005  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

You two are terrific cheerleaders, which is why you're both already in the Acknowledgments! Or at least, you will be when I get around to writing them....

10:57 PM, March 19, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I wrote my acknowledgements *all* the time when I was finishing. Seriously, if I couldn't do anything else, or didn't want to, I would go back into my acknowledgements page and reword somebody's thank-you. Sometimes that was enough to jog me back into writing. (I assume this would work even if one wasn't writing an autobiography dissertation.)

3:39 PM, March 20, 2005  

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