Posts By: Jason Sullivan

Jason Sullivan

Even erudite flies get smashed now and then for sounding too ‘school smart’. As one of many AU students not immersed in an academic social sphere, Jason’s ‘Fly on the Wall’ column seeks to aid and abet the success of others in his cohort. We won’t always be understood when we speak of what we are learning in school but we can rest assured that our education still has value.

His lighthearted approach to sociological philosophy stems from conducting field research at bush parties and working his day job reforesting the mountains of BC. Born in the city of Vancouver and raised on a farm in the Fraser Valley and an orchard in the Okanagan, he attained a diploma in Horticulture in the Creston Valley and then returned to school as a Sociology major. Today’s he’s an AU Master’s of Integrated Studies student who spends his spare time enjoying nature walks, snorkeling and reading whatever philosophical and sociological tracts capture his fancy.

Jason is fascinated with the micro-sociological thoughts and interactions that frame and demarcate our experience of daily life as well as the philosophical realm considering essential questions about what it is to be a human. It’s dense brush but Jason seeks answers where murkiness holds sway.

A Few Theoretical Influences: Louis Althusser, Isaac Asimov, Jean Baudrillard, Simone de Beauvoir, Aime Cesaire, Carol Clover, John Cummings, Kurt Cobain, Jacques Derrida, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Erving Goffman, Antonio Gramsci, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Hobbes, Agnes Martin, Karl Marx, Georg Simmel, Max Weber

The Fly on the Wall—Rewilding the Garden of Our Summer Soul 

Beard era circa 2020 implies new formulations of the phrase: does the carpet match the drapes?  Prescient though this giggled query may be, it connotes timeless equivocations whereby what’s outside (or above) is taken to signify what’s inside (or below).  Sure, we mouth slogans that it’s what’s inside that counts, but superficial aesthetic judgments are… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—The Bombs that Ended the War

August 6th and 9th mark 75th Anniversaries of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  It’s sad, but it happened, and the war ended a week later.  These attacks, approved by Britain and Canada as per the Quebec Agreement, followed on the heels of not only the Nazi Holocaust but also the Blitz of London… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Learning to Love the Blank Screen

“I’m stuck.”  A plaintive cry rang out through my elementary school classroom as another student fell victim to that mysterious vortex comprising blank page syndrome.  To demonstrate resistance to the gnawing emptiness of staring for too long at an empty sheet of paper some kids would expertly place their textbook on their desk and, like… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Battle of the Boyne Day

Calendars can be a hobby in themselves.  Different ones present different key dates and these furnish gilded corridors in which our imaginations can play.   As our AU selves traverse private realms of course contract dates, our inner calendar can seem out of step with the outside world.  We can take comfort, though, in knowing that… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Canada In a Day

Our Canada can be seen as a metaphor for the many possibilities bound within a single human organism.  To be the True North, strong and free, rather than limited and insular, means to accept not only differences of culture but also differences of belief.  It takes all types, all colours, all cultures, and all epistemologies… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—How About a Little Music

Music soothes the savage beast, goes the old aphorism, and when we need a study break nothing quite beats a little rocking it out and dancing it up courtesy of our favourite genre.  Ambient soothing auras can be an auditory study buddy and so can more in-your-face lyricisms.  A question I have, though, is where… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Minds in Bubbles, Minds in a Vacuum

Explanatory prowess often begins with a metaphor.  Take bubbles, for instance.  They can be blown, popped, or inhabited.  Social distancing is inseparable from the metaphor of a bubble and distance education runs with the notion that each of our identities contains an inland empire of meaning and activity.  Likewise, the sky’s the limit in our… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Convocation as Praxis

Fear is a fickle thing to which the famous 4 F’s of the brain’s hypothalamus do scanty justice.  Besides fight, food, fucking, and flight, limbic fear also propels us over mountainous humps we’d have hitherto imagined as insurmountable.  So it was with trepidation that I took the stage along with my graduating cohort at the… Read more »