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

Fly on the Wall—New Mediums, New Methods

Deep in Amazonian South America live capybara: boxy beavers who intermittently refresh themselves by wallowing in mud.  It nourishes and hydrates their skin and probably feels great.  Like AU students, capybara life is about perpetual progress.  This stands in notable contrast to their cousins the prairie gophers, who take the easy way out of winter… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Happy Holidays from Plato

Christmas in July might have been the brainchild of a mind trapped in the December holiday rush.  Some rugged calendar pioneer sensed the invisible energy of fellow shoppers, buzzing thick like mountain electrical lines receiving snowflake shocks during a winter blizzard, and thought, why me, why now!  Or maybe s/he gazed upon row upon row… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—We Are What We Believe

In Part 1, phallic symbols ran rife through our consumer goods and even the food we eat; no reasonable criticism like the extinction of fish species of global warming could rattle our cultural need to find a stable identity in what we eat and buy. So, “ok, hold on just a hot minute” you might… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Waiter, there’s a Phallus in my Soup

Comfort food: succulent hugs in morsel mouthfuls.  It’s soulful re-invigoration at a delightful and intangible level.  Sinfully delicious or piously nutritious, our hard-studying taste buds deserve the best.  We know what we like and we don’t need to ask why.  But what if your favourite Canadian dish threatened extinction for a species in the wild?… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—A Simmel Plan

At Cirque de Soleil last week a unique opportunity presented itself: during intermission I gazed upward at a sea of audience faces entranced and captivated by the show and then over at the stage performers enraptured by the craft of their art.  In this moment I attained a perfect middle between subject and object. It… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—November 11, 2018

Behind ideas and actions lie belief systems; in times of war, philosophies have mortal consequences.  Veterans spent so much of their life’s vigour and vim because they believed in ideals of duty, democracy, nation, and honour; in short, everything that makes our society free.  Our liberty to study and flourish today exists because of these… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Frightful Times on the Fringes of Identity

Ever wake up not feeling yourself? This can be a haunting reality as when a person says you’re not yourself today or that doesn’t seem like something you’d do.  To have our stable wholeness questioned can leave us feeling off kilter or even defensive.  These moments illustrate that our being (our ontology) is more fluid… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—No Terrain Too Tricky

If you’re feeling overburdened or out of place as your coursework mounts this Fall it might help to consider the peculiar case of gold rush camels.  Miners heading to Barkerville, B.C.  during the 1860s tried importing camels to lug their rucksacks and mining tools through steep mountain passes (UVic, online).  Our experience as independent scholars… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Over the Mountain, Over the Hill?

“No one here gets out alive” proclaimed a biography of Jim Morrison (Hopkins, Sugerman).  No matter our personal age we must accept that the year is waning and the life of summer has fled.  Autumnal chills with claustrophobic auspices may leave us feeling listless and trapped by the enforced hibernation of winter life.  Even our… Read more »