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—Education as a Happiness Machine

To learn is to know, or so the theory goes.  We add information to our minds and develop processes to accentuate our knowledge acquisition skills.  Yet, the internet provides multiple answers to many of the same questions; you need only decide your point of view in advance and have it confirmed if you want to… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—History Electives

Protean possibilities, boundless as one’s imagination, begin with raw facts.  Think of how you feel in any given moment of whimsy, dipping salted French fries into a milkshake for instance, and it’s clear that the stuff of reality is also the mean of reality’s transcendence.  The present tense, seemingly immutable and certain and stolid, is… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Where the Magic Happens

“Electricity comes from other planets” jovially declared the proto-punk songwriter Lou Reed in 1967 (online).  Jupiter, a planetary marker of joviality in that it heralds the outer planets (once known commonly as the jovian planets) suggests by its swirling eye that we are in the centre of a great cosmic mystery.  Colours, textures, swirls, to… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—It Is What it Is…

Lake driftwood sometimes floats vertically, all submerged but the tip.  Such a protuberance can also be the head of a turtle who, upon hearing footfalls, leaps gracelessly off its basking log and into the safety of lake water.  Fleeting from rest to action in a moment, belying their sloth-like reputation, these creatures then camouflage themselves… Read more »

Fly on the Wall: Nevermind Netflix and Chill

Whether it’s child labour in Dickensian London—that time of Tiny Tim and coal dust smog—or modern sweatshops seething with repressed bodies and stultified minds, the outcome of the goods and services that propel our consumerist times is far removed from those who actually toil to bring us our pleasure.  This we know.  Few of our… Read more »