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—Tuition and Inspiration

September brings apprehension and ambivalence to students of all ages.  Whether our classroom days are four or forty years hence the creeping shadows of autumn re-stimulate memories of that dreaded return to school.  Our formative years were divided, as if with a paper cutter, every September; a whoosh of a sucking sound vacated our spirits… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—How Was Your Summer?

Fill in the blank quiz questions can be a breeze or a bummer.  Like multiple choice, they leave little margin for error or ambiguity.  There seems to be no room to elaborate or hedge one’s bets by fluffing up an answer to cover as much terrain as feels right.  So, with that in mind, inevitably… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Limbic Fantasies Amid Study Reality

Pop culture gleams with opportunities for sociological analytics.  Take the country song “What Was I Thinking” by Dierks Bentley: “I was thinking ‘bout a little white tank top sitting right there in the middle by me I was thinking about a long kiss man just gotta get goin’ with a night like me Well I… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Because Deadlines

“It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again” This timeless line from Silence of the Lambs (and its countless attendant memes) may enter our mind clothed in hyperbole as we study on hot summer days.  Maybe we have air conditioning and maybe we don’t; sometimes we might eschew A/C… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Summertime: Timeless Moments of Inspiration

What’s in a moment? If it’s a summer moment, there might be wisps of breeze in leaves and abundant sultry heat.  Isn’t a moment the ultimate timeless time frame; doesn’t its passing nature transcend ordinary timed context? Measuring time at the best of times is a sticky philosophical proposition: “the measurement of time is puzzling… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Enlightenment through Danger

The production of enlightened wisdom is not a matter of putting our names to a simple sign up sheet.  The methods we choose yield results proper to their context.  The devils we dance with, and classes we register in, make us who we are.  To face the unknown and the danger it entails is part… Read more »

Fly on the Wall—Finding the Canadian That We Are

Jacques Derrida’s book, The Politics of Friendship, spends a swathe of papyrus exploring and questioning the work of Carl Schmitt’s The Concept of the Political.  Schmitt claimed that, going all the way back to ancient Athens, there were two types of social conflict: the first, stasis, involved rigorous debate and argument between members of one… Read more »