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 – When the Should Hit the Fan

There’s a moment, in Chapter 11 of Jack Kerouac’s classic On the Road, where he’s riding the Greyhound across America and sits next to a fetching country girl. He engages her in a conversation, which amounts to an interrogatory attempt to suss out her meaning of life. As he ogles her tanned breasts she describes… Read more »

Fly on the Wall – Cognitive Lightning

A pitter-patter of raindrops becomes a torrential deluge as the mountainous vista of my forestry job is invaded by meteorological reality. Lightning sheets across the sky, followed instantly by a tremendous crash of thunder. Amazingly, though not surprisingly given the nature of our 21st century, I simultaneously hear the much-quieter sound of my cell phone… Read more »

A Fly on the Wall – A Philosophical Gaze

The languid May air hovers around me as I work in my orchard. Time seems to stand still. A single hopeful mosquito buzzes past my cheek and disappears amidst the leaves. It’s a ponderous afternoon for me, having just returned home from my Grandmother’s memorial service. I am full of images and stories from her… Read more »

Contrails on a Hot Tin Roof

During a pause at my forestry job I gazed skyward and spied a jet with a pluming white contrail flowing out behind it. Against the deep azure backdrop, it had a transcendental quality. This made me think of a fellow I knew who was convinced that planes sprayed mind-control substances into the atmosphere whenever they… Read more »

The Abject

A sheet of paper flew out the window of my family’s Volkswagen Jetta as we emitted screams of delight. As it whipped out of sight between traffic and raindrops we realized what we’d just done. We’d been warned not to release our newfound toy, which flapped noisily in the wind, and we’d broken the rule… Read more »

Lichen On Logs

This weekend I was taking some pictures of lichen on logs protruding through the snow around my frozen local reservoir. My photo session was interrupted when I encountered a friendly couple who were taking videos of their family dog doing tricks. Seeing me, the dog stopped in its tracks and bolted in my direction, barking… Read more »

A Horse of a Different Colour

Tonight I glanced over at a video game and saw a cowgirl riding a pale steed. Upon commenting on the quixotic thematic realities of a heroine riding a white horse I was informed that, in fact, the player herself was situated abreast a brown horse. But it sure looked like a white horse to me…. Read more »

The Crib of Normal

This morning the first thing that captured my senses was a baby crib shaped like a shark’s mouth. A Quebecois TV announcer was discussing this odd family product. It occurred to me that, the night before, I’d been watching ’Pirates of the Caribbean’ on the French channel. Not because I speak more than a lick… Read more »

How do You Like Those Apples

Like a shadow, a Biblical feeling passes over me as I thin apples in my orchard on a bright summer afternoon. I think back to Sunday school and the book of Matthew where it says “every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew, 7:19, New International… Read more »