Today was a bit of a wasted day. OK, not totally wasted. I was at least not very emotionally depressed today, even if I was still suffering from exhaustion and poor motivation.
I slept late again (having stayed up later than I wanted watching Doctor Who for my book. I should really have just gone to bed as I was very tired). I felt burnt out all day. I spent two or three hours making a spreadsheet of all the jobs I can apply for. It was helpful, as I can now instantly compare job title, salary, closing dates and more to decide which job to apply for next and which to leave (temporarily or permanently), but it took much longer than I expected.
It didn’t help that I procrastinate too much and spend time idly internet browsing, which I suppose is a sign of lack of interest or enthusiasm in job hunting. I got caught up in the ends of yesterday’s Doctor Who identity politics hooha (or should that be Whoha?) and another online argument today and again these bled in to my feelings about antisemitism and the left. (According to the Labour Party, Jamaican-style jerk rice is unbelievably racist and offensive, but Holocaust denial, Protocols of the Elders of Zion-style antisemitic conspiracy theories, blood libels and being friends with terrorists who target Jewish civilians aren’t.)
Ugh, I can feel myself getting sucked back into politics. These days I hate politics. I dislike all the political parties in the UK and don’t feel represented by any of them. But the whole Labour antisemitism thing has taken me by surprise. It’s been ticking over since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015 and I’ve known about it and been intermittently angry, upset and worried about it, but suddenly in the last week or two it’s really got hold of me and I’ve been looking at websites that deal with Israel, antisemitism and the left, something I usually only do when there’s a specific scandal or flare up of Middle East violence. I’m not sure which came first, though, that or the thought of doing a PhD that deals with antisemitism in some way, but they do seem to go together.
The first thing I had published semi-professionally on the internet (semi-professionally in that it was for a commercial website, but I didn’t get paid for it) was on antisemitism and anti-Zionism (when the latter turns into the former) and I’ve read quite a bit about it over the years and thought about it a lot. I suppose I want to understand it, but I’m worried that part of me thinks that if only I could understand it, I could do something to stop it or persuade people to think differently, but I don’t think that life is that easy and I’m not at all sure that it’s sensible to do a PhD with that kind of expectation.
Today I also posted a review on my Doctor Who blog, which I have neglected of late, and I tweeted for the first time to try to raise its profile. I think it may take me a while to get the hang of Twitter, though, and I still have to be sure I don’t get sucked into more procrastination and more depressing politics and antisemitism. Twitter seems to be the general clearing house for abuse and hurtful speech of all kinds (religious, political, cultural) and even people I know and like as nice and good people away from Twitter give in to their angrier side on Twitter, in retweets and likes, if not in tweets, particularly about politics (Trump and Brexit as well as Corbyn).
I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth being on it just to raise the profile of my blog, particularly as I’m not sure that I’m able to do that effectively anyway. Maybe I should just buy a book on SEO? To go with some more books on antisemitism (I already have a couple) to see if they spark any ideas? (I’ve catalogued this book and wanted to read it for years, but I’ve never got around to it, partly because it’s depressing and partly because I read a lot on public transport and it weighs about as much as a brick. Also this book, this one and a few others.)