Elliot D. Woods has an intriguing piece up at the Virginia Quarterly Review about the mineral wealth and mining practices in Afghanistan. The piece is an excellent essay looking at the current situation and the potential of Afghanistan. I think what it misses is the larger ramifications of nearly all mining practices no matter what the social or economic climate of the region being mined. To note that Afghanistan doesn’t meet international safety standards seems to me to fall flat when compared to the mining disasters occurring in far more stable regions. Where the strength lies in Woods’ work is in his overall descriptions of the condition of the industry in Afghanistan and the response to the Pentagon’s report about mineral resources that he cites early in the essay. His piece is well worth a thorough read.
Since my last post life has both been much more stressful thanks to another round of term finals and relaxing thanks to Spring Break. Obviously those two factors have intervened with my attempt to keep up with my linking of recent issues with labor relations in the midwest. I’m certain that I’ll return to that style of posting off and on in the future. The most significant problem for me in this blog is frankly keeping pace with events and the amount of reading and research I’m already doing for my own work and teaching. As one of my dissertation committee members recently pointed out, my PhD work is inherently in a long format that cannot keep up with the pace of events nor in some ways should it. Frankly, the deep investigations I’m doing into historicity, labor and literature need the benefit of time for a thorough investigation. On the other hand, current events not only deserve a deeper engagement, in the case of Wisconsin and the current labor issues facing the nation, they demand further investigation due to their potential for long reaching ramifications. My attempt to keep this blog is my own defense against the oscillation between the two polls of deep reflection and the immediacy of tracking events. I’m not certain that I’ve struck the particular balance I was envisioning. Instead I ended up with a link blog. That’s well and good in the fact that I am attempting to record certain issues and I’m sure I’ll fall back on that in the future as well, but when I started posting with some level of commitment earlier this year I was hoping to coax myself into writing a bit more than I have been. I had hoped that this could be a clearing ground to explore issues in an informal fashion.
And, you know, post various links related to Sleater-Kinney apparently (or honestly whatever other sundries catch my attention. This is ultimately a personal blog as opposed to an entirely professional one. I mix the two here specifically to fend off burn out on one side and simply ignoring the other).
An odd set of goals in the end, but one I wanted to remind myself of in the long run.