After an abortive attempt at travel-blogging last summer as i inter railed across Europe – when a spell of unpainful but highly irritating diarrhea in Slovenia put me so far behind and in such a foul mood that all blogging died – i’m giving it another go as set off for my epic trek across the United States.
For those who don’t know the details, they are as follows. I’ve just left Balliol College, Oxford, and am enrolled upon the Coolidge Pathfinders Programme, along with 7 others who have likewise sat their final exams this summer. Pathfinders is a scheme under which recent graduates travel to the US with the help of both college financial backing and the good-will and hospitality of Old Members, who offer to host Pathfinders for a night or two.
Each Pathfinder has a project. Mine goes something like this (stolen from the Pathfinders’ website, which currently makes no sense due to some vicious editing):
Basically I got really excited reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America in my final year, and decided it would be quite interesting to see if America is really as full of paradoxes and ironies as Tocqueville said it was c.1835…
“[I wish] to explore [the] question [of Paradoxes of American Power] from many angles: statistically some of the poorest sections of American society vote Republican (at least in the southern states), despite the fact that Republicans historically do the least for the poorest in society; how will the recent developments in the price of oil affect the US economy and in turn people’s lives and relations with their government; what are the ongoing or changing attitudes to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and consequently, the legacy of the Bush administration); how will Obama fair as the new Democrat nominee and what paradoxes of American paradoxes might this reveal?”
That all sounds – lets be honest – thoroughly pretentious and vague at the same time. But i’m hoping to have a good go of it, even though i’m not really sure what I expect to see or find. What i do see and find will probably make it onto this blog, distorted by the filtering lens of my own views and prejudices, no doubt.
Anybody in the US wishing to meet/host me who hasn’t been contacted or contacted me, feel free to drop me a message at paulrichardsagar @ gmail.com (obviously no space in the real thing, i just don’t like spam).
Until things get going a-proper over here, you might like to look at my other blogs, Clicheguevara and Die Welt als Vorstellung. The latter is my embryonic photo blog, the former is where i rant and rave and generally say things i later regret in the process of alienating my friends and colleagues. Some of Clicheguevera is supposed to be taken seriously, a great deal isn’t. I leave you to decide which is which.
Until July, i bid thee farewell.