Wednesday, August 24, 2011

preconditions of respect

I keep getting comments and emails saying that it was mean to go after Zack Beauchamp because he is inexperienced, or because the person writing presumes that he's young. I have no idea on either front.

I think this sort of thing illustrates the great distance between some of my ideas about what argument is, how democracy works, and what real intellectual respect entails. I have a whole host of complaints about how discussion goes down on blogs, but I'll be brief and just say: when you are overly protective of a writer on the Internet, you inevitably create the impression that the writer needs protecting. So is Zack Beauchamp someone who needs protecting? I'll extend him the preconditional respect of saying that he is not.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds right to me.

Really, you draw the most ludicrous flies to your comments sections.

Anonymous said...

Question: I heard that you are a professor of rhetoric. What exactly does that mean?

Freddie said...

Not a professor, a graduate student. Rhetoric and composition is small subfield of English. I feel like any gloss of it I give would be reductive (doesn't everyone think that way about their own field?). The National Council of Teachers of English is our professional organization.

Although I am of course studying rhetoric and rhetorical theory, I am much more on the pedagogical side, myself. Incidentally, our job numbers are quite strong, in comparison to the academic job market generally and certainly to the rest of English.

JahSonora said...

Don't let anyone convince you to change your tone....it's the most refreshing thing about reading your blog, aside from your unwavering promotion of true liberal ideas.....on topic, Zack has no business posting on the Dish, should be honing his chops on a less insightful blog....

Troy said...

Leaving aside your liberal ideas and whether or not they are solid (I'm sure they are), this:

"Don't let anyone convince you to change your tone"

is exactly your problem. Tone, not substance.

What are your credentials again? Why do Dish readers keep getting directed to you? Who are you? I would honestly like to know. No bio on your blog, so far as I can see, no info on the internet. We keep getting directed here every now and again...love to know why...

Freddie said...

Just some dude, Troy!

Listen, man: I post here and on Balloon Juice. I'm glad for the audience I have at both. I don't claim to be entitled to anything. I think that it is extremely important for people who are truly independent-- that is, without institutional affiliation, without media affiliation, without the host of patrons and bosses and social conditioning that afflicts most bloggers-- to be in the conversation. People like you want the same small number of in-groupers to dictate all argument on blogs. I'm opposed to that.

Now, you are apparently the kind of person who wants his ideas predigested and handed down from the kind of institutional authority that most popular bloggers have. That's fair enough. The prescription is simple: stay away from my blog. No one is asking for your patronage. I make no money off of this. Now, I would say that unlike certain, more prominent bloggers, I actually have an area of nascent expertise that I am developing. You might ask yourself why you think that certain other bloggers are vested with authority beyond the fact that they have an elevated social station and the patronage of powerful stakeholders supporting them.

Personally, I could care less. If you want to know who I am: I am some dude. Just some dude. But this random dude is putting the arguments that he has made to you. What are you going to do? Talking about how I lack the advance credentials of, say, Ross Douthat et al. is not an argument. Sure, I've got degrees, and I'm working on more. But I'll never satisfy your desire to be given the imprimatur of the gatekeepers. The question is whether you can satisfy me by actually supplying an argument against my positions.

What are you afraid of?

somefeller said...

Now, you are apparently the kind of person who wants his ideas predigested and handed down from the kind of institutional authority that most popular bloggers have.

This is an amusing thing to read, considering this conversation started with you jumping out to defend some prominent bloggers from criticism from a person you didn't think had the credibility to critique them.

Now, I would say that unlike certain, more prominent bloggers, I actually have an area of nascent expertise that I am developing.

Very, very nascent, I'm sure. And being a blustering buffoon isn't a field of expertise.

Freddie said...

This is an amusing thing to read, considering this conversation started with you jumping out to defend some prominent bloggers from criticism from a person you didn't think had the credibility to critique them.

No, I didn't. Your reading comprehension is as poor as your attempts at insult.

Don't come around here no more.

Freddie said...

Really, you draw the most ludicrous flies to your comments sections.

Don't I just?

Troy said...

Hey, 'man,' I'm just askin' a question of a dude who posts his thoughts on the internet for the entire world to peruse!

We're all just dudes, Freddie. Just wanted to know what you, as a dude, had been up to besides bloviating on the internet.

With regard to your 'arguments', as I said, riiiiight in the first sentence of my not-exactly-verbose post, your substance isn't the problem, though it's not a particular strength.

To be clearer, "People like me" (and, let's be honest, neither of us has any idea who the other is, though I did ask you a direct question, which you rather inexpertly dodged...) want some indication that we're not wasting our time reading the opinions of a grad student who shows no indication of professional growth beyond his institution (See what I did there?).

Life is, in some ways, fair. Do something exciting (not even something difficult!) and people tend to care more about your opinions and analysis.

What am I afraid of? Well...I guess I'm afraid of wasting my time. BUT...this is pretty entertaining, so no worries. How's that?

somefeller said...

No, I didn't. Your reading comprehension is as poor as your attempts at insult.

No, you just got caught out.

Don't come around here no more.

Ha! Thin-skinned much? Well, you know what they say about those who like to dish it out...

Anonymous said...

The real problem with zack is that hes boring. Well, not only him but most of the current Dish guest bloggers (I really cant tell them apart). Sometimes I get the feeling that Andrew purposely picks boring ass replacements to get us to appreciate him more.

Paul said...

The mark of supreme skill in a certain type of troll is his ability to dance upon, without ever quite crossing, the line between obnoxiousness and face-palming stupidity. Troy and somefeller might be trolls but they aren't supremely skilled ones.

Theo Beers said...

It's been a pretty long time since I read anything on the Dish that I felt added anything to my understanding of, or perspective on, any issue. I routinely open the page, start scrolling down, read a few posts, get this odd tired feeling, and move on to something else. It seems like Andrew has lost a lot of his mojo. Sadly, the various assistants he's brought on are an order of magnitude worse.

I get a lot more out of checking RCP on a daily basis, keeping up with Project Syndicate, Taranto's "Best of the Web Today" on WSJ. See what BBC claims is important in world news, look at the "spotlight" pane on Google News. Head to YouTube and see what Cenk Uygur is mad about today. I dunno. The Dish used to be one of the few *blogs* to which I would purposefully navigate, but now it just feels tedious. If Andrew ever writes something worth reading, it'll probably make it onto one of the aggregators anyway. Greenwald is one I still read for his own sake, partly because the people who choose which blog posts are most important never seem to list any of his!

tl;dr: Illegitimi non carborundum! These Dish people are a bunch of rancid twats. And.....
تحلیلگریشان در مورد خاور میانه بسیار خراب است. بهشان اصلااا گوش ندهید

WOW Gold said...

sensitive....

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