It always comes down to one’s “caricature”: conceding to the use of invective-filled speech acts but denying any harm is characteristic of populists-jingoists/harassers. (The Read . . . #24.5)


12Keystrokes teaches that the aim of argument is communication, not confrontation. (In contrast, quarreling tends to be about “winning” – whatever that might mean to the quarrelers.)

It is not productive to argue over personal preferences (like “best” ice cream flavors or candies).

As they progress in their academic and professional careers and engage with an ever-widening public sphere, students will need to know how to write in (more) formal situations.

It’s all quite standard, really.

12Keystrokes’ position (thus far) remains as follows:

  • We (re)present ourselves textually;
  • Realist (et al.) engages in black-or-white thinking and populist/jingoist/“educator-centered” discourses that rely on an in-crowd’s over-identification with academic degrees/critical thinking (and a curious construction of students’ SES);
  • Realist (et al.) responds to opposing viewpoints with harassment, snipey comments, fallacious reasoning, double-standards (i.e., a flagrant unwillingness to honor the presuppositions that structure reasoned debate) – all of which characterizes populism/jingoism;
  • This list is not complete.

Clearly, Sketches works through the above bullet statements.

Your comment is deceitful. Your assertion that 12Keystrokes is engaged in unwarranted criticism is profoundy unfortunate.  Realist claims anonymity enables a focus on the message, not the messenger.  You focus on anonymity (or “caricature”) to filter the message (and to deflect 12Keystrokes’ focus on the rhetoric of the message).  “Obviously” is an intensifier that asserts epistemic certainty and reinforces assumptions (silences) within a particular community or situation (contexts).  To take something as “given” requires no evidence; thus, your comment is wholly personal (arguing over preferences).  You write Realist is a caricature, a faculty member, a “he” or “she” and – with this layering of selves and unclear pronoun antecedents in place – go on to claim that Realist can be “illogical” or (harmlessly) “annoying” but a “frequent stimulator of productive conversation.”  That last rhetorical ploy simultaneously seeks to establish Realist’s character while directing the reader to place any faults on a caricature (that is, a purely abstract literary device that has somehow animated itself), surely prompting at least one colloquial retort of “How stupid do you think I am?”

An exchange between PhiloDave and 12Keystrokes that took place roughly halfway through Sketches’ four-month run (there were no posts in May) already addresses your other complaints. (Conspicuously, pedantry goes unmentioned, though your concern for that occurs elsewhere.)**

Finally, 12Keystrokes urges no rush to judge the Deen controversy that Realist dangles and pairs so emptily with unresolved Blackhawks comments; instead, 12Keystrokes invites you to consider 1) the CLA performance task, 2) Realist’s puzzlement that inappropriate language is tolerated in one context and not another,  and 3) the fact that Fish’s explanation regarding speech and context was already provided.

This suggests the following:

  • Realist does not read/write carefully enough (or with enough understanding);
  • Realist (instructor at HWC) rushes to distance herself/himself from Deen (celebrity chef);
  • Realist mistakes the simple decision to reject/mute Deen/ for complex reasoning (which would require some analysis of the limit of “free speech”);
  • Transfer has not occurred.

Exactly what does this “caricature” wish to satirize?

Page’s “Paula Deen’s Menu: Foot in Mouth” jibes with Fish, and both men are correct: thanks to Deen and Realist, there are healthy conversations to be had that have little to do with bicycles. Have those conversations, Kamran.

Or don’t.

*12Keystrokes is not engaged in mere name calling. Quite unexpectedly, this reply made for an excellent summary of Sketches thus far, so the decision was made to contribute it as a separate post.

**Your concerns over pedantry suggest that you have been criticized for it.

11 thoughts on “It always comes down to one’s “caricature”: conceding to the use of invective-filled speech acts but denying any harm is characteristic of populists-jingoists/harassers. (The Read . . . #24.5)

  1. Hi, 12keystrokes.

    I have an observation for your consideration. (I expect no reply and will not reply further here, which I mention just so you (and others) know that I’m not ignoring you/them if I don’t reply–I’m just not available.).

    Anyway, here it is: I read this post as A) invective-filled*; and B) denying any harm of your previous also invective-filled posts. Perhaps A and B are not sufficient conditions for identification of jingoists/harrassers? There are, of course, other possibilities.

    *Note your qualification that you are not engaged in “mere name-calling,” implying that you are aware of the “name-calling” present in the piece.

    • Dave – Are there are circumstances by which you would revoke 12keystrokes authorship privileges? In my opinion this has carried on way too long and is outside the scope of what should be the purpose of the Lounge. A 12keystrokes blog would be more appropriate in my opinion.

    • Hi, PhiloDave.

      Glad to see that all politeness concerns haven’t dropped out of use on the Lounge. (This is in response to your greeting.)

      Comments were read today, and #24.75 Interlude #7 has already been posted.

      12Keystrokes is skeptical of your observation that this post (and previous posts) is “invective-filled” though it is likely that politeness and invectives — either intended or perceived and of varying degree — find their way into many interactions during a day.

      More importantly, an acknowledgement of the possibility of invective-filled harm informs most of the comments in this thread, which suggests that some common ground can be found, but at present these comments are quite biased, which suggests that this is a revisionist ruse.

  2. Please just stop, 12keystrokes. Or take these posts to somewhere else in the blogosphere. This may have started as an academic exercise on rhetoric, but it has become destructive: both self-destructive (since, in my opinion, the tenor and content of your words in this post and others more closely align with the harassing/invective-filled speech acts you claim to reject from Realist in your title) and destructive of our community as educators and colleagues. I don’t speak for everyone, but my morale is shattered a bit more each time I read your lengthy attacks on Realist (not because I’m an avid fan of Realist, but because Realist is a member of our community) and now on Kamran. Yes, I have the choice to read or not read your or anyone else’s posts. Call me an optimist, but I keep waiting for these posts to turn a corner and contribute in a more positive way to the collegial dialogue that the Harold Lounge is designed to foster. But, if anything, your tone is becoming increasingly vitriolic and diffuse in its focus. It feels like you have hijacked the blog to air personal grievances (in part, perhaps because the pseudonymity of Realist makes it impossible to air these grievances in another way). I can relate to that frustration, but I reject the approach you have taken. If I knew who you were, I would make this request privately. Instead, due to your pseudonymity, I have to do it here, even though I know that it will likely just lead to a response from you that I will find either excessively aggressive or patronizing, as I have found the majority of your responses to similar requests to shift gears or cease fire. This 24+part sequence of posts affects more than you and Realist. It makes the rest of us unsure of who we can interact with authentically. It changes the dynamic not just of our virtual space, but of our personal space at work when we are unable to connect actions with the actor. This may have been your original point, or close to it, but it has been utterly lost in these explorations. So instead of continuing with these attempts to force people to adopt your perspective and share your level of outrage (and in the process attacking those who question the wisdom, success, or other features of your project), please consider taking a break to consider a new, more constructive approach.

    • Hi, Erica.

      Exactly why Kamran (let alone Realist) should receive a pass escapes 12Keystrokes entirely. Perhaps it is because you actually, physically know Kamran but not 12Keystrokes (that’s not sarcasm — there’s real science behind that last sentence) though that wouldn’t explain the pass granted to Realist. (See “The Read . . . #24.75, Interlude #7.”)

      However, at a more local level re: this thread, PhiloDave’s misreading of “name-calling” appears to structure your response almost sentence-by-sentence. (This is not the same thing as saying that any of this was intentional.) As a result, your comment lacks balance – it employs double-standards – but saying so doesn’t equate to name-calling or invective-filled speech.

      Optimism holds sway on this end too.

      PS. “It makes the rest of us unsure of who we can interact with authentically.” What do you see going on in the hallways/office spaces? Perhaps faculty incivility should be explored further in Sketches, but if people are professional most interactions should be manageable. Do you mean to say that you are fearful of confiding your politics to someone at work?

  3. Yes. I agree. Please stop.
    I started reading the Lounge for information & perspective about actual HWC & CCC goings-on.
    However, this blog seems to have devolved into a 12keystrokes monologue of attacks on anyone he/she disagrees with.
    Please stop.

  4. Clearing old files and found more concerns about pedantry (

    It’s a discussion about whether or not Rahm “uses” his children to make a point in an argument. (Realist sees a caricature-character split re: Rahm-the-father and Rahm-the-politician, though there’s no call on Rahm-the-husband, son, brother or other Rahm roles.)

    But for all this role playing, patterns can be tracked (into/in a narrative). That seems to be Realist’s point. started the discussion re: using Rahm’s children to make a point and concludes:

    [Update: I contacted the school shortly after this post went public and inquired as to when Rahm had completed the application process for his children. (In case I was wrong, I was ready to admit my mistake.) This was the school’s email reply: “…we do not comment on our students and where they are in the application process. The Mayor and his wife made a decision, and the Laboratory Schools will not comment on their decision.”]

    (Note: 12Keystrokes has not read the comments here but understands that PhiloDave weighed in but cannot stay. The comments will have to keep just now.)

  5. Oh Dear……..again?

    12 Keystrokes…………Do you know?

    1. The city is filled with violence, homelessness, and despair?
    2. That the State is is doing everything it can to deny you your pension and retirement health insurance?
    3. That CPS has shut down 50 schools destroying neighborhoods?
    4. That CPS has had their budgets slashed?
    5. That the State is considering allowing a conceal carry law?
    6. That Grant Park no longer exists and money for the workers has gone to creating a Maggie Daley Park next to Millennium Park?
    7. That your own department at CCC has a balanced budget that will probably not allow for those white board markers you so desperately need to teach your classes?

    Your constant haranguing of members of this forum for their word choices is a way of avoiding real issues that concern several million residents of this area, never mind the issues abroad, or the issues of your students. Oh wait……you are not paying attention.

    Forgive me. I didn’t mean to interrupt your ridiculous diatribe with real issues. Please just continue with your clearly PERSONAL blogroll, although frankly, your time would be more productive playing Skyrim.

    • Thanks for refocusing our energies on bigger, more important, and pressing issues. These 7 points also affect my morale (as a human and citizen of this city/state/country/world), but for legitimate reasons. And talking about these types of issues with colleagues makes me feel more energized to take positive action instead of becoming paralyzed with feelings of “uuuuggggghhhhh”-ness. What a difference.

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