The Read from This Side of Suite 711 (#20)

Prefatory remark: This is to speculate, to raise some meta-concerns about responsiveness as opposed to a mere carnality of responding here on the Lounge.  “Third Sketch” follows an elliptical orbit in order to explore some of the putative reasons for a variety of posts, although examination of Realist’s writing remains the core around which the sketch orbits. 


THIRD SKETCH: Context(s) & Silence(s)*

Part One:

What community is being addressed in the above title? 

Is the target community in a position to read/receive the post (let alone adjudicate between what is or isn’t “academic”) and willing (or able) to answer the question “who is served?”  

Examining the 1-24-2012 post, one notices that a week later, an instructor’s students posted in response to an assignment.  A tally of those replies results in the following: 

Replies #4 through #32 equal thirty-one separate responses.  (Note: In the tabulation below, several replies are not included due to problems with clarity of expression/meaning.  For example, reply #8 seems to view the mayor’s speech negatively, yet concludes by stating the student has “big plans to move on to Nursing School next fall”; replies #17, #22, and #30 see the pros and cons of the mayor’s plans, then call for a more balanced implementation of the plans.) 

Eleven students view the mayor’s plan negatively: replies #10, 14, 16, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, and 32.  (9 of these students plan to transfer: replies #10, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, and 32.)

Eight students view the mayor’s plan positively: replies #11, 12, 15, 18, 20, 21, 23, and 28. 

Reply #20 reads: “Not only is this going to affect me in a positive way, but also the following generations after us. I have two younger brothers and when I read this speech, I was happy to know that the Mayor was going to combine major businesses with community colleges to help train students in their field. Although I am a bit upset that Harold Washington wasn’t on his list this year, I am looking forward to the partnerships we have yet to know. I come from a working class family, and with this said, I am thankful that people like Rahm Emmanuel make it easier for people who have a rough time getting an education.”


*It’s a working title.  12keystrokes wants to look at a discourse or two, glance at some presuppositions or preconditions that a community draws upon when having a discussion but that may not always be a part of the community’s discussion.

The Read from Suite 711 (#19.76) Interlude (#6.76)

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Serendipity on Wednesday

Before beginning “Third Sketch,” 12 keystrokes offers one more interlude.

And to anyone who is following “The Read. . . Suite 711” please bear in mind that the lack of credibility in Realist’s writing – as evidenced by the crudity of its demonizing rhetoric (and double-standards/botched pedagogy/non-linear development) – is an issue separate from free speech, academic freedom, the democratizing use of anonymity, or “just funnin’.”  An honest discussion of these latter issues is welcome (and it seems that one such discussion was just conducted by Kamran and Erica).  At present, Realist’s writing promotes a (normative?) bullying culture on the Lounge that depends on denigrating the Other; by definition, “demonizing rhetoric” bullies.

The appeal of Realist’s writing – whatever it may be – is not to be found in its credibility.

The serendipity comes from which begins as follows:

“Today’s rape culture promotes the idea that it’s acceptable to joke about domestic violence and make sexist comments against women, and too often women are unfairly reprimanded for speaking out against such behaviors. Trista Hendren, the woman behind Facebook watchdog group Rapebook, which reports misogynistic posts to Facebook administrators, is the most recent example of this.”

The above link is meant to suggest parallels and analogies and not to swing from one extreme to another.

Question: What makes for a productive discussion on a blog?

The Read from This Side of Suite 711 (#19.75) (Interlude #6.75)

Interlude 6.75

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Serendipity on Thursday

If you’ve read Fish over at #19 – either the interview or the title essay of his book – you know the following about his argument:

• “Free speech” is a conceptual impossibility. Speech must always be bounded, always contextualized – that is, emerge from some background of presuppositions – in order to be meaningful; otherwise, it is only sound. (It is sense and not sound that we argue over.)

• The idealized “open mind” is an empty mind (as a mind without context/presupposition would be a mind that took no position, made no discriminations, and did not adjudicate).

• Speech always has a purpose – e.g. to inform, to persuade, to trivialize – so it both privileges (what the speaker/community agrees with) and suppresses (what the speaker/community disagrees with).

• Speech is (like) an action: it always operates within and affects a community. Few people would argue for “freedom of action” – to allow people to act however they want – the same way some people sometimes argue for “freedom of speech.” Everyone draws a line/imposes a limit on such “freedoms,” and a “crisis moment” will reveal that line/limit.

• There is always some “cost” to be paid by the community whenever someone speaks, and the cost depends on what is spoken as well as the community’s norms/presuppositions. Whatever one’s position re: freedom of speech, one must recognize that there are costs. Those who would defend free speech “on principle” yet “trivialize” (or simply “harass away”) the potential negative effects/costs of speech. . . .