Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Question of control...

The strange thing about Nick's claim is that the people who are being silenced are going to write more, and longer, because they're being silenced.

It's not silly at all. It's human.

What he describes as "interesting debate" is made so not because I left the discussion. There's another human fact at work here.

(BTW, Nick, in case you're google alerts pop up to lead you here, or something like it, in fact, I was in the middle of BFE Maine with limited web access, doing graduate work morning, noon, and night, while still working on my dayjob and new writing. So... No, Nick, it actually had nothing to do with you, or your continued insistence on shoving my voice and thoughts into your own experiential narratives. Your odd insistince on engaging in rudeness is part of why I'm posting this right now.)

The thing is, when Nick describes the debate as "interesting", it is also because he took the reigns of it, and forced it down a path he wanted. He shoved everyone into his experiential worldview at the expense of other narratives.

Look at how many posts Nick makes in comparison to everyone else, after I left, and the shape they took and you see how the discussion shaped itself around one man's voice, the crankiest one, the first one to engage in true juvenalia up above, like putting words in my mouth, or thoughts in my head. Once again, he's shaping the narrative around his own preconceptions of what that narrative should be, and if you watch, you'll see him shutting down perspectives that don't line up with his own.

It's a control thing, man. It got interesting to him because he took control of it, not because it actually got more interesting. It was just as interesting the whole time.

Try to see yourself from the outside, party people.

The thing about publishing and books is that no one has the whole picture. We all only know a very small slice, no matter who we are. If we actually want to create a whole, we can't use our little slice to cut away other experiences.

We learn more by approaching everyone's perspective as inherently valid in the soft knowledge learning of books.

It's weird to know the many things Nick's done to try and increase the liberation of the mind, yet to watch him engage in discussion in a way that is loudly and softly bullying.


NM said...

What a silly set of complaints.

The conversation became interesting because it was actually HAD after you left (and I made no value judgments as to why you left).

When you were in the conversation, it was about one thing: your misunderstanding of the credential argument and your inability to separate your own experience of reading one writer from broad and ridiculous generalizations about the "falseness" of literary fiction.

You do the same here, with an outright delirious claim that I "forced" and "shoved" people to...well, do what? Did I force Hal to discuss a theory he already developed, using terms he adapted from Suvin? Of course not. Did I force other posters to discuss their own experiences? Of course not.

There is no such thing as coercion in a unmoderated rhetorical forum. You're a free actor, indeed you're condemned to be a free actor. Sad you find it frightening and oppressive, but smarter people than I have warned that such things happen. I recommend some of that there liberation of the mind you mentioned.

J m mcdermott said...

Nick, I actually did admit my errors, here, there, and elsewhere.

Actually, you did make a value judgment about why I left, in the blog post I linked.

The thing is, Nick, you and I have a misunderstanding of terms, one I freely admit I made a mistake about.

When people treat each other with respect, you can actually get that.

If you can't see in your own posts how you didn't engage me respectfully, I can't help you.

Our perspectives are so close to each other, too. I mean, we're practically vehemently agreeing.

You're still not seeing the bigger picture here.

Good luck with that.

There's a difference between your approach and Hal's,

Instead of trying to respectfully frame that around Suvi

J m mcdermott said...

If you can't see it, you won't be able to see it in yourself.

You can't see past one point. You still have not changed.

I have. I have openly admitted mistakes, and tried to move on.

That's the difference between honest discussion and proving right and wrong.

You're still engaged in right and wrong. Can you see beyond that?

Come on, Nick, don't be an ass. You're better than this.

NM said...

The only comment that even comes close to a value judgment is the rather transparent joke about the self-undermining nature of complaining loudly and at length about being silenced. Sorry if that was not as transparent as I'd hoped it was.

I mentioned nothing about admitting errors; Jeff linked to your post because he found the notions within "bizarre"—so did I. What the conversation, once you left, went far beyond that, as good and interesting conversations do. The one profound error you made, in my view, is a category error of conflating a particular species of contemporary American realism (and that exemplified by a single writer) with all of literary fiction.

Not too much else going on than that.

As far as respect, I respected everything you said just fine, until you got to the sort of bizarre passive-aggressive special pleading about silence and moving to email and such. At that point, it was no longer worth my time to engage with you on that subject, and a number of people got a great deal out of the discussion after you left it.

At any rate, I sense another long set of back and forth percolating round here, so I'll leave you be.

See ya in the funny papers.

J m mcdermott said...

My original post was bizarre, because my blog gets 7-10 hits a day, on a good day. Nothing even close to y'alls blogs. I grow accustomed to a particular audience and a particular set of terms.

Again, and I know you're not going to respond, I just hope you consider that when people are being silenced, they're going to make a lot of noise.

It isn't passive aggression, either.

I wasn't the only one who thought you were niggling for no discernible reason. At least one other persons saw it, too. And, I think we both thought that was bizarre.

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