Tuesday, 4 October 2005


Strangely, being laughed at and squashed like a beetle by a Mega Top Academic in a Top Newspaper only seems to have garnered this blog an extra five or six hits yesterday.

I have deleted the offending post, mostly because I really don't intend or want to hurt anyone's feelings. I sincerely apologise if I did do that. Please put it down to momentary unthinkingness.

If my unread and unregarded remarks really represent the absolute worst pillorying Top Academic could dredge up out of a Technorati dirt search, then....what is all the fuss about? Could it have anything to do with TA having recently copped a blog-serve herself, and rather than dealing with it in the usual way, instead decided to discover a new and alarming trend: nasty, schizoid, loser bloggers being stupid about proper intellectuals. Well, whatever. TA gives good snark, I'll allow her that much.

The post in question was meant to be (and I maintain really was) just a brief reflection on ways of expressing the idea of community and 'public' life. (Ironic, huh?) But it's been very effectively demonstrated to me that Technorati and Google are excellent tools for uncovering stuff to take out of context, so to prevent future nonsense, it's gone.


Scrivener said...

Oh, man, which post was the offending one? Without even know which post sparked that attack, and without having read this academic's snark, let me say that I am sure you were exactly right, that this other academic must be a total loon for not having understood your brilliance and/or wit, and that you can clearly out-snark any Top Academic anywhere around.

Sorry you got attacked, and even in the paper, not just on another blog? That must have really sucked. Promise, we all love you and take your side, remjia.

boynton said...

I joined the dots and think this bit of big media Snark is unjustified.
Lots of projection going on there it seems.
A more civil approach would have been for MA to engage directly through the comments with the rest of us...

Another point: the very trivial and ad hominem aspect can be one of the best things about blogging. Especially when - as with your blog- it is mixed with the serious and the studious and the openly conversational. Perhaps it’s what this medium has over others, an ability to break out and tag the ephemeral on Monday or the profound on Tuesday. It is an unfolding narrative with asides and pratfalls and momentary revelation. The post in question had me musing about my own reactions to those situations, just as your brilliant post on Springthorpe had me walking down the road for a squiz.
Ad hominem like a line of a poem.

Helen said...

I read the newspaper piece, and I find it amazing that Professor T.A. doesn't understand the meaning of Ad Hominem, which as you know is to play the man and not the ball, which - especially in view of his/her particular line of work the last couple of years - he/she should bloody well understand. To make observations about the behaviour, or body language, of other people has been the stuff of essayists since the year dot, and it is a completely different animal from Ad Hominem, which is an unacceptable mode of argument. Two completely different things.
I recently read a similar piece, which was an article, not a blog (take that, TA!) about the strange behaviour of two academics which had worked at the writer's university and had since left. He made some observations about the possible correlation between mild Aspergers and an academic or similar career. This kind of speculation has been going on worldwide. So I am completely mystified by TA picking out this rather innocuous post to complain about, except that - remember Pamela Bone - they seem to be feeling threatened and want to assert their status as the Real Writers. (Or the Real Journalists, which is missing the point even more). The disappointing thing is they don't seem to read a great variety of really good blogs, but it's a tribal thing I think.

Lucy Tartan said...

Thanks Helen. (I don't think I know you, but I'd like to.) this comment had me in tears again momentarily but you say very sensible things, and I'm feeling a lot calmer now because of thinking about them. Cheers.

dogpossum said...

"the possible correlation between mild Aspergers and an academic or similar career"

that comment made me laugh, helen.

but honestly, mz tartan, if said TA is having issues... don't take them on board for her. i mean really, if she has serious problems, she should do as the rest of the universe does and type it up and put it in a blog so we can ignore it/read it as an RSS.

i read your original post and didn't think it was terribly dodge. in fact, i thought it was pretty dang inoffensive. truly, the most infuriating thing i've found on your blog has been the distinct lack of handbag pron. i want more visuals!

jacqueline said...

I remember the post; it was, to me, interesting and I never thought to construe it as hurtful or paparazzi-ish. I am losing patience with journalism forays into the blogging/forum worlds; there surely must be journalists who read blogs and participate online, but they never seem to get the job of writing about it. Every article I have read comes across as condescending; and yet also threatened, as Helen mentioned earlier. Even 'real writers' betray their bias.

Kate said...

Oh, and can I add how awful it must have been for you? What a horrible feeling. I hope you're feeling better about it now.