>From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: 800 American professors and one student are wrong again
>Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 16:24:31 -0500
>Do you not see that YOUR post is ad hominem, vituperative, and in praise of
>ignorance (uninterest in any political position is just that)?

according to the american heritageŽ dictionary of the english language,
fourth edition, ad hominem means "appealing to personal considerations
rather than to logic or reason."

the objection i raised has to do with what i consider to be the
self-defeating nature of a community which is supposed to "foster &
encourage appreciation, study and DEBATE of tse" but instead diverges into
chest-pounding political diatribes sprinkled with latinate invectives.

now, i simply dont see anything ad hominem about the contradiction i was
pointing out. its perfectly logical to observe that time spent on
ideological discourse is time not spent on tse. one would expect these
arguments to at least invoke his specter (plenty has been said & written of
him & anti-semitism, no?) but that is not the case.

what "personal considerations" am i appealing to, prof. gish? the "personal
consideration" of expecting tse-related material on a tse mailing list?

how horrible of me to entertain such outlandish expectation...

my three qualifiers, (a), b) & c), are ad hominems only to the extent to
which the reader interprets them as such. i went on to mention that i
affiliate myself with an institution which indulges in all three, havent i?
i personally find nothing objectionable about self serving, ideologically
driven descants in and of themselves; i read a fair amount of editorials &
quite enjoy the fray; what bothers me is the fact that some if not a whole
heap of tse list "contributors" pervert this medium to serve whatever cause
their own personal politics dictate. this isnt an editorial page, & even if
it were, it ought to at least MENTION the literature.

knowing what forum is fit for what discourse is not "ignorance," prof. gish.
this has nothing to do with "uninterest in any political position" &
everything to do with awareness of what is a cathedra, what is a lectern and
what is a pulpit. im sure id find your and many others' "political
position[s]" fascinating, as long as they are articulated in the proper

>That your assumption of a superior intellectual position outside any such
>place or set of ideologies is both self-serving and absurd--and itself
>ideologically driven?

pardon. for an english professor, your utter lack of textual reference is
most disturbing. please quote what part of my original reply implies "a
superior intellectual position."

>And that the mockery of academic communities (of which you are a member) is
>mockery of over a thousand years of accumulated knowledge and transmission
>of ideas, and that it is a shameless (and commonplace) self-aggrandizement
>appealing to anti-intellectualism--quite apart from being an undemonstrable
>sweeping generalization?

then it must be self mockery. i dont understand how i can be "appealing to
anti-intellectualism" when i am, as you astutely pointed out, a member of
the academic community myself. that you find any of my casual remarks so
terribly threatening is a testament to your own tendencies, not mine.

>If you have a point to argue, please do. This is not one, and it is
>certainly unworthy of the education you are privileged to be getting. I am
>assuming the grammatical incompetence is a Poundian self-assertion and not
>a failure of Berkeley.

some would take your concluding remarks to be "appealing to personal
considerations rather than to logic or reason," prof. gish, maybe even
"using, containing, or marked by harshly abusive censure," that is to say,

ive nothing to prove, certainly not to you or any other tse-list denizen. if
anything, i find it amusing that such a mild set of observations ruffled
your feathers & entailed such a defensive attempt at a rebuke.

but if i did somehow insult you, i apologize & hope you have & enjoy a very
merry christmas.


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