Life in Omaha (in Scottsdale)

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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Life in Omaha: The Language Police, redux

Those of you who give a dang might want to check out the commentary on this posting from earlier this week. Life in Omaha: The Language Police. I seem to be in a dialogue with either multiple anonomytes or one person who seems particularly annoyed at my stance.


At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the reason you've annoyed some blog-readers is because the "inclusion means lowering standards" argument is such a familiar one and has been used against women and minorities so many times in the past. We can't let women attend colleges because that would lower our standards. We can't let women vote because letting women into the political arena would lower our standards. We can't let black people buy houses in this neighborhood because that would lower our standards.

Perhaps you are too young to remember any of this firsthand ....

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Not Scott said...

Not to keep beating a dead horse, but ...

I keep feeling compelled to post because the argument that is "so familiar" is one that was resovled for me decades ago (well, maybe just one decade ago). Everybody who's in favor of a diversity of writers seems all too excited to jump on me as a reactionary who wants to keep out all writing not by dead white males. In fact, I propose nothing of the sort, nor do I think the original post suggested even a version of that. (Well, maybe it suggested a version of that, but one does need more evidence to support that interpretation, and I don't think that it's a strong interpretation)

I want to point out that as scholars of the discipline, we have to address the issue of quality. That doesn't mean I am exclusionary based on background.

Positioning me in a certain way--dated, racist and elitist--serves to make the argument clear cut, with me as the loser. But to do that, one has to take the original post and overlay quite a number of assumptions. I doubt anyone that knows me would see me as the first two. I am admittedly an elitist, but I do not rank cultures. Only individual works.

At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the “familiar” argument was resolved for you decades ago. Well, that is certainly wonderful news. Sexism and racism no longer exist? I’m so happy to hear it.

I didn’t mean to make you defensive. I honestly thought you might want to understand what it was about your original post that might annoy someone. Not because I thought you were reactionary or racist or dated, but because my impression was that you actually cared about this stuff. And that you were the kind of person who wouldn't want to unintentionally offend someone.

At 1:36 PM, Blogger $sh said...

I don't know how I got suckered into reading these comments, but I did. For the record, the author of this blog is a lot of things: elitist; musically-challenged; not as funny as he thinks; and not a half-bad soccer player. One thing he is NOT is someone who blames feminists, liberals, and the like for the "dumbing down" of America.

I think one should read his posts with the understanding that he is an open-minded, politically-progressive individual with an elitist bent. I think that will make things a bit more clear.

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last post from me:

Scott pleads that anyone who knows him would realize he isn’t racist. Well, that is not particularly relevant. His original post was a public text. Certainly he can’t assume that all blog readers, especially ones who have followed links from other sites like Professor Dyke’s, know who he is and what his politics are.

The comments I made about his original post were designed to make him think through and clarify his ideas. Shouldn’t a public text be interrogated in that way?

Hey, when it comes to blogs, I’ve got standards…..


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