2005-09-10

Come back, dear commentators


So we have scared off 5M's commentators, and she likes you guys. And that makes her sad. So, come back, look through, and comment with wonder and awe, or encouragement, or your own little piece of emotional scenery, but no flaming, because she'll only delete you (as will we).

If you do, will we question your motives? We'll try to offer some restraint anyway. We already do.

14 comments:

Agatha said...

Clearly the commentators have not been given enough attention in our Ethics Committee deliberations...We will certainly have lots to discuss at our next meeting.

4th Dwarf said...

You know, Aggie, the fact that we have an ethics committee doesn't seem to give much confidence in the innocence of our intentions to non-ESIs.

I can't say I blame them for feeling that way. It's a bit like the police department investigating their own officers.

What might comfort people is that with all the freakin' meetings, we have no time for stalking.

But then, Minty has made it clear that it's not just the "stalking". She finds our smug, judgmental analysis repulsive and disturbing.

Food for thought. I for one cannot deny that I am often both smug and judgmental when I shouldn't be.

And from time to time I've accused others on this blog of being judgmental. So I can't say there's no judgmental smugness here.

Another thing that Evolver touched on that must disturb people is that when 5M and others have put their work out there for the general public, they're not expecting a metablog to erupt around it.

What a blogger expects is some comments on their own blog. If another blogger likes their content, a link back, maybe a spot on their blogroll. Not a bunch of people drawing cartoons, photoshopping pictures, having polls and generally entertaining themselves using the blogger as a starting point.

To my mind, it's a logical progression of blogging fandom. And our discussion of 5M's content is like the discussion people have about characters in a novel or on a reality show. We know we're getting a filtered view and we don't know what is fact or fiction.

I'm comfortable with that because it's a good story either way.

coyote said...

Huh. It's inherently pretty hard to arrive at a rounded view of any real human being from a couple of hundred or so words a day. There's an almost infinite amount of unknown mass suspended below that kind of literary iceberg tip.

We're fully aware of that and that's why we speak to the postings. By their brevity, they become fictive, however truthful. Our reactions to them, and extrapolations from them are, I imagine, no further off the mark than some academics who attempt to deconstruct texts in their fields. Which is to say, quite ingeniously far on some days, yet with oblique worth for all of that.

What rises in the last couple of days' discussion is the fact that all of the players -- Irregulars, Lana, Minty, Evolver et. al. -- ascribe vaguely unsavoury, or vaguely threatening, or otherwise unattractive, motives to the unknown. That would be each other. Evolver's covert watch over us, and concern about the hive mind thing, I imagine, may have something to do with that, as may Lana's barking tone. Given the chance, Evolver, and Lana and Minty all, in their own ways, rise to the Muse's defense. Crankily at times, but I'm cranky some days, too. I expect payment in kind.

We all engage here in theatre of the mind -- filling in the (very large) blanks in our own (uniquely personal) ways, dressing up these limned impressions with items from our own emotional cellars. Do I know our Muse as a person? Not at all. I do not presume so far. But she speaks in and of universals, and so do I. And neither of us is always going to do that in expected ways.

4th Dwarf said...

Well, Coyote, another educatival and informish comment. Good to see that you really do not care about these CRTF people and their comments about getting wanky.

And I've learned a new use for "oblique" and how to use this word "limned".

o·blique adj.

1. Having a slanting or sloping direction, course, or position; inclined.
2. Mathematics. Designating geometric lines or planes that are neither parallel nor perpendicular.
3. Indirect or evasive: oblique political maneuvers.
4. Devious, misleading, or dishonest: gave oblique answers to the questions.
4. Not direct in descent; collateral.
5. Grammar. Designating any noun case except the nominative or the vocative.

limn tr.v.
limned, limn·ing, limns
1. To describe.
2. To depict by painting or drawing. See Synonyms at represent.

Conch Shell said...

Perhaps this is a natural occurrence, how we intuitively fear, lower, and even hate the unknown other. Us vs. them.

Agatha said...

Coyote - are you saying that we're all unreliable narrators and readers? If so, I would agree. I'm trying to understand the perspectives of some of the 5M's commentators. I would agree that Evolver has been subject to a lot of misreading, and I would like to apologize to him for any disparaging comments I have made.
The part I'm having trouble understanding is the assumption that pure expression exists out there in blogland. Some folks seem to think we've contaminated this.

coyote said...

Dwarf: another, older definition for limn refers to a miniature portrait. Its actual root, I believe, is shared with illumination.

Conch: Which is pretty much what today's anniversary -- and so much that followed the original event -- is about. Ignorance is not always bliss, but it is endemic to humankind.

Agatha: Aggie always gets it. By the very act of writing, we select and exclude and edit. No expression is pure. So what, exactly, has our own eccentric little search for clarity, here, contaminated?

Conch Shell said...

To apply a certain related topic to this discussion, the bulwark of a free society is a free press. When the press is not free to act as watchdog, propaganda and totalitarianism take route. The little guys are voiceless and invisible, except perhaps for their odd, "yes, your Excellency. How very smart of you," permissible comments.
Free states have learned the imperativeness of allowing free comment.
Many dictators have found such free comment to be grounds for execution (hence, creepy and wrong).

4th Dwarf said...

Oh, come now, Conchie, ye're making a typhoon out of a wee squall here.

Nobody's talked of censorship or execution. They've merely shared their reaction to our writing.

Conch Shell said...

Creeps and voyeurs, vs. not creeps and voyeurs, it's relevant, big or small, disturbing or not. I'm not saying you or anyone who's commented has spoken of censorship. But it's a related topic, placing ourselves in history to understand the present. Why don't you instead rebutt based on privacy laws trumping freedom of expression?

4th Dwarf said...

I didn't rebut that way because I didn't know that privacy laws trumped freedom of expression.

Lana said...

Yes, we rise to "musie's" defence because we do know her personally and don't hide behind cartoonish monikers, [Dwarfie's secret identity removed by BlogAdmin].

4th Dwarf said...

Cartoonish? Ouch.

But then, it's the cartoons that have been my downfall all along. Some people get outed by 10k run times or non-obvious hyperlinks to real email addresses. Others get outed by "tells".

One thing I find freeing about not knowing Musie personally is that when I write about her life, it is only my interpretation of her words that I have to go on. I don't have to worry that I'm revealing something she told me in confidence. Or that I'm revealing an opinion based on reality that she'll find hurtful. If I have an opinion about her, it's based on something she's chosen to reveal in both the details and nuances.

On the other hand, if I was metablogging about the Chair's blog, it'd be full of cartoons like this one. Which, is fine entertainment I'm sure you'll all agree, but what if the Chair didn't really want the world to know he's not that big on romantic comedies?

Conch Shell said...

Interesting, very interesting. But how can one know a fictional character personally?