Friday, 27 June 2008

Listserv Etiquetter V: In which nothing is ever "merely" anything Every department houses one person who doesn't understand the purpose of the departmental listserv. What is, for the majority of its recipients, a simple means of alerting interested parties to talks, job offers, and other relevant departmental business is, for this person, a public confessional. If an email opens: LGBT Event at Cross-Cultural Center This person's outraged response will look like this: LGBTQ Event at Cross-Cultural Center Or perhaps like this: GLBTQ? Event at Cross-Cultural Center Point being, this person will find fault with whatever the first email said because the entire department must be constantly reminded that his or her devotion to justice entails questioning of any potentially privileging statement. If the "G" follows the "L," the author replicates—and in replicating legitimizes or, even worse, appears to legitimize—divisive structures of representation within the queer community (as broadly as the word can be defined). Such grievous offense requires a brave crusader to parse every last permutation and then decide, in the end, that since every possible combination privileges something, the only thing to do is consider the sending of any email ever a pregnant "teaching moment" and append something like the 5,000 words he or she has just written to every one of them ... for great justice. Should someone respond to this email with a sarcastic recommendation that the letters be stacked, so as to avoid the any possibility of untoward LTR directional privilege, this person will write another 5,000 words, this time about how unfunny the resulting mess would be: Only it is not merely unfunny—nothing is ever "merely" anything for this person—it is also symptomatic of the desire by hegemons to obliterate the unique identities of the various groups represented by each letter by transforming their hard-won bonds into an amorphous blob of non-identity, thereby effacing the personal struggles of people, like this person, some of which he or she will now share with the entire department no matter how inappropriate discussing the loss of your virginity on a departmental listserv might seem. Positive responses to this cathartic effusion will be deemed patronizing; negative, evidence of insensitivity born of privilege; silence, a vile attempt to shame this person back into closet in which the queer-uncomfortable majority clearly believes he or she belongs. Any attempts to pull this person aside—via email, in the break room, it matters not—and convince him or her that no offense was offered or intended will result in yet another 5,000 word missive about the conspiracy to silence him or her. Were someone to pipe in with a reminder of listserv decorum, complete with a lengthy quotation of its charter, the conspiracy becomes institutional and still another 5,000 word letter must be written, this time only CC'd to the listserv as a courtesy when it is sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. When this person finally leaves the department, he or she will write a lengthy email reminiscing about how crucial the listserv was to development personal and professional and apologize...
I hate Barack Hussein Obama because he makes me uncomfortable with his words and what he says (Hearing Obama's remark about respecting those who "make us uncomfortable with their words" got me thinking: what would happen if my irate former student got his hands on Roget's regnant tome and started bloviating about Obama on the Internet?) First in the foremost if you are stimulated by new ideas because you are the kind of person like me and you can think for yourself rather than simply accept what Obama says as ultimate truth I think you will find this post importantly of interest to you. I guess I should start by saying that what Obama thinks is not what he says and even what he says he thinks only provides cover for an incoherent agenda of sorts. Even if we overlook the logistical impossibilities of such ideas as the ones Obama has profligated the underlying premise of all of them is flawed and you can tell this is the ontological truth of the matter because of the insults he employs like raucous scoundrel and pugnacious. But if you look soberly and carefully at the evidence all around you on the television you will obviously see Obama's grandisonant effusions are not pedantic treatises expressing theories or extravaganzas dealing in fables or fancies they are substantial sober outpouring from the very soul of demagogism. Now stay with me for a moment here because I am making a point. Specifically that there may be nothing we can do to prevent Obama from making good on his word to destabilize and undermine the already volatile social fabric he purportedly aims to save. When we compare this disturbing conclusions I have drawn from the premises presented we can only conclude that the comforting picture purveyed by his conspirators and feel what is called by experts cognitive dissonance from it. Our only recourse is to kick ass and take down names. If his attempts to perpetuate what we all know is a corrupt system have spurred us to challenge his uncouth libidinous assumptions about merit then Obama may have accomplished a useful thing because if we are to set our sights on eternity then we must be guided by a healthy and progressive ideology not by the salacious ornithological ideologies Obama promotes. It is possible that Obama does not realize this because he has been imbibed by so much of the propaganda of quislingism and if that is the case as I believe it to be then I tremulantly recommend we halt the malmish adulation heaped upon wretched misfits. If anything Obama has hair in his brain and even though we all are to some extent as hairy Obama sets the bar on the curve that much higher up the mountain. Does Obama have trouble living with himself knowing that he gets perfervid about unilateralism because whenever that question is asked Obama and his conspirators run and hide. I suspect that that is precisely what they are going to do now so as to avoid hearing me say that Obama's bloodthirsty ipse dixits leave...

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