Saturday, August 05, 2006
Evening the playing field
It's been a matter of great concern at YO! of late, but Jasmine and Peony have been doing a damn fine job of unmasking and rehabilitating the evil-doers. We’ve even touched on it, more than once, right here in the Parlour.
And, speaking of right here in the Parlour and stealing voz, I’ve been amazed at how much of the latter has been attempted in the former. Not pleasantly amazed, of course, but, given my perverse and wrongheaded penchant for pattern recognition, I’ve noticed a certain taxonomy.
Yes, think of this as a folio in progress, a scribble of field notes:
Not even a glimmer of surprise here, given his never-ending, annually renewed supply of naïve disciples. Syllabus writ in stone, resting on long-faded laurels, what better domain for the silencing of voz than fair academe?
His tactics are amusing and rife with the hurling of “correct sources”, “informed [read: his] thought”, tangential argument and hysteria. What might be awe inspiring to cowed freshmen inspires little but giggles to those with a mind and a library of their own. There is, after all, good reason and history for the term “ivory tower”, and he would do better to remain there, surrounded by sycophants of similar low self-regard.
There are also those who, for one reason or another, cannot hold forth from properly recognized hallowed groves, but they often act as Shadow-master or Ghost behind the Throne, issuing forth tract and doctrine.
The Pedant steals voz by stifling or supplanting.
Unlike the academic, the hack has no ego problems, other than the fact that his own inflated sense of self-worth tends to quickly suck all the air out of any room he enters. Convinced that he is the best and brightest, he is driven to make sure that everyone around him is equally convinced.
He must weigh in on every conceivable issue, and word count is everything. His stratagems are numerous and, like him, ever shifting. Refocusing subject, whether subtly [by, for example, cherry picking an opponent’s argument and running with a single comment] or unabashedly; theft [“yes, as my dear colleague so aptly restated my point”; denial [as in, he never said that or, in the age of video loops and hard drives, he was deliberately misinterpreted] and all the rest of his tired gambits.
Their habitats are wide-ranging, and their messianic self promotion fills our airwaves, bandwidth and archives.
They steal voz through artifice, pomposity and brute force.
These are the feverish ones, the ardent followers, unquestioning acolytes at an altar they did not create. Quick to detect doctrinal error, they act as classroom snitch, hall monitor, trusty.
When they’re not busy doing rude slapdowns on the Page [and abundant thanks, once again, to Jasmine and Peony for having sequestered and rehabilitated the False Web Administrator, thus lessening, if not entirely ending, said slapdowns], they’re contorting themselves, pretzel-like, in an attempt to explain and justify today’s Holy Writ. Phrases such as: “…(we) can only wait for the answer and continue to offer what political support is requested…”
This is a hallmark of zealots of any nature: the hierarchical nature of doctrine and follower. Right Doctrine exists above, far above them, and they exist but to serve it. Theirs, never, to “reason why”. Theirs, unfortunately often, “to do and die”. Since they have fashioned their entire moral, and often professional, universe on blind obedience to a particular set creed [although it, the creed, unlike the parishioners, IS allowed to shift], any questioning, no matter how minor, would indeed be tantamount to death.
So the zealots steal voz by turning it in, damning it, screaming at it.
And, yes, we have seen, and see, all the above, many times over, everywhere.
Even in Parlour, Library and YO!