[Milton-L] Re: Is Paradise Lost

Tim Strzechowski dedalus204 at comcast.net
Sat Apr 18 06:56:00 EDT 2009

I admire the patience and professionalism with which so many of the scholars on this list are handling this jonnyangel persona.  If it is an indication of the patience and professionalism you bring to your students, then I further tip my hat to you. 

Sadly, I find his rants at this point little more than trolling, and while scholarly attempts at steering this thread into intelligent discourse are well and good, I get the distinct impression that Mr. jonnyangel is getting the last laugh at your expense. 

But maybe as a community some of us are inebriated with this chance to revive some spirited discussion in this forum ... unfortunate that it takes a troll to do it. 

Tim Strzechowski 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 3:09:48 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Is Paradise Lost 

Jonny, you imagine a gulf between yourself and the scholars here on this list, but that's a chasm that exists only because you construct it. We're all just a lot of people gathered here to talk about Milton. You are the one lumping people into categories of "poets" and "scholars" -- and insinuating that the scholars lack insight into poetry because they're scholars. That's a false dichotomy, and not only because some of these same scholars write poetry. Scholars have expertise, and insight. You may be a clever fellow with a high IQ (as I believe you once implied), but you go around with a rather large and precariously balanced chip on your shoulder, challenging people to knock it off. 

Now, I'm merely a failed academic, so I might as well speak the truth as I see it. No one here cares if you picked a fight with a bust of Shakespeare and vandalized your school. We're not especially interested unless it brought you to some insightful understanding of Milton that you can share with this list. We really don't care if you think Shakespeare a shoddy poet and Milton the greatest. We don't give a damn about your opinion unless you have something interesting to say. But we're egalitarian about that, contrary to your expectations. We don't judge people by the letters that stand after their names. That would appear to be your personal issue. We evaluate what people say based on the reasons they give and the evidence they provide. Insulting others and bragging about taking two eyes in retribution for one is merely cruel bravado. 

Have a bit of humility, young man, and accept the advice of one who has lived long enough to make some mistakes in life and learn a bit from them. Don't insult. Don't pick fights. Restrain your ego. Focus on the subject matter, not the vertical pronoun. 

And I say this all with best, kindest intent, of course. 

Jeffery Hodges 

--- On Sat, 4/18/09, jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net> wrote: 

From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at comcast.net> 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Is Paradise Lost 
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009, 2:28 AM 


“Sublime”, as you say, could not exist without the inane, could it? So in that sense, the “inane” serves a very important function. For instance, it provides academics the opportunity to be patronizing and condescending to those they believe to be intellectually anemic and inferior to them. So, heck, following that line of “inane” rational, you should probably, uh, I don’t know...send me a Thank You card? No? Well, ok... 

Look, I’m just a student, alright? I don’t have a BA, MFA or PhD after my name (and even if I did I would still get better dental care in jail). The question of whether or not PL is the greatest work ever written in the English language was not my question; I just simply responded to it. When Bill got drug out of the ‘ol closet, I said what I had to say about his “poetry” and body of work compared to Milton. I was personally received with some disrespect, and what did I do? Well, I gave some back. Some have said that I live in the Old Testament, but I really don’t. In my world, if you take one of my eyes, I’ll take “both” of yours, and then I’ll tell you (as you’re stumbling around in darkness) that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. I know it’s unfair, but this is also why you shouldn’t flip strangers off – because you never know... 
And for the life of me I can’t understand why someone who is disrespectful to someone should expect anything else in return. Madonna sang, “We are living/in a Material World”, and John Milton sang that we are living in a Post Lapsarian world (same song, really). I didn’t break the world, I just shuck all the blame onto my first Grandparent's while wading though the mess that they left me in their will. 
And what would you do if someone suggested (on a Milton list, no less) that you should be removed? Oh, that’s right, I almost forgot – you will never face something so egregious because you’re in the sublime clique of academia, and students like myself should just kiss the summa cum laude ring on the royal fingers with a reverend knee dug in the ground. 
I’m not directing this at you personally, but respect is a two way street. And I don’t care if you’re a Professor or the second coming of Otis Redding, the former should still respect their students and the latter should still respect their audience – because, without them, the Crystal Ball says “Clean up on Aisle 9”. 

In closing, I read “The Enclosed Garden in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia”, and thought overall it was well done. See? You Love C.S. Lewis, and I’ve loved and studied him since I was a child in theology school. And with all due respect to this “inane” thread and your two cents on it, my feeling is that your silent treatment is probably best. 



I am like God, and God like me. 
I am as large as God, he is as small as I: 
He cannot above me, nor I beneath him be. 

- Silesius, "The Cherubic Wanderer." 

On 4/18/09 12:48 AM, "Salwa Khoddam" < skhoddam at cox.net > wrote: 

Dear Milton Scholars, 
I agree with S.Tertius and others who voiced their opinions about this recent thread of "inane" comments.  Why is it that we are keeping this "inane" discussion thread going?  Could we not get to the "sublime" without going through the "inane"? I don't know what to say against this avalanche of disrespectful and warped opinions. I look to this list as a scholarly source to advance my knowledge of Milton.  I have learned  much from you and hope to continue to do so.  Yes, Milton would burn "inane" books, although he would allow them to be published.  So must we use the "delete" key for "inane" statements.  Without a moderator, the silent treatment is best. 

Salwa Khoddam 

----- Original Message ----- 

From:  Scriblerus Tertius < mailto:scriblerustertius at yahoo.com >   
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu   
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 1:47 PM 
Subject: [Milton-L] Re: Is Paradise  Lost 


Mr. Angel, 
I'm glad to know that you can make words using the most commonly occuring  letters in the English language, but I do not understand what you are  blathering about. Maybe your synapses are not firing because I never  asserted to know Milton better than you.  Milton wasn't "all about  censorship." He only wanted things with no orientation to his particular truth  censored. A close reading of _Areopagitica_ will bear that out. Methinks I hit  a nerve. 
S. Tertius 
Message: 1 
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 01:08:56 -0400 
From: jonnyangel  < junkopardner at comcast.net > 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Is Paradise  Lost 
To: John Milton Discussion List  < milton-l at lists.richmond.edu > 
Message-ID:  < C60D8728.165F%junkopardner at comcast.net > 
Content-Type: text/plain;  charset="iso-8859-1" 

You know, if “names” counted in Scrabble, and I  had all the letters of your 
name, I think I could win every  time. 

And you obviously know and understand Milton far greater that I  ever could, 
because you can see that he was all about censorship, whereas  I’ve been 
blinded to that. 

So, thanks. 

[chewing my  self-censoring tongue bloody] 




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