[Milton-L] One post per day?

Shoulson, Jeffrey jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu
Mon Dec 20 11:20:21 EST 2010


I'm all in favor of lifting the ban and abiding by a blanket non-censorship policy.

It has alway seemed to me that the best way to treat the irrational posts is to ignore them.  The more we take the bait, the more we goad the posters into further responses and the result is, as we saw, an escalation of rhetoric and name calling.  It was clear that Sirrah was simply not choosing to hear what others were pointing out and, at that point, there was really no value in pursuing it further.

So, while I appreciate Louis's and Kevin's efforts to reestablish civility, and while I am as disturbed as anyone to see the abusive language and off-list contacts, I say lift the ban.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
University of Miami
PO Box 248145
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632

(o) 305-284-5596
(f) 305-284-5635

ON LEAVE, AY 2010-11
Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
University of Pennsylvania
420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

(o) 215-2381290, ext. 413

jshoulson at miami.edu<mailto:jshoulson at miami.edu>
www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson<http://www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson>





On Dec 20, 2010, at 11:10 AM, Schwartz, Louis wrote:

Since this has come up as a matter of concern for several members of the list, I feel that it's worth letting everyone know what's going on.  Kevin and I decided yesterday to temporarily block Nairba Sirrah's posts and to contact him about the content of his last post to the list in response to Carol Barton.  There was also some off list activity that we had to take into consideration.  It also seemed important to put a stop to the discussion in order to give everyone a chance to cool-down.  We contacted Nairba Sirrah and explained that, in our opinions as moderator and advisor to the list, his post had crossed a line between sharply-worded argument and direct personal insult.  Although some of the posts by other list members had also grown snide and (more mildly) insulting, they did so in response to his refusal to read the original corrections with any care and, as Jim has put it, to his taking the corrections themselves as personal insults.  He escalated the insults witho!
ut reconsidering the corrections themselves, even after they had been repeated.  In his last post, he also seemed to have become irrationally angry over a point of theology about which no one was taking a position.

In my note, I explained that the block will be lifted once he agrees not to call people "morons" or suggest that they need professional help because they tried to correct a confusion on his part.  I also explained that his opinions themselves were welcome on the list, and that others would engage with them if he also engaged what they had to say.

We have only had to do this once before in the history of the list (some 15 years ago).  It was a gut reaction on our part to the situation at hand, and we don't mean it to be permanent.

SO:  if it is the consensus of the list that the ban be lifted with no conditions, that's fine with us.

Please post if you have an opinion on the matter and we will abide by the general, informal consensus of the members.

Best to all,

Louis


======================
Louis Schwartz
Associate Professor of English
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA  23173
(804) 289-8315
lschwart at richmond.edu<mailto:lschwart at richmond.edu>
________________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of John Leonard [jleonard at uwo.ca]
Sent: Monday, December 20, 2010 10:07 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] One post per day?

Yes, "Nairba Sirrah" is not a pseudonym concocted for this list; it is the
stage name by which Brian Harris performs poetry that he has memorized by
heart.  Some performances (alas not Milton) are on Youtube.  The flames on
this list on the past two or three days have done none of us any credit
("the deep tact of Hell" indeed), but Nairba has given as good as he has got
(or got as bad as he has given) and he is not the only person to post
repeatedly in a single day.  I for one cannot (at least not yet) second a
motion to ban from Milton-L someone who hascommitted book two of Paradise
Lost to memory.  If that accomplishment does not show genuine commitment to
Milton I do not know what does.  But I do think that the experience of the
past three days reinforces the case for a "one post per day" rule (not just
guideline).

John Leonard



----- Original Message -----
From: "Thomas H. Luxon" <Thomas.H.Luxon at dartmouth.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] once again


Nairbah Sirrah is NOT a pseudonym. Google the name. Understand.  Have
peace.

Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 19, 2010, at 8:03 PM, "Campbell, W. Gardner"
<Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu> wrote:

Moving on to something else:

I would respectfully like to move that the person posting under the
apparent pseudonym "Nairba Sirrah" be banned from Milton-L. The
frequency, tone, and content of this person's posts constitute harassment
in my view. Internet vernacular would call this person a "troll" or a
"griefer," i. e., one who delights merely in destructive disruption.

Gardner Campbell

(from mobile)


On Dec 19, 2010, at 1:04 PM, "Nairba Sirrah"
<nairbasirrah at msn.com<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>> wrote:

radical, independent dogmatic decisions/beliefs aside....WHY? WHERE? in
scripture does Mary being conceived immaculately come from?

the answer: nowhere.

This discussion only supports my criticsm of Paradise Lost from a few
days ago.

Individual people deciding - completely on their own - to insert
biographical narratives and explanations into religious tradition is
wrong.

Why? because if it catches on, ignorant/uninformed people think it has
divine foundation. Milton claimed a spirit dictated Paradise Lost to him
at night. Joseph Smith said he dechiphered ancient golden tablets by
putting glowing rocks in a hat, and then putting the dark hat to his
face.

L. Ron Hubbard gave no account of how he learned the story of Xenu. And
yet, Scientologists believe what he says everywhere.

It is just as plausible to say that these people made these things up.
That they...were...lying.

God forbid we descend on the most possible of possibilities of all.

There is no physical, or historical evidence of Jesus whatsoever. And the
only source documents regarding Mary are the gospels of Luke and Matthew.

And in neither gospel is there any mention of Mary's conception.

Once again, I respectfully ask the list to simply acknowledge this FACT
and therefore dismiss all hypothetical theories regarding her conception
and birth.

Most pre-eminently due to the realization of what you are saying. If what
you are saying is true, then Mary is THE DAUGHTER OF GOD, and therefore
HIS first child on earth, not Jesus. It means she would be just as
capable of performing miracles, being the true messiah, etc.

What you all are clinging to is the sick product of the mentality of a
specific period of time that dealt with Catholics' obsession with Mary's
virginity...an obsession that has no root in actual New Testament
scripture.

Simply people - like you - making up facts and rationalizations on their
own.

The Immaculate Conception is the conception of JESUS. The earliest
mention of Mary in scripture is when she is a young woman visiting
Elizabeth, when she is visted by Gabriel and told she will conceive
Jesus.

Now please stop with all your encyclopedic references. Like Milton's
crazy, ridiculous plot line in Paradise Lost, they are completely
independently constructed definitions done by people who knew how easy it
is to fool and persuade an idiotic multitude.

There is nothing more sad than a crowd of people applauding a liar before
checking into the facts.

Opinions published in the last few hundred years are not facts. Documents
from the first century ARE. Even though they are likely fictions too.

Now please all of you stop, and move on to something else.

________________________________
From: <mailto:mundylc at sbcglobal.net>
mundylc at sbcglobal.net<mailto:mundylc at sbcglobal.net>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Jeffery please
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2010 12:33:02 -0500

Though my email has certainly been full lately,  I cannot resist adding
one more comment to this diatribe.  As a Catholic bred child, a graduate
of a Catholic College filled with Edmonites who cheerfully pointed out
the differences between the "facts" and the "parables",  and as a loving,
though not erudite, teacher of JM,  my understanding of the Immaculate
Conception is this:  Jesus could not have been born to a woman not of
total purity, ergo, Mary is the child conceived Immaculately, and
therefore is a totally pure and "qualified" Virgin able to conceive and
give birth to the Son of God.    Whether fact, parable, or fiction, this
belief has survived centuries of belief/denial and arguments, and
unsuredly will continue to do so.  As always, I learn much from my
learned colleagues, even when inciteful. and wish you all a warm and
peaceful Season, no matter what your beliefs.

Lorayne Mundy

----- Original Message -----
From: Nairba Sirrah<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sunday, December 19, 2010 2:47 AM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Jeffery please

I'm sorry Mr. Hodges, I'm not continuing with you about this. I have the
Roman Catholic Catechism as well. I have no clue why you are debating
this. I've stated my point...a point that needs no statement in the first
place. Billions of people know you are incorrect. I will not respond
again. Please don't use my name in another post.

________________________________
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 23:41:52 -0800
From: <mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com<mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Jeffery please
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>

"'The Immaculate Conception' refers to how God impregnated Mary with
Jesus."
Nairba, are you saying that this is what you mean by the expression
"Immaculate Conception," or that this is what is meant by the Roman
Catholic doctrine?

Jeffery Hodges


________________________________
From: Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sun, December 19, 2010 4:36:06 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Jeffery please

I am NOT wrong. If you are actually reading an excerpt from the Roman
Catholic Catechism, it is simply a typographical error. There is nothing
in the Biblical canon about the birth of Mary. Nothing. There is no
reason for the church to have any doctrine about how Mary was conceived.

"The Immaculate Conception" refers to how God impregnated Mary with
Jesus. Even people who don't practice Christianity know that. Please stop
saying i'm wrong. I am not wrong.

________________________________
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 23:31:38 -0800
From: <mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com<mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception (clarified)
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>

No, Nairba, you are wrong. The Roman Catholic doctrine of the immaculate
conception refers to the process by which Mary was conceived in her
mother's womb.

Jeffery Hodges


________________________________
From: Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sun, December 19, 2010 4:26:28 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception (clarified)

Hello Jeffery,

good hearing from you. But..

no, again. If your statement were true it would be dealing with the birth
of Mary. Conception refers to the conceiving of a child, a fetus. The
person being conceived in the most famous case of "immaculate conception"
is JESUS. Jesus! you both know what I meant.

As for the Biblical passages quoted by Professor Danielson, all of us
scholars know there are many, many different translations of that
particular book and verse...and have several very different wordings and
implications.

But in them all, is the declaration made by god; the divine mandate of
"this is what is going to happen to you." How Mary responds, as far as my
contention is concerened, is irrelevant. God didn't offer her a choice.

Giving a declaration of impregnating a woman is a violation of that
woman's sanctity, no who (or what) makes that declaration. Her response
could simply have been a moment of accepting inneviatablity. For all we
know, she was mortified. Or madder than Hell.

________________________________
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 23:15:00 -0800
From: <mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
jefferyhodges at yahoo.com<mailto:jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception (response)
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>

Nairba, you are wrong. The immaculate conception refers to the process by
which Mary was conceived, not the process by which Jesus was conceived.

Jeffery Hodges

________________________________
From: Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sun, December 19, 2010 4:05:04 PM
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception (response)

amazing you bothered to post that..."the immaculate conception" is the
conception of JESUS inside Mary. It is therefore, quite "concerned" with
both Mary and Jesus, and God.

and to append the word "doctrine" to it is absurd.

Some of you with your detial debating are truly frightening.

Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2010 01:56:09 -0500
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception (response)
From: <mailto:alanshorn at gmail.com>
alanshorn at gmail.com<mailto:alanshorn at gmail.com>
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>

Once again, as Professor Danielson pointed out to you, the doctrine of
Immaculate Conception is concerned with the conception of Mary, not of
Jesus.

Alan

On Sun, Dec 19, 2010 at 1:37 AM, Nairba Sirrah
<nairbasirrah at msn.com<mailto:nairbasirrah at msn.com>> wrote:

Hello Dennis,

didn't mean to infuriate. But that unfortunately happens a lot on here.

In response, of course the Roman Catholic church is going to see it
that way. But the main essence of the story is that Mary did not have a
choice. God was the father. And she was the mother. She got preganant
by divine insemination.

As hard as it may be to face or admit, the "immacualate conception" by
ancient and modern definition IS rape. She had no choice. Not exactly
immaculate. Had God asked her permission, then fine. But as is, it was
rape.

Not to mention she was already married to another man. Adultery.

And as for it not having anything to do with Milton, in Milton Jesus is
"begotten" in Heaven. And considering he soon after fought in a war,
was also born an adult.

What's so wrong about considering the physical implications of these
spiritual narratives? In Milton, we are to suppose that "the Son" is
zapped into her uterus and reborn...but as you so graciosly pointed
out, in Luke it clearly says she will conceive, meaning a sexual
bonding between father and mother.

Again, sorry for the offence and infuriation, but a fact is a fact.


Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 21:42:13 -0800
From: <mailto:danielso at interchange.ubc.ca>
danielso at interchange.ubc.ca<mailto:danielso at interchange.ubc.ca>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] the Immaculate Conception
To: <mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
milton-l at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>

OK, so this hasn't much to do with Milton. And perhaps I shouldn't
rise
to the bait. But Mr. Sirrah's assumptions are apparently false
(infuriating, too, but let that pass) on two counts:

1. The Roman Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states
that
*Mary* was conceived without sin; it wasn't officially formulated as
dogma until the 19th century.

2. If Sirrah means to say that *Mary* was impregnated against her
will,
that statement is contrary to the plain meaning of the biblical
account
of Luke 2:26-38 (See below, noting the future tense in the angel's
"you
will conceive," plus Mary's compliant response).

I'm done, except to thank Louis Schwartz for his eminently sensible
comments yesterday, and to wish my fellow Miltonists all the blessings
of the season, whatever feasts or festivals they observe.

Dennis Danielson
_______________________

Luke 2:26-38

In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel
Gabriel
to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a
man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary.
The
angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored!
The
Lord is with you."

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of
greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid,
Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth
to
a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be
called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne
of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants
forever;
his kingdom will never end."

"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power
of
the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be
called[b] the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to
have
a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive
is
in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail."

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be
fulfilled."


On 10-12-18 9:07 PM, Nairba Sirrah wrote:
in the vein of considering the classic epic hero and the classic epic
villain, let us remember that "the immaculate conception" was (if it
actually happened) categorically...rape. Anytime you impregnate a
woman
against her will, it is rape.

So if Satan is the hero, guess who's the villain.

--
Dennis Danielson
Professor of English
University of British Columbia
#397 - 1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
telephone: 604-822-4092
Author: The First Copernican
Editor: Paradise Lost, Parallel Prose Edition
WEB: <http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/ddaniels/>
http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/ddaniels/
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