[Milton-L] NO posts per day (in certain circumstances)

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 20 18:47:53 EST 2010


Jonny, Nairba's posts have made you into a very paramour of virtue.


Jeffery Hodges



________________________________
From: jonnyangel <junkopardner at att.net>
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tue, December 21, 2010 8:24:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] NO posts per day (in certain circumstances)

Easy there. I'm still here y'know?

Merry Christmas all,

jonny


On Dec 20, 2010, at 2:53 PM, Gregory Machacek wrote:

> I second Alan's suggestion that if we find exchanges like the one with
> Nairba Sirrah futile and exasperating, longtime members of the list might
> be able to do something to shorten such fruitless conversations:  bite our
> electronic tongues and not reply.
> 
> In my time on this list, the Nairba Sirrah case is the third such instance
> I can remember.  There was a "jonny angel" and a "shrike."  They all ran in
> much the same way.  In each case the person was new to the list.  In each
> case, the offensive poster was not a professional scholar of Milton, but an
> amateur enthusiast.  In each case, the newcomer hadn't spent any time
> observing the protocols of this discussion list, but immediately started
> conducting himself along the lines of participants in some political blogs,
> where every post emerges out of the poster's absolute certainty about the
> way things are, and alternate viewpoints (let alone corrections of any
> sort) prompt indignant, vehement, acerbic retaliations.
> 
> In each case, members of this list assumed the interloper could be
> persuaded to be properly respectful of the scholarly credentials of
> longtime members of the list.  They never were.  In each case, the newcomer
> had what I find a odd combination of traits:  on the one hand, a tendency
> to get insulted easily, to regard fairly neutral or even polite responses
> to his posts as personal attacks; but on the other hand, absolute
> self-confidence when it came to the accuracy of his own viewpoint.  The two
> traits resulted in the posters adopting an I-can-give-as-good-as-I-get
> stance.  They all defiantly refused to back down from the attacks they felt
> they were receiving for merely expressing their own views.  The all prided
> themselves on their tell-it-like-it-is candor.
> 
> Longtime listmembers sometimes responded in ways that were themselves snide
> or dismissive, but even neutral or polite responses were miscast as
> insults.  My point is this:  there is NO way of responding to such a person
> that won't cause the vehemence and hostility (and number of posts) to
> escalate.  Except (perhaps) NOT RESPONDING.  It takes two to tango.
> 
> I sketched the above portrait in some detail because I think that part of
> our challenge involves recognizing such cases as quickly as we can.  That
> and being willing to fight our knee-jerk reaction to correct
> confidently-asserted inaccuracies.
> 
> Ye have what I advise.
> 
> 
> 
> Greg Machacek
> Professor of English
> Marist College
> 
> 
> 
> 
>  From:      alan horn <alanshorn at gmail.com>
> 
>  To:        John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> 
>  Date:      12/20/2010 12:57 PM
> 
>  Subject:    Re: [Milton-L] One post per day?
> 
>  Sent by:    milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> I do not believe this is a case of someone being ignorant of basic
> social and scholarly norms. It is clear to me that the individual in
> question is in great pain and deserves our sympathy and respect.
> 
> Once it became evident that patient factual corrections were being
> perceived as personal attacks, it would have been better if others had
> recognized the nature of the exchange and resisted the temptation to
> respond IN ANY WAY. But that may be too much to ask.
> 
> The moderators’ actions were necessary and appear to have been handled
> in a sensitive way. If this happens again I hope list members will
> realize what is going on and deal with it in the way I have suggested.
> 
> Alan
> 
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