Thursday, July 22, 2004

Defense at pressthink

There's only one, who may be another professor at, gasp, a public school.

Defense of the panopticon:


Do you think Rick Hausen is actually the multitudinous York?

York, if that is you, you need to give the Jayster some slack. He's new to this blog thing, and your banning was a bit heavy-handed, but that can be attributed to inexperience, the limitations of the oh-so-limited Movable Type blogging software, and possibly the influence of some other commentators.

That this blog is getting all Yorked up presents some interesting issues:

For instance, blogging is all about voice, they say, and York has voice (some would say voices) - he has self-published multiple books; he has a blog; he is a journalism student. He has constructed a self, virtually and in the real world. If you visit his website, you can see that he has led a desultory, nomadic life, guided by a sense of history, principle, and self-assertion. He is a gypsy, a working class wanderer. He would be a hero - if he weren't so eager to point out that he is a hero.

But the problem that he has encountered, here (and elsewhere), is that his voice lacks authority. And other commentators have pounced on that lack, to a degree that should shame them, if they are capable of feeling it.

So this is all about authentic voice, not about voices, and how we, socially, confer or deny authenticity. If Mailer is an example, the denial of authority can't be reduced to an egregious egotism - Mailer's picture is next to ego in the dictionary. So what is it? Talent? That can't be, because there are plenty of untalented "authentic" voices out there.

Hmmm... Could it be class? Nah. Not class. This is a classless society. We cybernauts are clever, classless and free. It's not like they hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool,
'til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules.

Nope, class can't explain it. That's not it at all. The epithet "loser" has nothing to do with class. Those crazy homeless squeegee freaks have nothing to with class. Those greedy affirmative-action lazy bastards have nothing to with class - it's government coercion! The literary "deficiencies" of self-published folk narratives have nothing to with class.

I can't explain it. Maybe Mailer could.

Just to affirm that class has nothing to do with it, here's a quote from the website that posted the tortious defamations of Y:

'If there’s one thing lower than a journalist, it’s someone who aspires to become one. And if there’s anything lower than that, it’s a journalism student who can’t get into a better school than Cal State, which will admit almost anyone with a pulse.'

Posted by: panopticon"

I can explain it. Self-pubbed works may be good, a few actually are, but with the stigma of vanity publishing and lack of filtering that traditional publishing affords there is a guilt by association, boat-anchor-effect no one can esacpe except through real credentials. Blogs are in the same paradigm. I'm not calling myself a folk hero although I certainly believe I am one, I'm indentifying others also unsung that are. So it's not a self-aggrandizement per se, only credit by action and conviction. It's "Profiles In Courage" revisited.

I'm not Rick Hauser whose posts will probably be removed. I'll be looking into the aforementioned defamations from the two conservative lawyer bloggers who skewered me from their perches of anonymity. Stay tuned.


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