Kali Tal on Tue, 24 Oct 2006 14:06:21 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Bury the horse; it's dead, Jim.

     [This increasingly depressing series of threads has run for weeks.
     However one feels about the participants and their views, it seems
     like the thread has exhausted itself. The issues haven't been
     exhausted (really, how could they be?); but the lack of fresh
     ideas has been made up for with harsh tones and other effects
     that, more happily, haven't been a big part of nettime's past.
     Offlist remarks have made it clear that the thread has widened the
     already serious rift between what people think and what they're
     willing to say in public. It's been a very, very long time since
     we've actively suppressed a thread, but here it is: any more
     messages in this thread will have to be really good. -- the mods]

Alan can say I read him badly if he likes; I think I read him  
reasonably well and I have made clear half a dozen times already that  
I don't have the same objections to all his work.  He, on the other  
hand, has declared repeatedly (in prose and poem) that I'm an evil,  
dangerous woman and a scholar so poor I don't deserve my Ph.D. --  
most lately comparing me with Ann Coulter.  Who is hounding whom?

If Alan wants to tell readers I'm a terrible person, and to compare  
me with Stalin, the Pope, or whatever other monstrous oppressor he  
loathes and despises, he's perfectly free to do so. I know I can't  
control the way people read me or what they project on me and I don't  
bother trying, beyond being as clear as I can be. I don't think I'm  
an ominous or malign political force, and I don't think he is either.  
I think we are two people who have a disagreement on interpretation  
and handle it in our own particular idiom.

What confuses me more than anything is this fantasy that I'm  
incredibly powerful. I don't see that at all. I am a marginalized  
scholar, despite a lot of good credentials and decades of published  
work. I don't work from inside the Academy any more, and even when I  
did it was from an untenured and tenuous position. I've been fired  
for my gender and racial politics, but never promoted for them. I'm  
probably in no better financial or physical shape than Alan himself.  
And yet... he measures my words as if they have the weight of a  
tyrant's decree, and he claims his rebellion is an act of brave  
resistance. Is it really necessary to call me names? To wish me dead?  
To compare me to enormously powerful historical figures who far  
outstrip any tiny importance I might have? Isn't the rhetoric more  
than a little bit over the top? CRUSH. KILL. DESTROY.

I won't engage in a personal battle with Alan on nettime or anywhere  
else. My critique is exactly that: a critique. As I said, I stand by  
it.  I don't have it in for him, and I never did. I won't get sucked  
into a war when I don't care about winning the territory. I'm not  
worried about what people say about me; I am a lot more worried about  
saying the things I think are important to say. Nor am I going to  
leave nettime; there is room for me here, and there is room for Alan.  
I'm sorry he doesn't see that.


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