[HEAVY snipping involved]
Nick, I can’t possibly be talking about a strawman because I’m talking about myself. I’m not saying, and Frank’s not saying, “why am I the only one who can sustain an intellectual conversation?” The question is “why can’t we sustain an intellectual conversation?”
I’ve been staying out of this conversation, but this was a snort tea over keyboard moment. If this is true - and I’ve no reason to doubt it - then you (and Frank) REALLY need to work on your tone of voice when talking about this stuff. I think one problem is that two questions get mixed up: Why is nobody (including us) able to sustain a conversation? and Why does nobody (excluding us) seem to care? And if the two do get mixed up, whether in your writing or in the mind of the reader, then you risk coming across like assholes. And if you then say, actually I’m not an asshole, you’re misreading me, this conversation is tedious, then you risk coming across like a bigger asshole.
I’m sorry to be harsh - I love reading your criticism, and Frank’s, and Katherine’s, and everyone involved in the thread’s. I also don’t think those questions are bad ones - the second goes a long way to answering the first, though. I’ve never felt hurt at the charge I can’t sustain a conversation or complete an idea because honestly nobody’s ever convinced me it’s a worthwhile goal (or, more to the point, MORE worthwhile than whatever it is I and the rest of the web do anyway).
Do you think the above quote has that tone of voice, though? Because my point was that there are very good reasons why “sustain intellectual conversation” isn’t a desirable thing to do, and that there usually isn’t anything in it for them [EDIT: and, to be extra extra clear, there sometimes isn’t anything in it for me, as the paragraph after the one you published there made clear]. I didn’t think I sounded like an asshole, except in response to being called one when I didn’t think I came across like one. Aside from my hissyfit response to Katherine and Nick, does Frank (or me) actually sound like an asshole at some point in the thread? (I felt like an asshole at a few points, and kind of said so afterward — I try not to delete shitty comments of mine and at least make the editing of them transparent, but I also try to follow up and say something like “OK that wasn’t fair.”) I’m genuinely curious what exactly it was that was so asshole-ish, since the quoted excerpt just doesn’t seem obviously asshole-y to me.
When I’m getting called out by Tom, I usually assume Tom’s right and I’m in the wrong. But I’m still confused (and so were a few other people, apparently) as to what it was about that quote that was being read as hostile and not just kind of what I thought was an uncontroversial observation.
[EDIT: At this point in the future, in hindsight and such, I would like it to be known to posterity that no, I am not completely unaware of how things I say can be construed as antagonistic when I didn’t mean for them to be and yes, I understand how the response you just read plays into “asshole logic” perfectly. It’s a vicious cycle.]
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- thevidsarealright said: Ah! This must be that beef I was too busy to read! Dudes, if music is yr job you have a right to not want to think about it after hours.
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- minimoonstar said: Maybe this is just me but… I don’t see how the two of you are saying something different, at all? I know that’s why *I* don’t sustain convos, and I don’t beat myself up over it at all.
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- anthonyisright said: livejournal: the last refuge of intellectual conversation.
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