[KB] leaving the list

Jim Moore jimmijcat at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 6 02:48:52 EDT 2008

I must preface this remark by emphasizing that it is not directed
at any individual but, rather, at an attitude that is endemic in
the career-driven individualistic world of North American academia.
It's one of the reasons I was never entirely comfortable in 
university, though I love learning and am really not such a bad
To me, it seems the umbrage comes down to this:
"How dare you violate the sanctity of my inbox with analyses
of current political issues?  Why on earth should I stay on a list that
forces me to delete messages about politics?  Really, how is all this
nonsense going to keep me on the tenure track?  Isn't this list
supposed to be about Kenneth Burke and what on earth does
he have to do with POLITICS for goodness sake!"  [yes, irony intended
here--beep, beep, beep]
People who have this (unspoken) attitude are not wrong that avoiding
overt political discussion is probably better for their academic careers.  Fact is,
when you have a political opinion, you are going to piss somebody off, and, who
knows, that somebody might be somebody that you don't want to
piss off for materialistic reasons.  
Myself, not having come from a a particularly career-driven ambitiousbackground, I prefer to see lively political debate--I think that discussion
is more important than making sure I can make payments on an S.U.V.
The kind of discussions that have been happening on this list belong in 
academic fora, as far as I'm concerned, but maybe I'm saying that
because I'm not part of the academy and I look at the institution
more idealistically.
Please don't take this post as a snotty finger-pointing gibe.  I know
life is hard, and I know building an academic career is hard.  I know
career-driven people are just people like me trying to make a decent living
so they can suffer less.  However, I'd also like the next U.S. presidential
administration (whoever heads it) to bring about less suffering in the
world than the one on the way out.  My own pain avoidance can't
come at the expense of killing more innocent people--sorry, that's
just the way I see it.  
If the political future of the U.S. (and world) can't be discussed on a list like this one, then I question the validity of the content of all other discussions on this list. 
By the way, Marilyn, I'm from Vancouver, but, no, I don't smoke weed.
Jim> From: engle at ucalgary.ca> Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2008 22:25:10 -0600> CC: kb at purdue.edu> Subject: Re: [KB] leaving the list> > I am a long time and appreciative member of this list. I must now > declare, however, that I never joined the KB list to read a great deal > of what often must be characterized as venting about the American > political scene. I lately wonder if everyone other than myself on > this list is American. I too have found all the messages pertaining > to the election frustrating and space consuming in my inbox. I'd like > to see a splinter group especially devoted to those concerned with US > electoral issues separate from the main mailing list.> > J. Marilyn Engle, Professor> Department of Music, Faculty of Fine Arts> University of Calgary> > Calgary, AB, Canada, T2N 1N4> > > > On 5-Sep-08, at 3:21 PM, David Blakesley wrote:> > > I like John's idea.> >> > At the same time, I certainly do like to know how KB's ideas are > > useful for> > understanding new contexts (indeed, that's part of their enduring > > appeal).> > My suggestion would be that when threads continue on with only a few > > people> > involved, take them off list, chat among yourselves, create a Google > > Group> > if you want. Know when to leave room and time for others to join in. > > Know> > how or when to leave gracefully if you're not happy.> >> > Cheers,> > Dave> >> > On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 3:45 PM, John Hatch <JHatch at dbq.edu> wrote:> >> >> Clearly, not everyone who is interested in Burke's work wishes to > >> follow> >> blow-by-blow (or "minute-by-minute") application of his ideas to > >> current> >> political events, particularly during an election cycle in which the> >> airwaves are already saturated with politics.> >>> >> Others find this a welcome and stimulating opportunity to relate > >> Burkean> >> thought to current events.> >>> >> All of which makes me wonder: rather than continue to watch people> >> unsubscribe from the listserve (or ask others to refrain from > >> political> >> debate and analysis in this forum), might we be better served by the> >> existence of two listserves -- one focused on current events and > >> politics in> >> a Burkean "barnyard scramble" of perspectives, the other focused > >> primarily> >> on interpreting Burke himself and applying his work to discourse or > >> issues> >> of enduring interest? I realize one can not draw a clean line > >> between the> >> two, but at least having different core purposes would make it > >> easier for> >> individuals who are interested in Burke to opt out of some, rather > >> than all,> >> of the conversations.> >>> >> For all I know, this idea has already been proposed many times > >> before I> >> joined the listserve. Those who have spent many years on listservs > >> like this> >> one can determine better than I whether such an idea has merit. > >> Anyway, I> >> offer it, for what it's worth.> >>> >> John> >>> >>> >> Dr. John B. Hatch> >> Wendt Professor> >> Associate Professor of Communication> >> University of Dubuque> >> 2000 University Ave.> >> Dubuque, IA 52001> >> Tel: (563) 589-3426> >> Fax: (563) 589-3243> >>> >>> >>>>> "Noemi Marin" <nmarin at fau.edu> 9/5/2008 2:12 PM >>>> >>> >> Can you please unsubscribe me from the list?> >> Thank you in advance> >> Dr. Noemi Marin> >> Florida Atlantic University> >>> >>> >> -----Original Message-----> >> From: kb-bounces at lists.purdue.edu [mailto:kb- > >> bounces at lists.purdue.edu] On> >> Behalf Of Gregory Desilet> >> Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 1:07 PM> >> To: kb at purdue.edu> >> Subject: Re: [KB] Politics/Good Journalism> >>> >>> >> McCain last night: "Nothing brings greater happiness in life than > >> to serve> >> a> >>> >> cause greater than yourself. I'm going to fight for my cause every > >> day as> >> your president."> >>> >> I respect the fact that McCain learned from his experience in > >> Vietnam the> >> kind of humility that enabled him to reverse his "going it alone" > >> fighter> >> pilot mentality to see beyond his personal wants and ambitions. But > >> it's> >> clear from his acceptance speech last night that there remains > >> another more> >>> >> important kind of humility that McCain has not yet learned--the > >> humility> >> associated with the humble irony of the Burkean comic frame. McCain > >> can> >> reach across the isle to work with those on the other side toward a > >> common> >> cause, but this "common cause" is the "my cause" of a man who > >> thinks he> >> possesses an accurate, almost revelatory, vision of that cause.> >>> >> In the complex world of the 21st century we need leaders who have> >> experienced the irony of "seeing from two angles at once" and the > >> kind of> >> humility and openness to alternatives that come from this less than > >> certain> >>> >> wisdom. Last night McCain said: "I know how the world works. I know > >> the> >> good> >>> >> and the evil in it." These words contain too much of what Burke > >> identified> >> as "pride." Imagine what Socrates would do with a man who says he > >> knows> >> what> >>> >> evil is. Here, in my view, Obama exhibits greater experience and > >> wisdom> >> when> >>> >> he said at the Saddleback debate:> >>> >> Obama: ". Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for > >> us to> >> have some humility in how we approach the issue of confronting > >> evil. You> >> know a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we > >> were> >> trying to confront evil. In the name of good and I think one thing > >> that's> >> very important is having some humility in recognizing that. You > >> know, just> >> because we think our intentions are good doesn't mean that we're > >> going to> >> be> >>> >> doing good."> >> This is not a humility that need lead to paralysis but rather the > >> humility> >> that creates sufficient openness in perspective to question enough > >> to take> >> a> >>> >> close look at how things may be appearing from another angle. This > >> kind of> >> humility is difficult because it involves more than the > >> "revolutionary"> >> devotion to the one-and-only of putting a cause ahead of yourself. It> >> involves a dimension of self-consciousness and skills of critique > >> that> >> include a focus on one's own cause as well as another's cause. > >> McCain may> >> not entirely lack such skills but his rhetoric significantly lacks> >> indication of it while Obama's does not. And, as Burkean theory > >> adequately> >> demonstrates, choice of expression is a good indicator of attitude.> >> McCain's> >>> >> attitude reveals a significant aspect of the hubris of the tragic > >> man (as> >> in> >>> >> Burke's "factional tragedy") that we have come to recognize in > >> George W.> >> Bush and the conservative right. Beware of he who "knows" the good > >> and evil> >>> >> in the world.> >>> >> Greg> >>> >>> >> _______________________________________________> >> KB Discussion List> >> KB at lists.purdue.edu> >> https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/kb> >>> >>> >> _______________________________________________> >> KB Discussion List> >> KB at lists.purdue.edu> >> https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/kb> >>> >>> >> _______________________________________________> >> KB Discussion List> >> KB at lists.purdue.edu> >> https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/kb> >>> >>> > _______________________________________________> > KB Discussion List> > KB at lists.purdue.edu> > https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/kb> > _______________________________________________> KB Discussion List> KB at lists.purdue.edu> https://lists.purdue.edu/mailman/listinfo/kb

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