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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Card at his Worst, and Best. (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Card at his Worst, and Best.
Pelegius
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Card's newest column, as of Oct. 29, shows him at his worst, praising a book entitled "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy." In fairness, I have not read it. However, even the conservative Economist thought it to be tasteless and, of course, blatantly partisan, comparing it with Michael Moore's work. He played is overused card (no pun in-ten-did), of pointing out the flaws of the United States Left, I use the term loosely, while ignoring the flaws of the Right.

But then, he hits home with his very accurate picture of Airlines and air-routes.

SUCH IS THE DICHOTOMY OF CARD!!

Don't worry OSC, thats why we love you, even when you make us angry, becouse you are human like us.

P.S. I have not heard you read, but I am sure you read like a human too.

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antichris
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I'm gonna have to side with Jello Biafra on this one:

"We live in a one party system masquerading as a two party system - where your choice is between conservative and... ultra-conservative"

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Card's newest column, as of Oct. 29, shows him at his worst

Really? You think so?
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Will B
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quote:
"We live in a one party system masquerading as a two party system - where your choice is between conservative and... ultra-conservative"
Which explains why abortion through birth is law of the land.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

SUCH IS THE DICHOTOMY OF CARD!!

SO SAYS BARON VON DOOM PELEGIUS, AND SO SHALL IT BE!

[Razz]

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Irregardless
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quote:
Originally posted by antichris:
I'm gonna have to side with Jello Biafra on this one:

"We live in a one party system masquerading as a two party system - where your choice is between conservative and... ultra-conservative"

LOL... More like socialist & communist.
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TomDavidson
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I'm not sure that the opposite of the word "conservative" is "socialist."
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GaalD
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I thought it was between Communist and Dictatorship.
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tern
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quote:
Originally posted by antichris:
I'm gonna have to side with Jello Biafra on this one:

"We live in a one party system masquerading as a two party system - where your choice is between conservative and... ultra-conservative"

But if you are a conservative, your view might be that the choice is between liberal and leftist...

I'm thinking that Howard Dean might be surprised to learn that he's a conservative. Or is he an ultra-conservative? Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaargh!

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
Card's newest column, as of Oct. 29, shows him at his worst, praising a book entitled "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy." In fairness, I have not read it.
I'm not sure how him expressing his opinion of a book you haven't even read is an example of his "worst". Seems a little uncalled for, to me.

If you don't agree with him, then that's fine. But criticising his review because he didn't draw the same conclusions as some other reviewers is just unnecessary.

They're just opinions, I don't think we should grade them good or bad. They're good if you agree with them and bad if you don't. So by your logic "good" would be 6 billion yes-men; everyone would agree on everything.

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King of Men
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I ran across an aphorism the other day which I rather liked : "If two men agree on everything, one of them is useless. If two men disagree on everything, both of them are useless."

Apart from that, yes, you really do have the choice between conservative and ultra-conservative. Your average Democrat here would be considered a frothing right-wing loonie in Europe, and undoubtedly do very well in the polls, but that's another matter.

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Pelegius
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EI, this book was found to be tasteless and overly partisan by a conservative newspaper. I am not surporting censoring it, but why do I need to read something that The Economist found to be too right-wing.
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Survivor
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The odd thing about conservatives...they actually think that being partisan is tasteless.

Card doesn't care about "taste" in that sense. He goes for the jugular--in his writing anyway. So of course that's the kind of book that wins his admiration.

And of course, he also laments the title, the only part of the book that you have actually formed an opinion about. So really, insofar as you have bothered to check, he fully agrees with you.

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El JT de Spang
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You don't need to read it. But you also don't get to criticize someone else's take on a book that you're not bothering to read.
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Pelegius
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Reading books by the U.S. right is pointless. They all say the same things about how terribly persecuted they are, only controlling all three government branches, and how evil liberals hate America. Most a racists, OSC thankfully is not, all are militaristic. All believe in things that would embarrass even the most conservative European.

Note: reading books by the U.S. left is pointless. They all say the same things about how terribly persecuted they are (although, in fairness, they are pretty persecuted.)

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El JT de Spang
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I don't read them either. But I realize that takes away my license to criticize someone else's opinion of them.
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tern
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That's very kind of you, calling most conserviatives racist. I can't think of a more respectful comment.
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King of Men
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To be fair about it, I do think Europe has gone a bit far in the weenie-treehugging-hippie direction. There is such a thing as a national interest which weapons can protect effectively.
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Princess Leah
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There is such a thing as a global interest which weapons can destroy even more effectively.
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Will B
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quote:
Originally posted by Pelegius:
Reading books by the U.S. right is pointless. They all say the same things about how terribly persecuted they are, only controlling all three government branches, and how evil liberals hate America. Most a racists, OSC thankfully is not, all are militaristic. All believe in things that would embarrass even the most conservative European.

Note: reading books by the U.S. left is pointless. They all say the same things about how terribly persecuted they are (although, in fairness, they are pretty persecuted.)

You might try reading political books some time. It shouldn't take much to change that opinion, since few books fit those descriptions.

[ October 30, 2005, 11:46 PM: Message edited by: Will B ]

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Pelegius
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I have. I am constantly sick of the fact that my country has only one party of any worth (the Greens) and that they are marginal. Germany has the Social Democrats and the CDU and CSU and the Greens, all of which are better than either the Republicans or the Democrats.
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tern
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I think that you have a stunning gift to see other people's sides of the issues. Very impressive. I can't for the life of me see how anyone would consider you biased.
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mr_porteiro_head
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[Laugh]
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texico
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I haven't read the book, but I thought the worst of the last revue, was the comments about the airlines. I found it especially interesting that OSC condemns Al Franken for not knowing history, but makes comments about low cost airlines cherry picking routes that make it clear he at least doesn't know that history. The largest low cost airline and the largest domestic carrier is Southwest Airlines. They started out on short hauls and flying where others wouldn't go or would gouge. In fact the originally business plan was to compete with busses, not other airlines. Personally I would rather fly them than many of the full fare airlines because they deliver everything they promise. In fact I would say they under promise and over deliver compared to competing lines.
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Orson Scott Card
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Southwest was a regional. When they went national, they cherry-picked.

Pelegius, you haven't read Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy. You don't know what you're talking about. It's baffling that you judge that I'm at my worst, when you haven't even bothered to check.

I expected VLWC to be biased; I was surprised that it was as calm and rational as it was, and as well documented. Isn't it just as possible that the Economist reviewer was reviewing the book he expected to see, rather than the book that was there?

I've read the wacko conspiracy books, or rather, read AT them, and when I bother to review them, I shred them - Left and Right.

But your way, Pelegius, is so much simpler. Condemn somebody else for being pleasantly surprised by a book YOU haven't read....

So easy to come on my website and attack me ... too much trouble to find out if I'm wrong first. Are you like this at parties, too? Loudly condemn the punch even before you've tasted it?

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rivka
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I would think so.

Punch is awful.

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Princess Leah
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Please, a little respect. I rather like punch.
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rivka
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Then I would think you'd be happy I don't. More for you, neh? [Wink]
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tern
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There's nothing worse than Mormon Punch. Who got the idea to add 7-up to Kool-aid? All the yucky feeling of spiked punch without getting drunk enough to ignore the taste.
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Princess Leah
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Kool-aid is the true cause of global warning. I am convinced of it. I am starting a revolutionary society to topple the Kool-aid companies. Join me and fight for the lives of your fellow men before it is too late!
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Orson Scott Card
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Interesting. People can come on here and write about me with utter contempt, and hardly anyone calls them on it. But let me respond, and immediately the "peacekeepers" on Hatrack change the subject and bury the topic.

I guess the message is that you can use Card's website to speak of Card as if he were someone's idiot child, without even the ordinary concern that you know what you're talking about first. No one protests this. But let Card call you on it, and suddenly THIS must be prevented at all costs.

There are plenty of places on the web to vilify me to your heart's content. What special pleasure is there about doing it here on my own site? And why am I forbidden to answer the attacks?

I've checked. This doesn't happen on ANY other author's website.

Thank heaven for those sites where I'm repeatedly called a fascist and worse. Otherwise I'd get confused and think I was tolerant to the point of madness.

So even though it will be overwhelmed by "punch" posts, let me, just for the record, point out the obvious: Those of you who actually like my novels might make some connection between what feels important and true in those books and my lifetime of reading and research. Maybe, after all that study and those thousands of books and the many hours of analysis, I actually know a few things, here and there, about human behavior and history. And therefore, just maybe, my ideas on other subjects might be worth THINKING ABOUT for a couple of seconds before spitting on them, on the remote chance I might not be an utter fool. And maybe, even if you disagree with me, you could write about my ideas on my own website with ordinary human respect instead of the condescension that began this thread and which permeates it.

Of course, the very fact that I have to ask for respect is probably a clear indication that I don't deserve it and am never going to get it here.

[ November 01, 2005, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: Orson Scott Card ]

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Dan_Frank
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Mr. Card, you could not possibly know how many people like me frequent this site.

Well, maybe if you checked a sitemeter or something.

I have maybe four posts, but I've been reading here for years. I check for your articles several times a week even though I know you write them weekly. Every now and then, a new article pops up out of the regular scheme, and I giggle like a schoolgirl and count my good fortune.

I also read these forums, though I don't post. And though I enjoy reading thoughtful insights by many of your posters, if this were not the Hatrack River Forum, and Orson Scott Card were not an actual honest to God poster here, I simply wouldn't check back. For quite a long time, I didn't, because you weren't.

I think it's absolutely awesome that yours is the ONLY author's website where people come to frequently trash the author. Anne Rice recently attacked negative Amazon reviewers of her latest book... on Amazon. You put up with negative reviewers on your own bloody site. That's incredibly admirable.

I don't always agree with you (heck, I don't know that I even usually agree with you), but I think you are one of the most thought-provoking columnists I've ever read, and I have never felt that my disagreement was due to a lack of knowledge on your part (typically it's a difference in principles).

I pray near every day that I could one day be as insightful as you, that I could write with such truth. Being as successful as you couldn't hurt either.

Now I'm coming very close to deleting this. But I've always wanted to send you some email or message of how incredibly grateful I am that you do what you do, it just seemed to presumptuous to bother you with my thoughts. But if you can spare the time to read an attack, it seems you ought to be able to read some compliments too. So here it shall stay.

If it weren't for the fact that to send you an email I need to send it to the Help Desk or some such thing first, I would've sent you all this (and several more pages of disgustingly smitten adulation) years ago. But, I was always too embarrassed that it would be read by someone else, such as your webmaster, first.

I have nothing left to say but this:

Thank you.

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rivka
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quote:
Interesting. People can come on here and write about me with utter contempt, and hardly anyone calls them on it.
I tend to ignore idiots of all stripes. And anyone who comes to an author's website just to heap contempt upon them is an idiot.

Thus, I ignore.

Posts of people I like and/or respect, I do not ignore. But that does not necessarily mean I reply as they might expect . . . [Wink]
quote:
But let me respond, and immediately the "peacekeepers" on Hatrack change the subject and bury the topic.
Not peacekeeping. Fluffing. Totally different.

Now, I can't take a serious topic and turn it completely to fluff. There are others here with that skill, but I am still learning at their feet. Some day I will learn the secret . . . I just hope it's not punch.

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Zebulan
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quote:
Originally posted by Orson Scott Card:
Of course, the very fact that I have to ask for respect is probably a clear indication that I don't deserve it and am never going to get it here.

Please don't say never. I respect you and will do my best not to post anything to demean you or anyone else. Any disagreements I have will only be posted after I have considered the facts, the analysis, and done my own research. I am not saying this to boost my ego or to place myself upon some pedestal where I can wave my arms and scream that I'm OSC's biggest and most respectful fan.

Rather, I write that because I believe that this is the attitude that most people take towards the forums. By most people, I do not include only those that post or have accumulated more than x number of posts. The majority of people that read these forums do not post often. (this is complete speculation, but from what I've learned on other sites, I'd wager it is accurate). I like to believe that the reason many of us do not post often is because we take the time to reflect upon what we are writing. It is the nature of the internet as an anonymous forum that some people do not feel the need to filter what they write or say. Without such a filter they become the most vocal and most prolific posters. If I posted every thoght that came into my head while reading these forums and your columns, I would certainly have hundreds more posts than I do now.

I read this forum for years before registering. I was finally motivated to register when I realized what an amazing opportunity I had to interact with one of my favorite authors. Additionally, I was becoming more confident in my knowledge of current events and my ability to express my opinion in a well thought out manner. I anticipated becoming an active member of the Books, Film, Food, and Culture forum.

Unfortunately, I realized soon after registering that discussions move too quickly for me. For example, your column on abortion in Freakonomics disturbed me greatly. I did not want to agree with you. But instead of writing that on the forum, I first directed some of my friends to the column. Then we discussed it. Still, I did not feel prepared to offer a opinion without first reading, or at least skimming, the book itself. By the time I had gotten to this point, though, the discussion on the forum had moved far beyond the original topic. An debate that took well over a week in my head and my life was over in a few hours on the forums.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that I, and I think many that read this forum, subscribe to two rules: (1) If you don't have anything nice to say (or can't state your alternative opinion nicely), don't say anything at all. (2) Better to keep your mouth shut and have everyone think you're a fool than leave it open and let everyone know it.

I only post when I have something worthwhile to say. Sometimes a silly comment can be worthwhile; just so long as it is appropriate for that thread's intent. You have the respect of many of us. Please don't take our silence to mean that we support the disrespect of others. We'd just rather ignore the meanyheads as best we can.

Hmm... A hypocritical post. I haven't thought about it as much as I would have liked before posting. Now I fear that even the above will come off as condescending, though I intended it to be no such thing.

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Cali-Angel-Cat
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Okay, I cannot stay quite on this one. I am going to join Dan in saying Thank You!

I originally found the site somewhere between 1999 and 2000, and I posted quite a bit under a different nickname, which I have since forgotten.

I really like the fact that you post here Mr. Card, and are not just a name on the wall. You have made me laugh, cry, scream, and rant with things here as well as in your books!

Saints will always be my favorite novel, although, I have yet find a book that you have written that I dislike. Your writing books and articles are some of my most treasured possessions.

I have five years of posts to catch up on along with articles. Wow.

I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for all that you have done and will do in the future.

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Speed
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I've poked my head into this thread once or twice since it's been around, and it's really kind of ticked me off. But I haven't responded for one simple reason: I've been around long enough to know a troll when I see one. El JT de Spang (and, to some extent, Survivor and a few others) made some obvious and true comments near the top of the thread, and I don't think I could have added anything to them. I could have tried, but people like Pelegius make their deliberately stupid posts because they feed on the inevitable smack-down and the chaos that ensues. If I'd called him on his idiocy, it would only have achieved his goals, and I was hoping that this pointless thread would wither up and die, leaving room for the parts of this forum that matter.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I like to believe that the reason Pelegius got off as lightly as he did is because most people who read this thread were trying not to feed such an obvious and hideous troll. But as long as I am making what will hopefully end up being the only reply I ever post in a Pelegius thread, I'll just take this opportunity to say that I think he's a moron. And the worst kind of moron: one who thinks he's clever, and has enough time on his worthless hands that he wants to prove that to a bunch of strangers and one person he's delusional enough to think should give a damn about him. If he ever crawls out of his parents' basement and gets a job, he may realize that there are ways to make himself happy by contributing positively to society. But I won't hold my breath.

And as far as the actual content of his posts, I'm not going anywhere near that.

[ November 01, 2005, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]

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Speed
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Pelegius at his worst.
And best.

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Katarain
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Mr. Card:

You only gave us an hour to come in this thread and agree with you before you got annoyed at the punch talkers. According to my timestamps, it was also the middle of the night.

I was asleep. [Smile]

Hatrack threads get derailed sometimes. Sometimes I say really witty and clever things that get ignored, too. At least I think they're witty and clever. Instead, people go on talking about other things. But then, a couple pages later, somebody responds to my point and I feel better about it. It's just the way forums work.

There are also some people on this board who are so often clearly wrong that it can really annoy me. I wish more people would call them on it. If I wait long enough, they do. (Or sometimes, I do.)

If I wait even longer, I start to understand why those people who can really annoy me are tolerated as long-standing members. People earn their right to be here and to be heard, I think. This Pelegius guy hasn't earned that right, so hardly anybody takes him to task. It doesn't help that he makes threads like this one with such profoundly stupid suppositions.

Personally, I'm used to people whose handle is hardly recognizable coming to this side of the board to nitpick one area or another of one of your essays. It's ridiculous and most definitely NOT clever and new. It's done to death. If other Hatrackers are anything like me, they find it tiresome. A few people might set the poster straight, and after that, nobody else needs to. There are all sorts of exciting things to be discussed on the other side, after all. [Smile] And sometimes there are respectful, valid posts on the subjects that become really interesting threads instead of personal attacks.

Anyway, don't assume that we sanction people like this guy just because we aren't posting or because we might post jokes instead. Traffic on this side of the board is typically slow...and it's even slower in the middle of the night. And really, Pelegius of the 136 posts hardly deserves the effort of typing out a rebuttal or a reprimand. But now it's been done, and those of us who usually read and rarely post (like me, lately), will nod sagely at the reprimands that he got and agree that he was out of line, but having nothing new to say, we'll click on another thread... and move on.

-Katarain

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tern
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I'll reply to the punch talking thing, as I'm one of those that did it.

I'll liken it to this: Compare this to a grand opening of an art gallery, featuring the works of a great artist. It's a public opening, and all kinds of people are there, drawn primarily by the fact that they like the artist's works. The artist himself is there, but there are so many people, and sometimes he's circulating the room, but most of the time he's in his private studio. So you never know if he's in the area. Most of us like and admire him, and he is the main topic of discussion.

One of the conversations is started by this dude who's a bit irritating. You know, he's got poor spelling and grammar, is an extreme political bigot, can't see anybody else's side of the issue, and is very offensive in doing so. You know, your typical university professor in California.

Well, Professor Seaperson disagrees with some of the artist's opinions, and he's got no tact in doing so. Perhaps he thinks he's back at the U "teaching" a class. But anyway, he's rude and offensive, and he's pretty much alienated everyone listening, even the ones who might think his opinion has merit.

Those of us in the conversation with him, however, are mystified by his attitude, and we're poking mild fun at him, but we don't get worked up over him because he's just not worth it. We know that as offensive to us, he's got to be even more infuriating to the artist, who we respect. But seeing as the artist isn't in the area, we think, we don't slap the guy down quite as hard as we could, and besides, what's the use - he won't get it.

However, the artist has left his studio and is now circulating among the guests. He comes by our conversation and overhears the offensive guy saying really mean and idiotic things about him. The artist gets mad (understandably) and snaps at him. Also understandable, but surprising.

Silence. Awkward silence. What do we say? How do we react? We didn't mean for the artist to get angry. We understand the artist's sentiments, and some of us agree. We're uncomfortable because not only is this the artist's show, but we also like and respect the artist. You know, it's different if we get mad, it doesn't really matter as much, because it isn't our show.

So, then, someone gets the idea of saying something mild and humourous to ease the tension.

Relief. We can move the topic to something a little less charged, like punch. We're not trying to make peace, we don't care if the irritating guy is offended, but we want to avoid the awkward situation.

It's not that we don't want to defend the artist, it's just that we don't take the offensive guy seriously. There is condescension in the conversation, but we're condescending to the offensive guy, not the artist.

Stepping out of the analogy now.

This guy (at least on this thread) is a Grego, except that he's not family, either. Gregos = trolls.

My thought is that Hatrack really is a reflection of Card's works. In the majority of Card's books, underlying the story, is an exploration of morality. Ender's Game. Was what Ender did moral? Why or why not? Stilson, Bonzo, the Buggers, were their deaths moral? On Hatrack, as well, there is an exploration of morality. When we have this exploration, we have all types of people, all types of views. Some are like Card. Some are not. But opposing views and different people are necessary to fully explore these issue. Sometimes we get lost, sometimes we end up in dead ends or down in bad neighborhoods. Sometimes the people who are in front of the exploration are idiots. But we keep exploring. Hatrack is an OSC novel writ large.

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Irregardless
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If *I* was going to start a petty, pointless thread bashing OSC's writings on his own site, I'd definitely complain about his use of the spelling 'cooky' instead of 'cookie' in his recent essay. I still can't stop shuddering.
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Speed
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You mean if you were going to start a petty pointless thread...

It's called the subjunctive. It's your friend. [Wink]

[/meta-pettiness]

[ November 01, 2005, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Speed ]

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TomDavidson
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Okay, I'll admit that I had to really try to find an example of Davidson's Law in your post, Speed, but there IS one: you need a comma after "petty."

*wipes brow*

------

BTW, tern, I know you and I don't always see eye-to-eye, but I thought that was a beautiful explanation of the phenomenon. May I save that post?

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Speed
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Yes! Well done. [Big Grin]
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tern
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Thank you Tom, feel free to save it - I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way. [Smile]
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rivka
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It is indeed a great post. I am going to have to object to one section, though.
quote:
You know, he's got poor spelling and grammar, is an extreme political bigot, can't see anybody else's side of the issue, and is very offensive in doing so. You know, your typical university professor in California.

My parents are both university professors (in CA). So are many of the people they invite into their home. And I attended UCLA.

You unfairly slander the majority of "university professors in California." Not that there are none like your description; but that is far from "typical."

[Razz]

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Princess Leah
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Good post, tern.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

You know, he's got poor spelling and grammar, is an extreme political bigot, can't see anybody else's side of the issue, and is very offensive in doing so.

Excluding the poor spelling and grammar bit, I would say this is true of about 90% of the posters on this forum. As we all know, everyone is crazy but you and me, and I'm not so sure about you. [Smile]
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El JT de Spang
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Or as I say, "Between you and me we know everything. You know everything except that you're an ***hole, and I know that."
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tern
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Heh. Guess I'm still bitter from my undergraduate years in the CSU system. ;P
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Dagonee
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quote:
People can come on here and write about me with utter contempt, and hardly anyone calls them on it. But let me respond, and immediately the "peacekeepers" on Hatrack change the subject and bury the topic.

I guess the message is that you can use Card's website to speak of Card as if he were someone's idiot child, without even the ordinary concern that you know what you're talking about first. No one protests this.

Not true. People protest this on a regular basis.

I myself have been told I have no integrity because of some of the defenses of you I have posted, both here and on Ornery.

Many others take the tack that you yourself described so well from Rasa's perspective in Ships of Earth concerning Kokor and Sevet's quips against Shedemai being ignored by the polite company and the subject changed.

Remembering that passage is one reason I often abandon my resolution to avoid conflict and wade in to fight some of the grosser attacks. It's also the reason that, when I can't bring myself to invoke another near flame-war, I sometimes send emails to people telling them I think they are being treated unfairly and that I recognize the injustice of the comments aimed at them.

I am not the only one who does so. Rivka has taken aim at some of the more idiotic comments directed your way, and she seems to have less taste for conflict that I do.

In this case, I saw the post was from Pelegius and didn't bother reading it at first.

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