The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1422 Thursday, 10 July 2003
Date: Thursday, July 10, 2003
To an extent, ad hominem remarks are in the eye of the beholder.
During 1993 on SHAKSPER, there was a sometimes heated exchange prompted
by Sam Wanamaker's being awarded a CBE. I was initially uneasy with the
tone of some replies but soon came to realize that I was observing a
difference between discursive practices. I later mentioned my discomfort
at what I had perceived as ad hominem comments to one of the UK
participants to be told without hesitation that "It's nothing personal."
Phyllis Rackin, in her "President's Letter: 1993-94" in the *Shakespeare
Association of America Bulletin*, cited this discussion, noting
"Outraged responses from the UK provoked a series of exchanges that
exposed profound differences between the political and cultural
locations occupied by 'Shakespeare' on the two sides of the Atlantic."
It seems to me that some of the personal "bashing" that has taken place
on SHAKSPER recently is profoundly different from the above.
I wrote on Wednesday, July 02, 2003, that "SHAKSPER is not a newsgroup
nor was meant to be" one and that "Practices that are acceptable on less
formal electronic media are not appropriate to this list" (SHK 14.1358).
Yesterday, I published one post that I now believe went too far and
another that I consider borderline. I have pleaded for self-moderation,
but posts that appear to be nothing more than personal attacks are still
appearing. My intervention is problematic, but things have just gone too
First, I would like to apologize to Richard Kennedy and Jerry Downs for
publishing SHK 14.1418.
Second, in the future, I will strive not to send out posts whose content
is personal attack without substantive content.
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