Mr. Pitman and issues

Mr. Pitman responds to my admittedly shallow response to the undergraduate
screed about postmodernism by saying "when devotees of the postmodern
cult are confronted with its obvious complicity with oppression,"
thereby making several unfounded and inappropriate assumptions the
basis for his counterattack. Mr. Pitman knows nothing of me or of
my "devotion" to anything. Neither does he define "postmodern"
any more than the student editorialist defined it. In fact, though
I am well-read in postmodern theory--sufficiently well-read not to
use the term as though there were a monolithic entity to be labeled
as such--I seriously doubt that anyone who knows me would suggest that
I am part of such a cult, devotee, acolyte, or anything more than
interested onlooker. IN fact, my comments about that article came
not at all from a postmodernist stance, but from the perspective of
one trained in classical rhetoric--I was responding to the familiar and
tiresome rhetoric of peole who imagine they can stigmatize a point of
view by linking it with whatever political or social views they happen
to find inimical. It's playground rhetoric and one wonders why in
the world anyone would think it might be worthy of submission to this
list? It has nothing original to say and the old stuff it recycles is
not said well. My guess is that it served the simpleminded purpose
of providing a provocation so that the poster could sit back and smugly
assume that he had stirred up a response, thereby validating his "point,"
whatever it might be. Fortunately, the discussion quickly deflected to
more interesting questions about discourse. For those who have not
yet seen it, let me recommend the recent issue of the online Salon
magazine which includes an article by Austin Bunn ("Molotovs and
Mailing Lists") pertinent to this "event."
Tom Dillingham

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