Below is a post JoAnn sent to the WC. Aside from thanks to JoAnn for coming to the rescue on her white horse silver, and therewith exposing the Staudenmaier method for all time, I wish to point out that I did *not* send Peter a "brief off-list message" at any time. I did sent a post to the WC list which never made it there because I was already nuked. So someone else must have forwarded it to him. So the only time I have communicated with him is now, to advise that I did not send that message to him.
"Re: [wc] ad buffoonem
>> Frank sent me a brief off-list message yesterday about the post
>> where he thought I called him and Dennis buffoons. It is a
>> striking example of the failure of esoteric reading strategies,
[original quote as given by Diana, but out of order]
> *They don't understand why I bother engaging with buffoons like
> Dennis and Frank in the first place*, and that is exactly how they
> perceive the plentiful Dennises and Franks of the esoteric milieu,
> as utter buffoons. For a lot of academics, occultists are simply
> wingnuts, not conversation partners, much less people worth wasting
> time on with reasoned argument."
> Well, for what it's worth, I first read it that you were calling
> him a buffoon, too. Reading back over it later I saw the mistake.
> I do think it could be read both ways, though. I see that you are
> technically right, but speaking as an editor, if I had been editing
> your text, I'd have advised you that people might read this as your
> calling him and Dennis buffoons. A sophisticated reader may pick up
> that you are speaking as if from the POV of your academic
> colleagues who think it is not worthwhile talking to esotericist
> buffoons, and granted many of the anthroposophists we've talked to
> here over the years are not exactly sophisticated readers ... but
> neither are lots of other people (myself included, apparently).
Well, Diana, it seems to me that your editorial instincts are sound in this
case. Of course, some people say this type of smear-by-innuendo should no
longer be effective given that it was so thoroughly deconstructed by Robert
Greenwald in in his 2004 documentary "Outfoxed." But as a rhetorical device, it
is a classic.
So, I would agree that the problem is that many people "are not exactly
sophisticated readers" -- and therefore do not recognize the rhetorical device
being used for what it is. This allows Peter, when called on his statement, to
deny that *he* called Frank and Dennis buffoons. With the added bonus of
allowing Peter (more in sorrow than in anger) to label Frank and anyone else who
might object to his statement as deficient in reading skills. SCORE!
Either that, or perhaps Peter is not the sophisticated writer he fancies himself
to be. Sad to think that one could get a PhD in the humanities without studying
rhetoric, but there you are...