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  • Rateliff, John
    This will be my final post to the Mythsoc list. I d joined last month hoping to find a forum where people discussed JRRT, the Inklings, and modern fantasy.
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 28 5:18 PM
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      This will be my final post to the Mythsoc list. I'd joined last month hoping to find a forum where people discussed JRRT, the Inklings, and modern fantasy. Instead it seems prone to long, bitter arguments about what seem to me side-issues. A simple statement of opinion is apt to get pounced on and followed up with either ad hominem attacks or demands for a comprehensive presentation of detailed documentary evidence of the right to hold that opinion. Since my posts seem to be a catalyst for rancor, the simplest solution is simply for me to withdraw from the list.
      And, frankly, I'm just not thick-skinned enough to shrug off Carl's badgering or his accusation that I'm pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia. Likewise Grace's that I didn't respond to her post promptly enough because I'm sexist. Likewise the suggestion from Pat, who's been a friend of mine for twenty years, that not only am I cowardly and despicable but that my family name should become a hissing and a byword. Far better that I put that time and energy into my Tolkien work.
      So, while it was interesting (especially when the topic was children's fantasy) and I have new respect for some of the people who post here, this is where I get off. I wish you all good reading, good discussions, and good luck.

      --JDR




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      I would suggest, John, that the common problem in all the factors and critics you cite is your inability to thoughtfully read and consider what people who are
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 28 5:38 PM
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        I would suggest, John, that the common problem in all the factors and
        critics you cite is your inability to thoughtfully read and consider
        what people who are responding to your posts actually write, as opposed
        to leaping to conclusions about what you _expect_ them to have said,
        while apparently believing that the rules of scholarly discourse don't
        apply to you, and that you are above questioning or criticism. Thus:

        On Mar 28, 2005, at 8:18 PM, Rateliff, John wrote:

        > demands for a comprehensive presentation of detailed documentary
        > evidence of the right to hold that opinion.

        Nobody has asked you for any such thing. A simple yes or no was all
        that was asked of you; and if yes, then some citation of evidence. Your
        hyperbole here is self-serving, and totally misrepresents the facts.
        You can feel like a put-upon victim if you prefer; but that isn't at
        all factual, and I don't know why you'd rather do that than simply play
        by the same rules as the rest of us: if you make a claim, be prepared
        to back it up. If you can't, be prepared to admit that you are speaking
        only a personal opinion.

        > Carl's badgering or his accusation that I'm pro-abortion and
        > pro-euthanasia.

        I never made any such accusation. Again, you continue to ignore context
        (despite your explicit claim to the contrary, citing it as one of your
        virtues) and attribute to me a claim that was in fact only a
        supposition of _possible_ fact (no evidence to the contrary having been
        presented by you), made in response to your own ad-hominem
        characterization of me as "obsessive".

        > Likewise Grace's that I didn't respond to her post promptly enough
        > because I'm sexist.

        You here ignore the fact that Grace simply reflected back on _you_ an
        attitude that _you_ projected onto Lewis. That is, she was speaking
        ironically, quoting _your_ words back to you, and showing that by the
        same bogus argument _you_ put forward regarding Lewis's supposed
        misogyny (that he ignored women in favor of men), she could make the
        same criticism of your failure to respond to _her_ post but instead
        responding only to those of male writers. Obviously, Grace was not
        serious in her accusation, because she equally obviously considered
        _yours_ without merit.

        > Likewise the suggestion from Pat, who's been a friend of mine for
        > twenty years, that not only am I cowardly and despicable but that my
        > family name should become a hissing and a byword.

        And here you conveniently ignore the fact that Pat was responding only
        to _your_ use of Lindskoog's name "as a hissing and a byword", who was
        a friend of Pat's for a very long time now too. Once again, you clearly
        believe that it is perfectly fine for you to do as you will, _even the
        very things you fault in others_, and no one should say "boo" to you
        about it.

        > Far better that I put that time and energy into my Tolkien work.

        I guess we're all now on notice that we are forbidden to expect John to
        explain the basis for that work on Tolkien, or to ask him to elaborate
        on or support any claims he makes or opinions he expresses therein.
        Gee, I can't wait.
      • Carl F. Hostetter
        ... I retract inability and substitute unwillingness
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 28 5:52 PM
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          On Mar 28, 2005, at 8:38 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

          > I would suggest, John, that the common problem in all the factors and
          > critics you cite is your inability to thoughtfully read and consider
          > what people who are responding to your posts actually write,

          I retract "inability" and substitute "unwillingness"
        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          That s too bad.... the Tolkien paragraphs of that ... on Women post really made me roll over and purr. I love stuff like that (right up there with Alexei s
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 28 6:34 PM
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            That's too bad.... the Tolkien paragraphs of that "... on Women" post
            really made me roll over and purr. I love stuff like that (right up there
            with Alexei's discourses on language).

            Well, here's to the dedicated world-makers and their craft!

            Elizabeth Apgar Triano
            lizziewriter@...
            amor vincit omnia
            www.lizziewriter.com
            www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org


            > [Original Message]
            > From: Rateliff, John <john.rateliff@...>
            > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            > Date: 3/28/2005 8:19:02 PM
            > Subject: [mythsoc] Time to Go
            >
            >
            > This will be my final post to the Mythsoc list. I'd joined last month
            hoping to find a forum where people discussed JRRT, the Inklings, and
            modern fantasy. Instead it seems prone to long, bitter arguments about what
            seem to me side-issues. A simple statement of opinion is apt to get pounced
            on and followed up with either ad hominem attacks or demands for a
            comprehensive presentation of detailed documentary evidence of the right to
            hold that opinion. Since my posts seem to be a catalyst for rancor, the
            simplest solution is simply for me to withdraw from the list.
            > And, frankly, I'm just not thick-skinned enough to shrug off Carl's
            badgering or his accusation that I'm pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia.
            Likewise Grace's that I didn't respond to her post promptly enough because
            I'm sexist. Likewise the suggestion from Pat, who's been a friend of mine
            for twenty years, that not only am I cowardly and despicable but that my
            family name should become a hissing and a byword. Far better that I put
            that time and energy into my Tolkien work.
            > So, while it was interesting (especially when the topic was children's
            fantasy) and I have new respect for some of the people who post here, this
            is where I get off. I wish you all good reading, good discussions, and good
            luck.
            >
            > --JDR
            >
            >
          • finsen@optusnet.com.au
            And the last word (words..many, many, many...words) goes to....Carl All this froth and nobody even mentioned David Salo (yet) :-) caio Graeme
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 28 7:37 PM
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              And the last word (words..many, many, many...words) goes to....Carl <applause>

              All this froth and nobody even mentioned David Salo (yet) :-)

              caio
              Graeme



              > On Mar 28, 2005, at 8:38 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
              >
              > > I would suggest, John, that the common problem in all the factors and
              > > critics you cite is your inability to thoughtfully read and consider
              > > what people who are responding to your posts actually write,
              >
              > I retract "inability" and substitute "unwillingness"
            • Walkermonk@aol.com
              In a message dated 3/28/2005 7:20:48 PM Central Standard Time, john.rateliff@wizards.com writes: Likewise Grace s that I didn t respond to her post promptly
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 28 8:48 PM
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                In a message dated 3/28/2005 7:20:48 PM Central Standard Time,
                john.rateliff@... writes:
                Likewise Grace's that I didn't respond to her post promptly enough because
                I'm sexist.
                --

                Well, I see I failed in my attempt at pointed sarcasm. And now there seems to
                be no point in answering his earlier post. Bummer.

                Grace Monk


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Bill West
                You re gonna have a long wait there, Carl. I believe he said he was leaving the list there. At least that s the impression I got after thoughtfully reading and
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 28 9:09 PM
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                  You're gonna have a long wait there, Carl.
                  I believe he said he was leaving the list there.
                  At least that's the impression I got after thoughtfully reading and
                  considering what he actually wrote in response to your posts.

                  Is it possible to now move on to another subject?
                  Bill
                  >
                  > I guess we're all now on notice that we are forbidden to expect John to
                  > explain the basis for that work on Tolkien, or to ask him to elaborate
                  > on or support any claims he makes or opinions he expresses therein.
                  > Gee, I can't wait.



                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • jamcconney@aol.com
                  Thanks, Grace, for reminding us of Sarah Smith--I had forgotten her. Anne [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 28 9:15 PM
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                    Thanks, Grace, for reminding us of Sarah Smith--I had forgotten her.
                    Anne


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Walkermonk@aol.com
                    In a message dated 3/28/2005 11:16:42 PM Central Standard Time, jamcconney@aol.com writes: Thanks, Grace, for reminding us of Sarah Smith--I had forgotten her.
                    Message 9 of 19 , Mar 28 9:25 PM
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                      In a message dated 3/28/2005 11:16:42 PM Central Standard Time,
                      jamcconney@... writes:
                      Thanks, Grace, for reminding us of Sarah Smith--I had forgotten her.
                      Anne
                      ---

                      Very much my pleasure. I'm all about anything that gives me an "excuse" to
                      reread an author I love! :-)

                      Grace Monk


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • David Bratman
                      ... Well, I just re-read The Screwtape Letters for the same reason. And I was startled to be reminded what a warm book it is: Screwtape s fury is directed at
                      Message 10 of 19 , Mar 28 10:08 PM
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                        At 12:25 AM 3/29/2005 -0500, Grace Monk wrote:

                        >I'm all about anything that gives me an "excuse" to
                        >reread an author I love!

                        Well, I just re-read The Screwtape Letters for the same reason. And I was
                        startled to be reminded what a warm book it is: Screwtape's fury is
                        directed at the warm humanity of the "patients." Lewis is so sympathetic
                        to human weakness, and so clever at conveying that through the prism of
                        Screwtape's bile. It's a virtuoso performance, and maybe that's why no
                        imitation has ever measured up. Most of the ones I've seen read as if they
                        were actually, rather than purportedly, written by Screwtape. And I'm
                        really sorry when anyone, writer or reader, can't tell the difference.

                        In one of the letters, Screwtape writes that one must remember that "the
                        Enemy actually likes the little vermin." Reading that, I momentarily
                        thought that Lewis had slipped in his effort to maintain Screwtape's
                        twisted perspective, since Screwtape usually maintains that God has some
                        twisted plan up his sleeve, Hell just hasn't been able to figure out what.
                        Maybe somebody pointed that out to Lewis at the time: I'd forgotten about
                        Lewis's brilliant "save" in a later letter where Screwtape grovels to try
                        to ensure that Wormwood doesn't report that little slip-up to the
                        diabolical Authorities. Screwtape doesn't want to admit that he actually
                        does understand God's plan. As an example of explaining away a problem
                        within the tale, that ranks up with Tolkien's reclassification of the
                        original text of the Gollum episode as being Bilbo's made-up "cover story."

                        DB
                      • jamcconney@aol.com
                        In a message dated 3/29/2005 12:20:05 A.M. Central Standard Time, dbratman@earthlink.net writes: As an example of explaining away a problem within the tale,
                        Message 11 of 19 , Mar 28 10:41 PM
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                          In a message dated 3/29/2005 12:20:05 A.M. Central Standard Time,
                          dbratman@... writes:

                          As an example of explaining away a problem
                          within the tale, that ranks up with Tolkien's reclassification of the
                          original text of the Gollum episode as being Bilbo's made-up "cover story."



                          And how about the last chapter of _Moby Dick_ where Melville apparently
                          suddenly remembers he started out with a first person narrator? And performs a
                          _literal_ save.
                          Anne


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Bonnie Callahan
                          This is one I must share with everyone: I read an op-ed piece by Deborah Tannen this week regarding the culture of punditry , that I see as applying to our
                          Message 12 of 19 , Mar 29 12:38 AM
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                            This is one I must share with everyone:

                            I read an op-ed piece by Deborah Tannen this week regarding the "culture of
                            punditry", that I see as applying to our situation. Look it up on the Los Angeles
                            Times website. It's about how we get habituated to debating in an "agonist"
                            style (it's modeled for us by the entire editorial/talk show community) that is
                            largely confronational and aggressive, rather than academic, constrained,
                            or relational.)

                            I fear this sickness has tried to take hold in our milieu and we need to resist it.
                            We need to study our language for signs of .....well, if I try to name it, it may
                            be perceived as "accusation" rather than "challenge". "Badgering" rather than
                            suggesting. Words are loaded weapons, no? They have connotations, "baggage"
                            we may not intend to "Fed-Ex" when we use them.

                            They're words. Not who we are. Let's not lose our rapport in this mutual life of
                            the mind we share. It's such a gift.

                            (How would CSL have responded to this? Noooo Don't answer that!!!!!)

                            Respectfully,
                            Bonnie


                            "Rateliff, John" wrote:

                            > This will be my final post to the Mythsoc list. I'd joined last month ........
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            Bill, John was referring to his forthcoming work on a sort of History of _The Hobbit_ , examining and presenting Tolkien s writing of _The Hobbit_ a la
                            Message 13 of 19 , Mar 29 4:28 AM
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                              Bill, John was referring to his forthcoming work on a sort of "History
                              of _The Hobbit_", examining and presenting Tolkien's writing of _The
                              Hobbit_ a la Christopher Tolkien's _The History of Middle-earth_.

                              On Mar 29, 2005, at 12:09 AM, Bill West wrote:

                              > You're gonna have a long wait there, Carl.
                              > I believe he said he was leaving the list there.
                            • Mike Foster
                              Those of you who are in the Midwest might be interested something more along the lines of a pleasant gathering than whatever this thread turned out to be.. Tom
                              Message 14 of 19 , Mar 29 8:49 AM
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                                Those of you who are in the Midwest might be interested something more
                                along the lines of a pleasant gathering than whatever this thread turned
                                out to be..

                                Tom Shippey and Douglas A. Anderson will be speaking at my college in
                                East Peoria tonight in a free panel presentation on "The Lord of the
                                Rings at 50" at ICC's PAC. For more on this, see www.icc.edu for
                                details and directions.

                                Join us; so far the distance award looks to go to a woman who'll be
                                driving three hours each way. But Stolzi, N'ville is only eight hours
                                from here so if you hop in yr. Corvette right away, we can save you a
                                seat in the front row.

                                Cheers,
                                Mike

                                Rateliff, John wrote:

                                >This will be my final post to the Mythsoc list. I'd joined last month hoping to find a forum where people discussed JRRT, the Inklings, and modern fantasy. Instead it seems prone to long, bitter arguments about what seem to me side-issues. A simple statement of opinion is apt to get pounced on and followed up with either ad hominem attacks or demands for a comprehensive presentation of detailed documentary evidence of the right to hold that opinion. Since my posts seem to be a catalyst for rancor, the simplest solution is simply for me to withdraw from the list.
                                > And, frankly, I'm just not thick-skinned enough to shrug off Carl's badgering or his accusation that I'm pro-abortion and pro-euthanasia. Likewise Grace's that I didn't respond to her post promptly enough because I'm sexist. Likewise the suggestion from Pat, who's been a friend of mine for twenty years, that not only am I cowardly and despicable but that my family name should become a hissing and a byword. Far better that I put that time and energy into my Tolkien work.
                                > So, while it was interesting (especially when the topic was children's fantasy) and I have new respect for some of the people who post here, this is where I get off. I wish you all good reading, good discussions, and good luck.
                                >
                                >--JDR
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                                >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
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                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Carl F. Hostetter
                                On reflection, I would like to express one regret on my part. Instead of asking John: Do you really believe that abortion and euthanasia are included in any
                                Message 15 of 19 , Mar 29 8:42 PM
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                                  On reflection, I would like to express one regret on my part. Instead
                                  of asking John:

                                  "Do you really believe that abortion and euthanasia are included in any
                                  "common ground" that Lewis would approve of?"

                                  I wish now that I had simply asked:

                                  "I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say 'focus on issues
                                  that are divisive borrowing the character, concept, and voice of
                                  someone who championed the common ground of "Mere Xianity"'. Could you
                                  please elaborate?"

                                  As it was, I went one level too deep into things at the start, by
                                  couching my question in the perspective of what I regarded as the most
                                  likely meaning of John's words. While I think my interpretation
                                  justified, given the contrast John draws between the subject matter of
                                  the pastiche and the "common ground" he alludes to, I realize fully
                                  that we do not always phrase things as carefully as we might when
                                  writing for Internet posting, and so ought not myself have pressed
                                  John's words so closely to start with.

                                  So, to that extent, I apologize to the list and to John.

                                  Nonetheless, I do feel that the responses I got to my question were
                                  completely unwarranted, and frankly patronizing. The fact that some
                                  were unwilling to allow _John_ to answer the question when and as he
                                  saw fit (as _I_ was), but instead felt they had to jump in with their
                                  _own_ explanations of John's meaning (which proved to be inaccurate as
                                  well), and telling me that I a) should just go read everything Lewis
                                  wrote to answer my own question); and b) that I had no right even to
                                  ask this question of John since I hadn't read all of Lewis (both absurd
                                  on their face and completely inadequate, as it turns out); is simply
                                  outrageous.

                                  But simply asking John to elaborate would probably have been less
                                  likely to elicit such third-party and beside-the-point responses as I
                                  got, so as I said I regret not foreseeing the better path.

                                  Carl
                                • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                  So how did the panel go? Oh how I would love to see T.A. Shippey in person sometime. I have so enjoyed seeing him on DVD and reading his work, he is very
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Mar 31 1:32 PM
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                                    So how did the panel go? Oh how I would love to see T.A. Shippey in person
                                    sometime. I have so enjoyed seeing him on DVD and reading his work, he is
                                    very accessible I think.

                                    Lizzie

                                    Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                    lizziewriter@...
                                    amor vincit omnia
                                    www.lizziewriter.com
                                    www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org
                                    >
                                    > Tom Shippey and Douglas A. Anderson will be speaking at my college in
                                    > East Peoria tonight in a free panel presentation on "The Lord of the
                                    > Rings at 50" at ICC's PAC. For more on this, see www.icc.edu for
                                    > details and directions.
                                    >
                                  • finsen@optusnet.com.au
                                    ... Bit late now don t you think? caio Graeme
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 1, 2005
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                                      > So, to that extent, I apologize to the list and to John.
                                      >

                                      Bit late now don't you think?

                                      caio
                                      Graeme
                                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                                      No, I don t.
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 1, 2005
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                                        No, I don't.

                                        ---

                                        On Apr 1, 2005, at 6:29 AM, <finsen@...> wrote:

                                        >> So, to that extent, I apologize to the list and to John.
                                        >>
                                        >
                                        > Bit late now don't you think?
                                        >
                                        > caio
                                        > Graeme
                                      • finsen@optusnet.com.au
                                        No why does that not surprise me?
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 1, 2005
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                                          No why does that not surprise me?

                                          > No, I don't.
                                          >
                                          > ---
                                          >
                                          > On Apr 1, 2005, at 6:29 AM, <finsen@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > >> So, to that extent, I apologize to the list and to John.
                                          > >>
                                          > >
                                          > > Bit late now don't you think?
                                          > >
                                          > > caio
                                          > > Graeme
                                          >
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                                          > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
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