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En Lin Wei <[log in to unmask]>
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- Ezra Pound discussion list of the University of Maine <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 12 Aug 2000 04:42:24 GMT
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Let us say for example, someone begins a post with these words.

<<You can't play coy with me, Wei. Your protestations of puzzlement cum
innocence are at best laughable. >>

One can tell from the first two sentences that this might be a personal
attack, which has little to do with the discussion of Ezra Pound.  Still,
one could be curious, and read further, as I did.

<<That old saw about "the freedom to ignore those posts one
doesn't wish to read" is both obvious and evasive. The point being under
normal circumstances, and unless one is clairvoyant, one never knows what a
message says until it is opened.>>

Phrases like "old saw," "evasive" and "obvious" could be interpreted as
additional cues that the person posting the message is getting ready to make
an ad hominem attack, and has a desire to avoid the real issues.  Since the
list is an Ezra Pound List, and the talk in the post does NOT appear to be
about about Pound at all--- or about anything which might directly or
indirectly concern Pound, or about any of the philosophical or aesthetic
issues which might interest Pound scholars--- one might decide to read no
further.  Clairvoyance is not necessary to see that the person who posted
the message, may be preparing to say things which are not of special
interest to this particular reader.  (Though they may be of interest to some
readers.  Each should use their own discretion).

When I reached the following part of the post, I decided it was not
necessary to read any further.

". . .reminds me of a cocktail party I once attended at the Tate."

I judged that what someone may or may not have observed at a cocktail party,
no matter where it was, could be deemed irrelevant, and that it might be
akin to gossip, or a highly subjective interpretation of events which have
no bearing on the discussion of Ezra Pound.  I felt no need to scan that
post further.  I decided NOT to read the rest, simply because it appeared
unrelated to my present concerns, and to the discussion of Pound.  If I my
choice NOT to read the entire post is ill advised, perhaps someone who read
it all will tell me if I missed something important.

The essential fact is NO ONE has to read every post.  Clairvoyance has
nothing to do with it.  Some people, might decide that simply because a post
is written by a certain person, that it does not contain information which
would interest them.  I would hope that each person would exercise the
ability to make such judgments.

I could put




at the beginning of each post, to alert people to the possibility that
people may find my statements offensive, if that would help.  I don't mind.

In any case, I choose to read some messages, and not to read others.

No one can force you to read mine.

Happy Reading,

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