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A Team or a Jam Magnet?
by Alexandra Pereira
2009-01-14 10:04:05
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“…never put a sock in a toaster, never put jam on a magnet…”
E. Izzard


Concerns have been recently expressed regarding the use of a “f word” in one of Ovi’s comment sections. That word was fuck (goodness, could you guess?). Actually, it was not a word, but an expression: “Just fuck off!” And it was used as part of a poem, that is, literally and with a particular context.

George Carlin made the inventory of the indecent words of the English language (those which could not be broadcast in the U.S.) more than thirty years ago. Those included, of course, piss, fuck, tits, farts and others. Not that you couldn’t talk about those topics with other words, or say boobs instead of tits, or even show them on TV – you just couldn’t use THE words. You still can’t.

First of all, it strikes me as peculiar that hundreds of days of direct and/or more or less veiled insults in comment sections of Ovi – insults like Nazi, functional illiterate, old idiot, cultural philistine, fanatic, asshole, communist, insane, artsy, Latin bitch, schizophrenic, stupid, grand inquisitor, typo idiot, pun idiot, liberal, naked ape, anti-specialist, bird of a feather, hypocrite, cynic, old dog, old dogma, smug, cherry picker, fruit salad picker, nefarious, boorish, heartless, unrepentant, shithead (the equivalent of the Brazilian “flaccid bottom” insult, although one can work out the latter, I suppose), seducer, tramp, basher, motherfucker, immigrant, fairy deer, secular, black, activist, European, etc. – didn’t deserve a similar concern and zeal in the mind of the sensible reader complaining to the editors, apparently, or that we heard of.

The Brazilians by the way have other interesting insults, generally with a more or less  curious story behind them, like “wig stick” (pimp), “acarus” (the one who spreads “allergy/social rash” invisibly), “little pool jumper” (self-conceited and vain), “dove-like” (lazy), “fifth-column” (betrayer), “windowesque” (the one who spreads rumors) and so on, but for a complete and imaginative old list just check Aranha’s Insult Dictionary.

All around the world, there are more or less polite or inventive insults, with different degrees of sophistication. It happens often that the more imaginative/funnier they are, the less offensive they become – for obvious reasons: provoking laughter (a pleasant sensation) is somewhat incompatible with the unpleasantness provoked by an offence. Actually, sometimes even a literal and apparent compliment can have pretty offensive latent meanings. More than the words you use, the affective echo and the idea underlying to the word-assemblage make it become vituperative, injurieuse or oltraggiosa.

My own thoughts on the subject spread, of course, to the meaning of the word “team”, specially the one of “magazine team”, in the present case. I don’t know if “team” is appropriate in this case, maybe “group”? “Magazine team” does mean that a group of people publish online regularly, and doesn’t necessarily mean absent conflicts/no divergent opinions (it wouldn’t be normal then). In any case, it doesn’t mean complete disrespect for each other, or a competition to bootlick the editors either. An online magazine like Ovi can become a kind of social experiment. So I suggest that you call it “experimental group”! In this case, Thanos and Asa would be promoted(?) to websocial scientists…

A team can only exist as a team, everybody knows it, if a certain level of interpersonal respect is shown and there is no intimidation, otherwise it will fall apart, there will be consecutive drop outs, etc. In my opinion that respect should include:

•    not advertising simple divergences of opinion as personal and universal attacks or ghost dangers which deserve retaliation;

•    not perpetuating past topics and arguments for centuries (they get uninteresting/dull);

•    keeping it rational, imaginative when it’s supposed to be (it doesn’t hurt if sometimes when it is not supposed to be, as long as it aids the comprehension or provides a good laugh) and minimally honest;

•    not proposing, to the editors or to any other collaborator, an access to their personal contacts under fake excuses, false needs and deceptive intentions;

•    not sending private e-mails to any of the other team members - and I should recall here that most collaborators don't even know each other, or at least most of the other collaborators, personally - with inadequate, threatening, harassing or abusive contents;

•    treating all the matters through the editors, advisably not abusing of their patience (you don’t want to know the punishment for that);

•    preferably, discussing any subject matter with another collaborator in the comment section, if you don't know that team member personally.

All these above look rather banal and minimally civilized, still some people have been showing persistent problems in terms of complying to them. Why is that? Hard to answer, though I think I could guess. Is it a team or a jam magnet? St. Paul wisely warned that you shouldn’t put jam on a magnet. Naaa… it looks more like an experimental group.

“The level of anger presented on Ovi does not reflect well on what we are all trying to do” – the sensible reader protests, and to a certain extent I agree. This statement makes us suppose that the reader is a collaborator too, that’s why I focused on the relations between collaborators. Furthermore, this is indeed an interesting remark: like any experimental group, maybe we should then start by discussing behaviors instead, “what are we all (and each one of us) trying to do – do these intentions collide with the group purpose?”, “are we all trying to do the same thing?”, “should we?”, “how do certain behaviors elicit certain reactions?” and so on.

   
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Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 16:28:05
The silence is deafning. Let us break it with a statement from Marcus Tullius Cicero: Aliud aliis videtur optimum. Everyone has their own opinion about what is best.

Comment: Cicero presided over for a time and participated in for a longer time, a Roman government that was in it's last days. The above statement seems almost a prescription for free speech in a magazine of opinion; and yet even Cicero with all his tolerance for free speech at one point addresses Catilina (his political rival in the Senate) thus: Quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia? How long, O Catiline, will you abuse our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end of that unbridled audacity of yours? Which is to say, Cicero had had enough of the vilifications and slanders of an intimidating bully and decided to respond in kind and give him a taste of his own medicine. It worked, since after that oration most senators shunned Catilina and Catilina fled from Rome never to be seen again. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 16:29:38
The Roman Republic was gasping for breath when Cicero was elected consul. Rome was reeling from a civil war, and civil warring was not finished yet. When it was done, Cicero would be dead. Caesar would be dead, and Rome would have what would become the first of many emperors. Political labels reveal and confuse what is important to people. There are Latin roots of "liberal" and "conservative". Each of those groups has its own opinions about what is best. In Cicero's day, there were various factions, conservative, reformative and revolutionary. And there was civil war. Some would say in the end, something genius was lost (the Republic). Others would say something necessary was created (the Empire). Most would agree that it was violent. Is there an analogy here? (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 16:34:38
What I find myself reflecting on these days, when the word “fuck” is being banded about and debated while the deeper issue of conviviality is all but dismissed and ignored, is how to hold my views, express them with some integrity; how to listen and attempt to understand (which does not necessarily mean to agree with) to the views of others, especially those I disagree with in a magazine of opinions, and honor them and their integrity; and how to do all of this without violence even with a bully. A reader has suggested that the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore him/her. I am not so sure it works all the times. In any case. it is funny how at times the very same people who go parading for international peace and conviviality and the elimination of poverty and oppression hardly seem to notice the violence and anger in their rhetoric in one to one relationships. It seems that it is the ideology that is the all important thing for them. So the challenge seems to be how to do this without violating the integrity of individuals--it seems to me requires some better understanding of how deeply connected we all are. We share a common life, those of us who breathe oxygen on this planet. We breathe the same oxygen, and we die the same death without it. And we can and do hold very different opinions about a plethora of topics. How do we breathe and opine without violence? Perhaps by focusing on our breathing. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 16:35:21
In the meantime I have modest proposal: Thanos and Asa ought to find a willing donor to donate one thousand of the following two book to the Ovi team to make it a required reading for anybody who wishes to contribute to the magazine: How to Disagree without Being Disagreeable: Getting your point of view across with the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense by Suzette Elgin ($ 11.53). Here is the description from the back cover

As bestselling author Suzette Haden Elgin proves, you don't have to live your life on red alert. With her Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense techniques, you'll be able to respond clearly to hostile comments from others--or deliver necessary negative messages of your own--without sacrificing your dignity or principles. You'll learn to: Keep domestic disagreements from escalating Deliver criticism to coworkers, employers, or employees Handle aggressive, negative comments about race, politics, or religion Provide discipline without increasing hostility Use language that reduces tension and creates rapport in every situation.

The other book is Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich. If after reading those two books the situation does not improve, then perhaps the whole premise of a magazine of opinion where people congregate to exchange ideas and opinion in a civil mode, ought to be rethought.


AP2009-01-14 18:14:07
The mode ought to be rethought (as civil), not the premise, which is a valid and interesting one.
But maybe I shouldn't address you, since you demanded yesterday that I do so by using the proverbial "Dr. Paparella" and I refused to. Shame on me. Before we start our broader discussion, maybe you should clarify before us all: the only collaborators who can address you are the ones calling you "Dr. Paparella"? And if so, how (using which titles?) do you have to address the other collaborators in order to deserve an answer from them too, Dr. Paparella? We could start here, even before ordering the books.


AP2009-01-14 18:26:38
Of course, maybe you didn't understand until now that "Mr. P." is a humble sign of respect, because no one wants to call you, while writing fast, Mr. Peperela, Paparilla, Paparola, Pimpinella and so on. You don't have an easy last name, and since your comments so often demand for answers, no one wants to write more typos when answering.
The reason why I don't agree with the "Dr." is the fact that, by adopting the same criterion to everyone, these comment sections would, first of all, become extremely formal and, second, there would be an implicit hierarchy created by the titles attributed to each one of us which would distract the minds of readers and collaborators from the central ideas to focus them on accessory titles, social status and appearances - and those don't look like the best criteria to judge an argument.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 19:31:08
For the reader that may not have been following the shabby way of addressing which have been indulged in, here once again what I wrote only yesterday. My friends are welcome to call me Emanuel, all others may address as Mr. Paparella. You don't have to use the title Dr. which I earned and have; but then again you are the one who demanded documentation to examine and determine whether I had it or not, remember? I continue reflecting on Cicero and Catilina, Castiglione, Illich and Ms. Elgin. I still think they are all commendable.

Emanuel Paparella 2009-01-13 20:20:55
AP 2008-12-03 19:13:11
"Ahahah - send me your scanned diplomas, Mr. P.!!! I will evaluate if they're genuine!!" (Ms. Pereira)

By the way, Ms. Pereira, my name is not Mr. P., nor Mr. Asshole, neither Mr. Jerk, a habit signaling contempt and disrespect initiated by Mr. Sand, nowhere to be found nowadays, and imitated by you, but Mr. Paparella, or Emanuel to my friends. In fact, I'd much appreciate it you'd address me as Dr. Paparella, since I earned the degree and the title that goes with it and at one of the best universities in the world to boot. You may call that hubris and arrogance at your heart's content but please don't distort the facts; facts are facts.


AP2009-01-14 19:53:28
Again?? We discussed this just yesterday - and during the last ten decades. Why? Because you insist in grabbing a casual argument from the past and distorting it according to your own will, so that someone who didn't read then, can now think that you're telling an absolute truth.
Just yesterday I answered what you know so well:
""you publicly impugned the degree which I declared on my bio as somehow fake"
No, I didn't. You first questioned the competence of hundreds of specialists and rose the question "if indeed they are specialists, etc", then I joked about it and said [with the joke], basically, that if they weren't, then you weren't either.
I told you that I would accept the bet, and in fact double it, if it was made on the issue that we were discussing then - back in 1975 -, that is the role of the official policies of a given institution in the New World's slavery during the 16-17th centuries, and not on your degrees. You simply refused to." I think this is clear and transparent?!

Also yesterday, I answered:
"No, I did not imitate anyone, it's just faster to write - practical reasons. That demand is ridiculous, and as you know no one treats each other like that in this magazine. Academic titles don't legitimate attitudes.
Also, you don't seem to follow the same criteria, as you use "you and your sister" and not "you and Dr. Pereira" or, why not, "MA (Miss Artist) Pereira and Dr. Pereira". I won't demand it either. It would be more than ridiculous. Obscene.
How about stop adressing you at all? (but you will have to do the same, okay?)"

What is this now, poor imagination to invent new topics of discussion/nitpicking, so you have to pick on things which were answered (if they even needed any answer...) just yesterday?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 19:53:38
A comment on today’s cover picture: anybody who focuses obsessively and fanatically on any one single issue to the exclusion and neglect of all the others eventually becomes a mad scientist. It has always been intriguing to me that poets rarely if ever go mad. Tacitus wrote a satirical poem whose name escapes me now, where he tells someone obsessed with money to get closer to him so that he can whisper three words in his ear. The man gets closer and he poet reveals to him: you are mad.

What is commendable and a breath of fresh air about Ovi as a magazine, and I have said so from the beginning of my contributions, is that it respects free speech, it neither censors nor rejects any issue brought to the table and it has no ideological slant parading as the “politically correct” stance. What needs to be worked upon is not so much the content but the form, that is to say, the mode of expressing those views and opinions. They need not be boorish and philistine.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 19:56:25
P.S. Actually, in my opinion if the comments policy as stated in Ovi (right under the comment box)were to be respected and adhered to, there would be no problem with form either.


AP2009-01-14 20:02:30
They need not be called boorish and philistine... specially when they are not.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 20:03:27
One gets immencely tired of this so -called 'informal' way of speech where Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Medicine, etc. is being constantly addressed to as 'hey, you!'. I believe this overrated and so much celebrated these days verbal 'equality' is nothing but modern swinishness


AP2009-01-14 20:14:17
Of course, you can respect the comments policy and convey a totally hypocritical message... And that's fine! For example, I have the right of not wanting any compliments by Mr. Wilkinson under my articles, or at least the right of expressing disgust with it. Not compliments nor any further e-mails. Ever. Sincerely, I hope this is well understood and that I don't have to make a drawing?


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 20:14:30
To Ms. A.P.
Since when such words as 'European, immigant, artsy, basher, secular, unrepentant' became swear words?
Personally, I might only wonder at the fact that you manage to find time and energy to write a special article on this sad topic and to drag this discussion on and on, not to mention your clear tendency of being self-proclaimed president/spokesperson/cencor of this site. As to collective effort - excuse me, but let me make my own choice regarding what particular team I wish to be a part of. I am a part of Ovi team, and not yours.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 20:17:47
Again, for the benefit of readers who may not have followed the discussion in its entirety, here is a previous posting on my alleged disparaging of scholarship egregiously imputed to me:

AP 2008-12-03 16:26:48
You just happened to mess with the wrong crowd :) :) Bad luck, fanaticism or pure stupidity? I am not quite sure.

Ah, all these hundreds of people researching the History of Slavery, writing about what truly happened, reading documents for years in archives around the world, researching the truth about their ancestors for a retired Catholic Philosopher to come and discredit them all!!! He who DOES respect scholars and the academic knowledge so much!!!

AP 2008-12-03 16:30:37
Or that respect is suddenly gone now? (continued below)


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 20:18:08
As to personal e-mails - I was not aware such possibility was obtainable. Ergo: I do not quite uderstand what are you talking about. Yesterday, I've noticed that you yourself expressed the wish of sending some dubious e-mails to Dr. Paparella's daughters. Am I not correct?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 20:18:15
Emanuel Paparella 2008-12-03 16:55:10
It would appear that the internal voices of Mr. Sand have also been paying you a visit. Where, pray, do I speak disparagingly of those scholars who set aside their personal animosities and biases and dedicate their lives to the truth, wherever it may be found? Nowhere, for all I have advocated in this forum is that the whole picture be portrayed, not a partial one that serves one's particular personal agenda. What you impugn to me is gratuitous and scurrilous to boot.

When John Paul II apologized for some of the abuses committed by the Church as a human institution, he was looking at the whole picture and showing objectivity. I am afraid that his bashers who use the apology merely as a confirmation that the Church is imperfect (which indeed she is since it exists here on earth) and nothing good can come out of it (which is not the case) are not in good faith. Indeed, if you have family members that fearlessly pursue the truth and the scholarly enterprise, congratulation. It is to be hoped that some of it will eventually rub off for it has not been shown in your cavalier pronouncments about the Catholic Church and religion in general; which is to say that what remains to be done now is to appreciate the fact that theory always comes before mindless ceaseless activism, and learn from their dedication to rigorous and objective scholarship.


AP2009-01-14 20:29:44
I don't think "Mr." is "hey, you!". And this is not an academic environment. Swinishness is good too - as part of the list of insults. If you want to be addressed like that, then start giving the example. Start by not calling Thanos to Thanos (talking about best universities in the world) and bestowing the appropriate title to Asa. Then go on with Luis Portillo, for example, Sand, Eero Nevalainen, Linda Lane, Hairan, Hadid, Gkiousou, Ehrami, Coulter, Eva Biaudet and even... Mr. Wilkinson.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 20:37:12
'theory always comes before mindless ceaseless activism, and learn from their dedication to rigorous and objective scholarship. '
Exactly. I wish for more serious articles (or literary - experimental ones - perhaps not that serious but...), and not activistic leaflets. As to the addition to your list, Ms. A. P. why, you go ahead and just do it. Good will always be good and bad will always be bad, no matter how loudly you threaten people with your 'lists'


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 20:38:37
Perhaps it escaped you Ms. Pereira, but some people consider each other friends and colleagues in this forum and have given each other permission to address each other collegialy by first name.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 20:40:17
Errata: collegially.


AP2009-01-14 20:46:52
Since when such words became swear words? Since someone attributed to them an awful meaning.
No, you are not correct Mr. Mikhaylov - I was opposing and questioning his morality standards, not eager to write to his daughters. If as a writer you don't want/can't understand that (nor anything else), it's a shame, but I really can't do anything about it. ps - why are you addressing me like "hey, you!"?

Mr. P., here are also your sentences on that discussion:

"When fanatics are confronted with the facts or the whole picture of a reality which they insist on distorting, their attitude usually is: so much the worst for reality! That phenomenon in academic circles goes by the name of bias and it earns one the reputation of a charlatan."

"One thing you could certainly profitably learn from your scholarly relations, if indeed they are genuine scholars"

"If indeed they are true scholars, they'd the first ones to point out that such an intellectual habit is a very nasty one indeed and can easily wreck a scholarly career."

...And that was when I proposed with a joke that you should scan your diplomas too. Reasonable answer, don't you think?



Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 20:47:37
P.S. To interject some needed humor at this point so that we don't go the way of the mad scientist: should the title of this article have been more appropriately been "A Jam session"? So far we have three jazz players discussing conviviality and boorishness at Ovi, and all that jazz. I suppose one can appreciate a jazz jam session as a spectator too, but, believe me, it gets much more interesting when one becomes part of it.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 20:56:30
Since when such words became swear words? Since someone attributed to them an awful meaning.
No, you are not correct Mr. Mikhaylov - I was opposing and questioning his morality standards, not eager to write to his daughters. If as a writer you don't want/can't understand that (nor anything else), it's a shame, but I really can't do anything about it. ps - why are you addressing me like "hey, you!"?
I am afraid the Bright New World Time might come when someone and everyone will attribute an awful meaning to parctically everything-perhaps, we should learn how to communicate by mewing or making right noises then.
As to adressing - why, Ms. Pereira, I adress you as AP simply because it is the way you address yourself


AP2009-01-14 21:01:23
Mr. Mikhaylov, I think you are delusional, because I didn't intend to "threat" anyone with lists (how can that one be a threat, anyway?). And delusional can be added to the list too. Thanks.
About the articles, if you wish for more serious ones, just write them.
And BTW Mr. Mikhaylov, you don't sound to me like the best person to talk about informal ways of speech and verbal equality (is calling someone "Mr." treating him as an equal? Well maybe I should REALLY start treating him as an equal!) as "modern swinishness", when you may have called hysterical and other things to a former Minister of Health and Social Services and deputy, directly and very recently. Right?


AP2009-01-14 21:07:09
"I adress you as AP simply because it is the way you address yourself"
Then why do you criticize the fact that I address Emanuel Paparella as "Mr.", when that's not even the way he addresses himself?


AP2009-01-14 21:10:33
"Perhaps it escaped you Ms. Pereira, but some people consider each other friends and colleagues in this forum and have given each other permission to address each other collegialy by first name"

Perhaps it escaped you, Mr. P., but some others haven't, and you address them just the way you like.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 21:13:49
"They need not be called boorish and philistine... specially when they are not." (Ms. Pereira).

To call an interlocutor Mr. Asshole, or Mr. Jerk, is not boorish to you? It that is the case, we have a wholly different dictionary of the English language on our shelves, and they cannot both be correct. Mine defines a boor as "a rough and bad mannered person." I have a problem with the derivation or etymology of the word from the German or Dutch but it seems quite correct to me. What does your dictionary say?


AP2009-01-14 21:24:02
You're the one talking about Mr. Jerk or Mr. Asshole (I don't know why), so my dictionary doesn't have to say anything about it.
Since you have yours at hand, how does it define charlatans, fanatics, philistines, activists and europeans? Would be interesting to know.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 21:24:16
Mr. Paparella is different from Mr. P.; I have never identified myself as Mr. P.; but of course we only relate half of the story and cherry pick the one most convenient for our puposes, thus ending up as clever by half, as the English are wont to say.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 21:30:17
how does it define charlatans, fanatics, philistines, activists and europeans? Would be interesting to know." (Ms. Pereira)

It defines them for what they are, they are certainly not defined as swear words which is the topic at hand, and I never intented them as such.

I still the concerned reader who must be one of the spectators and enjoying the jam session, had a valid insight when he said that there is too much anger expressed in some Ovi comments. Sometimes it is not the content, but the form which is the real message. Don't you think, Ms. Pereira?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 21:31:57
Errata: "I still think"


AP2009-01-14 21:41:48
"but of course we only relate half of the story and cherry pick the one most convenient for our purposes"
Oh, but that has been evident!
If Mr. P. is so offensive for you (when other more worrying things are not), how about Mr. E., can I address you as Mr. E.?

"and I never intented them as such."
You intended them as insults.

"Sometimes it is not the content, but the form which is the real message. Don't you think, Ms. Pereira?"
Absolutely not. Didn't you read my article? "Actually, sometimes even a literal and apparent compliment can have pretty offensive latent meanings. More than the words you use, the affective echo and the idea underlying to the word-assemblage make it become vituperative, injurieuse or oltraggiosa."


AP2009-01-14 21:46:12
Of course, I would prefer if I wouldn't address you at all (not difficult for me) and you wouldn't address me at all (quite difficult for you). Is this ever going to be possible?


AP2009-01-14 21:48:03
I mean, can you refrain from addressing me? ...Please?!!


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-14 21:48:56
I honestly believe it is a high time to end this unnecessary discussion. I’d like only to add that for the last eight or so years, I’ve been watching the alarming growth of censorship in social, cultural and political life which, combined with such things as perpetual wars, spying on each other etc already brings its results. Such sentiments as ‘what if someone finds this awful’ seem to be poor or extremely naïve excuse for censorship at first but, the truth is that I do not find this tactic naïve at all. This seemingly ‘liberal’ way of thinking smacks of deliberate attempt to introduce the additional censorship and mind control, for aforementioned sentiment (as well as many others, similar to this one) gives abnormally wide interpretation (literally a free hand) to what should be considered legal and what should not. Nice way to silence all dissent, huh?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 21:49:13
Sorry to disappoint you Ms. Pereira, but I am not being delusional, far from it, when I point out that I have been addressed as Mr. Asshole and Mr. Jerk by somebody who has so distinguished himself in the art of aspersion in this forum that he needs no introductions, since he is the only one to is proud of his boorish philistine ways of communicating. It is on record in the comment section. Perhaps you’d agree that such boorishness ought not be imitated, it is nothing to be proud of and it, it does not lend any luster to any respectable publication and that it might even be to the magazine’s benefit if he went looking for greener pastures somewhere else (perhaps a magazine that fully supports his biases and prejudices) as he has done previously.


AP2009-01-14 21:49:56
If you try but can't stop addressing me, then I will address you as Mr. E. to answer back, and I hope that solves the problem in your mind. Forever.


AP2009-01-14 22:03:28
"Mr. Asshole and Mr. Jerk by somebody who has so distinguished himself in the art of aspersion in this forum"

We know you miss him very much but... big news: he's not here!! And even bigger news: I have nothing to do with it!! Not that those are news for you... No one ever taught to you that it is ugly, boorish, philistine and juvenile (luckily, apparently not european in this case!) to denigrate someone when that person is not around??!! You don't need to go to Yale to know that...
"Greener pastures" is very kind too - do you intend to call him sheep, goat, buffalo, ox, bull or donkey? He doesn't seem to be none of those, does he? Man would be more appropriate, don't you think? Specially when he can't even answer you. There go your Yale diplomas and praised luster down the sink again...


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 22:04:00
European and activist are insulting words? Since when? Even boorish and charlatan, cultural philistine are not only not curse words but not even insulting words unless they are intended in a defamatory mode. If they apply they are mere statements of facts.


AP2009-01-14 22:09:11
Mr. Mikhaylov, I don't intend to silence any dissent, I just think that if people can't even agree on how to address each other, or if they can't do so without multiple insinuations, insults and distortion of past episodes - and they don't even know each other -, then it's better if they don't address each other at all. It's called peace, or live and let live.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 22:10:17
If a man (or a woman for that matter) has a written public record, why is it wrong to refer to it to make a point? I did not ask, nor am I interested in knowing Mr. Sand's whereabouts; you offered the information. Or is it the form that we are after and not the content? The form unfortunately still points to a will to power having precious little to do with a will to truth. The motto of Yale University is Lux et Veritas. Perhaps we ought to think of making it our motto too even if we write for a magazine of opinion, because without respect for truth we will continue paying attention to form and ignore the content.


AP2009-01-14 22:12:18
"unless they are intended in a defamatory mode. If they apply they are mere statements of facts"
See? Now we're in the heart of the problem! Usually in your statements they not only don not apply, as they are intended in a defamatory mode.

"European and activist are insulting words? Since when?"
Since you write comments and articles.


AP2009-01-14 22:13:06
errata - "not only do not apply"


AP2009-01-14 22:13:57
But can I address you as Mr. E. or not, after all?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 22:16:55
By the way, "greener pastures" is an idiomatic expression in the English language which does not imply in any way, except in one's imagination or somebody looking for insults where none exist, that the one who went looking for a more congenial place is a sheep or a goat. It is indeed a nasty intellectual habit to put words never proffered and even intentions into an interlocutor mouth; something Mr. Sand is adept too as the record clearly shows. I strongly recommend against imitating such tactics.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 22:19:55
And of course you know that what can be easily asserted can also be easily ignored. As mentioned before, in academia those who resort to that kind of thing usually end up with a reputation as charlatans; but you know that much since you have an M.A.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 22:28:05
Let us take the last twenty articles or so I wrote on different theories of art by different philosophers and critics. A good 50% or more of those were Europeans. In your mind, since I wrote those, they are insulting to Europeans and in fact they were written to cast aspersion on Europeans. The philosopher that happens to be my expertise is Vico and he too is European and have written plenty on him mostly sympathetically. So, Ms. Pereira, either you are in fact delusional, or the visiting voices of Mr. Sand, having found the house empty decided to pay you a visit. The same advice I gave Mr. Sand applies: don't give them heed; they are slanderers.


AP2009-01-14 22:44:46
"but you know that much since you have a M.A."
You don't know what I have and won't know from my mouth, as far as I'm concerned. Why? Because I'm sure you would LOVE to know (or maybe wouldn't). But I'm mean... what can I do? Refrain from speculating about it, please.

"since I wrote those, they are insulting to Europeans"
Not the ones on art, Mr. E., why choose those? (don't tell me you added some spicy details to those too?) The ones about European identity and European & secular, as well as many of your comment remarks!!

No, I'm no mimicry monkey, stop trying to glue me to someone else. Since you can't stop addressing me, would you mind answering once and for all: can I address you as Mr. E. or not?



AP2009-01-14 22:56:13
Please tell me, because I don't want to be accused of impolite (not as innocuous as being accused of "hearing voices" though), which one do you prefer (and I'm sure we can find a consensus between your absolute need for reverence and my practical need to make it short and simple):
-Mr. E.
-Mr. Emanuel
-Mr. E.P.
-Mr. Em
-Mr. Pap
-Mr. Manuel
-Mr. Nöel
-Mr. Dr.
-Dr. Annuel
-Dr. Ema
-(...)???


AP2009-01-14 23:02:47
Other suggestions:
-Mr. Papa
-Mr. Ella
-Dr. Papa
-Dr. Ella
-Dr. Man
-Mr. Man
-Dr. Apparell
-Dr. Cinderella (easier to recall)
-Mr. P.Citronella
-Mr. Aller (last letters reversed)
-Dr. Name (first letters reversed)
...???


AP2009-01-14 23:10:45
-Mr. Title
-Dr. Mr.
-Mr. PhD
-Phd Dr.
-HH the Dr. PhD
-HH the unnameable
-HH the unnameable philosopher
-Dr. Dexter
-The meteorite which came from Mars (original)
-The Mars born from the meteorite (even more original)
-Mars the Dr. Chocolate
-Maltesers in Italian
-Malteser-not-the-Maltese-in-German
-Thunderbolt Senior
???


AP2009-01-14 23:28:27
-Popeye and the magic dragon
-Vico spinach
-Aristotle-the-man-on-the-moon
-Assisi&Francis,Co.
-Emmaus looking for the disciples
-Emmaus&Chris(t), partners in business
-Peyote of Yale & Peyote of Calgary, registered trademark
-karma is just faith
-the glow in the statue's eyes
-Tide&Skip
-the black balloon crossing the matrix of the sky in search of the iridescent Truth
...???


AP2009-01-14 23:31:16
Enough suggestions. Please choose one.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-14 23:59:20
"Also, you don't seem to follow the same criteria, as you use "you and your sister" and not "you and Dr. Pereira" or, why not, "MA (Miss Artist) Pereira and Dr. Pereira". (Ms Pereira)

AP 2009-01-14 22:44:46
"but you know that much since you have a M.A."
You don't know what I have and won't know from my mouth, as far as I'm concerned. Why? Because I'm sure you would LOVE to know (or maybe wouldn't). But I'm mean... what can I do? Refrain from speculating about it, please. (Ms. Pereira)

BIZZARE! To say the least.

I am afraid, Ms. Pereira, that if you have not learned good manners by now on how to address people that you don't even know, except for the fact that they don't support your pet prejudices or don't fit in your rationalizations of political correctness (and therefor need to resort to a juvenile distortions of their names) you may never learn it and that would be too bad.







Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 00:10:15
At this point of total confusion, immaturity and obfuscation, to go back to to your original article and concern, Asa, it has become quite obvious to me and perhaps to you and readers who may still be following this diatribe that the issue is not at all to curse or not to curse, and neither is it whether or not to debabe passionately an issue or not, but it is probably much more crass than that. What exactly I am not sure yet. I need to do some reflection but I suspect that is has to with ideological anti-religious bigotry, the other side of religious bigotry, as has been all along with the man in seach of greener pastures and now absent from the discussion and the bad example he initiated in an otherwise fine magazine. This will be my last comment on this thread and issue; I see no productive usefulness in continuing to pursue irrational conduct in the vain hope of eliciting a dialogue.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 00:13:57
Errata: bizzarre, debate.


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-15 00:36:12
To Ms. Pereira:'if people can't even agree on how to address each other, or if they can't do so without multiple insinuations, insults and distortion of past episodes - and they don't even know each other -, then it's better if they don't address each other at all.'
I quite agree with you on this point, I only wish to add that proper modes of address were developed long time ago and they had happily existed, until recently, or so it seems. There's no need invent bycicle, so to speak. At the final note, I might say that this entire charade, the 'discussion' included, is rather revolting display of emotions that should stay hidden from public altogether.
You might find it surprising, perhaps, but one can feel ashamed after reading entire collection of these responces


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-15 00:37:46
P.S: There's no need TO invent... of course


AP2009-01-15 02:15:40
Mr. Mikhaylov:
I believe that you may feel ashamed. As for the article, I wrote it because Asa requested. There you go.
About the "proper modes of addressing developed a long time ago", as I said you should take that into account when addressing people (not only myself, but Mrs. Eva, etc) in these comment sections.
"emotions that should stay hidden from public altogether"
You don't do that often, do you, Mr. A.M.? Come on, you always have heated and pretty emotional comments to write! Charade indeed.

Mr. E.:
Please contain your shock, or then try to channel it to constructive purposes. I can't really see why is it so bizarre if someone asks you to refrain your speculation on their academic degrees?!
Or if someone asks you to refrain your insinuations about hearing voices, for that matter.
"I am afraid, Ms. Pereira, that if you have not learned good manners"
I am afraid, Mr. E., that if you are over 50 and could not learn where the limits are by now, I can't do anything about it. Just like Mr. Wilkinson.


AP2009-01-15 02:48:59
PS - Curiously, I haven't seen Mr. E. demanding from Bohdan, Jack, N.L.Wilbur, Alan, Mr. Wilkinson, a certain A.J., Jonathan Christie and not even Sand (at least recently) to be addressed as "Dr. Paparella". And it had nothing to do with "have given each other permission to address each other collegialy by the first name". I wonder what's the real reason for these discrepancies and inconsistencies? Even Mr. Mikhaylov didn't start addressing Mr. E. as "Dr. Paparella" until very recently. Intriguing.


AP2009-01-15 02:53:44
I begin, in fact, to think that Sand was right on target:
"Mr. Asshole" and "Mr. Jerk" may fit you perfectly. And now come and tell me that's anti-religious!


Alexander Mikhaylov2009-01-15 04:13:28
To Ms. Pereira: 'I believe that you may feel ashamed. As for the article, I wrote it because Asa requested.'
In fact, I was mostly refering to the comments and not to the article itself. As to the fact, that I began to address Dr. Paparella Dr. only recently, well, it is simply occured to me because he is after all, a Dr. But to summarize it all, I am getting tired of the tone of many comments that started to appear on Ovi regularly. Yes, I am also prone to plunge myself into heated discussions, but as you probably have noticed, I am at least trying to content myself withing some reasonable norms, no?


AP2009-01-15 04:21:40
You're actually so fervently (and not à-propos at all...) engaged in trying to condemn my past banalizing joke about the pettiness of scanning and comparing diplomas, specially when you are a philosopher, not a historian, and when you were the one questioning directly the validity and professional attitude of others ("if indeed they are specialists", etc.), that you make me think I touched a sensible topic back then, so I find myself wondering, once in a while, if you didn't buy your thesis in South America or Asia.


AP2009-01-15 04:39:15
Mr. Mikhaylov, if you think that complying with reasonable norms is calling a Retro Marxist to Miss Sellers, an unrealistic hysterical to Mrs. Eva and adding to that my "modern swinishness", I don't know what are unreasonable norms for you.


AP2009-01-15 04:50:24
It looks like everyone is dumb except you and Mr. He-the-omnipresent.


AP2009-01-15 05:17:44
And so you could ABLY avoid, until now, the direct discussion of the topics proposed in the article:
- "what are we all (and each one of us) trying to do – do these intentions collide with the group's purpose?
- are we all trying to do the same thing?
- should we?
- how do certain behaviors elicit certain reactions?"

No answers until now.


Rene Wadlow2009-01-15 12:44:36
Dear Colleagues, I have the impression of getting on a moving train. I have read Alexandra Pereira's comments on the spirit of cooperation needed among people writing regularly for a web journal but who are not in the same place and so must discus by email or the comments section of the website. Since late evening of Dec 27 and the start of the current aspect of the Gaza conflict, I have been busy appealing for a cease-fire and the start of serious negotiations (but the Israeli authorities and Hammas
but not read English! Thus I have not been reading Ovi until today, Jan 15, when there is an article of mine on Proudhon.Thus I do not know the start of the discussion. As the editor of an online journal of world politics www.transnational-perspectives, I am sensitiveed that even on difficult situations, like Gaza, discussion be kept without insults, and I find the list of insults that Alexandra found in the Ovi discussions totally unacceptable, though I found 'little pool jumper' one that I did not know and might use. I think the points of teamwork among editors and writers of interest and would be glad to participate in the discussion. Another webjournal for which I write in the USA which had a comments section, finally dropped the comments possibility because too many comments did not advance the discussions. With best wishes, Rene Wadlow


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 13:56:49
Dear Mr. Wadlow, what you mention at the end of your insightful comment is intriguing to me because I joined the Ovi team exactly because I was under the impression that by its comment box urging the reader to “get it off your chest” it promoted dialogue and exchange of ideas and even vigorous and passionate debates, which I believed and still believe can be achieved without the boorishness of descending to name calling and having one’s name distorted and made fun, or being addressed as Mr. Asshole, something that the same comment policy of the magazine, clearly stated does not allow. Perhaps you have a valid suggestion: at that point of boorishness and disrespect it might be advisable to drop the comment section, but I also continue to think that as Aquinas well taught us, the abuse ought not take away the use, and that the magazine would be the poorer for it, especially since it is a magazine of opinion. Opinions are not scientific indisputable facts and therefore need to be ventilated and discussed, without descending to the discourtesy of ad hominem insults. Perhaps some of the commentators have misguidedly misunderstood the caption on top of the comment box that says “get it off your chest” and have confused Thanos and Asa for two psychologists on whom to dump one’s concerns, anger and even angst in order to achieve some kind of catharsis, a sort of substitution to going to the theater to achieve the same. Perhaps that is the issue that needs to be discussed: What are the boundaries of free speech which is a inalienable right of our humanity? Have we perhaps misguidedly misunderstood what that right is all about? What do you think?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 14:12:59
P.S. I too write articles and a weekly column for a strictly academic on line journal in the US: the Global Spiral of the Metanexus Institute, which has rigorous scholarly and academic guidelines but does not have a comment box. I enjoy writing for both sites since they have different formats and purposes, because I believe that there is a place where complex issues can be discussed at the layman's level rather than as an expert. One of the tragedies of academic publishing is that many wonderful and well researched articles remain languishing and gathering dust on shelves in University libraries. A magazine like Ovi on the other hands reaches thousands every day and that, I believe, is its appeal. As mentioned, the abuse does not take away the use. I, for one, would be interested in the editor's views on this issue.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 14:26:13
P.S.S. One of the intriguing phenomenon of the e-mail mode of communication is that it allows some people in need of catharsis to say things to each other that they would never say in a face to face meeting. Did C.S. Lewis have a point in his novel Till We Have Faces?


AP2009-01-15 18:55:52
"and have confused Thanos and Asa for two psychologists on whom to dump one’s concerns, anger and even angst in order to achieve some kind of catharsis, a sort of substitution to going to the theater to achieve the same"
There you go, that's precisely what I meant with websocial scientists. You understood after all. But not in substitution of going to the theatre: in substitution of going to the mental health clinic.

I agree with Mr. Wadlow that it would maybe be better to remove the comment sections from the magazine. Perhaps Thanos and Asa, or any other collaborator more interested in that, could create a separate forum to discuss zero (which is what is discussed most of the times) and have fun there, but at least the magazine would be cleaner (from absurdities and insults). It would be a sign of respect towards the authors of the articles, in this case.

"e-mail mode of communication is that it allows some people in need of catharsis to say things to each other that they would never say in a face to face meeting"
In my case, I don't feel any need to function as a catharsis facilitator for sick minds in need of it, thank you. If interested in that, I would open my own online clinic and demand credit card payment in advance.
This doesn't mean that e-mail communication can't work with people who want to use it, it just means that it depends on WHO you are communicating with.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 19:42:24
Quousque tandem abutere, Alexandra Pereirs, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 19:43:36
Errata: Pereira


AP2009-01-15 19:57:44
I'm not Catilina (and... you're not Cicero).


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 20:09:41
Indeed, indeed! Even Catilina would have not resorted to the following language to express one's anger or to make a point; in fact, had he lived in our brave new world he would have probably have written the following passage to an on-line psychiatrist for analysis:

AP 2009-01-14 19:09:11
"I fucking promise that I won't fucking use the word "fuck" again, either in its literal sense or as part of a "legitimate" expression. I would further swear with my hand on a holy book if I had one around here... which I fucking don't. We all know how some people
dislike "fuck" - either the word or the act. On the other hand, some say "I don't give a fuck", "Fuck that made me laugh", others say "Don't fuck my brains", and finally others just stick to the good old "This coffee is fucking good". It doesn't matter how they use (or don't use) "fuck", it's all a matter of decency and sensibility to the "dirtiness" and "violence" involved (it depends on how bad is your "fuck", of course).
The poetics of "dafuckaction" - Mr. P. would call it."


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 20:13:38
P.S. And Tacitus may have three words to whisper in your ear and or you to heed, Ms. Alexandra Pereira.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 20:14:58
Errata: for


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 20:45:44
"Perhaps Thanos and Asa, or any other collaborator more interested in that, could create a separate forum to discuss zero (which is what is discussed most of the times) and have fun there,..." (Ms. Pereira)

Given that your contributions to the discussions in the comment section was among the most prolific, I am curious, what would you rate the percentage of your contributions? Is that why you used the word "almost," to signal that yours was not part of the zero. If that is the case, then knowing what percentage was your exception may help Thanos and Asa in assessing whether or not to continue with or eliminate the comment section.


AP2009-01-15 21:10:07
Your malicious attempts to sabotage become desperate.
I wrote that as a complement to this comment by N.L.Wilbur which, to say the truth, I found rather funny and appropriate to describe all this silliness:

" N. L. Wilbur 2009-01-14 08:00:45
Man, I'm glad I haven't written the word "fuck" in any of my columns thus far, and I'll make sure to avoid the word "fuck" in the future. I know how offensive the word "fuck" is to some people, and I would never want to offend anyone with my use of the world "fuck," especially if I was using "fuck" in its literal sense, as in, "to fuck" -- like the act, not just a brush-off of a disgruntled barfly, in which case one could, legitimately, use the term "fuck off." Not that I would ever do that. "Fuck" is not in my writing vocabulary."


AP2009-01-15 21:16:53
Why don't you create "Dr. Paparella's Ovi Forum" to discuss zeros and percentages while we propose to eliminate comments here - and leave Thanos, Asa, N.L.Wilbur, myself and all the others alone? Nothing else to do?


AP2009-01-15 22:01:37
If you read the article, there's this modest proposal:
"In my opinion that respect should include:

• not advertising simple divergences of opinion as personal and universal attacks or ghost dangers which deserve retaliation;

• not perpetuating past topics and arguments for centuries (they get uninteresting/dull) (...)"

You obviously don't agree, do you?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 22:01:46
It sounds like an elitist team within a team, or shall we call it a jam magnet? I doubt that such is the case though, given that both Asa and Thanos have given evidence of respecting free speech and the democratic process, never giving an ideological slant to the on-line publication, even when free speech has been unfortunately abused in the comment section disrespecting the comment policy of the magazine. Were the situation as you describe it, you could be sure that I would have left the team a long time ago, for that is certainly not the team I joined; that is a fantasy team in your head where authoritarianism and bias rule.


AP2009-01-15 22:05:00
"• not advertising simple divergences of opinion as personal and universal attacks or ghost dangers which deserve retaliation"


AP2009-01-15 22:55:16
Do you agree?


AP2009-01-15 23:08:22
I will try to give the example (the youth of today is the leadership of tomorrow, Mr. Wilkinson says) and answer from the heart:
- "what are we all (and each one of us) trying to do – do these intentions collide with the group's purpose?"

I'm trying to publish online. Simply. Does this collide with the purpose of an online magazine? I don't think so.

- "are we all trying to do the same thing?"
I don't think we are. Some collaborators seem to have side-purposes.

- "should we?"
Yes, we should try to do the same thing (publish online), in spite of the fact that we have divergent opinions. No one should try to have a moral or reasoning monopoly.

- "how do certain behaviors elicit certain reactions?"
Being rude, impolite and inappropriate can, at times, elicit rude reactions. Why? It is the human nature, and everyone has limits. Should we try not to insult each other or spread insinuations? Yes, we should. Can we, please?

Everyone is invited to give their own opinion/answer to these questions.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-15 23:21:03
It would encourage more people to answer if the one asking began by giving a good example! Yes?


AP2009-01-16 00:01:32
So will you be brave enough to answer?


AP2009-01-16 00:02:39
Yes? Or no?


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 14:26:58
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqOqo50LSZ0

A poem from a woman who knows how to convey passionate feelings and beliefs without resorting to curse words.





Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 16:05:16
To Mr. Mikhaylov: I have been reflecting on that expression you used above: "modern swinishness." Indeed, it seems to me too that the modern secular activist saviours who present themselves with all kind of solutions to problem which they have helped create and then pressure people to agree to those solutions are similar to the enemployed fire-fighter ot the American West who will start fires so that he'll be recalled and be re-employed to put them out. That is a metaphor for the sick minds of today or what you aptly call modern swinishness, running around to save civilization when in fact they are unable to save themselves to begin with.


AP2009-01-16 18:10:43
No, I'm waiting for some good and kind-hearted fellow to save me and take me to a beautiful place full of pleasures and peace and golden apples after my life is over... which might take a while, of course, but they say it's worth the waiting. I forgot the virgins.


AP2009-01-16 18:15:43
The poem is very very interesting.

Still you refuse to say what you think on the topics proposed.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 20:01:05
Quousque tandem abutere, Alexandra Pereirs, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?




Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 20:02:09
Errata: Pereira


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 20:03:54
To reiterate: I will answer your questions when you answer these questions for me: is calling anybody Mr. Asshole or Mr. Jerk and then approving of it saying that the one who engages in that kind of aspersion had it on target; or impugning his integrity by repeatedly questioning the degree he has and the school he has obtained it from, or slandering and defaming him, or using foul language for no discernible purpose, simply to be noticed and to stand out, is it or is it not an abuse of free speech, no matter who engages in those dubious tactics? Should the Ovi comment policy be respected? So far we of the Ovi team have not received an answer to those questions. We are waiting.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-16 20:06:06
AP 2009-01-16 00:01:32
So will you be brave enough to answer?


AP2009-01-16 23:59:04
Yes, I will: I don't know where the Ovi comment policy says that you can call a philistine, an inquisitor, a religion basher or a Nazi indiscriminately.
Enough for now, okay? This is tiring and leads nowhere.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-17 00:05:52
That it leads nowhere is for sure, but the answer is quite lame, to say the least.


AP2009-01-17 03:29:18
At least I gave one.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-17 10:42:06
It is lame because it egregiously turns the table around and charges the interlocutor of the reprehensible abuse of free speech about which serious questions have been asked and equates Mr. Asshole as an address (a curse word)to documented facts on cultural philistinism which is all around us nowadays. The Ovi team awaits an answer on the question and it is this: is calling anybody Mr. Asshole or Mr. Jerk and then approving of it saying that the one who engages in that kind of aspersion had it on target; or impugning his integrity by repeatedly questioning the degree he has and the school he has obtained it from, or slandering and defaming him to the point of involving his family and calling it "nasty people," or using foul language for no discernible purpose other than to better be noticed and to stand out, IS ALL THAT AN ABUSE OF FREE SPEECH?, no matter who engages in those dubious tactics? Moreover, should the Ovi comment policy be respected?



Emanuel Paparella2009-01-17 10:55:17
P.S.The more general framework for this issue of the limits of free speech which I asked to to Mr. Ludlow personally since his expertise is that of achieving peace in overheated rethorical settings is this: Perhaps that is the issue that needs to be discussed: What are the boundaries of free speech which is a inalienable right of our humanity? Have we perhaps misguidedly misunderstood what that right is all about? What do you think? May I suggest that the entire Ovi team do some serious reflection on this before putting on the table their take on the issue and engaging in serious dialogue?


AP2009-01-18 03:39:56
What can I say? Man, you have a true gift to distort things - specially the ones you provoked with continuous insinuations or started.
"is calling anybody Mr. Asshole or Mr. Jerk" - who called you that was Sand and, as I told you and you have seen yourself, he's not around
"and then approving of it saying that the one who engages in that kind of aspersion had it on target" - well, after a multitude of insinuations and distortions, unfounded accusations, the display of questionable and awkward morality rules regarding others, and affected and self-conceited demands on the proper ways I - and only I - should address you... one at least has to wonder
"repeatedly questioning the degree he has and the school he has obtained it from" - no one questioned your school, and if you remember right you were the one questioning the degrees and qualifications of others, and got as an answer something like "do you want to engage in a scanned diplomas competition"? You still didn't tell us which one was your primary school - and that's a big flaw, in my view, because maybe it would help you to legitimate your opinions even more
"involving his family and calling it "nasty people" - what on earth are you talking about? if you are referring to a Christmas comment about how some people pretend they should feel happy surrounded by nasty people in their families - did you ever hear Letterman, for example, joking about that? It looks like you have an absolute need to attribute malicious self-reference intentions to things that you know have absolutely nothing to do with you. But if you put the hat on...
"using foul language for no discernible purpose other than to better be noticed and to stand out" - when I want to stand out I use other more intelligent and creative means, when I want to send someone somewhere I might use foul language. You don't?
And, believe me, lately I really don't want to be noticed. Sorry if I stole you some "protagonismo".


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-18 06:29:00
AP 2008-12-24 00:43:59
In any case, Merry Christmas to you too, I hope you have been shopping a lot... and then that you meet those nasty people in your family and you all stare at each other and pretend to have the kindness you don't show to each other during the rest of the year. Then you'll open the gifts and be disappointed, and will all go back to the places where you came from. And Christmas will be over. (Ms. Alexandra Pereira)


AP2009-01-18 06:36:02
As usual, not transcribing the whole conversation... of course. Not talking about your family in particular, obviously - I was talking about what happens in many families, as other people did talk during that conversation.


AP2009-01-18 06:40:12
If I were nasty too, I would go and get all those Cicero quotes and philistine and basher and Nazi accusations. But I'm not in the pettiness mood.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-18 11:07:51
AP 2008-12-24 00:43:59
In any case, Merry Christmas to you too, I hope you have been shopping a lot... and then that you meet those nasty people in YOUR FAMILY...[emphasis mine].


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-18 11:14:50
P.S. Philistine, religion basher, are in the dictionary of the English lnaguage and are not curse words and not even insults and a sign of disrespect unless one characterizes as such people who are in fact cultural philistines and religion bashers and blasphemers. Since there is no longer an official Nazi party in most places, to call somebody a Nazi is to identify him as an authoritarian personality or a bully who wants his way at all costs and is hardly ever interested in a dialogue and what is true, good and beautiful.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-18 11:16:55
Errata: NOT religion bashers...


AP2009-01-18 17:27:51
Right. Look, can't you see I'm not in the mood for this? Besides, I told you before and I will tell you once again - you aren't transcribing the whole conversation and it was not aimed at your family in particular.
What are you exactly trying to do? I think you should explain that.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:16:46
“What are you trying to do?”

Ms. Pereira, if after more than a year and a half since I joined the Ovi team, after contributing some 132 articles, not to speak of the discussions and debates of various kinds via comment section, you still need to ask that question, I suspect that answering the question will turn out to be an exercise in futility, nevertheless, since you ask, let me give it a shot. If nothing else it will clarify this matter in my own mind. Writing does that sort of thing, at least for me. Besides as the slogan on the side of the comment box encourages us readers: get it off you chest. (continued below).


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:20:00
I joined the Ovi team with an initial article posted on 21 May 2007 which was really a commentary on an interesting article written by Professor Francesco Tampoia on the cultural identity of the European Union. It was followed on 25 May with another article on Levinas’ understanding of the European cultural identity posted in two parts. As Asa himself disclosed to me it happens to have been was the most widely read article of that month.

If you check it out, you will notice that the very first comment on the article was by


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:23:15
It did not take long before this negative trend switched from discussion of issues to argumenti ad hominem, personal attacks and insults to cast aspersion on me personally and thus disparage any and all articles I contributed. He began mocking my Italian name, my profession, my intelligence, my beliefs, the schools and the degrees I had earned and placed on my bio; insinuating all sorts of outrageous and slanderous charges, as anybody who bothers to look at those comments will easily recognize. He declared himself proud of the quality of his insults. And so it went. I began to realize that I was dealing with somebody who was not in the least interested in the search for truth, an exchange of idea and a convivial and cordial dialogue even if disagreements persisted, but with a bully, an authoritarian personality uninterested in listening and pondering others’ opinions and points of view. It was his way or the highway; somebody who had to win an argument or a debate at any cost, and even have literally the last word or he felt that some kind of power or satisfaction had been withheld from him. This was especially so when it comes to the issue of religion and freedom of religion where he revealed a penchant for bashing and defaming religion in general and Catholicism in particular. (continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:28:01
I joined the Ovi team because I found, and still find, the magazine attractive: it promotes all kinds of opinions and points of views and encourages discussion and debate via its comment section. It has no ideological slant or bias despite what the editors may or may not believe. So,when confronted with the boorish reaction above described,I had two choices before me: either to ignore the attitude and the insults (as one reader has suggested lately), or refuse to accept them and give as well as take, for it is my experience that to leave a bully’s charge and slanders unanswered often means to embolden the bully to increase the dose. By indsight, perhaps it was a mistake because I suspect that, as the above mentioned reader hinted at, the diatribe might have discouraged some interested readers from engaging in a real dialogue. If that happened, I regret it.

Unfortunately, you have decided to imitate some of the boorish behavior of Mr. Sand going as far as saying that his calling me Mr. Asshole and Mr. Jerk had some kind of justification and like him, impugning the degrees which I have listed in my bio and even making egregious comments on my family whom you know not, not even on an intellectual level.(continued below)


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:34:46
I have in fact, decided to heed the advice of the above mentioned reader and therefore at this point of a shabby game that has lasted longer than it should have, and certainly adds no luster to the magazine, I’d like it to be known by any body who in any way wishes to dialogue with me and exchange ideas and points of views and opinions, that I will not bother to do so with anybody who refuses to:

1. Address me in the standard civil mode: either Emanuel (if they consider themselves my friend), or Mr. Paparella, or Emanuel Paparella.

2.To respect or abide by the guidelines and rules of the comment policy of Ovi magazine, especially as regards slander and defamation.

3. Desist from resorting to scurrilous intellectual tactics as that of the “argumentum ad hominem” or the attacking of the man when one cannot deal with the issue.

4.I reserve the right, to discourage shabby intellectual behavior by pointing it out when it is engaged in without however dignifying it with a response or an answer on the issue. Either the issue itself is discussed or nothing is discussed.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 01:39:22
Errata: This paragraph is missing from the end of the second section of the answer above:

...Jan Sand and it was critical and wholly negative branding it as confusing and illegible. I attempted a dialogue which resulted in 12 other comments by Mr. Sand, wholly negative too, attacking the whole premise of the role of humanism and a humanistic culture within European history. Although he found my writing confusing and illegible he continued reading them and attacking them punctually as if they were some kind of offense to the magazine. He assumed an attitude of defender of political correctness descending to the point of even pointing out the inevitable typos which he also makes. Somebody, in short, who seemed to have a great confusion in his mind on what the limits of free speech are.


AP2009-01-19 06:22:23
Very good rules.


Emanuel Paparella2009-01-19 11:56:15
Indeed, the rules are Ovi's as found in its comments policy and deserve to be respected. Some may see them as a limitation of free speech, others as a way to insure civility and conviviality, but in any case, it seems to me that to disrespect them is to also disrepect the magazine's editors and indeed the whole Ovi team.


AP2009-01-19 21:40:22
I do agree on that.


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