Thursday, 3 March 2011

Transparently Lucid, Like Concrete

Recently I've had more work to do and some other little problems I may write up about later. Consequently, blogging has become a matter of dragging myself to the computer; so even though I have several unfinished pieces that, whilst not difficult, are just time consuming and eye-rolling, I need to take a break. If I don't, I might end up writing as badly as a poli-sci prof in an Ivory Chic institute.

Before I do take a break however, and in spite of any fandom confetti comments he may receive for managing to enunciate very narrowly correct and obvious points, I shall not pass on this opportunity to report a year-long observation of mine:
"Good writing is concrete writing, I often tell my students."
Wrong. "Good" writing, at least in the context of the kind of article he is referring to, is clear writing; the fault he highlights would be more accurately apprehended as a decontextualized misuse of abstractions, i.e. an insufficiency of context to establish clarity. That this was likely deliberate is beside the point I am making here: to refer from abstracts to "concrete" instances is merely a tool of clarity, not to be taken as an end of good writing in and of itself. To insist on concrete writing is either an inadvertent admission of, or subtle insistence upon, a more or less concrete-bound epistemology. That is something which may also be called, with perfect accuracy, and with no aspersions whatsoever cast upon people with unfortunate disabilities - a retardation.

On the general topic of the U.S. selling out Taiwan, I have only a very short question: who voted for Barack Obama?

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