All entries for Tuesday 12 April 2005
April 12, 2005
Wow, this entry by carter really does seem to have caused quite a stir in Warwick. I would recommend reading it first on the link aboveand then come back to this to get my two cents worth on it. As a warning, I have taken it quite seriously because it really did aggrevate me for the reasons I state. Eims and Carter, despite I am quite attacking in this, I really do think you are both fantastic and I'm sorry if I do offend you in any way. I have refered alot to this being written by Carter, but thats just because I don't know how much each of you wrote.
Firstly, I was quite surprised to hear that Carters blog has been deleted because of his Biege bashing. Mind you, it is also because of his consistent disregard for the warnings about being insulting in what he has described as "an ironic fashion". Warwick blogs should not be sensored in this way. People should be allowed to state their opinions and views, and warwick blogs should encourage discussion. People should be free to write whatever they like on their own blog. However, people writing their blogs should also be aware of the audience that may be reading it and should be sensitive to that audience. If the author is writing something that is likely to be controversial, they should also try to avoid anything that can be mis-interpreted or misunderstood. One line of defence that has been taken towards carters blog is that it was written in an "ironic" tone. Now, being a chemist, my english skills aren't quite what they should be so I double checked my dictionary for irony. It seems as though carter needs to do this too, because my dictionary tells me that irony is the "use of words to mean the oppposite of what is said". So does this actually mean that Carter is ACTUALLY trying to tell us to be beige. Maybe I have misunderstood his irony. If quite a number of people have not spotted the irony, then maybe it isn't the fact that they don't get irony, but it is actually that the writing is not clear. There are some parts which I can see as being ironic, but this only applies to one or two phrases used in the blog. I really can't see the whole piece as being ironic.
Even if the writing is ironic, it is quite clear that Carter et al. clearly do have a problem with those they consider to be biege and this is quite clearly an attack on those people. This has been a consistent theme running in Carters blogs and so is quite clearly close to his heart. I found some of the comments in the his blog to be very narrowminded and just plain offensive. for instance;
"Economics students. Computer Science hacks. Business Management types. You are scum. Your only concern is your own path through life, moving one step up the corporate ladder at a time while stepping mercilessly on anyone who gets in the way of your ultimate desire to own an upmarket Ikea showhome and host Katie Melua-scored dinner parties."
How can it be said that this is not a personal attack? I would like to point out to Carter that if it wasn't for those "computer Science hacks" then we would not have been able to have this conversation. If it wasn't for those business management types and economic students, then this university wouldn't have alot of the funding it does. This is a broad generalisation that is very offensive. Even if these people are not the most entertaining people in Carters eyes, that is no excuse for putting this false stereotype on them.
What has really gotten to me about the views portrayed in this blog and those by those applauding it is the narrowmindedness and highly judgemental mentality that ultimately lies behind it. It shows an arrogance and snobbish attitude that is highly unadmirable (something which I often find myself being and that I loathe). Recently I heard a preacher speaking about how the Church is "swift to chide and slow to bless", but this kind of entry really goes to show that this problem is not just confined to the church, which Carter is also all to ready to pass judgement on. Christians are not perfect, they are not always right, and they really do get things wrong, but to say that their faith limits them is just plain wrong. I know many people who have achieved many amazing things, who are dedicated to helping and serving others even when in mortal danger and are carried by their faith. Their faith does not limit what they can achieve, instead it gives them the drive and will to continue.
I do think its a real shame that more people do not support some of the great events put on by people like yourself and Eimear. And I know how much time and effort it takes to put on events like this and how demoralising it can be when only a handful of people turn up, but insulting and attacking the very people you are trying to attract is no way to solve the issue. In many cases it is actually more logistical problems and unforeseen circumstances that result in low attendence, such as bad timing and clashing with other events or restrictions on advertising or budget, or maybe its just a saturation of the market in warwick. I think many of the arts and music societies do a fantastic job of bring some much needed culture and diversity to the uni. I am really going to miss things like the Freshblood caberets and the opportunity to get involved with the Christmas Panto when I leave.
There is no need to say that just because someone hasn't heard the new Caesers album, or doesn't even know who The Band are and how much of an influence they are, that they don't know anything about music and are uninteresting. If you can't communicate with someone who you deem to be of a lower understanding or to be less knowledgable than you, then the problem lies with your attitude and social abilities and not with the other person. These people are not going out of their way to "wreck all that which makes it (humankind or arts?) interesting or stimulating by exhibiting none of its most vital and defining characteristics (namely the arts)". Maybe they know what they like and are happy with it. Who is anyone to judge and tell them that they are wrong; if they are happy like that, then why should they change. Many people who have very little to do with the arts have had tremendous impacts on humankind; would you critisise Einstein, the Curies, Fleming, or Rutherford for being boring for not taking more of an interest in the arts? In the meantime, appreciate the large number of people that do enjoy intellectual enterainment; you may be surprised, but there are a lot more of them at warwick uni than outside in the real world. Instead of critisising everyone, try writing something that would engage those that don't have much of an interest in the arts. I'm lothe to say it, but Jerry Springer the Musical has probably drawn more people that would otherwise not be interested, towards musicals and the theatre than something more intellectual or critically acclaimed. Frankly, I like the fact that there is great diversity of tastes, it means there is a lot more to talk about and it enables discussion like this to start. Just because we don't like the same drama, music films, etc. doesn't mean that they are not interesting. But please, have a little respect for the tastes and likings of others. You wouldn't like them bitching about the way they see us, so don't bitch about what you think of them, instead, try to find something good to say, you might find it more of a challenge!