28/10/2004

Permanently self-conscious?

Filed under: — Bravus @ 4:50 pm

In case you don’t read it (and if not, why the hell not? the link is right there on the right of this page!), William Gibson quoted a paragraph of mine – not from here, but from the William Gibson Board forums – in his blog today for the second time in a few days. He prefaced it with ‘At the risk of making him permanently self-conscious, I’m going to quote Bravus again…’ Aisha asked in the forum ‘So… are you?’

Pretty much, yeah – but then, I’m pretty self-conscious at the best of times. It’s a character flaw (because it puts the focus on me) that tends to have helpful consequences, because I work pretty hard to be considerate and kind to people – not so much because I’m a good person, as because I’m conscious of my effect on others.

But he probably meant self-conscious in the sense that I might start composing very carefully crafted bon mots in order to be quoted again. I don’t think so… for one thing, although it’s incredibly gratifying to receive that kind of acknowledgement from someone whose work I deeply admire, it’s not something that can or should be actively sought. For another, particularly the one he quoted today seemed to me to be the very opposite of well-crafted: forum writing feels like a conversation to me, and it’s always fired off at great speed, and usually in response to something someone says.

So yeah, I’m pleased that he thought I captured something he wanted to say well, and of course it’s a buzz to get that kind of attention and exposure. But I’ll just keep doing what I do…

4 Responses to “Permanently self-conscious?”

  1. vernaculo says:

    The scorn that Nader gets is born of denial. Yes, it’s essential Bush be renounced, but the same essential forces will be in play when Kerry takes office, and unless he does a complete volte face what we’ll have is catharsis and a depth of complicity we’ll never shake in time.
    The two most crucial issues facing the American people – the environment and oil/power, and Israel and the fate of the Middle East – are absent entirely from the two acceptable candidates’ campaigns. They aren’t from Nader’s.
    Kerry’s promised to drill ANWAR and he’s pledged to continue supporting Israel and its actions. Kerry displays a depth and decency that Bush never has in his public life, but on those two issues there isn’t much to distinguish either one of them from the other.
    Yes, yes, Bush must go – but the very real danger is that the somnambulist proxy-by-apathy that set him loose on the world will be transferred to Kerry. And this time it won’t be the fundamentalists and cynical power cartels, it’ll be us. There isn’t a lot of time for waiting and seeing, business-as-usual is the war cry of the comfortable. Centrism is an obstacle to radical change. Radical change is all that will preserve what’s best about what we are.
    This thing is going in the wrong direction, full tilt. Unless you’re a Social Darwinist it should be clear that the people on the bottom of things are not all there on their own merit.
    Making the ride safer for the privileged is not a particularly noble ambition.

  2. Bravus says:

    Agreed, absolutely. Much of my research has been on the ways physics education is used to perpetuate privilege, and I have a very lively appreciation of the stratagems the privileged use to keep themselves that way.

    I think Nader’s *platform* is extremely attractive – and that’s wht I wrote the blog entry about how the American electoral system squeezes out and marginalises the small parties. But Nader has been completely disingenuous about how, by possibly ensuring Bush is returned, he would be achieving the exact opposite of his platform. Bush has moved further, faster than any president ever in reversing environmental and consumer protection legistlation and reducing civil liberties – all things Nader is campaigning for.

    I believe there *is* a difference between Bush and Kerry – yes, Kerry is wealthy, but he has values that will reign in the *extent* to which he governs for privilege. Bush has a set of beliefs – christocapitalism – that mean he sees God smiling on him every time the rich get richer and the poor get the picture.

  3. Jack Womack says:

    Just to add to your permanent self-consciousness: what Bill said. Very good words.

    And many thanks for your good words for me in past posts, as well.

  4. Bravus says:

    My head asplode.

    Thanks for dropping by, Jack, and thanks for all the pleasure over the years.

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