10.0759 subscription database

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 20:45:40 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 759.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk> (35)
Subject: subscription database

Dear Colleagues,

The Humanist subscription database was recently found to have some
programming problems, as a result of which some people were shunted to one
side and left to rot of neglect. We sincerely apologise for that. Repairs
are now happening, but apparently one side-effect of these is that some
people who opted out (e.g. to avoid an overflowing mailbox while on
sabbatical, etc.) were resubscribed without being asked. More apologies. Oi
veh es wir (in probably broken Yiddish).

This does give me the opportunity, however, to have somewhere to put an
astonishing bit of prose I read on the tube earlier this evening. In his
review of Adam Mars-Jones, <cite>Blind Bitter Happiness</cite>, Gaby Wood
(TLS 4901 7/3/97 p. 36) quotes a passage from "Gay Rights and Wrongs" where
the author "explains why homophobia might be thought of as 'a system of
social levers rather than a widespread personal pathology'":

"Homophobia is resilient as a system because of a quirk of its chronology:
even those individuals who will suffer in time profit from it before it
works against them. Any child, any male child at least, has disparaged gay
people, or been party to such disparagement, long before he realises that
this joke category is one that has claims on him. Homophobia is a bribe
whose first instalments are spent in ignorance of where the money comes from."

It's the last sentence, of course, that grabbed. But it seems to me that
he's really talking about disparagement of all kinds, of all sorts of people
whether gay or otherwise. Perhaps as recent immigrant I'm particularly
engaged in looking for evidence of commonality among humans, as in this
forum so widely spread. But the same (I'd guess) fuels Poetry on the
Underground, an admirable project that puts individual short poems on
posters where adverts normally go in the cars. One gets transported while
being transported. The same also (again guessing) has kept Alastair Cooke on
Radio 4 all these years delivering his Letter from America, a fifteen minute
treasure due on the air in 40 minutes.

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Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk