More ruby flames from The Rohrlich Apparatus

Robert Thornton (031RTHOR@MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA)
Fri, 15 Mar 1996 06:15:58 -0500

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, . . .
You sound like the sort of person I really like, most of the time,
since i love word play, and you invite word play. Please don't take
it seriously. Its just the medium. Since we don't have bodies in
cyberspace, we have to tickle each other with words. Sometimes maybe
a little disembodied shoving and roughhousing is fine amongst us
Communicators in the Ether? But I'm not yet falling in love . . .
The remark about 'Ruby's rabbi' was mere word play. Please notice
that it is an instance of alliteration, and therefore falls under
'word-play'. If you don't have a rabbi, I sorry. If you do have a
rabbi, I'm sorry too. You were quite fair in getting in a number of
religions that come in for censure as 'Patriarchal'. If your name
was 'Patricia', I would have remarked about 'patricia's priest', and
might have rabbited on about etymological roots of 'patricia' and
'patriarchy' . . .

Martin West, a colleague of mine at Univ. of Cape Town some years ago
had what he called "The trout of the year/month/day award" for the
person who took the bait most consistently. I was the most frequent
winner of the award. So I understand. But let's have fun, guys! Hey,
Life's short!

But really, is it necessary to counsel Holly, in matriachal tones, to
avoid all engagement because of a penchant for rhetorical flourishes?
You ask, in a rhetorical ploy of your own; "Do you really think he
has answers for you?" No, of course I don't have ANSWERS! Rabbis
have 'answers', priests have 'answers'. I have ideas, uncertainty and

My comments on patriarchy as term were serious, if poorly developed.
John McCreery has done some development for me. Thanks. I subscribe
fully to what John says., One of the costs of being absorbed in the
ANCIENT WRITINGS if the nineteenth and earlier centuries, is that
one tends to carry what seem to be canonical meanings for key words
around, and to take them seriously. The use of the term 'patriarch'
is one of those key words, and the recent feminist use of this seems
irrelevant not because injustices are not being done to women, but
because, as McCreery states, the social, cultural and legal context
is so very very different. That was the only point I was making, and
it was subsidiary to the substantive point. I will get back to this
in the next couple of days.

===========Robert Thornton, Department of Social Anthropology======
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South Africa
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