jonathan ham (jham@UNLINFO.UNL.EDU)
Sat, 11 Dec 1993 01:20:33 -0600

Hello All,
I suppose that it is high time I threw my private thoughts
into the public arena on the thread on "pomo" that I have been
following (and hopefully concisely, as I still treasure that quality
in writing). Firstly, I must say that I am set at DIGest, and so I
usually read, and delete as a whole, for the sole purpose of
keeping tabs on what a few of you comp-minded folk semi-
anonymously discuss -- please do not take this to mean that I
find this list to be drivel -- quite the contrary.
However, as I am new to the list, my desire to write in
was finally piqued by my sentiments agreeing with the individual
under the influence of nasty viruses (viri?): Someone Had Better
Define All This Drivel. It seems to me that (possibly par for the
networks) some amount of name calling and stone throwing has
erupted among professionals(?), and so far no one has bothered
to clearly and concisely lay out definitions of "pomo" and a
LOGICAL argument as to the problems that LOGICALLY
follow. Are we scientists here or not?
For instance, if you are really concerned with a lack of
funds for the discipline (and hence with a lack of funds for
yourself) quite possibly you should stop complaining about the
few (really few) "pomos" making a living without doing
"adequate research", and outcompete your competitors (eg
expand yourself, read, read, read, look into MULTIdisciplinary
study, be useful, be INSIGHTFUL, be of a
CONTRIBUTARY calibre), then maybe you can lend some
credence to the idea that we should have more money! If
someone can do this without quantifying some damn thing in the
field, then maybe there is a lesson here... From my perspective,
there seems to be a distinct correlation between people that I
have met who are genuine shakers and movers, and their
consistent ability to pay the rent.
Further, I would like to throw out an answer to the
question of whether or not a 'postmodernist' would characterize
him/herself as "pomo": I really doubt it. Someone recently
piped in that they knew several "pomos", I ask, "Do they call
THEMSELVES pomos?" I know no one who says, "I am a
POMO" (admittedly this does not constitute a good sample), so
I ask the loaded question -- is this a SLUR?
In all actuality, I do have an idea as to what is
transpiring here, or at least I think that I do, but I have taken up
enough space and defer TIME to my collegues (another quality
I cherish). If you are curious, ask me privately or publicly --
happy to digress.

Jonathan M. Ham
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Nebraska