cultural currents & crosscurrents buffeting nonexistent &

Mon, 14 Feb 1994 00:36:48 EST

microtrivial quasioccurrences:
[Continuing "a very long post about practically nothing at all."]
[We all despise autobiographical posts, don't we, given - but not restricted
to that - whose autobiography it turns out to have been. Hence this one, sequel
to the abominable, "smart people as outliers in cultural analysis modeling," as
subtitled and dated below; "cultural analysis modeling" was substituted at the
last moment for "sociology of knowledge" as properly phonier.]
It is much to be regretted that stupidity of the genre of the present
post is all you are ever likely to get out of me again. Unfortunately, it
is presumed that the person or persons who provoked it desire exactly the
outcome in question. Yet, in all, I have twisted slowly slowly in the
wind, and have got all due consideration HUMAN GARBAGE has a right to
expect; for this reason only, I CAN DO NO OTHER. (Forget what I used to
be; I already have. Whatever that was. Must have been something better.
Who, though, needs it, ever did?)
This continues "A very long post about practically nothing at all," Fri, 11
Feb 1994 00:04:02 EST. Why don't I just stop right here, go somewhere else,
soak till I croak, or *something*, that I shall need to figure out later, after
finishing up. There's still a portentous professorish heading I chalked across
the left half of the blackboard on that night of Feb 10-11, still there,
haunting me:
Decline of the Cyberspace/Virtual Culture
I. Short-Term
II. Long-Term

[Because? As often noted in this column, any idea, notion, or shall we now
add, meme, commonly enough accepted or believed is almost guaranteed to have
something wrong with it; and what would the Explaining Industry do without
those Seeds of Decadence under your nose had you just looked a teeny bit, which
are inevitably to be found in the most meteorically rising cultural and even -
pardon the expression sociopolitical - Thingies past-present-crosscultural-
yet-to-come. Why do you ask?]

Last time I credited one Stephanie J. Nelson with a piece of advice of the
tenor of social bias that, were a resurrected-among-us St Paul to emulate it
in his own variant of our "vivid-contemporary" type style, he could hardly
improve upon it. The interpretation was, inevitably, so conjectural that, with
greatest regret, I have postponed perusal of Friday-Saturday ANTRHO-L mail. One
must anticipate no less severe charges, "character assassination," "racism," as
aforenoted; but why not escalation, for if the Progressive Sociologists Network
resorted to "paranoid schizophrenic," why should present company dawdle

Another nearnonevent, detectable only with the electron-microsociomicro-
scope, arrived dated Fri, 21 Jan 1994 07:50:18 -0500; my sentience hereat
was mostly out of town, partly in New York City; partly in Poisoned-Blanket-
Genocide-General-Town MA; the fragment in this room was fixated on devouring
the ration which blue-helmet-giant-Punjabi would dole out to fortunate few
refugees with craving-hunger so intense we are driven to seize it. The document
was identified by <username>@node>, former part ignored (and lowercase besides)
but latter provocative, HUSC.HARVARD.EDU.

Some of you, nay, a whole bunch, an awful-lotta you, have been masticating
the squishy cud comprising - with surrounding crumbly gunk - *how*, you know,
*culture* and *consciousness*, the former we ourselves cannot readily define
but the latter we rest content to presume that some neuroscientist somewhere,
philosopher as a fallback, has triumphantly defined into the groud be it that
we ourselves wouldn't have heard of it, *do their Thingie together*.
Culture and consciousness, one and indivisible, yet perforce there are Many
Levels, every undergraduate pseudointellectual in my day knew there were Many
Levels, rent asunder by reductionism, by levels of analysis, by units of
analysis holistic or discrete as these latter tend in these times to be.
Not to mention that, in the whole issue matter question of the penetration
of culture into an organism's consciousness and for sure vicing the versa:
Surely this whole la banza would lie in the province of another Department,
another building's occupant, where floorplans, office numbers, and
denizens-possessors of offices are all alike unknown; and you, dear ANTHRO-L
subscribers, are no dilletantes!

What I'm telling you is how it happens, what kinds of *stupidity* are for
certain going on. Few of you are as much hopeless cases as myself; and *for
this very reason* find it that much more difficult to *observe yourselves*.
Because, as you know, as you assume to the innermost depths, you simply do not
find yourselves Up To Something behind your own backs such that you quite
urgently bear watching.
In this matter, you should be duly thankful, I am here to help you.

It is relevant that I'd just read Arlette Farge, Fragile Lives: Violence,
Solidarity and Power in Eighteenth-Century Paris, 1992. (Conoisseurs of ethno-
racial slurs shold note p. 175, where it is is noted that Frogs, "les
grenoilles," originated as a supercilious-derogatory designation of the Paris
poor by the court aristocracy.) Whatever this *aristo* says, there'll be a
lesson taught, come eighty-nine! Harvard becomes the Versailles of academia!
And the poster did write of Daniel A. Foss, dripping with Harvardy sarcasm,
"Sometimes HE gets a bit tiresome (i.e., the Jew thing), but I'm always willing
to except this because it usually the LEAST tiresome thing going on at the
moment." There follows an entirely false account of ANTHRO-L customary usage
and practice: "There are those who are occasionally offended by something HE
says. These people are usually shouted down by the MAN himself. Lurkers and
Contributers alike follow by expressing a vote of confidence in the MAN and
the matter is usually settled quickly. I guess the problem with Foss (1) is
that almost everyone is afraid to second-guess his god-like aura, I'm NOT."

I do not mention the poster's name, as we are interested in consciousness *
culture, not the photo-ID cards with validation stickers the local conden-
sations of culture/consciousness carry arround with them. I did not read the
latter-cited passage until just now, and it has set me to wondering wherein and
how the victim who wrote the lines acquired or developed the near-delusional
perspective upon yours truly's [nonexistent] significance on ANTHRO-L which, he
says, does not faze him.(2)

But I didn't bother to read it on Jan 21. The double-usage of "tiresome," a
word more deadly even than "tedious," had shoved me into the mindset of a sans-
culotte of ninety-three; *aristos* must be shown that The People are no longer
fooled, neither are they fools. You laugh, do you, *monseigneur*? We shall see.
I strode briskly (physically impossible outside fantasy) toward Marat's office;
from that hotbed of class war would I disseminate the Anger Of The People: That
post, "nothing funny about this at all, sir!" Fri, 21 Jan 1994 08:00:20 EST,
was much more rabid than the target of Stephanie J. Nelson's and Rafael Candido
Alvarado's censure, "the vileness of the offense," etc., etc. A parody, in
miniature, of the class warfare I have waged against the ANTHRO-L list as a
whole since 1992. (E.g., "My objections to the upper middle class include, are
in fact headed by, the fact that I am not in it.") And whereto Nelson and
Alvarado are administering, they hope, the definitive squelch.

The true Daniel A. Foss cycle, as it is memorable to Daniel A. Foss, the
present writer, whose successful tenured famous near-namesake would be appalled
at the casual use of diminutives, single-syllables, and other fragmentary
representations of the accurate name (and has been properly condemned here in
anticipation of and exculpation from charges filed by attorneys representing
Daniel C. Foss), is utterly different.

(a) The opening stage is a succession of posts which are written with such
extremely time-consuming care, inclusive of embedded humor, usages requiring
extensive search of memory for precise wording necessitated by objective of
inducing, as I once put it, the "experience of having read the ostensibly
spontaneously composed." There is a vast amount of time thrown out rather
inefficiently, since lookups of references or disinterring of printed matter
packed away (the purpose of reading, as I have explained time and time again,
is *exclusively* the filling to the brim of cardboard cartons with paperback
books read cover to cover; any acquisition of "learning" or "truth" or such
is a byproduct) require forays from computer room to office and back, using
elevators - saves on hard breathing from emphysema - both directions, includes
search time, and rarely takes less than half an hour).(3)

Writing posts takes a staggering amount of work; this work is occasionally
motivated by such limited objectives as, "What do you suppose it takes in the
way of backbreaking toil, to shovel intellectual content of indubitable quality
in a vast stinking pile over the collective lot of them to preclude their
getting sucked into the ooze of yet another 'Well, what *is* culture, anyway'

Persons with normal verbal fluency, non-deteriorating cognitive faculties,
and the mastery of seemingly insignificant, piddling, picayune, and commonly
obliviated social rituals or appropriate behaviors such as "carring on a normal
conversation," "holding forth," and "looking like a professional/authority
figure" never have to worry about or problematize such "trivial nonsense"; they
pick it up as if by osmosis. With another not insignificant percentage of you,
most of the behavior in question is just "a doin'-whut-comes-naturally," with
problem areas requiring serious work in order to attain the degree of presenta-
bility that gets you hired. (Some have problems with English as a *second*
language; few, with English as a *first* language.)
The time comes from *doing nothing else*.

Practices necessitated for getting words out misfire into irrational,
uncontrolled, unforeseen, and delusional tirades and rage fits. These are
becoming more seldom, but still occur. Nothing of the sort occurred in the
posts censured by Stephanie J. Nelson; but she does apparently retain total
recall, or something like it, of those which did occur. (I would myself include
such embarassments as the Pam Leader mess back in October or November or one
of those months in there, which shocked me into hiding and was entirely my
fault.) In her "Angry Jewish men" post (op. cit., part 1), she charges
"character assassination" as if it were my standard operating procedure and
not something undesirable and frequently accidental; or if not accidental,
takes on an inintended character: When awareness and control is attained (this
pertains to verbal control only, as I do not move my body very much very far or
in any sense rapidly), the remorse evinced is genuine; where as we shall see,
Stephanie J. Nelson has accused me of fakery and dissembling in that regard.

None of the preceding is applicable to the present dispute. What I did was,
in my view, work long and hard over a succession of long posts of indubitable
intellectual content. I then indulged in some Rest & Relaxation with the
contrivedly muddled "gainesville" post (where as I said, even the "angry" parts
get guffaws from my "test audience," named Steve Jacobs, microeconomist). Here
the reaction of the personality of Stephanie J. Nelson is irrelevant to the
cyclic character of the behavior of members of the list.

*It has been repeatedly demonstrated that prolonged backbreaking toil with
the intent to post theoretical contributions or historical-examples/case-
I have one thousand pages of laserprintout in my office; another four thousand
pages of laserprintout is stored outside this building. To this I allude under

Stephanie J. Nelson said, Mon, 24 Jan 1994 13:37:00 PST:
"And what is this 'evidence' you refer to?"(4, see below)
*That* is the evidence. Which omits private correspondence between Stephanie
J. Nelson, from the time *she* initiated said correspondence, in 1992, and
Daniel A. Foss; covering the entire period up to the point that Daniel A. Foss
became incapacitated for writing personal letters; with sporadic resumptions;
the last of said resumptions commencing with the futile negotiations commencing
Wed, 26 Jan 94 23:41:25 EST. Broken off due to exorbitant and escalating
demands for admission by Daniel A. Foss of entire guilt for wholly irrelevant
matters, inclusive of developments on ANTHRO-L instigated by Stephanie J.
Nelson herself; the latter documented and proven by sequences of postings. (4,
see below.(4)

My documentary evidence proves that, on each occasion upon which I made the
most strenuous effort to introduce my views to ANTHRO-L in all seriousness, and
there was no doubt expressed or articulated as to the quality of said ideation,
the latter was utterly obliviated from the discourse by making my personality,
style inclusive of humorous and facetious usages whose intent was to infuse
readability and where possible *compulsive* readability into an otherwise
dreary text or narrative, or even *conformist efforts* the sole and exclusive
admissible topic concerning what I wrote.

Example: In the ANTHRO-L discussion of "race," September-October 1992, I
changed style to the maximum consistent with both readability and "Academic
High Style." The effect was the charge by our departed colleague Steve_Maack,
<>, Internet address now inoperative, to the
effect that my posts were written by "five or maybe even six different people
using the same account." There ensued the most bizarre debate I have ever
witnessed on this list, to whit, as to if I was or wasn't. Similar occurrences
may be adduced, with lesser consequences if having similar if analogous
effects, for other occasions when I played the "good boy," attempting to
impress - and make no mistake about it, I am an exhibitionist which, given
social isolation at Stony Brook, is a necessity - by content with stylistic
flourishes subordinated. The social norm generalized from these sequences of
events is that the content I believed present was precluded from having
cognizance given to it by the ANTHRO-L community as a whole.

It is this repeating pattern of successions of events, of predictable
outcome, which has imparted to my humor its nihilistic edge; and has fostered
my transition from utopian-minded egalitarian political radicalism to cramped,
crabby, cynical negativity. This I regret in myself; and despite loss of the
socially critical thrust, with associated intellectual narrowing, promises to
eviscerate my "contributions" even more, so long as I *need* ANTHRO-L more than
vice versa.

Culturally, that is, in the local subculture, it is taken for granted that
my possession of the faculties of cognition, including Knowing and Theorizing,
is patently impossible, the artifact of my own delusion and that of others
momentarily taken in. This is beyond question. It has induced rage fits, most
of which I now throw off line; then I get back to the pointless grind when they

Steve_Mack or Stephanie J. Nelson, for whatever motives, are spokespersons
for social hierarchization. The social norm which has clotted around me, and
a priorism anent my incapability of formulating any ideation qualifying for
taking up the Valuable Time of the readership, is an artifact of social
hierarchy and the original, John Dollard (Nature of Prejudice, 1940), version
of the "self-fulfilling prophecy": Dominants impose, using such forcible
sanctions as this may entail, negative stereotypes and normatively prescribed
behaviors taken as evidence of assumed Inferiority, upon Inferiors; then
punish them for violations of prescribed Inferior-like conditions. This applies
here in full feathered finery of fatuity-festooned academic civility. Those not
on the career escalator bear presumptive stupidity; stupid means literal
inability to talk (which in the present case happens to be true); and whether
essential, as for the Retard; or [socially] constructed, for the occupationally
defective, has the identical effect of the *denial of the social validity of
one's presence*.

It follows that what I wrote last week; what I write now; will make no
difference for the treatment accorded what I say such as I may deem to possess
intellectual content *even if agreement to the effect that it so possesses same
is obtained from isolated members of the list here or there. If or when
annoyed beyond the DELETE-key tolerance point, there will emerge from the
lurker or peripheral constituencies a crescent mutually reinforced anger which
will relish, savor, and deploy such evidence of stupidity the members in
question believe has been observed; and even the statement that they cannot
understand it is brandished as the most conclusive evidence of stupidity in
that which is beyond what they are willing to attempt to understand.(5)

There is no fighting social class and its miasmal contamination of
consciousness pari passu with its noxious toxic fumes of ideological
minimization of necessary thinking and time spent thinking it: Both of
the latter, of course, are every bit part and parcel of what makes armenian
civilization such a wonderful thing.

What is to be gained from the position I have taken here and in the first
post, as well as in the posts which led up to the latter posts and merely had
the mass-cretinizing effect of further stimulating personal hatreds (which are
not the *cause* of what I speak of here, but the *social-structurally-
determined effects*) is merely and simply *recognition* that such social
conventions, pervading as they do the wider society, *are present here and
cannot be dissipated by imputing magical powers to academic civility* or any
other form, shape, or manner of *normative idealism*. Secondly, there should,
*must*, be constant, invariant awareness of the inference heuristics derived
from the hierarchized outside society, hence present in the local subculture;
*where their absence would be nothing short of miraculous*.

If this weren't you, then, *how many anthropologists could dance on the
head of a pin*?
Imagine, capitalism without hierarchy. Fantastic.


(1) Make sure by all possible means that the use of this four-letter-word has
been cleared with the attorneys, publishers, publishers' attorneys, and
literary agents representing Daniel C. Foss or acting in his behalf.

(2) Widespread ignoring of my posts should rather be indicative of the
ubiquity of kill files, or failing this, hairtrigger-finger DELETE-key
artistry. Nothing I have yet said on ANTHRO-L has left the least trace.
Only the usage Thingie betrays my sometime presence.

(3) Splendid argument for sitting in this bluish itchy swivel chair for minimum
twelve hours at a stretch, as I have just done for the past twelve hours. The
effort to stir off the chair will most certainly invalidate the Access Code
Number by habitual punching of a '1' instead of the necessary '2', so why
lose things and drop things, rendering it impossible to get back in into the
bargain, just for some normative-idealistic fantasy of exercise, whatever that
is. Mind you, however, take heed to move ever so slightly, lest motion sensors
report to Headquarters one has disappeared into thin air.

(4) The following is the most venomous slander in the entire loathsome dossier
of the ANTRHOgate scandal, considering merely what is on the public record.
While it is undoubtedly the saner thing that I should have ignored the whole
sickening business and forgotten it, this is not psychologically possible. The
truth must be told, at the cost of ensuring that none of it is ever read due
to the visibly pointless character of the present exercise. It is necessary to
discuss the paragraph below, cited from "Smears, lies, misses & disses," Mon,
24 Jan 1994, 16:20:22 PST, line by line, word by word:

>I am loath to be that single dissenting voice, Dan, but sometimes a cigar is
>just a cigar,

Which upon occasion it is not. The freedom of the interpreter to encode the
symbol table and decode specifics is illegitimate even in the cigarstained
hands of Sigmund Freud in the face of prior premeditation as to what should
be taken to mean what; and not much less legitimate elsewise, too.

>...and sometimes a misreading of an ambiguity is just a misreading
>of an ambiguity.

So tell me, did you ever *dare* to operate on this principle in school? Even
supposing you ran into a lot of easy-marker deconstruction freaks, you are sure
to have been *dead wrong*, flown in the face of centuries of scholarship, if
you costrued interpretation reducible exclusively to what you could get away
with! What you are trying to get away with in the present instance, moreover,
is *egregious*, ignoring the words. Even the words, if observed microscopically
as on a slide, say, quickly appear farcical when scanned as a paragraph. Where
I myself cannot honestly state what I intended each phrase or clause to "mean,"
yet *did* intend each composite construction to "mean" other than what the
segments meant, which I did not care what they were, you have got *some nerve*
claiming you have some privileged mystical insight which says this means that,
not the other thing. Having a load of guilt a mile wide, were I convinced I'd
been serious, however transitorily, about anything mean, nasty, or threatening,
I'd have apologized straight off.

Or maybe, any time there is anything posted by Stephanie J. Nelson, we should
all take every single word on the screen/paper to mean "turkey," and all larger
textual units in the posting should also be taken to mean "turkey." Same
principle. What's even better about this idea than the original by Stepanie
J. Nelson is, Stephanie J. Nelson has been, if you read carefully, been bent
on taking everything I write as indicative or symptomatic of moral and charact-
erological depravity *FAR LONGER* than I have taken what she has written or may
henceforth write as "turkey."

>But you and Mr Lieber are trying to change the subject of my complaint.

Just what right did you have to assign the content you did to the so-called
complaint in the first place? Your arbitrary assignment of meanings as you
please to whatever is written or elsewise output by Daniel A. Foss strongly
militates against your confection of a "complaint" as you see fit. Even were
you correct, which you are not as you are diametrically wrong-o, *you do not
know the facts in question*. You not only do not know the nature of my
ephemeral connection with "Doctress Neutopia" as of that time; you do not
know or care to know why or wherein I could well tolerate ribbing of myself
but not of that person. At that time. Which is all academic, so to speak, and
I shall "sit with folded arms" should Elizabeth N. Hubbard/Doctress Neutopia
henceforth get reviled till the cows come home.

*But what gives you the right*, Stephanie J. Nelson, to assert that any
woman *you do not know* but whom *I know* may be reviled at liberty without
consequences for the fun of it in public *in a manner you would most likely
kill before you allowed to happen to you*, Stephanie J. Nelson, by *any male
(more inclusive than man, which, for example, excludes me, Daniel A. Foss)
who so happens to be in a reviling mood*? This is feminism? This is any kind
of morality at all?

No!!! This is sick, depraved, and poseur-posturing pastyfaced plotting!

My position prior to yesterday became the following: Elizabeth N. Hubbard
should have in the past, and should in future, take all steps in her power to
avoid making enemies. Those enemies not attributable to her formidable talent
for making enemies hitherto would be considered under separate heading.

>...I complained because you were trying to bully Seeker1 into
>either apologizing to you or leaving the list,

Whatever I'd wanted in this connection from Steve Mizrach I forgot almost
immediately. Trouble was, my test audience laughed his head off, finding it
hilarious (not threatening) as it was, so it stayed in. (Offstage, there was
no intent, aside from waxing wroth, to remove Steve Mizrach from the list, I
could make it rain lots easier). At the time, I did believe he should have
apologized, not to me, but to Elizabeth N. Hubbard; as should everyone who
insults her on, hundreds of people. Let her take care
of herself, all bad things must come to an end, and never more shall Elizabeth
N. Hubbard and I exchange aught for aught.

It is a cinch that Stephanie J. Nelson's father's sitcom scripts might have
looked scary typed on plain bond typing paper. Some things when contextualized
are funny; others when decontextualized are funny.

I swear, chopping up this paragraph into little pieces is just cracking me up,
never laughed so hard in months.

>...and because you said that the Jews were solely responsible for everything
>good about this country.

See "smart people as outliers in cultural analysis modeling," Fri, 11 Feb 1994
00:04:02 EST for canonical interpretation of this passage, which requires the
reader to actually read the words, and somewhat closely, too. It means, as I
said, well, I might have "said, 'Thanks to the Jews, the sun will come up in
the morning.' But why bother...."

People today just don't read the words when they read. Atrocious.

>...Your statements were not ambiguous in my view...

Maybe you ought to move into a new apartment with the windows facing in other

>...nor was my interpretation of them in any way clouded by my self-image and
>occupational status.

The foregoing exhibits such an overwhelming set of tendencies to self-deception
in locating absolutely everyone or anything in social space that, if in the
least true, suggests that, in accordance with her own admissions, Stephanie
J. Nelson is duty bound to retire forthwith from the social science business:
She has literally stated that she can never under any circumstances be trusted
to not fool herself.

>...As for smears and lies, well, since there is no evidence of them in my

See "smart people as outliers in cultural analysis modeling," Fri, 11 Feb 1994,
00:04::02 EST, it's in there. Furthermore, the observed actions and writings
on this question cannot be abstracted from what is contained on five hundred
floppy disks, in scattered locations of course, and five thousand pages of
laserprintout, in scattered locations. A sufficiently large army of clerical
workers without question can assemble the "smoking gun" wherewith the charge
that Stephanie J. Nelson was prepared to pounce on any remotely likely bit of
fun and games to level charges of the most scabrous moral defalcations can be
substantiated beyond any doubt, reasonable or otherwise.

>...they must be your projections....

Can the Freud, please. Evidence! Evidence! Evidence!

>...And what is this "evidence" you refer to?

See above.

>...Since when is your interpretation of a text "evidence," and mine a class-
>bound "bias"?

Those of us who come from long lines of petty clerks and most junior detectives
in the station house know from putting away little pieces of paper from years
ago which just might prove interesting in some entirely unforeseen back then
matter years hence. Patience, pettifogging, paper. That does it, every time.
Best of all when one's possibilities of life are diminished and this is the
most interesting game in town.

>...Don't try my generosity, Dan--

Lo, a threat!

>...unlike others on this list, I respect you enough...

This part of the sentence is known in the Shrinkish profession as "the
sandwich," part of one of a set of practices used in training the "client"
or "patient" in the art of lying or faking out opponents, as in power lunches,
power meetings, and such. The truth value of any variant of "the sandwich" is
always FALSE, as it is abstracted from the lie wherein it is integrally embed-

> hold you accountable for what you say and to take it seriously.

commonly known as "take responsibility." There is no negotiation possible with
anyone demanding you "take responsibility," hence the confession is either
part of some "therapy" wherefor money is exacted or it is a very serious threat
uttered by a highly confident enemy.

>Thus in my book you are guilty as sin of (another) swaggering, over-aggressive
>power play. This also has nothing to do with (your presumptions of) my views
>on abortion. Don't repeat the infelicity of your original post by attempting
>yet another character assassination.

Translation: I, Stephanie J. Nelson, herewith and with all due solemnity and
finality, pronounce myself the absolute and unquestionable arbiter of fact and
truth regarding you, Daniel A. Foss. Consider, carefully, Daniel A. Foss, that,
given the disparity in socioeconomic status, nobody has any reason to believe
you, HUMAN GARBAGE, yet has every reason to lend credence to me, a SOLID
CITIZEN! So give up, you have no choice, you must lose, Who the **** are you,
anyway, to question my infallible judgment for the merest fraction of a second!

Still, it is false, she lies. (Who cares, though; the truth is true, that's all
one may say for it.

>It doesn't become you.

Which of course is yet another threat. (What becomes me, around the Upper
Middle Class, is steering clear of it.)


(5) How else is one to take the squeals of pain uttered by one Michael Shere
<mshere@NOMVS.LSUMC.EDU> in "good-bye," Tue, 25 Jan 1994 14:04:12 -0600. The
temporal sequencing, where Stephanie J. Nelson's "Smears, lies, misses &
disses" is dated Mon, 24 Jan 1994 16:20:22 PST, lends support to the proposi-
tion that the latter, that is, of the day before, *most immediately stimulated
and legitimated* the amorphous feelings of, perhaps, inadequacy roiling Michael
Shere's equanimity hitherto. Which, notwithstanding, he had stifled, restrained
and constrained himself from uttering, found unnameable, or elsewise rendered
himself inarticulate due in part to absent social support or opinion leadership
*which could articulate for him* what he could not so squeal on his own behalf.

That is, where previously this Michael Shere might have doubted that he was
bright enough, perhaps not bright at all, to grasp the flow of the discussion,
where Daniel A. Foss himself contributed but a fraction of the posts but, most
significantly, *both of the posts flayed by Stephanie J. Nelson* in hers of Jan
21 and Jan 24 (and note carefully, we are not in the least interested in the
"deep underlying motives of Stephanie J. Nelson" in so doing, on which matter
Daniel A. Foss has received, unsolicited, one [at least] highly baroque
armchair analysis relating her persecutory mania to Daniel A. Foss' pres-
cription drug consumption, construed by Stephanie J. Nelson as the root of
all evil, according to this fantasist, by reason of her alleged immersion
in the subculture of a California-centered octopuslike conspiratorial entity
- initial character of said entity's name 'S' - whose ostensible goals,
methods, and objectives were directed with approbation at the treatment or
cure of drug addiction, supplanting same with its functional equivalent in
the form of *peapodism*. Those turned into peapods are in popular fancy
regarded as never having shed or escaped their psychic captivity and slavery
(to their programming if not to specific controllers).
Which illustrates what kind of just-about-anything some people believe about
what Californians are capable of turning into or doing.

On no occasion, at no time, has Daniel A. Foss ever regarded or suspected
Stephanie J. Nelson of having become or mutated into a peapod. This is true,
and beyond question. Stephanie J. Nelson is not a peapod. (Note: This means
exactly what it says, but is contrived as provocative, you damn betcha.)

Rather, the salient motives are intermediate-level or even superficial. The
two posts wherein she mounts her soapbox to vilify Daniel A. Foss on such
ironic and incongruous charges as "character assassination" are *documents of
list micropolitics*, whose objectives are the mobilization of the constituency
known to exist, comprising the Michael Sheres (Much less the Dawn Atkinses; the
latter, Dawn Atkins, finds the list boring, who doesn't, why should she be
different); the unknown, the unsung, the silent (not a silent majority; not a
silent anything; just silent), the occupant of the Tomb of the Unknown
Subscriber, and the owner of the Mail Clogged Account. Suchlike.

Thus saith Michael Shere:

>I cannot believe the level of childish squabbling and empty wordplay
>rampant on this list. I have been a member for several months now and
>have found nothing but narcissistic ramblings and empty debate. There is
>the occasional insight, but hardly worth wading through the likes of
>that asshole Foss and his bonehead cohorts. I am still interested in
>finding a worthwhile list concerning things anthropological, and would
>appreciate any help locating such a phenomenon (should it truly exist).
>Please send any reply directly to my address, as I am signing-off this
>list. Thanks and good-bye.

Who are the "bonehead cohorts"?

There is a mostly-facetious offline letter I wrote to a person who cannot
receive this post, where I suggest a possible membership of the "bonehead
cohorts," said group having been fantasized, reified, imagined by Michael
Shere under impetus of *marking* by Stephanie J. Nelson of myself; *suggestion*
impelled by legitimation of Shere's discontents by Stephanie J. Nelson to the
effect that a *pattern* existed hence might be recognized; and *imputation* to
the correspondingly recognized pattern (where the principle is, you try to see
Thingies made up of stars in the sky, you'll End Up with Constellations, Zodiac
and all of that stuff in there) of *magical powers of causation and
coagulation*. Where the latter word suggests the well-known Paranoid rule of
thumb that conspiracies which do not clot do not exist. (Millions have met Lee
Harvey Oswald; few were in the same meetings.) I wrote:

>Who are these bonehead cohorts? I suggest the social or just plain Paranoid
>construction of a clique or cabal of bonehead cohorts out of, given the
>context, the round-robin succession of posts of comments by given bonehead
>cohorts of prior posts by [DA]Foss or other bonehead cohorts. If the community
>should concur in the suggested list, or add names missing here or subtract
>those incongruously listed, this would be a great help, most notably in the
>rigor of formulating a valid boundary definition of the "they" we wish to
>identify, not *qua* they, but *qua* notional they as - presumably vaguely -
>fancied by Michael. The fact that said they have nothing really in common,
>do not like each other, or would summon police and neighborhood watchers
>their notional leader, [DA]Foss, materialize at their homes is not relevant.
>My starter list would include:
>DAF [ex officio]
>Read, Dwight/D. Read
>Seeker1/Steve Mizrach
>James G. Carrier
>Mike Lieber
>SS51000/Bob Graber

> Due to the usage "bonehead cohorts," women have been a priori excluded
>from the suggested starter list, e.g., Susan Love Brown