social origins of anthro-l having been about robt johnson

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 21:47:00 CDT

Many hours, perhaps a day or more, in the past, now forgotten, one of
you complained that Robert Johnson's objective in rejoining ANTHRO-L was
merely having ANTHRO-L be "about" Robert Johnson. This, aside from partaking
of the simplistic, constitutes vulgar psychologizing, is unsocial-scientific,
and I need hardly add, not merely atheoretical but even ahistorical. Consider
the facts.

1. Before Robert Johnson rejoined the list, whereafter "everything happened
as if," as the oldtimey anthropologists would have said, he appeared to act,
seemingly, apparently, for-all-intents-and-purposes, that is, on the
superficial as opposed to the analytic level, with the intent to make
the list "about" himself, the list wasn't about anything at all; the
traffic had fallen to nearly nil.

2. Massive empirical evidence exists consistent with the inference that,
had any other milieu been "about" Robert Johnson, he would never have
risked further humiliation, obloquy, and dirty looks in crawling back
here whence he came, like the Prodigal Triangle insinuating itself back
to its primordial Circle.

3. Robert Johnson, in supposedly "making" ANTHRO-L about himself, if that
is in even the most superficial sense valid, did nothing I didn't do myself,
during my lifetime; the difference is, he's lousy at it. What he does, well,
it [vulgarism having the usage "of execrable quality" deleted]s. It's
Inferior. And coming from me, whose entire lifetime career, which was played
out in this very arena, was built upon my own objectively extreme, and only-
at-times-exaggerated-for-effect Inferiority, well, that's more Inferior than
is reasonable even for me to stand; much less any of you.

4. You do have a choice. ANTHRO-L can resume being about me, as it was once
before. I say this because I cannot but loathe some unevolved species
wriggling its way into the ecological niche I carved and clawed for myself,
until I died eaten by predators, of course, as was to have been anticipated,
while I must *watch*, from whatever perspective you may imagine I am watching
all this postmortem activity going on.


Do consider me, I ask you, as Summer Reruns. A pale shadow of the once-
living; as the ads say, "Get an afterlife!" Yet withal, a sitcom. Lonely,
dejected, a Career Paranoid without an Enemy in the world, I pine away for
the Lost Stephanie J. Nelson. What should I have said, rather than have
Lost My Senses between January 20-21 1994 and late April? How about:

"Stephanie, I would feel great pain and anger from what you say, were
it not for my resolutely concentrating upon the expertise, the brilliance,
the sheer genius, wherewith you did it! More, Stephanie, give me more! I
can't get enough of they way you do things to me!"


Daniel A. Foss