Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Blogospherical nuttiness and a deleted post

Dr. B. is under attack from conservative grad student Paul Deignan, who's threatening to discover and publicize her identity, sue her, and sue one of her commenters, Prof. Wallace Hettle. Deignan claims, on a very thin basis, that Dr. B. has made a libelous comment about him. He also claims, on a more substantial basis, that Hettle has threatened his career by contacting his academic supervisor about his behavior. This is, I think, a seriously questionable step on Hettle's part, even though I agree that Deignan was being trollish, insufferably condescending, and inappropriately ad hominem.*

The upshot? This is a big ol' mess, but it makes two things very clear: the need to stay anonymous (and careful) as a gradblogger and the potential dangers of running blog-based, politico-academic salons like Dr. B's, even under a pseudonym.

In other news, New Kid reports that one of her friends has been fired for having a blog--despite said blog's complete anonymity.

Perhaps it means I'm easily intimidated and don't deserve my self-administered title as a Wiseass, but I started thinking, in the light of such weirdnesses and because I hate to be misunderstood, that I ought to delete a post I made on Friday and the comments that went with it. I began to feel as if some of the responses I made in the comments could have been (and, perhaps, already were being) misinterpreted because I can't really contextualize them properly without either blowing my cover and/or blowing someone else's. If you were in on the discussion and want to add something, feel free to email me.


*I'm very sad to report that a number of Dr. B's supporters have been similarly inappropriate in their response to Deignan, by the way. His behavior was worthy of the censure Dr. B exacted, but calling him "a walking argument for abortion," making fun of his photo, and the like seem pretty unwarranted.

UPDATE (11/9/05): Already well on his way to proving himself a bit, well, clueless, Deignan has now added "sexual harassment" to his list of libel charges against Dr. B. Apparently, this is because she referred to him as a sexist in one comment and later referred to his repeated emails and trolling as harassment. Wow. He's really spinning out of control and well beyond the realm of logic, but the bigger this thing gets, the less willing he seems to be to back down.