Before reading the rest of this post please check out this new on-line journal:
and then please check out Ron Silliman's blog for his coverage and comments that are streaming in.
The first question about something this monstrous is whether it's worthy of our attention. If the answer to the first question is "yes" then the second question is "why?"
To the first question the answer for me and many others (judging from the comment stream at forgodot.com and Ron Silliman's post and the comment-threads associated with his blog) is clearly yes.
1) I think it's funny. Or "amusing" as the Big-Man (Silliman) puts it.
2) I also admire the work that went into it. Its scope. Its audacity. Its bad attitude.
But I can see that others would be outraged. And by "others" I mean people who have no sense of humor. People for whom everything is sacred. (I'm talking here of Agelastes. "Agelaste", Kundera explains in The Torn Curtain, is a term Rabelais "coined from the Greek to describe people who are incapable of laughter...It is because of them, he said, that he came closer to never writing another word...")
But if in this instance you are outraged wouldn't it be best to remain quiet rather than fueling the fire of attention. Well, many are outraged about this and are letting everyone else know about it.
But where, really (I ask myself) is Ron Silliman, the Big-Man, on this? Maybe it's because i'm retarded and/or the fact that I don't know the Big-Man well (or at all, in fact) but I can't quite get his tone. He doesn't seem to really play his hand here. Or does he?
If he was really upset you think he'd take a big knife to the party. And he does seem to have a respect and admiration for the enterprise. (or am i just projecting?)
Is his posting just part of his duty as the Big-Man?
Again (I scratch my head): he doesn't bring a knife to the party. Or does he?
He does bring up the possibility (for others) of legal action. But is this just a friendly warning to the creators of "Issue"? Or is he really trying to prompt legal action. The concluding sentence of Silliman's post ("Play with other people’s reps at your own risk") is very hard to take seriously. I can't decide if Silliman was smiling as he typed those words in, or whether he is an Agelaste.
The pathetic thing is that some people might sue. Pathetic actually that people would be outraged. I mean, c'mon--what reputations are actually being messed with?? ha ha ha.
If you think "Issue" is funny, then laugh. If you're impressed with its scope, creativity, audacity-- then admire it. Talk about it. Shout about it.
If, dear Agelastes, you are indeed outraged, then the smart thing to do would be to shut the hell up. Crying, whining and scolding will only make you look like idiots an add fuel to the fire.