Unbelievably, Joseph Kugelmass continues to have a problem with Dr. Crazy. See his most recent comment to this post of long ago. I'm honestly baffled. I left a comment in response (yet to be approved)*** but I'm hoping it puts an end to the matter, which for me was over two full weeks ago, although apparently my pseudonym remains central to the debate. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, is this exasperating.
For the record, looking back over the whole mess, I feel badly about how I initially chose to respond. I think I could have handled things more diplomatically, and I think that I could have kept my temper in check more than I did. And I'm sorry for the role that I played in blowing the whole thing entirely out of proportion. That said? There continues to be little to no self-reflection on the other side about why exactly I responded the way that I did. No acknowledgment that perhaps the tone of how I was addressed might have had something to do with how I responded. That is... disheartening.
I don't see myself (or Dr. Crazy) as a rebel, an eccentric, or a "unique snowflake." I see what I do in my work and what I project outward on this blog as pretty mundane, actually. I'm a teacher and scholar who's trying to negotiate the demands of the business of higher education (the job) with things that are intellectually, ethically, emotionally important to me. What I do, or what I discuss, isn't all that different from what many others do or think about. Through Dr. Crazy, I can give those things a more public voice than I'd otherwise be able to. While that's fun for me, and interesting, and while it's been nice to get to know people through the blog and while it's nice to have an audience for my ideas, I don't see it as particularly special. It's just one more thing that I do. Even if I did see myself as a rebel, eccentric, or unique snowflake, I wouldn't expect people to agree with me without reservation or to defend me on those grounds, which seems to be the implication of comments like this (let alone comments of the "unicorn gumdrop" variety).
And so I'm left to wonder why others seem to think that what I'm doing or thinking is so.... offensive? Controversial? Arrogant? Because the impression I've gotten from this situation, as well as from ones previous, is that what people are most angered by with Dr. Crazy is not actually anything I'm really writing about. It's more the *idea* of Dr. Crazy that incenses people than anything that's actually on this blog. It's the *way* that I choose to write, as opposed to the content of that writing. The voice that I hear coming through is always one that says something like, "How dare you? Who do you think you are?" Not so different from the voice that Lily Briscoe in Woolf's To the Lighthouse imagines saying "Women can't write, women can't paint," when it comes down to it. And that may not really be what's going on, but that's what I perceive as I approach the various conflicts that seem to arise as a result of Dr. Crazy.
But so Dr. Crazy, aka Unique Snowflake (my super-hero identity? nah, Dr. Crazy is more like a super-hero name. Perhaps this is more like my rapper name?), has much to accomplish today in the guise of her Clark Kent "regular person" identity, i.e., she must prep a novel to teach, work on some admin stuff, catch up on some email, do some stuff re: book permissions, and, finally, go in to the office to take care of some business. I know. I'm totally an eccentric and a rebel. It's almost shocking how I live my life on the margins, isn't it? What a polarizing figure I am, and everything. Later, I might do a post about all of the food in my freezer, and maybe post a picture of my cat, if there's time. But for now, more coffee, and then to work.
*** ETA: Originally Kugelmass deleted my comment because in his estimation it was unsubstantive and didn't contribute to the ongoing conversation, but then put it up because of this post. I just want to note that I did not do this post to force his hand into posting my comment, but rather to think about the situation more broadly, as well as to apologize for my role in the blow-up (which I do think I needed to do).
4 years ago