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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision


I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic


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Ignorance is not intent.
Asking to learn is not affront.
Offended is not entitled.

This vocabulary lesson brought to you courtesy of a few folks.
  • Asking to learn is not affront.

    Except when it is.

    For instance, when it's essentially, "You, hey you over there talking about [finer elements within large concept]. Come over here and explain [large concept] to me while I passively listen even though I haven't done any initial reading on the topic despite copious resources (available at my fingertips even!) where I could go observe the flow of the conversation and learn the language and get down the basics (and, you know, basically read the FAQ). What? What do you mean I was interrupting you? What do you mean you're not going to drop everything and come spoon-feed me the answers that are readily available to me elsewhere? DON'T YOU WANT PEOPLE TO BE ON YOUR SIDE? HOW DO YOU EXPECT PEOPLE TO RESPECT YOU WHEN YOU'RE SUCH A [derogatory term]. I ONLY WANTED TO LEARN."
  • Hmmm. If someone asked me 'I want to know more about this, make me smarter?', I'd be within my rights to say 'I don't have the time-- check google, I found a website a while back named ____'. Someone getting snippy with me about saying that, though? that's where the affront comes in for me, not with the seeking of knowledge.
    • Absolutely you would. I would also think that you'd be within your rights to be irked if that was the same question you got over and over again from people who didn't have enough basic respect for you to do a little basic research before barging in and demanding information. And even with a willing teacher one might be better served by observing anyway. I've found that I feel like I catch more, learn more when I start by listening. By participating in a system, you alter it.
      • I don't have a viewpoint that's too divorced from the mythological 'neutral' viewpoint of western civ- at least, not if one's just going off of outward appearances- so I do not get as many questions of the 'be patient with my dumb butt' variety as I'd imagine you do. I can certainly see getting frustrated with people behaving as if you're there to educate 'em, though- but I tend to value my civility higher than their dumbness.
    • Which, I'd add, is different from asking for resources. (i.e. "Where do I start?") And different from talking 101 issues with close friends.

      But, from the hostile reaction I'm getting downthread, I'm going to assume that I'm missing something and withdraw from the conversation in this forum.
      • Earlier over the last week, someone was going off on me because- as near as I can tell- she perceives me as a closet racist. st_rev is, I think, assuming you'd already read the post on my journal (it's the most recent one that's mostly struck through).
        I think, in future, I am going to try to use 'hey, you have an experience I don't- how should I find out more about where you're coming from? Resources?' instead of finishing that off with 'tell me about it?' It's a totally fair point that people can get sick of relating and re-relating and re-re-re-relating their own history.
        • It is not unlike the coming-out story or "How did you know you were gay" question, for many people.

          However, just because I have been asked (in varying degrees of politeness) "Why are you in that wheelchair" several hundred times is not an excuse for me to be a bitch to anyone asking. (Even the assholes, although I have been known to fail at that one.) If I want to represent the community well, the least I can manage a "I'd rather not talk about that. If you'd like to know more, there are some really good books by Dr Disability in the library."
          • Yeah- one gets tired of telling the coming-out/how-did-you-know stories: I can certainly readily grasp being tired of telling the it-works-different-when-you-ain't-white story.

            And yes. hence 'offended is not entitled', above. ;) Just because someone asks me whether I'm the girl or the boy in bed doesn't give me permission to blow up and have a shrieking fit about the question.
  • Someone walks into my living room, yells at me for terrible transgressions. I ask them to explain what I did. They snort and tell me they don't have time to spoon-feed me, I should go do my homework and come back when I'm ready to grovel?

    ...Yeah, fuck that noise. Even the cops have to tell me what I'm being charged with.
  • This has, within certain communities, become a catch-all excuse for rudely shouting down any request for information whatsoever, and that in and of itself is a poor example.

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