Happy birthday Richard Scott Nokes!

In honor of Professor Nokes‘ birthday, and given his interest in weasel blogging, I present the following:

According to medieval bestiaries, with help from Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville, “the weasel conceives through the mouth and gives birth through the ear”—Isidore, after describing this genetic miracle, says it is false, but that didn’t stop John Davies from using it in a sonnet.

John Davies of Hereford, Wittes Pilgrimage, Sonnet 29

Some say the Weezel-masculine doth gender
With the Shee-Weezel only at the Eare
And she her Burden at hir Mouth doth render;
The like (sweet Love) doth in our love appear:
For I (as Masculine) beget in Thee
Love, at the Eare, which thou bearst at the Mouth
And though It came from Hart, and Reynes of me
From the Teeth outward It in thee hath growth.
My Mouth, thine Eares, doth ever chastly use
With putting in hot Seed of active Love;
Which, streight thine Ear conveyeth (like a Sluce)
Into thy Mouth; and, there but Aire doth prove:
Yet Aire is active; but, not like the fire
Then O how should the Sonne be like the Sire?

Via Cliosfolly

Muddles, Anonymity, and Scholars

I note that the “muddled” site has this to say for itself:

In response to a prior restraint order requested by a university close to government, this blog will be shut down. The owners and contributors will do their utmost to resist this form of censorship.

Thank you for reading, and for the emails of support.

In other words “The lurkers support me in email.”

Yeah. Right.

And I was expecting Godwin’s Law to appear in the next post, too . . .

It’s terribly disillusioning to see that academics, scholars at the height of their profession, are just as idiotic and cowardly as the dweebs I deal with in my non-scholarly geek life, like the anonymous cowards who attacked Kathy Sierra.

This particular incident though, has very much affected my own thinking about scholarly blogging/academic blogging that’s anonymous. The “Muddle” is the first such attack blog I’ve seen in academe, and I confess to being very much disheartened by it, both as a geek and as a scholar in the very early stages of my career.

I expect better, from scholars, particularly from established scholars who ought to be mentors and positive examples, instead of, well, standard, typical Internet trolls.

Things Medieval, Muddled, and Anonymous

You know, I’m the first to admit that about 85% of In the Middle sails right over my head— and it’s not because I’m uninterested, or completely uninformed about medieval studies and theory. I suspect my estrangement is partly because I’m very literal and philologically minded; partly it’s a difference in our approach to texts. I am, however, positive about two things.

Whether or not I can follow the arguments and discussions of In the Middle, I am very much aware that the ItM coterie actively mentor graduate students; that they reach out and encourage and engage and include graduate students in their blog and in person at conferences. The other thing I am certain about is that both Eileen Joy and Jeffrey Cohen practice scholarship with not only zeal, but with active, even infectious, joy in the pursuit of scholarship, in text, in learning and in teaching.

I really don’t see any mentoring, any joy, or any value in the exceedingly impenetrable and downright malicious attack blog. It serves no purpose beyond malice, and byte wankery.