Monday, 19 March 2018

I, Zofia!

 Zofia Brom, Freedom Press & the Interpretive Community
IN January, the journalist and social anthropologist Gillian Tett in the Financial Times magazine supplement (5/01/2018), grappled with what she considered to be a possible metaphor for the triumph of Donald Trump encompassed in the story of Tonya Harding's rise and fall in the 1990s as an American ice skating champion now illustrated in the film 'I, Tonya'.

Gillian Tett explains the background story to the film 'I, Tonya'
'Harding grew up in a world of poverty, instability and alleged mistreatment by her mother. It is hardly surprising if this bred anger and resentment.  But if she found it tough to conform to the culture of elite skating, officials found her tough to accept too.  “I never apologised for growing up poor or being a redneck” .'

Or so Margot Robbie, the actress who plays Harding, tells the camera at one point in 'I, Tonya'.

Tonya was the daughter of a single-parent mother who herself worked as a waitress.  

When I read the responses of the Tonya Harding, I can't help but think of Zofia Brom on the Freedom Collective and the author of the article 'London Antifa shuts down alt-right talk' (Mar. 6th).

One website reported the Antifa attack, which Zofia Brom FREEDOM PRESS article glorifies, on the contributors to a debate at King's College:
'Antifa agitators shut down an event at the King's College in London featuring Ayn Rand Institute President Yaron Brook and anti-political-correctness You Tube personality Carl Benjamin (a.k.a. Sargon of Akkad).'

Ms. Brom, who seems to be a novice writer on the revolving door of the Freedom Press website, and has written on feminist and gender topics under the initials 'ZB'.  

There are distinct differences between Tonya and Zofia.  Tonya was a hugely talented skater who was among the contenders for an Olympic medal at the 1994 Winter games in Lillehammer.  Zofia, on the other hand, is not a very remarkable writer and her comments on Chris Draper's article 'Free Speech and Cheap Bigots' show a certain sloppiness with regard to spelling and grammar.

For example Zofia wrote a comment on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 10:51:00 GMT:
'Glad people read Freedom: I for once [sic] can not be arsed to read Northern Voices, even when they land in my inbox.  But, congratulations to NV for proving that me [sic] nick- naming them "leftist The Sun" [sic] was correct.' 

To which on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 20:14:00 GMT, (I) bammy said: 'Bless you Zofia; I hope nobody blacklists you!' 

Then 21-minutes later on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at 20:35 GMT, Zofia Brom said:  'Brian the reason why people find you annoying (to say the least) is that you are a troll [sic] and a cop grass, plus you harras [sic] and doxx [sic] people online. I wouldn't call it blacklisting.' 

What is interesting here is the vocabulary used by Ms. Brom words like 'troll'; 'cop grass': 'harras'; and 'doxx' all seem to belong to a special interpretative community which excludes some and includes the chosen ones like Zofia.

Ms. Brom wants to say nobody at Freedom want to look at our Blog, and yet she not only reads one of my comments but responds if not with the speed of Zeus at least within 21-minutes to a comment of mine.

Because she is so smothered in these utterances of her own 'interpretive community'* she is  perhaps  unaware that she is writing sublime gobbledygook, as when she writes:   'congratulations to NV for proving that me nick- naming them "leftist The Sun" was correct.'

All I can interpret about this utterance is that she is describing Northern Voices as a 'leftist The Sun'.  Which I take to mean that she finds our prose annoyingly accessible.

It seems that at last we have arrived with Zofia and company at a linguistic lexicon so slender it bears comparison with George Orwell's Newspeak dictionary.**

   A term pertaining to Stanley Fish's reader-oriented theory of literature (see Reader-response criticism ).  Interpretive communities consist of a group of “informed readers” (Fish) who possess both linguistic competence by having internalized the syntactic and semantic knowledge required for reading, and L itinerary competence by being familiar with our literary conventions.  By way of introducing the concept of interpretive communities, Fish argues that the informed reader's interpretive perceptions and aesthetic judgements are not idiosyncratic but socially constructed; they depend heavily on the assumptions shared by the social group or groups to which the reader belongs.  Interpretive communities adopt particular kinds of reading strategies which will, in due course, determine the entire reading process, the stylistic peculiarities of a literary Text as well as the experience of assimilating them.  If Fish's categories were to be taken seriously, reader-response criticism would cease to be riddled with questions concerning either the mode of existence of the literary work or the Aesthetics of perception (the active and creative process a reader engages in when reading a text): both would collapse into a set of assumptions and conventions shared among a socially defined community of readers. 1981a : “  Stanley Fish and the righting of the reader ”. 1980

**  Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional language Newspeak attempts to eliminate personal thought by restricting the expressiveness of the English language.


ZOFIA BROM said...

Lol Brian.

I’m sorry you are offended by my English language skills. I did hear that one before: from far right, so clearly there is an issue here. I’m really sorry: please consider that may be because i speak more languages than you do.

And now: stop emailing me. I understand that my english is so bad that you may find this request difficult to understand. If that is an issue, please do let me know and i will arrange for a British person to repeat it to you.

I’m really, really sorry again.


Trevor Hoyle said...

re your spat with Zofia. You make a comment about her use of English, and call her "not a very remarkable writer." But then you go on to misspell "sloppiness" and write "congratulations to NV for proving that me [sic]" when the use of (sic) is incorrect in this instance and then write "choosen" instead of "chosen". I'm merely pointing out that if you're criticising someone's spelling and grammar, you owe it to yourself to be scrupulous beyond reproach.

bammy said...

Trevor - What you have to say about Zofia is spot on. I've made the corrections, but I'm not sure about what you have said about the use of [sic]: The Cambridge English dictionary gives the following definition for [sic]: 'used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original, as in a story must hold a child's interest and ‘enrich his (sic) life’.'

Of course, I didn't know Zofia was Polish when I first wrote my response. I think the problem with a lot of people on the left today is their unwillingness to debate, and to insist that certain things are self evident, and that they therefore don't need to be backed up with any evidence.