Sunday, March 15, 2009

Abiding gets a passing grade

The college professors over at Gringo Tambo have reviewed my work and given it at passing grade, a B-. It is entirely too kind of them. I never knew so many curse words were admissible. Seriously, if you go to Loyola University signing up in Clare Sammells' course would not be a bad idea for your GPA.

Sammells marks down my review of Eliza Barclay's piece in The Atlantic for "shooting the messenger", basically all the bad names I called Barclay. Sammells is right, I did shoot the messenger, because she put her name on the letter.

Journalists have a responsibility for what they write and Barclay ought to take it for "The Mugabe of the Andes?". The piece does not meet the most basic standards of objectivism, balance, and propagates a number of falsehoods. It is true that an intelligent and knowledgeable Bolivianist like Sammells will read this piece as a window into race politics of the conservative opposition, for which one could write an interesting paper. But The Atlantic is written for an audience of the general public with little to no knowledge of Bolivia. Most will come away associating Morales with Mugabe, petty-thug tyranny, economic disaster, and brown on white violence.

Sammells also comments on my Victor Cardenas post. She reads a making light of and defense of the home invasion into my writing which is not there. Sammells does take me up on the importance of context and history to properly confronting the incident, for which I am extremely grateful. As she notes, a refection on Bolivia's "indigenous movement" in all its diversity and history is the only starting point for such an exercise. However, she concludes on the wrong foot, directed towards the question of "authenticity". The argument I laid out and criticisms made against Cardenas by his detractors do not specifically concern indigenous authenticity. The fallacy of this confusion can be seen in the discursive acrobatics of Gringo Tambo contributor Miguel Centellas in the comment section, accusing me of racism and other nonsense.

Well, that is enough nerd talk for a few months. Cheers!

1 comment:

Bina said...

"Shooting the messenger"? Well, when the "messenger" is an assassin, a bullet is warranted.