RhetNetFebruary 1995

Belly-buttons and the risks of anarchy

Eric Crump

Belly-button staring gets a bad name because it can get tedious and circular, but it's self-reflection and awareness by any other name. Let's not cut it off too soon, either. We are doing something; we're publishing an academic discussion that just happens to be about publishing academic discussions--it might soon shoot tendrils off in other directions if we keep pushing at it.

>* I'm not kidding about the anarachy thing-- there doesn't seem to >be any reason to me to not simply go ahead and try to use RhetNet as a >"storefront" for basically anything anybody wants to put out there on >rhetoric, composition, etc.

This is something I'm interested in doing. If nothing else, it serves to prod at established assumptions about quality. For example, I announced on CREWRT-L that I'd set aside part of the Online Writery web pages as a place for students or anyone else to publish creative work (anything at all--images & words, virtuous forms or disreputable graffiti).

An early response was from one of the list's co-owners, a print-published essayist and fiction writer, who wondered whether it was going to be another one of those 'anything goes' sorts of things. I said it would be a place for people to share their work. I said 'if it is anything goes, would you be willing to share your work there?' and he never responded. Guess that was an answer. I'm guessing he assumes there will be no consistent quality in the work put on those pages, and his reputation as a writer depends on building a resume of respectability within an established aesthetic/intellectual community.

So the anarchy bit is a risk, and people who can afford to take risks will be most likely to give it a try. Which is fine.

Date:         Sun, 5 Feb 1995 00:01:50 -0500
Sender: CyberJournal for Rhetoric and Writing 
From: Eric Crump 
Subject:      Re: all: editing?

Do you have something to say?

steve's note steve's other note richard's reply