Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rabble Rouser? Moi?

I had an epiphany that would surprise few followers of the Spew: I am a rabble rouser.  I wasn't always this way.  Sure, I would whine and be outraged, but other than annoying those closest to me, it had little impact.  I was never much of an activist.

I went to all of one protest in my four years at Oberlin, where protests were aplenty.  And that protest was pretty spontaneous:  we were annoyed at the OC Republicans for arranging Ronald Reagan Appreciation Day somewhere around 1986.  It was trolling before trolling was cool.  Oh, and the guy leading it was Jacob Heilbrunn of the National Interest.

The difference between before and now is, of course, the internet.  My whining/complaining/outraging now gets read by between one to seven thousand and eight people (the ISA blogging mess) via the Spew or 7,120 twitter followers.  Another difference: folks have noticed and feed me stuff to get me outraged and then to spew..  The ISA blogging ban was the most obvious case.  My question this week about female full professors of color in IR is another. 

I am sure that my friends and colleagues in my various departments along the way are not surprised as I don't have much of a filter (although ISA is handy for running into people who make me feel restrained by comparison).  I generally don't mean to start up a ruckus, but when I learn stuff while online, I tend to blog and tweet about what I learn.  And then sometimes a ruckus ensues.  Sometimes one post leads to a reaction and then to another.  Perhaps it is also because there is so much silly stuff on the net that I have more reactions that turn into rabble rousing.

Anyhow, today I realized that there is a bit of a pattern here.  What to do about it?  Probably not much, as the world continues to provide stuff to trigger the Semi-Spew.  We shall see where this modicum of self-awareness goes.

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