goto Appendx main menu Defining Deviancy :
George Thrush
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Date: 11/13/93  
To: George Thrush  
From: Darell Fields  

Thanks for your recent fax.  Again, I understand the logic of your argument, but I think it has an inherent flaw.  For example, to state that I was seeking a "moral equivalence" by the use of "dogs, clubs, and bullets" is an erroneous assumption on your part.  The context for this statement was specifically referring to the context in which students and professors (black and white) were fighting any number of  life-and-death battles (at home and abroad) on university campuses across the country during the '60s.  Since our collegiality has been forged within the academic environment, I thought the use of the reference was clear. 

But you see, your assumption is where ideology creeps in, where the mere mention of "dogs, clubs, and bullets" within your ideological landscape only conjures up visions of Watts and Alabama and takes other struggles for granted.  The moment that you use definitions or historical descriptions founded on bourgeois ideology, the possibility for meaningful exchange is lost.  The issue of deviance, not in terms of a particular ideology but as social fact, has been gutted. Appendx 2 page break 145 | 146 

When we speak about the same issue (no matter what the issue may be) from different constructions of reality, we find ourselves muzzled from the very beginning. I may be wrong, but I get the sense that you believe Appendx to be a neoliberal project that is attempting to define deviance only in neoliberal terms--that if the editors chose to publish something along the lines of the Krauthammer piece, we would lose credibility with our neoliberal constituency. However, if Appendx drifts left of center, it will be because you have chosen not to submit your piece in the upcoming issue. 

You may take this to be a bit of "sour grapes" on my part, and you would be correct. The identity of Appendx is based on a free exchange of ideas. The editors have been disappointed by the fact that those with the potential to destabilize the current trends in architectural discourse are the very same ones relinquishing opportunities to write for the journal. Those on the P.C. bandwagon, meanwhile, are in full force. This is what we are attempting to deviate from, and I thought we were very clear on this point in the first issue. By calling for and sustaining ourselves as individuals, we were (are) attempting to put dominant ideologies (liberal and conservative) aside, if only for an idealized moment. 

So if our (yours and mine) bourgeois lives are threatened, attacked, and over-turned, and we have had the opportunity to speak and have chosen either to say nothing or use the words of others to speak for us, we have only ourselves to blame. 

And by the way, access to bourgeois life does not mean equality. Ask me, I know (no moralizing intended). 

Your ally (no matter the ideology).
 
 

Date: 11/13/93  
To: Darell Fields  
From: George Thrush  

Touché. You might be right that yours are "sour grapes," but I was among those who soured them. I felt sufficiently guilty about my "ball dropping" before, but after your most recent missive I now feel that my time could have been much better spent this past summer... alas. 

You are also right that I was projecting a politically pragmatic, neoliberal agenda on your rag. I remain a stalwart for individual and moral responsibility. As such, I Appendx 2 page break 146 | 147fully support your efforts to work "outside" ideology (if only for a moment). I am also strongly drawn toward the flame of both neoliberalism and communitarianism. I am not certain of the reasons for this, but suffice it to say that one is probably that sentiment that bonds the two of us: a desire to force others out of comfortable, convenient paradigms. 
 
I think that, like one of my heroes, H. L. Mencken, I want to ridicule my generation's holy puritans. Those puritans are for me the "individualists" who make use of traditional morality as the rationale for "fairness and social change," but are unwilling to make the concomitant sacrifices (in personal ethics, lifestyle, aesthetics, etc.) that must accompany any egalitarianism. Freedom and equality--anyone who thinks that they can be balanced without cost is nuts. 

the end George Thrush

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