Wednesday, July 21, 2010

博友網上交流切瑳之我見 (一) / Exchanges Between Bloggers (Part 1/3)

The following are my comments in response to Snowdrops' July 19, 2010 blog article entitled "Thoughts on Online Intellectual Exchanges (updated)". I would strongly recommend that you read her article (see reference below).

My comments are posted in three parts.

Part 1: Judgment on What I Say, not Who I Am

Snowdrop, I understand where you are coming from and indeed I share many of the same sentiments. There are times when people just drive me crazy by passing judgment on who I am, rather than what I say. You know the type who would start a conversation with: "Are you Chinese or Japanese?", implying (in my own mind) that whatever I say from then on will be stamped : "Asian" or "Made in China". It's often a losing battle Snowdrop and I no longer counter with an "I am Canadian" jab and the "Why did you ask?" look. I have stopped over-reacting for two reasons:

1. Start with myself. To be fair, I should give ppl benefit of the doubt. Really, most ppl posing the questions are genuinely just trying to be friendly. They might be insensitive or at the worst, as the cliché goes, politically incorrect. However, in my mind, they are innocent of being racists and I should not be overreacting. Without a chip on my shoulder, I try to respond politely, the dialogue proceeds and in most cases everyone soon sees beyond skin colours, genders, etc and focuses on the issue at hand.

2. Even if a person start his/her next sentence with "You Chinese ...", I can still hold my tongue and resist being provoked. For one thing, I am comfortable under my skin and have no reason to be drawn into defending myself, and for that matter, all persons labelled "You Chinese", be they rich or poor Hong Kongers, PRC capitalists/communists, or anyone of the remaining 4 to 5 billion souls all over the world.

In Part 2, I will address more specifically the 排輩論級 issue you've raised.



Snowdrops said...

Hi Haricot,

Just saw your message on my blog and came here. I only have about twenty minutes or so at my disposal to respond to your three posts now, but let me just say that I'm really grateful for the fact that you've kindly read my long rambling post :) And thanks for stopping by my blog!

Yup, I know that I do sound like I have a big chip on my shoulder didn't I? But I'm not sure if using racial interactions as an analogy for the intellectual exchanges I discussed is that helpful or accurate. It's not so much that I resent people trying to understand other's intellectual backgrounds, it's more about using these as "threshold values" for any meaningful intellectual exchange between people.

Let me just respond to your other posts now. And can I just say again how grateful I'm for the time you've taken to read my blogpost and indeed the time to respond in 3 parts!

Haricot 微豆 said...

Hi Snowdrops:

Part 1 is more abt my experience in the context of the heading "Judgment on What I Say, not Who I Am". The post is not meant to be a direct analogy. I apologize if I've given you the impression of criticizing you, far from it.

Snowdrops said...

Hi Haricot,

No, you're alright, I didn't get the impression that you're criticising me, more about misunderstanding where I was coming from, that's all :) So no need to apologise.

Haricot 微豆 said...

Thanks :)

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