Our favorite librarian today makes yet another impassioned plea for “open access“: a euphemism for forcing scientists and researchers to turn their work over to libraries for free dissemination instead of to evil for-profit journals and publishers, in order to bypass both the involvement of (supposedly) filthy lucre and (supposedly) snobbish, elitist, and stifling peer review, in favor of (supposedly) altruistic academic librarians who are of course naturally and inherently the appropriate gate-keepers of human knowledge and the all-knowing fully-informed arbiters of all scholarly discourse:
“A world where many more people have unfettered access to much more research and scholarship …. We have the (largely US- and Europe-based) for-profit publishers, who hate and fear open access to the point of telling flat-out lies about it.”
Never mind that any researcher that wants to put their work on the Web for free can already do so without the “help” of a librarian, thank you very much. They have to be forced to do so, because… well, because.
Well, in the spirit of good-for-the-goose-good-for-the-gander, I’d like to remind everyone that her husband’s book remains only closedly accessible, at just $49.95 from its greedy university press publisher. The proceeds from which surely do not land in her own pocket, of course.
Open access: it’s only for the stuff other people write, you see, not what Dorothea can make a buck from.
Our favorite librarian loves to raise the specters of the suppression of the free speech of librarians and their patrons by the Dept. of Homeland Security, and of librarians being hunted down and rounded up by John Ashcroft, and further to portray herself as being subversive and brave merely by being a librarian.
So, let’s count the tally, shall we? Librarians (subversive or otherwise) hunted down, rounded up, charged, sued, or removed from employ, by Mr. Ashcroft? The big goose egg. Librarians charged with “sexual harassment” by a university for (truly) subversively recommending conservative books not approved of by their uniformly “liberal” dept. faculty and staff? One (so far).
Dorothea’s silence on this is as deafening as it is both hypocritical and predictable.
The Baleful Eye
Time for the Baleful Eye to direct its unblinking gaze at Tyalie Tyelellieva, the website companion to Lisa Star’s print publication of the same name — or rather, erstwhile print publication: the print version of TT has not published a new issue in almost five years, though issue No. 19 is rather optimistically described on Lisa’s site as still being “worked on” (on a page last revised August 2002). While we’re on the subject of publication output, let’s do a little contrast-and-compare, shall we? Since the last issue of TT (no. 18) appeared in December 2001, Vinyar Tengwar has published six issues, nos. 43 (Jan. 2002) through 48 (Dec. 2005); and Parma Eldalamberon has published two issues, nos. 14 (2003) and 15 (2004). To put it another way: since January 2002 the Editorial Team has published over 450 pages of new, primary Tolkien material — and Lisa Star has published bupkis. Lisa might consider putting her nose to the grindstone and squeezing out an issue in the near future, lest a disgruntled subscriber get impatient and post a nastygram called “The Failure of Lisa Star” on one of the Tolkien discussion groups. Trust me, I know how unpleasant that would be for her.
The Tyalie Tyelellieva website — which is not as moribund as its dead-tree counterpart, having been updated in January 2006 — is a rich source of misinformation, disinformation, slanted half-truths, and unsubstantiated innuendo directed at the Editorial Team (Lisa might consider borrowing Burger King’s slogan, “The Home of the Whopper”). Here’s a typical example of misinformation, appearing in Lisa’s A List of Tolkien’s Unpublished and Slightly Published Manuscripts:
§7, Taliska; §8, Mørk; and §9, Hvendi are three Germanic-type languages invented by Tolkien on the basis of Gothic, Old English (Mercian dialect) and Old Norse, respectively (see the Biography, p. 37 where it is reported that Tolkien “began to invent `extra’ Gothic words”).
The descriptions of Taliska and Hvendi here are accurate enough, but there’s a slight problem with Mørk: J.R.R. Tolkien never invented it — Mørk exists solely in Lisa Star’s imagination. Lisa first reported the name of this non-existent language as “Mork” in her List of Tolkien’s Languages, where she writes that it is “probably related to Old English” (this page was last updated July 2000). The account in the “Unpublished and Slightly Published Manuscripts” list cited above is later (updated August 2002), and there Lisa — amusingly — changes the name of non-existent “Mork” to the equally non-existent “Mørk”, apparently in an attempt to make it look more Germanic. Also note how the wealth of imagined detail is increased in the later account, in which Lisa drops the qualifier “probably” and flatly states that Mørk was “invented by Tolkien on the basis of … Old English”, while further adding the wholly imaginary tidbit that it was specifically modeled after the Mercian dialect.
Perhaps in the future Lisa will change her mind yet again, and describe this non-existent language as Björk, modeled after Icelandic?
Well, let’s set that Baleful Blogroll to rolling then, shall we?
Helge Fauskanger has now twice claimed on the Elfling list to have paid twice for Vinyar Tengwar 48 — the first time qualified with “in a sense”, and the second without qualification: often is half truth made into received “fact” by such rhetorical sleight of hand.
Of course, there is no sense in which Helge has paid twice. Sending a check that cannot be cashed, and then only later actually paying, is in fact paying exactly once. Thus, for example, if I send my mortgage company an invalid check, and then replace it with a valid one, I don’t think they’ll agree that I paid my mortgage twice, in any sense.
But that’s rhetoric for you. It sounds impressive and important, until you look at its substance, and find that it is nothing more than an airy confection.
Don’t you love it when someone’s own argument disproves their case? I just think it’s downright decent when sophists do all the real work for you!
Case in point: Baldwin Clone #273-A (the “Alec” model) asserts that Dick Cheney is a terrorist. Of course, if this were true, then The Alec-Baldwin would now be cooling his heels (and most likely charging his testicles) in a dank basement somewhere, nervously awaiting his inevitable beheading. So the fact that this hasn’t happened, and won’t, both disproves the assertion, and shows up the vapid faux-courageous posturing that all Hollywood “liberals” love to indulge, so long as there is not the proverbial ice-cube’s chance of any repercussion save for further doting upon by an adoring MSM.
The Alec-Baldwin then goes on to claim that Cheney “terrorizes … innocent citizens here at home”. OK, show of hands: are you terrorized by Dick Cheney? Do you know anyone who is? I mean, beyond those who cultivate a paranoid victimhood because it looks great on their mental resume and boosts their sense of relevance and self-importance, but who in truth face nothing more fearful from the government than a reduced grant and the prospect of actually having to earn a wage commensurate with the value of their “work”? And, of course, beyond those with actual terrorist intent — and can’t we all agree that they should be made to feel at least a little bit nervous?
Just to show that this blog will not exhibit the same knee-jerk, quasi-religious partisan bias that it means to shine a baleful gaze upon, I thought I’d go on the record in stating that it is perfectly in bounds for the MSM to ask why it took so long for them to learn that the Vice President of the United States was involved in an accidental shooting. It’s a fair question, and with all due respect to the fine folks at Ankle Biting Pundits, the repeated, mechanical appeal by Whitehouse Press Secretary McClellan to the need to see to Whittington’s medical care, and to an agreement between Cheney and Katherine Armstrong to let her, as an eyewitness, inform the media of the mishap, was transparently a dodge that only chummed the water for the Press Corps sharks. The best and most truthful response would have been for McClellan to ask just why the Whitehouse Press Corps felt itself entitled to be alerted instantly or even quickly of this or any other event, or to otherwise have its job done for it by the Whitehouse: especially in light of the foaming animosity it has directed at the Bush administration since (at least) the end of 2003.