Adam’s Appellation

Wednesday, 6 October 2004 — 8:54pm | Studentpolitik

This is the tale of two dead blogs by guys named Adam.

Adam’s Japanese Misadventures is a UBC student’s personal enactment of Lost In Translation, only the acts of being lost and in translation are in this case mutually exclusive. It’s a fun little cultural exposé full of oddities you would be hard pressed to find in a tourist’s guidebook. Many of these oddities are linguistic in nature, which makes it of particular interest to this here talking road sign of the Information Superhighway.

Mr. Pauls closed the book on the travel journal upon his return to Canada last month and left it as a static record of his experiences. You will notice that I still have it listed in my compendium of links to your immediate right. This is because I have not finished reading everything there to the fullest extent – there really is a lot to get through for a blog that only lasted four months – and also because it continues to deserve a share of attention.

Not so available is the weblog of one Adam Knisely, on account of circumstances that could be deemed rather controversial. All the official documentation that is in the public eye for now – until tomorrow, anyway – is the agenda for tomorrow’s emergency Council meeting.

It goes like this: Mr. Knisely copied and pasted this parody of Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” on his blog, unattributed, in a post dated 29 September. Somebody found it crass and offensive – okay, so maybe it is. That’s not the point. This somehow carried over to a resignation letter pertaining to his Students’ Council seat, included in the agenda package cited above.

The degree of coercion or suggestion that motivated Councilor Knisely to resign is at this stage unknown to me. What is known, however, that there is another motion on the table tomorrow for a non-confidence vote on course to intercept said resignation, in the fashion of a Romulan Warbird de-cloaking to fire a parting disruptor. Add another layer of curiosity with the agenda’s inclusion of the relevant passage in Robert’s Rules of Order pertaining to the rescinding of resignations, and you have yourself a powderkeg.

So, what do you get when you cross a controversy and a computer? Webboard madness! It’s all there. An anonymous guest poster speaking for Chris Jones in the third person? Doubts as to the purpose or procedural validity of the Blatz non-confidence motion? Ludicrous, spurious arguments of implicitly malicious intent that… oh, I’ll let this post from the anonymous “Spoon” speak for itself:

Albeit while Knisley’s personal life has nothing to do with Council, I think an important reminder is this was not a personal post. Knisley used his blog as a forum to discuss Council issues, and there is a direct link to his blog off the SU site. Because of this direct link, it may be that SU has sanctioned the posting of the soft porn and the parody song. If Adam had chosen to create a blog entirely separate from the SU (i.e no direct link) than his personal life would be separate from his political life. I’m thinking some regulations should be put in place to ensure the accountability of Counsellors posts on blogs tied to the SU.

Huh?

Wait: this just in. As I was writing this very post, the online edition of tomorrow’s Gateway was uploaded – and it features both this headliner on the Knisely case and a Rozenhart editorial about public figures and online publishing. The former confirms that Knisely wants his letter of resignation rescinded on the grounds that he was misled as to the nature of the complaint filed.

I’ll leave you to it, folks, but bear this question in mind: what, if anything, does a private weblog have to do with the Students’ Union? One might answer with an explanation such as the one I quoted above; appellant Meagan Johnston makes the same points in the Gateway piece. Ask yourselves, as critical thinkers who I full well expect to evaluate the integrity of the paths from premises to conclusions, if it makes any sense.

Stay tuned for more commentary to come, depending on how this turns out tomorrow.

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