At 04:49 12/08/98 -0700, Mark wrote:
>I have to say that your writing style is incredibly hard to read; it seems
>to be designed to hide meaning behind voluminous use of long words.
OK. Not intentional. My writing style tends to depend on what I've been reading recently.
>Actually I'd say that making a joke to avoid dealing with an issue -- as
>you seemed to be doing -- is a very typical American response; as though
>if you can laugh at it, it's not real.
I think this agrees with my point: Americans tend not to use irony as do people in the UK. In the US it is seen as you describe it, a joke to avoid the issue; in the UK, irony and satire have a strong history of being used to emphasize the importance of issues, and to draw attention to them without in any way detracting from their 'reality'.
>I would hope that most of us here are smart enough to
>realise that few generalisations are ever accurate but are often used as
>a short-hand for real truths.
I would hope that most of the people here are smarter than that, and realise that generalizations are often used to mask the complexity of issues and to gloss over the mutability of the underlying truths about which they claim to speak authoritatively.
Curiously, though, I don't think you and I disagree about anything of importance, do we?