At a recent meeting I attended, a participant talked very disparagingly about scholars who do work in digital rhetorics and digital humanities. Now, it ain’t like I ain’t got my own questions about the aforementioned, mostly along the lines of why is this scholarship so damn white, but that was not the participant’s beef. His beef was that scholars in digital rhetorics and digital humanities only offer meta-analyses of digital culture and not actual digital products and projects. That’s not true, though I can see where the impatience is coming from: a dull, visually stale website that you paid someone else to create and an active twitter account ain’t exactly sophisticated digital production. I said, for the most part, that these impressions were false and then really left it alone.
Because you see, I was operating from a black cultural/language frame. And that means something very simple: if you dissin what somebody else ain’t doin, then it must be because YOU DOIN IT!
In my childhood, we would simply say it like this: if you gon sing it, then bring it. This expression could be applied to someone who was poppin off at the mouth about you behind your back but not bold enough to bring it to your face; OR if an athletic team, especially, talked a lot of junk about their impending win: this was a reminder to watch your mouth unless you were really bringing your A+ game. What does this mean in the context of the situation I described in the first paragraph? Well, as soon as I got home from the meeting, I google-stalked this participant like it was no tomorrow. And what did I find? Not much of nuthin.