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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: November ::
Re: Veteran's Day
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1114  Tuesday, 10 November 1998.

[1]     From:   Paul S. Rhodes <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Nov 1998 08:26:59 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

[2]     From:   Carol Barton <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Nov 1998 09:06:22 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Monday, 09 Nov 1998 09:08:13 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Monday, 09 Nov 1998 14:02:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

[5]     From:   Fran Barasch <
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        Date:   Monday, 9 Nov 1998 18:46:33 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

[6]     From:   T. Sellari <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Nov 1998 09:04:06 +0800 (TAIST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul S. Rhodes <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Nov 1998 08:26:59 -0500
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

Mr. Egan writes:

>I propose Veteran's Day be scrapped and in its place we have an Innocent
>Victims Day, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown
>Civilian.

I write:

I suppose Mr. Egan might be tempted to banish those many war-glorifying
passages in Shakespeare as well or at least establish a law that
requires teachers to point that every single one of these passages shows
that Shakespeare was a very clever ironic pacifist.

Mr. Egan adds a postscript which has my sympathy:

>PS As one who has been repeatedly accused of digressing from the agreed
>topics of SHAKSPER, I'd like to see an explanation of the relevance of
>Barton's posting to Shakespeare.

I would add only:

Oh, good luck, Mr. Egan, that you may get your wish.  I, for one, am
still waiting to be convinced that porn is an appropriate topic for this
list.

Toodles,
Paul S. Rhodes

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Nov 1998 09:06:22 EST
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

I am not the author of what I sent, nor did I pretend to be.  I think
these mean-spirited comments of Gabriel Egan, William Proctor, and Terry
Hawkes should pass without remark, though I apologize in principle to
anyone who doesn't recognize that most of the kids who lose arms and
legs and sight and hearing and life "over there" (wherever over there
happens to be) did not ask to be there, nor did they initiate, escalate,
or in any way promote the bloodbaths in which they participate.  They
went because they felt duty bound to protect their families and friends;
they served, in many cases thanklessly, risking their lives to prevent
the rest of us from becoming lampshades, or cinders, or slaves to some
maniac like Saddam Hussein or the Ayatollah Khomeni, or the spoils of
any other foreign influence that would like to live the way we do, if
only someone could figure out a way to conquer us.  And if you think
those kids in uniform from the Revolution on didn't preserve your right
to dissent, no matter what lunacy you may be spouting, spend a year in
Turkey shooting off your mouth, or criticizing the government there, and
you might develop a little more respect for the people who gave so much
to get only contempt in return from the likes of those who sit intact in
the safety of their ivy covered towers Thinking Great Thoughts, while
lesser human beings get hurt and bleed and die so that the ingrates can
continue doing so.

I have never been a war-monger, but both of my parents were soldiers (in
the English army, Terry) in World War II, I have the utmost respect for
anyone who willing put on a uniform and picked up a gun, not to support
some abstract military initiative he or she didn't necessarily believe
in, but to protect you and me from harm (real or perceived).  Go to
Pearl Harbor someday, and stand above the bodies of those innocent kids
who lost their lives in the name of freedom one beautiful Sunday
morning; go to a VA hospital, and see what you have to give up, to get a
meaningless little hunk of metal called the Purple Heart; sleep next to
someone who screams out in the darkness, reliving in dreams what he or
she saw on the battlefield, or watch him or her put on a prosthesis
where an arm or a leg used to be, and see if your cynicism doesn't
rankle, just a little.

If it doesn't, you have no heart.

I sign this not as a SHAKSPER-ean, nor in my academic capacity, but as
an individual.  I find what you have said abhorrent, but, like the
soldiers you so needlessly disparage, I would defend to the death your
right to say it.  Would you do the same for them?

Carol Barton

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Monday, 09 Nov 1998 09:08:13 -0800
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

> Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC ought to be ashamed of himself. The
> claim that  'It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us
> freedom of the press' strikes me as not only laughable but downright
> dangerous in its assumptions.

If Nazi Germany had succeeded in invading England, and thereafter Great
Britain, no amount of intellectual posturing could have kept reporters
out of the gas chamber.  It's the defeat of the Luftwaffe which did
that.  You ought to be grateful.

As for Gabriel Egan's posting, while Barton's message does seem both
over the top and irrelevant, I would suggest that we consider the
soldiers who fought wars to also be victims, and honour them
accordingly.

Cheers,
Sean.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Monday, 09 Nov 1998 14:02:06 -0500
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

Gabriel Egan wrote:

>  Most of Barton's offensive drivel about serving the
> military-industrial death machine concerned Vietnam and the Gulf War
> with just a glance at Nazi Germany. One can distinguish between armed
> struggles which improve the world-the ANC against the white
> supremacists, the IRA against the British colonial presence-and those
> like Vietnam and the Gulf War which murdered hundreds of thousands of
> innocent civilians for no good reason.

Why did you leave out the Mau-Mau, Gabe, or the brotherly comrades who
tried to bring Peoples' Democracy to South Korea?  Nor should we forget
the brave Serb freedom fighters trying to preserve Bosnia and Kosovo
from the Muslim hoards (or do I have this one backwards?)  Do we give
honourable mention to the selfless members of Hamas willing the lay down
their lives for the liberty of their downtrodden compatriots?  Or
perhaps we should commemorate the noble Israeli freedom fighters who
have done so much to keep democracy alive in that part of the world.

I agree with one thing you say, though, Gabe, and I have said it
before.  This is not a list for making political points except for those
we sneak in disguised as Shakespearean criticism.  Sadly, this must
apply even to points as benign and well meant (and accurate) as Dr.
Barton's.  Perhaps the wisdom of this is in Mr. Egan's response:  I have
learned long ago not to prod leftists, lest they respond with comments
as asinine as his and churn your gastric juices overmuch.

Hardy, lets call a halt.

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Barasch <
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Date:           Monday, 9 Nov 1998 18:46:33 EST
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

Considering Carol Barton's comments on Shrew, Veterans, the great Bard,
etc., may I ask: Is she a "Shaksper" mole for the fundamentalist right
wing? Fran Barasch

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           T. Sellari <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Nov 1998 09:04:06 +0800 (TAIST)
Subject: 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1107  Re: Veteran's Day

Gabriel Egan writes:

> I propose Veteran's Day be scrapped and in its place we have an Innocent
> Victims Day, with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown
> Civilian.

This proposal offers as suitable a response to the

> armed
> struggles which improve the world-...
> the IRA against the British colonial presence-

as to Vietnam and the Gulf War, and I support it, with the proviso that
veterans also be remembered on this day.

T.J. Sellari
 

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