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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: July ::
Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1410  Monday, 17 July 2000.

[1]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Jul 2000 13:33:06 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1391 Re: Exploitation of Actors

[2]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Jul 2000 09:26:24 +1000
        Subj:   Ideology and evil

[3]     From:   Michael Meyers <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Jul 2000 00:32:43 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.1398


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Jul 2000 13:33:06 -0400
Subject: 11.1391 Re: Exploitation of Actors
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1391 Re: Exploitation of Actors

When I challenged Michael to

Cite your sources, gentlemen!

He replied:

> One example of this disparity in pay between men/women is that fewer
> than 28% of the computer-information science bachelor's degrees went to
> women in 1997 [US Educ Dept statistics].

Michael, when you get into Computer Science, the discussion becomes so
far off topic that it is inappropriate to argue on-list. However, I come
from an extended family in which almost everyone but me is "in
computers" -- and I can vouch for rampant discrimination, both age and
gender. Given a bit of research time, I can come up with statistics
proving it, from the various computer journals delivered to this house.
I mean specific, current statistics, from reputable sources-- not the
second-hand generalizations of your post.  You are not citing pay
disparities among Computer Science degree holders by gender: they exist,
and they are large enough that many women desert the field for one in
which the disparity is less insulting.  As to entrance into the field:
my daughter, the only child of an electrical engineer, while in high
school got a full scholarship to a summer internship program at
Wentworth Institute for future Computer Science majors. She was subject
to so much hazing and harassment by her classmates and teachers that she
quit after a week. She said:  "Mom, I can't take it.  I'm a nerd, or a
geek, not a warrior!  There isn't enough money in the world to get me to
work with guys like who act like this." How many of those 72% male
computer science degrees are granted to foreign students?  40% is the
number I remember-- care to look it up? Many of those males cs students
come here from countries in which women are minimally educated and
restricted to the family home.

You say, confidently,

>Currently there are over
> 800,000 US jobs in this sector open,

That figure is propaganda the industry PR puts out when begging
unlimited visas for green card workers, who can be hired without
benefits and sent home when the work cycle takes a downturn. The
"sector" currently interviews 22 qualified applicants for every hire.
IT professionals over 40 find it nearly impossible to find anything but
temp contracts, without benefits, and experience long periods of
unemployment during which many leave the field.  Young grads are hired
by start-ups for $20,000, and expected to put in 80 hour weeks on the
off-chance that the company stock will make them millionaires. Of the US
grads with technical degress in computer-related areas, only 7% are
still working in the field 20 years after graduation.  These aren't
wimpy gals who just can't cut it who are dropping out, but men who
invested in a technical degree but can make more money with less stress
elsewhere than in the Brave New World of High Tech Temps.

"resulting in rising salaries", you say--

(well, compared to social service workers or home health care workers,
IT workers can be said to have rising salaries... but Computer Operator
and Help Desk, which were once well-paid, are now high school grad jobs,
and subject to the wage-depression of hsg jobs generally)

 or with
> most of the rewards going to men -- just because women don't want this
> type of career.   Geralyn, you want women to earn more?   Have them
> major in computer science!
--
Geralyn Horton, Playwright
Newton, Mass. 02460
<http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton>

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Jul 2000 09:26:24 +1000
Subject:        Ideology and evil

This aspect has certainly brought up many passions, including mine! For
the record, I would like to say that I do not hold Marx personally
responsible for the evils done in his name--that would be absurd,
indeed, as Mike points out, and perhaps, as people have said, I am
guilty of over-emphasising the 'Marxist' in 'Marxist
Leninist'(incidentally, I thought Sean Lawrence's post on this whole
matter was very reasonable, and I do find myself climbing down from my
high horse on this aspect). However, I would like to reiterate my point
that ideology, applied with no regard to human realities, leads to the
greatest of evils--whether that is as religious, political, ethnic or
racial ideology--or even economic ideology, as in raw, untrammelled
capitalism. Each of these things dehumanise people and turn them into
symbols only or units, and that is when evil is done: when we lose touch
with the essential humanity of each person. Ideology is also, as an
abstract structure of ideas, something which imposes a spurious
rationality on itself. The opposite of ideology is not passivity, but
art, in which I include many things, incidentally, and not just formal
art. It includes such things as ceremony, folklore, traditions, etc.
Pax, Mike Jensen--I was certainly not intending to impugn your
credentials as a fighter against injustice, only responding to your own
words re my earlier post, when you extracted a sentence from mine re the
millions of dead in Communist countries, and added your own rider of
'yawn, yawn, blah, blah.'  I respond very personally to these things,
because, to present my own credentials, I have been personally involved:
my father's family was shattered by the Nazi occupation of France, my
father, pre-pubescent at the time, so haunted by it that to this day the
sight of a uniform, any uniform, even that of a customs officer, makes
him tremble--he survived with his psyche intact only because of the love
and protection of his grandmother, and his total immersion in those
nineteenth century novels so dismissed in another post: because of their
emphasis on love and compassion and bravery and justice--all things
which he saw precious little of in those years. Another effect was to
give him an enduring hatred of _all_ ideology, and a constant desire to
put himself on the side of the heretics: so yes, I guess that affected
me too. Then we had many friends, as I was growing up, who were refugees
from Eastern bloc countries, and whose stories were very real to me,
because I knew them as people, not as symbols or statistics(recently,
incidentally, I have made the acquaintance of a man whose stories might
equally touch people on this list--the Russian writer Andrei Makine,
whose books are some of the most extraordinary I have read in recent
years).In my extended family, there are also many other such stories of
lives and countries affected by the evils of ideology--one of my
brothers in law is from Sierra Leone, a sister-in-law came to Australia
as a refugee from the Marcos regime in the Philippines. And finally,
personally, I have always, in my own work, especially my books for young
people, sought to open people up to the lives of others, to get them to
'walk a mile in other's shoes'. At the moment, I am working with
Aboriginal children, workshopping stories with them, and working with
them to collect stories of people from across the community; a rewarding
task, but also one with many sadnesses. I'm not of the right generation,
or of the right temperament, to have marched in Moratoriums and such,
but I respect those who do, if that's what they wanted to do. But I am
disturbed by the tendency of some members of the sixties generation-and
please note I am not saying all, or even most--to ignore leftwing
ideological evils whilst, rightly, slamming rightwing ones. To give you
an example, there was a large, expensive article published here in
Australia not long ago, in a general journal of ideas, praising Mao, the
author saying he was an 'unrepentant Maoist'. Now, I doubt that would
have been published if he had written that he was an unrepentant
Hitlerian, or an unrepentant apartheid supporter! It is simply time to
let go of all those illusions, and to look at life as it really is, and
human beings as they really are. The myth of perfectibility, which is
the driving engine of ideology, has caused many terrible tragedies; I
for one am glad that today, more people seem to be attracted to the
Shakesperean view of human folly, human sordidness and human beauty and
love.

Sophie Masson.

Author site: http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael Meyers <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Jul 2000 00:32:43 -0500
Subject: 11.1398 Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.1398 Re: Exploitation, Marx, and Shakespeare

David Siar <
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>First, is this the Michael Myers from Saturday Night Live?

Hmmm, somehow I expected that responses on this board would be more
civilized.  What with Shakespeare in the title!    I guessed wrong.

>I'm going into the hospital tomorrow for surgery,

Good luck with your surgery!

>While I'm gone, please read some Marx.

How about if you forgot your Marx, and you read your Shakespeare?

Michael
 

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