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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: February ::
Re: Carl Upchurch
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0444  Monday, 26 February 2001

[1]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Feb 2001 09:17:00 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch

[2]     From:   Alex Houck <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Feb 2001 11:16:38 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurc

[3]     From:   Robert Peters <
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        Date:   Friday, 23 Feb 2001 21:17:44 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchu

[4]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Sunday, 25 Feb 2001 18:40:36 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Feb 2001 09:17:00 -0800
Subject: Re: Carl Upchurch
Comment:        SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch

Karen Peterson wrote:

>I feel extremely uneasy at the prospect of leaving the
>future to a group of "hopeful, energetic, eager young
>people" who joyfully embrace the heroes they are told
>to embrace, and believe what they are told to believe.

Somebody say, Amen.

On the other hand that prospect is my reality.  Some of my in-laws are
in the thrall of a well-known, and in some circles, well-respected
cult.  This description fits them profoundly well, especially now that
my nephew is on his mission, trying to turn people in the Philippines
into drones like himself, his parents, and his sisters.  I despair.  And
he is offering them such a hero in the whitewashed persona of the cult's
founder, and the legacy of his writings.

I am glad people like Karen and Alex Houck are fighting the good fight,
but what can you do against a cult with well over 30 billion dollars in
non-liquid assets, and who knows how much in cash and bonds?

I think it is wonderful that Shakespeare's sonnets arrived at the right
time to help free the mind of Carl Upchurch.  Nothing in the saddens of
my experience should be construed as trying to undermine Upchurch,
Peterson, or Houck, all of whom have made excellent impressions.  If
anything, I hope this will motivate us to stand up to the bullies when
they try to use their ideology to control people.  It is an uphill
battle, and in my experience, so far, it isn't winnable.  On the other
hand, if Shakespeare were a cure all, his work would be as ubiquitous as
Gideon Bibles.  If Shakespeare works, great.  If something else works,
use that.

(I should add that, to my knowledge, Gideon Bibles are not distributed
by the cult mentioned above.)

Best to all,
Mike Jensen

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alex Houck <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Feb 2001 11:16:38 -0800
Subject: 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch

Christine Gilmore asks:

>May I ask what "niggerized" means? Could the writer please explain this
>term and perhaps how we are supposed to read it?

To answer that question I defer to the introduction of Upchurch's book,
CONVICTED IN THE WOMB:

I was a nigger in the womb.  Not just black.  Not just male.  A nigger.
The contempt for my people--every assumption, insult, and slur--was
trimmed and tailored for my infant shoulders before I was even born.  A
culture of low expectation, violence, disrespect, and degradation which
was imposed from the outside began germinating in the earliest moments
of my life. (Upchurch, ix)

He goes on to describe the environment that describes the bottom of
humanity: drug addictions, pimps, whores, sexual deviants, and
foul-mouthed gangsters.  These traits were impressed upon him from
womb.  These conditions are what niggerized him.  The three parts of the
book are entitled Niggerization, Deniggerization, and
Antiniggerization.  So the word nigger is meant to evoke the bottom of
the barrel.  He also describes niggerization as a learned behavior,
passed on through the generations.  By being an advocate for the
niggerized, he hopes to help them rise above and understand their
potential.

Alex Houck
Santa Clara University
age 20

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Robert Peters <
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Date:           Friday, 23 Feb 2001 21:17:44 +0100
Subject: 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch

Ms. Hughes writes:

>I'm concerned because I see a generation of children
>growing to
>adulthood without heroes.

The German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht in "Life of Galilei" lets
Galilei say: "Sad the country that needs heroes." This is exactly my
opinion. As a teacher I don't think that children need heroes, they need
realistic role models.

Karen Peterson-Kranz writes:

>And sometimes we
>may believe that a younger person has made a hero of, say, a pop culture
>figure like Eminem, when in fact heroics has nothing to do with it.
>They may simply enjoy his music.  By assuming that younger people who
>enjoy Eminem's music also embrace his views or values (for example, his
>now well-known disrespect for gay people), we may be gravely
>underestimating the intelligence and discernment of those younger
>people.

Eminem is extremely popular with my pupils. Well, they are German and
don't understand a word of his lyrics. They vaguely understand that he
is a rebel and that's fine with them.

>Witness Mr. Houck's brilliant, impassioned and moving message regarding
>Carl Upchurch's discovery of Shakespeare, and subsequent reclamation of
>his life as a result of that discovery.  Shakespeare was a hero to Mr.
>Upchurch.  In turn, Carl Upchurch becomes a hero for a new group of
>people in need of such leadership.  And Mr. Houck (who, if I recall
>correctly, is on the youngish side...early 20s?  Correct me if I'm
>wrong) has done something heroic in drawing our attention to this
>dynamic in such a compelling manner.  I perceive no shortage of heroes
>here.

I teach Shakespeare and I am definitely not interested in giving my
pupils a hero. Shakespeare was a human being, a gifted (and sometimes
not faultless) writer who has to say a lot about human life. I want my
pupils to understand Shakespeare and to possibly have opinions that
differ from the things said in Shakespeare's plays and poems. Karen
expressed all this much better than me. Greetings from Aachen, Germany!
And sad the people who need heroes.

Robert Peters

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[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Sunday, 25 Feb 2001 18:40:36 -0800
Subject: 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.0438 Re: Carl Upchurch

Thanks to Karen Peterson-Kranz for treating my post seriously. I stand
reproved. Alex Houck is indeed an example of the way each generation, or
perhaps each individual, finds their own heroes. I am reminded that the
glass is half full, and anyway, I really don't enjoy the role of
Thersites.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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