Although I do not think Kate is trolling--because I think she really means
what she says and really imagines (who knows why?) that her puerile
tales of her own sexiness and gorgeousness and love of heat and humidity
are interesting (though of course I may be wrong)--I am increasingly
astonished at how much disruption her jingoistic and offensive claims to
speak for America can cause. That is the real trouble with such things:
one is put in the position of either ignoring it--and thereby being in
complicity, even if only by omission--or responding--and thereby sustaining
the exchanges. I note that Gunnar has been unable simply to ignore the
latest despite his repeated calls for doing so, and Peter, who usually does
not respond, has been unable to avoid encouraging it. I think Steve was
quite right to point that out, as everyone has a right to an opinion, however
foolish or mad, but no one is required to validate it or withhold critical
I would feel driven to the position of ignoring it, but every time it happens,
someone from another country seems to take it as a representation of
America, and I feel one must not let that happen. I notice the new claims
in the media that Americans now back Bush by 77%. That is in the
headlines and first paragraphs; what is in the last line or two of the news
articles, and so ignored, is that they do so IF the UN supports it and
congress gives a resolution. Please please note the IF in these poles. It
is not simply a blanket support for him. I think he went to the UN under
pressure, and now it is in their court. The poles seem to have gone up
BECAUSE he did that. I only hope they do something (I've no idea what)
to head off Bush claiming it is now agreed on to fight. I am haunted by
Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Eric Maria Remarque,
Robert Graves. That war was all so unnecessary, so hellish, so foolishly
leaped into. And one of its major results seems to have been WWII.
Except this time we have nuclear weapons as well as gas, and the gas is
much better delivered.
And yes, Kate, I anticipate one of your flippant attempts at a cute reply by
name calling; feel free, by all means. And no, this is not comparable to
any war in which we were attacked by a foreign power; it is up to us NOT
to be aggressors. If response to attack is the issue, we already did that.
As many have pointed out, North Korea has such weapons and a dictator,
and we are not plotting to invade them. Saudi Arabia is not a democracy,
and women have no rights there at all, and 9/11 was largely perpetrated by
men from Saudi Arabia, and we are not plotting to invade them. I do not
remember that we plan to invade Nigeria to prevent the stoning to death of
a woman for having sex. We never invaded Russia or China for having the
bomb; we have it ourselves as it happens. The failure to comply with UN
resolutions is the UN's to address.
Eliot did not go to WWI or WWII. But he lived in London during both. The
guns could be heard across the channel. The soldiers kept coming back
mutilated and half dead and hysterical (clinically) or never came back
(millions of them left to rot and stink in No Man's Land") Zeppelins flew
overhead. Millions and millions died horribly and pointlessly. The war to
end wars did not. The world Eliot entered in 1914 was one he had no way
to anticipate and which kept him in a "home front," a world with constant
awareness of the War. At the time it started, he was as confused and
unclear on how to think about it as we are now about this possible one. (I
do not even want to say "probable.") It was central to defining his life for
No one in that golden summer of 1914 anticipated what happened. No
one now can anticipate the hell we may be setting in motion. Perhaps I
am more haunted by Iago: "It is engendered. Hell and night/ Must bring
this monstrous birth to the world's light."
Date sent: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 00:03:22 +0200
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Gunnar Jauch <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Towers and Dust
To: [log in to unmask]
am 15.9.2002 9:58 Uhr schrieb Peter Montgomery unter
[log in to unmask]:
> Neat work, Kate. I missed it the first time around.
> Valid feelings. They need expressing as much
> as those of patriotism, anger and fear.
> Feelings are feelings.
Yeah -- and bullshit is bullshit,
also needs expressing. Direly.