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TSE  December 2014

TSE December 2014

Subject:

Re: Barry Spurr resigns

From:

Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:53:15 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (202 lines)

I do not like personal attacks and prefer not to engage with the
statement that I am "over-zealous" and " self-righteous." How is one to
evaluate such name-calling?
Yes, I know Turing's name. Typo.
Nancy

>>> David Boyd  12/22/14 4:19 PM >>>
Nancy

As early as the mid/late 1960's, when a 16 year old David joined the
British Foreign Office / Diplomatic Service, women selected for same
were
required to resign when or if they got married, whereas had I got
married
my wife and family would have been generously funded on any overseas
postings.

Was this policy outrageously unfair to women and just plain wrong? -
yes,
of course it was. But did that make the British Government of the era
culpable?

That was then, and this is now, surely?

I do most respectfully suggest that you seem to be unduly-zealous in
condemning past generations for their failure to march to your own,
very-different, 2014, moral compass and that there is little to be
gained
except perhaps for feelings of self-righteousness in doing so: many
aspects
of morality etc surely are indeed relative, according to the era and
social
mores involved?

And BTW it was Alan *Turing* who fell foul of  that draconian 1950's UK
law
enforcement re homosexuality?

On 21 December 2014 at 22:04, Nancy Gish  wrote:

> Well, one does not inhale second-hand gay--even if it mattered.
> I'm feeling more than ambivalent about Peter's wish that he did not
know
> his hero's moral failings. One can, of course, acknowledge good things
> in someone who also had major failings. Pound was a Fascist, but then
he
> was not teaching it to children or college students. And either way it
> does not change the value of his poetry. If anyone turned to Fascism
> because of his broadcasts, it might alter any judgment.
> But that young woman who deserved the top prize in pathology
presumably
> did not get it, and she was hurt by his bigotry. That is a serious
> difference. So, too, was the young gay man who, I gather, lost his
job.
> These actions do have major impact. Think of Alan Turling who was a
> major factor in winning WWII but hounded out of work and destroyed:
> "In 1952, Turing was arrested and tried for homosexuality, then a
> criminal offence. To avoid prison, he accepted injections of oestrogen
> for a year, which were intended to neutralise his libido. In that era,
> homosexuals were considered a security risk as they were open to
> blackmail. Turing's security clearance was withdrawn, meaning he could
> no longer work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park.
> He committed suicide on 7 June, 1954."
> Is total relativism really ok--any more than total "thought policing"
> when prejudice can do that?
> I'm not suggesting an answer--it's a question.
> Nancy
>
>
>
>
> >>> Kate Nichols  12/21/14 4:17 PM >>>
> My Professor in college who taught the Modernist class was an open
> homosexual and smoked cigarettes in the classroom.  Amusing that in
> today's
> society, his being gay would not matter at all and would not be used
> against him, but he may be fired for smoking cigarettes in the
> classroom.
>
> Kate of Florida
>
> On Sun, Dec 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM, Peter Dillane
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Folks,
> >
> > I seem to be tainted with cynicism and moral relativism in this
> company
> > where everyone has such concern about the issues. Barry Spurr is a
> > political player not some dear little thing with wide eyes cruelly
> hunted
> > down. He was engaged in the political game at the big end of town
and
> in
> > this country that is a brutally combative polar dialectic without
> nuance. I
> > find it hard to believe someone could get the job he had without
> knowing
> > the score. The past thirty years in this country one or the other
side
> of
> > cultural politics has used its time in power to end the careers of
the
> > other side. Neither has the moral call on track record. He had a
> government
> > role which will deprive others of their careers perhaps for good. I
am
> not
> > > )but my point is  that this is not the story of an ingenue butterfly
> > crushed on the wheel. I think it does matter that he has said these
> things.
> > I don’t think the public interest argument is a strong justification
> for
> > disseminating these private conversations although someone who
deeply
> cared
> > for the national curriculum and was opposed to his position would
see
> it
> > more substantial as a justification for publishing.
> >
> > For the record in terms of him being hounded I have not noticed that
> > anyone much cares, there’s been a tiny hue and no cry really. He
> resigned
> > and was not dismissed. I suppose he has been pushed but the public
> fact is
> > that he jumped and his University has chosen not to say much at all.
> His
> > political masters have said next to nothing but they did not back
him
> up.
> > Part of what he was reported to have said had a tilt at them so he
may
> be a
> > bit friendless.  The racist comments were not particularly vile the
> > misogynist ones were. Reading between the lines he has accepted a
> pretty
> > lame settlement with the publishers on the proviso they publish no
> more so
> > there must be more -  and worse. It doesn’t matter that these were
> private,
> > nor that he should have known about the porous cyber conduit he was
> using.
> > What is is. He chose at a good age with a life of profession> I was
> taught by a terrific chap. a professor of Pathology. Erudite,
> > astute, lovely educational technique, approachable and charming.
There
> was
> > a prize for the top of the year in Pathology. This prize was more
than
> > itself because it opened doors in your career path. A friend of mine
> worked
> > in the next room to that in which the prize was being discussed by
the
> > professors  one year and heard my hero professor say “Clearly the
top
> > student on performance is this young woman, but she is a young woman
> and it
> > will be wasted on her.” I still recall some of his lectures and
> broader
> > moral stands on issues as very worthy. I do wish I could have them
> > untainted by the knowledge of what is.
> >
> > On another occasion I was talking to a lecturer in the English
> Department
> > where I studied in the 1970s and said I very much admired the
emeritus
> > professor who could recite great mountains of Njal’s saga or Morte
> D’Arthur
> > from heart and sometimes he became teary during these performances
and
> what
> > a terrific person he was and so on. She said to me “Mmm yes I guess
he
> does
> > have some engaging features but during the 50s he disposed of one
> academic
> > who was giving trouble by recording a conversation in which the man
> > admitted to being homosexual." I wish I didn’t know that bit too.
> >
> > By the way Jim you mentioned that you hoped this wouldn’t tarnish
> > Australia. Mate the way we are treating refugees on the high seas to
> our
> > North and our International non contribution to battling climate
> change are
> > hard acts to follow in the tarnishing department.
> >
> > Cheers Folks
> >
> > Pete
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> Karen "Kate" Nichols
> Premier Florida Realty of SWFL
> C: 239-849-3064
> F: 239-463-4826
> Search SW Florida homes
>

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