In a message dated 11/13/2004 9:21:01 PM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask]
This is so astonishingly unfounded and rude that it cannot be ignored.
Although there is a great deal more to "Western Civilization" than
military violence, that violence is genuinely part of it. It is simply
part of history.
There is no civilization, society or country without fault, Nancy, and there never will be, as there aren't people without fault. But, what Western Civilization has done is to allow sufficient freedom and provide and promote education and creativity as to bring about an age of technology that could not be envisioned. And a middle class society here and in Western Europe where most people are given an education and where most people, even lower class people, possess some technology to make their lives easier and pleasanter than every imagined.
Moreover, there is no contradiction whatever between critiqueing the
violence and accepting the technology and the enlightenment inheritance
of "free speech" as an ideal.
Nor is there any remote connection between that critique and a desire to
have enslaved women.
Well, I think there might be a remote connection. If we hadn't gone into World War II with our military, then there may not be free speech today anywhere and there would be a lot of people enslaved. One of my best girlfriends is from the Philippines. She married our friend, an engineer who went to the Philippines about four years ago on vacation, met and fell in love with my friend. It took him about eight months to get her here. For eight months, we were shown photos of her on a daily basis. Finally, we met her. My husband and I happened to be walking the big pooch. They were walking too, she just having arrived and he showing her the Island town that was now her home. Well, she was terrified of our dog. I learned from her later that only rich people in the Philippines have pets and she never saw "big" dogs at all before. Now, she is one of the few people that Red doesn't bark at when she comes to the door. I learned a lot about the Philippines from her. For instance, in order to get meat, you have to go to the big city, quite a bus ride, and by meat, we are talking about pork. Only a few rich people can afford anything else. Women can work in the Philippines. My friend was a teacher there. It's a Catholic country, but there are strict restrictions on their dress. They cannot even wear open-toed shoes in public. They can, however, marry who they choose. It's a very poor country. There's also an open sex trade there. My friend has very loving parents and siblings. She misses them, but has become very American in the last three years. Not only does she wear open-toed shoes but also bikinis. Last year, her mother died unexpected and she went home for the funeral. The mail service is slow there. I received her postcard three weeks after she returned. She told me that her family and friends went on and on about her weight. She's not overweight at all. She's 5'4 and about 115 maybe. She tells me that a manicure and pedicure cost less than $1.00 in the Philippines and that a massage costs $1.25. I'm thinking of going with her on her next visit. She tells me with a little ironic smile, for she's a very intelligent woman that the "President" of the Philippines has been President for 27 years. She wanted so to vote in this election and she was supposed to become an American Citizen this summer but because of 911 and additional paperwork, that won't happen until next year. She would have voted for Kerry. She's a Yankees fan because her husband is, but the day after the Red Sox won, she hugged me and said congrats.
Nor is it at all certain that the United States would be in existence to
allow all this embarassing chauvinism had not France supported us and
helped us in the Revolutionary War. Nor would all that Enlightenment
philosophy about individual rights and freedoms have been so powerful
had not the French thought up a good deal of it--despite the bloody
outcome in their own revolution.
And when our dear boys landed on those beaches in Normandy, some said "Lafayette, we are here." I think we paid them back for their support with our support. And our support was massive. Big time.
It is difficult to determine which of these responses is more misguided
or less aware of history.
Why cannot we discuss Eliot on this since "Tradition and the Individual
Talent" is a key text in this notion of a European "mind" and certainly
France is a central part of it? If you read Eliot, how can you not
notice his extreme reliance on French poetry in his early work?
Whatever else he was, he was not provincial. Why do you think he went
to Paris over and over? Why do you think so many Americans in the early
20th C went to live in Paris?
Paris is a beautiful and exiting city. In fact, my husband and I are thinking about going to live there for a year in the future. My husband's sisters are there and I would like the experience of living there for a little bit and becoming completely fluent in the language. But, my husband, who grew up there, has absolutely no respect for Chirac and some of his policies and his remarks.
"You know nothing? Do you [read] nothing? Do you remember
I read Movable Feast by Hemingway on a regular basis. I love his stores about being in Paris and the atmosphere and about Fitzgerald and even Pound.
I note some names from a text in "Readings in Western Civilization":
Rousseau, Corneille, Voltaire, Condorcet.
Condorcet's "The Progress of the Human Mind" is described by the editor
(I make no claim to French scholarship): "A great monument of liberal
thought, it is a summary of the major ideas of the Enlightenment, ideas
that have exerted a dominating influence on Western thought in the 19th
and 20th centuries."
It is not a recent textbook, but none of those names has ceased to
matter. Can we not have civilized discussions based in some actual text
and history? Words like "moron" and "stupid" and assumptions like the
idea that France is not an absolutely central part of Western
philosophy, literature, art, and culture simply waste words for the
purpose of--of what? Gratuitous meanness?
I do not know what you are talking about. I am not mean at all. I'm very sweet.
>>> [log in to unmask] 11/13/04 7:10 PM >>>
No doubt Carrol realizes this fact. And, he even puts down France as a
of Western Civilization. I wonder then, does he want us to live like
in Arab countries, led by a Shah, a King or the like, where there is not
education to be had outside of the very basics and the study of Islam,
the women cannot work, drive or choose their own husbands in some cases,
the majority of people are poorer than we can imagine. The explantion
Carrol may be that he dreams of harems.
In a message dated 11/13/2004 4:53:44 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
Jacek Niecko wrote:
> Hasn't it occurred to you, you moron, that it is because of the
> civilization" for which you have so much stupid contempt, that today
> able to transmit such stupid garbage.
> Jacek Niecko
> Washington DC
Temper temper. Better check your blood pressure. :-)