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I think I understood it fine the first time--especially later when linked to "needless." But his resignation is hardly sad at all. When anyone says these kinds of things, and even worse when they imagine it a "joke," their resignation is a reason to be glad--to celebrate in fact. The only thing one could call "sad" is that he or anyone ever said those things (and the emails are not really in question or they would not have been made public and he would not have resigned). I would think 20th-century history would have taught us that.
But neither his resignation nor the story as a whole is sad. The resignation is good, and the story is one of good and evil, not mere sadness. Yet he had the presumption to write about Christianity; can anyone imagine Jesus saying, thinking, or validating such language? I have to doubt that he understood Christianity in any spirit that included Christ.
And, Peter, you very often post lines to the effect that I do not "understand" totally obvious things. I teach poetry and rhetoric: I really do get it the first time. Perhaps you might try a refutation on ideas instead of personal comments.
Nancy

>>> P  12/20/14 1:28 PM >>>
I guess you don't understand the word 'sad'.  That is also sad. 


Nancy Gish  wrote:

>Did any of you who think this is "sad" or "needless" read what he actually said? Did you think what that means for any student in his classes?
>Faculty who say deeply bigoted and hateful things are what is sad, and they have no place in a classroom. Even he seems to have realized how extreme and wrong he was, since he simply accepted. 
>How many of you would sit in a classroom with someone who called Christians human rubbish tips or men pricks or white people honkies or Brits "the scum of the earth"? Doesn't that include some of you?
>This kind of language is not a joke and not without terrible damage: it is the begining of patterns of cruelty--whether he engaged in it or not. When humans want to hurt and hate, they start with dehumanizing names. And it would get anyone in any university I have been in (four) dismissed.
>I am astonished to see this treated as somehow a wrong to him. 
>Nancy
>
>
>>>> Peter Dillane  12/20/14 7:34 AM >>>
>He had his day in court last week suing the website but he settled on the basis they could keep up what was already up and they agreed not to publish any more so one might suppose there was more extravagant stuff to come ;  the next day he offered his resignation and it was accepted without comment
>
>Pete
>
>Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On 20 Dec 2014, at 10:18 pm, David Boyd  wrote:
>> 
>> It is - a needless loss.
>> 
>>> On 20 December 2014 at 03:43, P  wrote:
>>> That's sad.
>>> Peter M.
>>> 
>>> "Rickard A. Parker"  wrote:
>>> 
>>> >http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11301481/Australias-first-professor-of-poetry-resigns-over-leaked-racist-emails.html
>>> >
>>> >The Telegraph
>>> >By Jonathan Pearlman, Sydney
>>> >2:22PM GMT 18 Dec 2014
>>> >
>>> >Australia's first professor of poetry resigns over leaked racist emails
>>> >
>>> >Professor Barry Spurr, an expert on T S Eliot who helped to write Australia's school curriculum, resigns over controversial leaked emails
>>