Letters to the Editor

RE: The Ballad of Barnaby by W. H. Auden

This is absolutely beautiful - I wish I could hear it with music. I read the tale/fable many years ago but didn’t know Auden had written this. I really wish I could hear and see a performance of this. If I were younger and more savvy, I would love to be able to stage it and post it on Youtube.
Georg Hinteregger

RE: In Bed with the U.S. Army by Ann Jones

Thanks for sharing this, Frank! Working in medicine in 2019, 80 years after the beginning of WW2 I still run into the scars and wounds that war has left - and not only in the warriors, but also in their wives and children and grandchildren! Nie wieder Krieg! (Never again war!): that´s definitely THE best battle cry I´ve ever heard, over and again, most convincingly from those few Wehrmacht warriors who managed to sort themselves out and begin a new life in ALL parts of their war-scarred bodies and souls.
Helmut Reichardt,

RE: Joan of Arc

OK, I’ll blow a little smoke this time. I mentioned recently that I shy away from topics going viral, in order to wait and see, especially explosive ones that seem to turn all people into compulsive chatterboxes. Greta Thunberg is one such topic. Where does this notion about her being connected to Joan of Arc come from? Ah, anthroposophists and other usual suspects. And they base it on astrology, natal horoscopes and the like.
Four decades ago I lived with a professional astrologer in Las Vegas and Phoenix for several years; she did natal charts for people and had all the ephemerides dating back to the mid-19th century. Her talents were somehow aided by her psychic energies related to her neurological condition as an epileptic, and she was extremely stubborn and insistent about being 100% right about everything, so I called her the Wise Owl. She had discovered the truthfulness of astrology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was very erudite. Politically she was a riddle I still haven’t figured out. She told me she had marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and even written speeches for him, and her activism earned her a bullet in the jaw in Chicago, which caused her to lose all her teeth at a young age. However, her biggest hero of them all was Richard Nixon, whom she evidently adored long after his resignation because according to his natal chart he was incapable of lying or doing anything dishonorable. She also became a big fan of George Gordon Liddy. Did I forget something? Yep, she claimed to have been paid a thousand dollars for a blow job by none other than Bobby Kennedy.
Although astrology was a true science between three and five millennia ago, it has since then degenerated into pure superstition, pointed out repeatedly by Rudolf Steiner, and many of the notions held by my late friend look like evidence of that. Such nonsense has also popped up in connection with all the writings and videos by Terry Boardman that anthroposophists keep posting on Facebook – the dude who declared that the American people did the right thing by electing Donald Trump in 2016, based on some astrological mumbo jumbo. So I remain silent about all things from Boardman and some other individuals who are featured as "progressive anthroposophical thinkers".
Greta Thunberg is not French in spirit or character and bears no resemblance to Napoleon or Joan of Arc – leave the latter to Leonard Cohen’s poetic descriptions of her union with Fire at the stake and the ashes of her wedding dress. No, Greta is Swedish! The Swedish Vikings built trade routes all the way to Baghdad, they established a colony in the East that later became Russia, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, when Sweden was a great European power, they controlled Prussia.
In the 20th century, one of the most prominent cultural icons in Sweden who achieved international fame was the feminist author of children’s books, Astrid Lindgren (1907-2002), and her most famous character was Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump), the nine year old girl with red hair and freckles and stockings that didn’t match, fiercely independent, living alone, superstrong (she could lift a horse with one arm), sailed all seven seas in a pirate ship with her heighborhood playmates in search of her missing father, and when she and her friends got in a car, she made the vehicle fly just like in Fleming’s ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.
I grew up with Pippi Langstrømpe, which she was called in Norwegian. My mom read all her adventures to me so I got to know her very well; she was my biggest childhood heroine. Not the tragic Joan of Arc who had to dress up like a man and get tortured and burned, but the ever invincible Pippi. So if you have to compare Greta to anyone, it has to be Pippi; it all makes perfect sense.
From Wikipedia: “Pippi Longstocking is a fictional nine-year-old girl. At the start of the titular novel, she moves into Villa Villekulla, her house that she shares with her monkey named Mr. Nilsson and her horse, and quickly befriends the two children living next door, Tommy and Annika Settergren. With her suitcase of gold coins, she maintains an independent lifestyle without her parents: her mother died soon after her birth, and her father, Captain Ephraim Longstocking, is first missing at sea, and then, king of a South Sea island. Despite periodic attempts by village authorities to make her conform to cultural expectations of what a child's life should be, Pippi happily lives free from social conventions. According to Eva-Maria Metcalf, Pippi “loves her freckles and her tattered clothes and makes not the slightest attempt to suppress her wild imagination or to adopt good manners.” She has a penchant for storytelling, which often takes the form of tall tales.
“When discussing Pippi, Astrid Lindgren explained that “Pippi represents my own childish longing for a person who has power but does not abuse it.” Although she is the self-proclaimed “strongest girl in the world,” Pippi often uses nonviolence to solve conflicts or protect other children from bullying. Pippi has been variously described by literary critics as warm-hearted, compassionate, kind, clever, generous, playful, and witty to the point of besting adult characters in conversation.” That’s Greta Thunberg. No medieval French martyr based on degenerated Babylonian astrology but a modern-day Scandinavian marvel girl based on a children’s story inspired by the likes of Alice in Wonderland.

Tarjei Straume

RE: The Golem

Beautiful and beautifully translated from Spanish into English. Thank you very much for your work!
Javier von Sydow

RE: La Lomita Mágica

Muy buenos días! Hace tiempo que vengo pensando en escribirte para contarte que en mi casa trabajo con un grupo de niños con necesidades anímicas especiales realizando trabajos de arte, huerta y movimiento, al finalizar el encuentro compartimos un té con pan y dulce mientras les leo "La lomita mágica". Libro que encontré hace dos años en la tienda de la escuela waldorf Clara de Asia donde se criaron mis hijos, yo trabajé muchos años como pedagoga curativa hasta que me mudé a Merlo, San Luis y donde escuchaba tu nombre por medio de Helena Wedeltof o lo leía en otros libros. Mientras hice la formación investigué la vida de Ute Cramer y hace unos años tuve la alegría de acompañarla a dar unas charlas por San Luis y Córdoba y de regalo llevarla hasta tu casa a compartir una merienda. Te comparto que los niños están atrapadísimos con la historia y cuando faltan al encuentro me piden que les mande el texto para leerlo y yo creo que cada relato les cura el alma, dos de ellos tienen una biografía muy triste y violenta. A los niños les conté también todo este hilo de la vida y que vivís cerca nuestro. Aprovecho el día de tu cumpleaños para devolverte todo esto que es esa parte de tu historia que tal vez hasta ahora no conocías. Qué tengas un hermoso día!

Rosana Añasco

  RE: 20th Anniversary Issue

Dear Frank,
I just want to thank you for publishing Southern Cross Review. When it arrives in my email box I rejoice knowing that thought provocative, and interesting content is there.
Kind regards,
Marie Buchler (Sepember 6, 2019)

RE: Unsubscribe

Thank you immensely for years of great, diverse thought provoking reading, over and out.
M. B. (October 2, 2019)

Editor's note: According to Das Goetheanum's usual monthly notification, which I just received (November 1), Marie Buchler passed on October 10, 2019. Because of the content of the above two messages, I am presuming it was this same person. I didn't answer on receving these two messages, so I'll try now. Either way, I send her many, many thanks, and … best of luck and happiness and love.

On Nevember 2, I sent this email to Marie Buchler´s address:
Dear Marie,

"Marie Buchler Thames (NZ) 10. Oktober 2019"

I just saw the above notification from Das Goetheanum that Marie Buchler passed away on Oct. 10, 2019. Was that you? If you don't reply, I'll assume it was. Either way, many, many thanks.

Dear Frank,
Many thanks for your email. I am Marie's son Sefton and I'm looking after her emails for now. Mum passed away on 10 October and we are of course enormously sad and missing her like anything.
Kind regards,
Sefton Darby