Letters to the Editor
Re: The Exchange
Just a little note to tell you that I really liked your last story. “The Exchange” might not have been fiction though...
Love from Buenos Aires,
Re: Making Me a Man
Excellent story, you have an amazing and gifted writing style. Can't remember the exact google search that brought me to your site, but I've been slowly going through all the articles.
Thanks and peace,
I don’t know why I like war stories so much, after all I am a pacifist, or as my big brother would say a pussyicest. My brother fought his war in 1965-67 in the shiny brick alleys and night-clubs of Germany. Like most imagined heroes he caught a break and was lucky enough to be a chauffeur for a two star general who had a 21 year old daughter who liked to dance. My brother did a mean Cha-Cha.
When I was 18 years old my draft card arrived courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service. I forget what I was classified as, and it matters little. The U.S. Selective Service System decided they did not want me in their army or navy or marines or air core or even in their Merchant Marines. The feeling was mutual.
I had written some propaganda for a left wing newspaper while I was a senior in high-school. The paper w as widely distributed on the Ohio State University campus. It had a printing run of about 5,000 copies. It was enough to get me on a subversives list and then noticed by the F.B.I. enough is enough.
But I admire men who served or fought in time of war. I could no more shoot a man than I could do a mean Cha-Cha. It would seem to me that the Korean War was a time of such wonderful innocence. If you were a boy of 18 or 19, what more could you do and how proud your family would be, if you were to serve our country. And you learned a skill- drive a Limousine, speak a little Russian, shoot a guy with a slanted eyes or a guy with sloping eyes, learn to dance.
I have asked my children not to go to war. I have asked them not to shoot anybody and always look both ways before crossing the street. I’ve asked them to pool their money and start an American Cemetery for Pacifist, much like Arlington Cemetery. “Let the dead bury the dead,” as I recall the pivotal words from the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” We can call it- “The Pussy Cemetery.” I do like it! I will be the first to lay there.
Twain said that, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I believe that. Maybe or perhaps, in a life far away from a blue-white planet that moves through space at 30,000 miles an hour, we can meet. You at 19 and a new recruit fresh out of Kentucky, ready for war, or Russian 101, and me a radical subversive, memorizing all the lyrics of the latest Dylan song.
And then maybe, my brother, he can teach us how to dance.
While Dylan has every right to his opinion, I personally don't feel particularly moved by his take on American politics. Funny, by printing this, SCR is doing exactly what Dylan himself would probably cringe at: ascribing some deep meaning to an offhand statement of his. Why you feel this political opinion is important, coming from someone who carefully guards against letting you know anything about him other than what you can get from his art and music, is a mystery to me - yet judging from your use of italics, apparently you feel it is important. Are you that desperate to try and tout for Barack Obama? Or is Obama simply that hard to sell otherwise?
Bob Cohen, NYC
Welcome to the fold of Doris Lessing readers. My introduction to her was actually via philosophy: I read a reference to her Briefing for a Descent into Hell in Morris Berman's The Reenchantment of the World. I loved The Four Gated City and Memoirs of a Survivor. Her science fiction is also quite good, with a viewpoint that I had never encountered in science fiction, and I've read a lot of sci-fi. I was delighted with her Nobel Prize, and loved reading about her response to the announcement. I for one am glad for her company in this life, and hope to meet her in the next.
Hello, I always enjoy the Southern Cross Review and am grateful for the work you are doing to get it to my doorstep. This time I am especially happy to read that you have discovered Doris Lessing for yourself. My special favorites are 'Four gated City' (the best and last of the Children of Violence series - her intention was to write a 'Bildungsroman' and she sure did that) and 'The marriage of zones three four and five'. She sees and understands and can describe what is going on. WOW
Magdalena Zoeppritz Germany
Thank you for the Review. I will enjoy reading the articles. Could you let me know the meaning of the nude figure I see on your site? I hope that my question does not trouble you. I am just curious.
In one of the early issues of SCR, I used a classical nude painting on the cover page. Several comments followed, mostly positive, so I decided to go there again. Now readers expect it and it’s become a kind of signature. [Ed.]
Hello Frank and Jo Ann
I am a subscriber of the Southern Cross newsletter and enjoy reading your articles. I started doing this project on You Tube. I am in a book group and 5 years ago we began studying [Rudolf Steiner’s] Philosophy of Freedom and did so by summarizing each paragraph. I decided to share the work of the group and myself on You Tube. I am wanting those interested in Anthroposophy to know about what I am doing. I've contacted the Canadian Anthroposophical Society and am getting something published in their newsletter. I've also notified Bobby Matherne as he has lots of work on Steiner's work. If you know of others whom I can contact, I would appreciate it. Also I am wondering if you would like to mention it in your newsletter or site if you are interested. The link is:
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