Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What it Is.

Today is: What it is.

This was a comment on blog today. Beautiful.

I left my heart in Amherst has left a new comment on your post "Today is Tuesday, 10 November 2009. “Obscurity of...":

“I am inexpressably sad for the friends and families who lost loved ones at Fort Hood.

I find Emily's words peaceful and somehow comforting, despite the last strange image of the moss at their lips.

[Well, I don’t get that moss thing either. And, I say this, as one of the very few males to have performed the play, The Belle of Amherst. And no, it wasn’t in drag: I just did it as a reading perf.]

I wish I understood more how such things happen; no, I wish others understood more clearly that violence and death never bring peace or fulfillment or joy. I can't imagine that they ever provide any satisfaction of any kind.

If only there was more tolerance and less anger in the world. We just have to keep trying, teaching our children, living by example.

There is a song from the musical South Pacific, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," that has always spoken to me. If we can teach hate and fear of those who are different, surely we can also teach acceptance and friendship.

I'll try to reserve my hatred for guns and bombs, not people.

My, but I do go on. Guess I'm just thinking "aloud" and I borrowed your forum. Excuse, please.”

From HH:

No excusing, please. This is not “my” forum. It’s for all. An agora. Forum is the Roman name, but agora is the Athenian name. A place of public assembly. And not just for guys who did military duty, as in ancient Athens. Let us recognize: we are all humans, comrades, citizens, Friends.

“We must love one another or we die”.
---Auden, “1 September 1939”.

And damn.

Trying to find the You Tube, for "We have to be" etc, but can't.

Any help out there?


Anonymous Amherst Girl said...

Nice of you to acknowledge my comment yesterday. I assume you were looking for a youtube performance of "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," though you cleaned up the grammar a bit in your query. (Sometimes you jest got to, doncha?)

I don't know how to send a link, but this is where you will find one:


There's also a youtube concert performance of this song by Mandy Patinkin.

A powerful song with much truth to it.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Amherst Girl said...

Okay, the youtube performance I referenced cut out one verse of the song; so here are the lyrics:

You've got to be taught
to hate and fear
You've got to be taught
from year to year
It's got to be drummed
in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
to be afraid
Of people whose eyes
are oddly made
And people whose skin
is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be carefully taught!

[Praises to Oscar Hammerstein and his musical pal Richard Rodgers. A bold song/statement for the time]

3:40 PM  
Anonymous rtr said...

A melancholy kindness.
Homo Sapiens, the accomplished toolmaker.
Murders en masse require little more than a thought of great cruelty.
Fundamental conflicts demand fundamental resolution.
Let us not place bandages on melanomas and congratulate our healing prowess.

6:02 PM  
Blogger HH said...

is this a contest? is "rtr" even more obscure than HH? NOTE: rtr and HH have been friends since HS. i yield the floor.

those who know us, recall: rtr is my great comrade. Gene Debs, democratic socialism forever, etc. etc.

solidarity forever.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous rtr said...

Thank you for the shout out HH. I agree with you that Amherst showed a genuine sensitivity and ability to embrace human pain with great kindness rather than with the rage cloaked in civility that I and perhaps to a lesser degree, thou (can't resist those high school references even now)find some meaning from.

Belated apologia to those who may have missed the literary reference to Thomas Hardy's last novel "Jude the Obscure." After the post, I was concerned that it may have been interpreted as an anti-semitic epithet which would have been totally unintended and at the time of the post, never entered my mind. Certainly not the first time that an unintended pejorative ambiguity has found its way into my correspondence.

To be less obscure, as a civil libertarian I have a reflexive response against narrowing liberties cloathed in the rainment of the greater public good. Although the NRA earns much opprobrium from the left and acknowledging that their arguments are less than deft on occasion, existentially the personal responsibility expectation of a healthy social contract makes the arguments against firearm sales and ownership irrelevant IMO.

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Amherst Woman said...

Don't concern yourself about your "Jude" reference, rtr. It takes much more convoluted thinking to reach anti-semitism from that remark than to recall the title of Thomas Hardy's novel. Actually, calling HH "Jude" in the midst of the obscurity discussion was perhaps the most straightforward comment of the exchange, and rather clever.

My general thinking and commentary are, shall we say, less disguised than yours and HH's. You may find that simplistic. You two are a fine and well-matched pair, and I mean that sincerely and without sarcasm.

Of course now I think calling myself Amherst Girl sounds like I am a pre-feminist throwback, so I have changed my appellation to Woman.

I don't really like my new name, no music in it, so this will be its one and only appearance. And how's that for irrelevant?

12:23 PM  
Anonymous rtr said...

Amherst Girl (in the spirit of music which for me is always welcome),

I appreciate the sensitivity to any intended or otherwise use of the term to demean.

Regardless of the amount of scalp that I now exhibit and the total loss of pigment in what remains, I joyfully embrace the boy that emerges with untamed enthusiasm when I least expect him and I cherish the girl that discloses herself from time to time in the women who choose to share a part of themselves.

Thank you

12:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home