Re: A Midnight Clear (fwd)
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 23:01:07 -0400

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 16:12:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: sixties@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU
To: sixties-l <sixties-l@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU>
Subject: Re: A Midnight Clear (fwd)

] I especially appreciated the deflation of World War Two, the "good
]war," since *A Midnight Clear* makes it very clear that *all* wars are
]tragic and barbaric.
] Maggie

Essentially I agree that there is a clear need to
Demythologize WWII, so that we will be able to see
the Forest for the Tree's and from this re-evaluate
the Myth Systems IN PLACE when Johnny Goes marching
off to Vietnam.

But one of the clear distinctions between the two
types of wars was first to be found in the basic
relationship between Grunt and MotherEarth. During
Dad's War, MotherEarth was the first Protector
against transient low velocity shrapnel components.
During the Vietnam Experience, the Bobby Trap achieved
the state of High Art, and simply 'jumping off a trail'
was no longer the rational first choice, since one
was as likely to be jumping INTO another bobby trap
as opposed to away from mortar/artillery/sniper fire.

The second problem of course is the ability to 'back down'
and walk away from a 'fire fight'. One of Dear Old Dad's
WWII tales was about a pleasant little walk in the italian
country side, and an encounter with a collection of germans
also taking a walk in the woods. Both Sides noted the presence
of the others, and duely returned to their perimeters to
make an official report of the encounter. But in vietnam
things would be driven by the civilian need for BALL SCORES
and an ever increasing 'body count' - so such an encounter
would OBLIGE personnel to make it a 'hard contact' and to
engage the enemy!

There clearly remains a LOT of work that needs to be
done to understand the Myth Systems in Place, their
origins, and ultimately, their role in increasing the
frustration factor for those who served in country.

But we had gone through this mess before, when we would
send Doughboys off to Flander's Fields, with visions of
Teddy Rosevelt and Rought Riders Dancing in their Heads....

{ but of course, we WON WWI, so clearly those who became
VICTIMS of shellshock were merely FLAWED individuals lacking
in moral character and the refined virtues. }