Re: Viet Nam War Literature pedagogy query (multiple responses)

J. S. B'ach (jsb@PANIX.COM)
Sun, 26 Oct 1997 10:05:00 -0500 (EST)

> I know what you mean about how students privilege "being there." When
> this came up in class I once mentioned how, back in the old days, ships'
> logs would from time to time contain references to mermaids. It must be that
> mermaids are real or how else to explain their occurrence in ships'
> logs? These sailors were actually there and saw them. Of course, then
> we had a discussion about whether _Splash_ was more realistic than
> say, _Platoon_ or _Full Metal Jacket_.
Well, the document which is the ship's log claims that the mermaids were
there, not the sailors. Had we had some to interview they might tell us
that no one except a few gullible types believed in the mermaids. Or
not. But then, this is a very 60s issue--remember the controversy over
whether taking LSD (i.e. 'being there') was an essential experience for
research into psychedelics, or was destructive to ones objectivity as a