[sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Re Vietnam Memorial

From: Jeffrey Blankfort (jab@tucradio.org)
Date: Sun Jun 18 2000 - 09:42:18 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "Re: [sixties-l] Vietnam War Memorials"

    I don't have the post I responded to handy, but whether it was Cabral or
    Joe McDonald who compared honoring soldiers that went to Vietnam with
    fireman responding to a fire or policeman responding to a 911, I find
    the suggestion defensible, in unless it is being compared to the cops
    that go into a Black and Latino neigborhood and end up killing the
    people they were supposed to protect. I'll accept that comparison, but
    BTW, I have had a number of associations with police in different cities
    of the US, both while working as a journalist and as a protestor, and
    while I have met some okay cops, I am not about to throw any honors
    their way.

    I worked with the VVAW in LA and SF, going back and forth in 71 and 72
    and watched how the government was determined to do everything it can to
    prevent the organization from becoming political, infiltrating so many
    agents into the groups that paranoia became rampant until the
    organization decided to focus on taking care of the many vets' needs and
    not trying to play the same role in US politics as the American Legion
    and VFW, except on the opposite side.

    So let me say that while I respect and understand the position of the
    VVAW to "honor the warrior and not the war," I don't accept it.

    In closing, I think the situation of Viet Vets in the US is a sad one.
    The number of suicides in their ranks long ago eclipsed the humber of
    those who died in Vietnam and when one sees a homeless man of a certain
    age who looks otherwise healthy, the chances are he is a Vietnam vet.
    Putting up one or a dozen or a hundred plaques, honoring his service,
    isn't going to help one whit that man on the corner with a sign saying
    he is a vet and asking for a handout. You asked for input from folks on
    this list and without apology, I have given you mine.

    Sorry, BTW, for the spelling typo. I do know better. You may not
    recall but I took your wedding photos (and a great wedding it was with
    Saul Landau doing the officiating) at the Julian St. church in the
    Mission way back when and one of the photos landed on the cover of your
    album "Coming Together," (I believe was the title, the one dedicated to
    Bobby Hutton).

    > Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 12:15:25 -0700
    > From: Joe McDonald <joe@countryjoe.com>
    > Subject: Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Vietnam War Memorials
    > Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
    > >
    > > Now Cabral compares those who went to Vietnam to a cop's response to a
    > > 911 call or a fireman to a fire.
    > > We should get one thing straight.
    > >
    > > In a post yesterday, Joe MacDonald says we should "honor the warrior and
    > > not the war." That attitude just promotes the same macho bullshit that
    > > led these "warriors" down the path to their death in the first place.
    > i am really enjoying this discussion but what would help to get things straight is
    > people posting correct information and perhaps even proofing their msgs before
    > posting. Cabral did not say that i did. My name is spelled McDonald not Mac
    > Donald.
    > And am i to assume that this "bullshit" remark is a diss at Vietnam Veterans
    > Against the War national present day attitude towards the Vietnam War?! cheers,
    > country joe mcdonald
    > - -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness
    > country joe Home Pg <http://www.countryjoe.com>
    > country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale
    > <http://www.countryjoe.com/nightingale>
    > Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial <http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Links/Comm/vvm>
    > Rag Baby Online Magazine <http://www.ragbaby.com/magazine>
    > ------------------------------
    > Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2000 12:02:24 -0800
    > From: monkerud <monkerud@scruznet.com>
    > Subject: [sixties-l] Role of rebellious culture in Awakenings
    > previsous post:
    > >1) There seems, based on my research (which concerns especially the
    > "armed
    > >struggle" wing of the movement) a kind of master narrative of the
    > awakening
    > >process (within, say the New Left), and there are certain common
    > themes that
    > >appear in so many of the biographies I have tracked. Core features
    > are: etc."
    > This is a sanitized and perhaps idealist view that leaves out the nitty
    > gritty reality of what was happening. I agree with the observations but
    > they don't go far enough or include enough, especially on issues that
    > continue to scare people today. Like drugs and sex.
    > While the media did play an important role both in the rise of the
    > subculture of the 60s and the rise of the anti-war movement, there was
    > a huge creative outpouring unleashed by sex, music and drugs. Some of
    > this could be traced to the beginnings of a youth subculture market
    > with disposable income that was growing rapidly and not yet
    > controllable. Others have pointed out the suburban drabness of the 50s,
    > the machine man and the IBM future we were supposed to embrace. These
    > and the forces alluded to in the above post coalesced to create a sense
    > of freedom, a vision of how things could change and we grabbed the bull
    > by the horns and created.
    > A Dionysoian unleashing of creativity ... the birth control pill freed
    > us from sexual repression; a surge in garage bands blasting music
    > allowed us to dance and push lyrics unsanctioned by the status quo; and
    > finally LSD made the ancient mystic traditions and spiritual depths
    > available to everyone ... couple that with those of us who gained
    > political consciousness (I came from a racist, right-wing hillbilly
    > family and supported Goldwater until confronted by the contradictions
    > of the ideals of democracy and the reality of racism, hence don't fit
    > the writer's model for becoming politically active.) . The result -- a
    > volatile mix for social change.
    > While I never saw eye-to-eye with the Yipees, they had a point and this
    > writer needs to modify his theories accordingly. The cultural changes
    > were just as important as the political and in some cases went hand in
    > hand with them. The New Left's enthusiasm and spiritedness was in start
    > contrast to the somber, plodding old left from the darkest days of the
    > cold war. Unfortunately, we were overwhelmed by the forces of reaction
    > that bent our cultural contributions into harmless cultural
    > entertainment. Nevertheless, the cultural changes played an important
    > role in releasing a youthful enthusiasm for change and we might be able
    > to learn something from this.
    > best, Don Monkerud
    > ------------------------------
    > End of sixties-l-digest V1 #190
    > *******************************

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