[percy-l] (no subject)

dabeck at iupui.edu dabeck at iupui.edu
Thu Aug 25 23:17:45 EDT 2005

I have an idea. I see that some have attempted some marvelous contortions, in 
order to relate this discussion to Percy. It's easy to say, I think Percy 
would relate to XXX. But the fact is, he isn't here to throw in his opinions. 
One thing that stands out about Percy is that a) he wrote much of his work 
during some of the most volatile years of recent history; and b)he seemed to 
shy away from making a dogmatic stand on political issues of the day. Some 
have recommended Love in the Ruins. I agree. The book shows how divided our 
country can and has become. But, at the same time, the book never shows us a 
particular side we should support (in a Bakhtinian way), left or right. Percy 
shows the weaknesses of both. In fact, he points out the myopic view that 
dogmatic ideologies are prone to.
 I don't know. But anytime I hear someone arguing vehemently for one side or 
the other, I cast a suspicious eye toward him/her. I really don't think that 
either position is that black and white.
 For me, that's the big Percean point: He never sided with the far right or 
the far left (or the middle, for that matter). Perhaps a better discussion for 
this listserv is how to relate Percy's thought to the polarization that is 
taking place in the U.S.
 If not, please do me a favor and carry on the discussion off-list. All I'm 
reading is the same tired rhetoric that I (unfortunately) have to hear every 
time I turn on the TV and listen to the talking heads of the left and the 
right. Nothing new is being said, and all of us are to comfortable in our self-
righteous beliefs to really hear the other.
 I invite us all to drop our agenda and return to what this list does best: 
analyze the works of Percy and how they relate to our everyday lives. The 
original posting that started this discussion was inappropriate. It had 
nothing to do with Percy. It started off with something like "through a 
percean view, how do you Americans feel about having a leader who is 
comparable to Hitler" (a remark that should be offensive to all Jews and 
thinking people who know history). What do those remarks REALLY have to do 
with Percy, other than the desire to spew out one's agenda under the mask of 
the remarks being "percean”?
 I suggest (PLEASE) take the discussion off list. I'm tired of reading the 
same old rhetoric that I hear everyday on the news. Let's get back to what 
this list is for: discussing Percy's philosophy and how we relate it to our 
everyday lives. Other listserves exist that welcome one's political agenda, 
but I'm hoping this one won't turn out like the others.

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