[percy-l] "Lost in the Cosmos", U.S., Terrorism and Other Things

J Rivas-Pita juliorivas at gmail.com
Sat Aug 27 13:16:40 EDT 2005

Dear friends,

I'd strongly recommend, in "Lost in the Cosmos", pocketbook edition,
reading page 212, especifically where Earthship says "There's no place
to return to" (I'm quoting from memory) and C2 answers. The answer is
a very clear statement by WP and no doubt gives an idea of what he
might have said about current events that sparked an unheard-of
controversy in this list when I dared mention them.

The whole WP corpus -not necessarily one quote, one novel, book,
article- is a masterful portrait, diagnosis and prediction on, among
other things, what we have known as "the American way of life", very
successfully marketed and sold everywhere (Madison Avenue's hand at
this, no doubt, as well as Hollywood).

What very much worries me is that even in a literate forum like this
one, where most members are suppossed to have a higher-than-average
cultural level, I could have been so grossly misinterpreted,
misquoted, misread -to say nothing of mistreated.

To give one single example: to maliciously suggest I'm an anti-Semite
on the basis of my saying that not only Jews have been victims of
genocide and persecution, and that Jews themselves are known for doing
or having done very recently the same things they rightfully charge
the Nazis doing to them, is utterly despicable.

Jews, to me, are not "the Chosen People", inferior or superior in any
way to, say, Germans (they share a lot in common, by the way), Blacks,
Chinese, Vietnamese or Ethiopians. The value of a Jewish life is to me
the same as that of an American, Venezuelan or Spaniard. No more, no
less. So when I said that I was "fed up" with making Jews a kind of
special people to feel especially sorrow about I was stating that
their killing at the hands of the Nazis was not very different from
the killing of millions in Africa today (have heard of Darfur?).

And when I -as WP always did- condemn fundamentalisms of all kinds
(Islamic, for instance) I cannot leave out others (Christian or
Jewish). And if I condemned the attack on the Twin Towers, where 5000
people died, I cannnot avoid condemning the killing of 25.000 Iraqi
civilians by invading US and British forces. For, you see, I do not
hold that an American life is worth more than that of an Iraqi -as CNN
would have us believe, given the proportional coverage when one
American gets killed and when an Iraqi is likewise killed. Or when one
Jewish child is murdered and another child, Palestinian, is also
murdered (very often by invading Israeli soldiers).

I'd like to refer you not only to WP's works but also to others by
S.I. Hayakawa (among other things he was a U.S. Senator), Orwell's
"Politics and the English Language" and, most especially, Doris
Lessing's "Prisons We Choose To Live Inside" -they are all easily
available from Amazon.com

With all very best wishes,


Be Happy! (Fr. Benito Ballesteros, OSB, 1924-1996)
Sé feliz! (P. Benito Ballesteros, OSB, 1924-1996)

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