[lit-ideas] Re: 1968

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2006 20:07:27 -0600

This is why I have to take sabbaticals from the list from time to time -- I enjoy it too much and waste -- yes, waste! --too much time reading and writing to no effect but my own pleasure when I should be PRODUCING, PRODUCING, PRODUCING -- alas, there's a aberrant strain of the Protestant Ethic in me, reformed Catholic though I be.

I came within a week of being Canadian. It's a story I've told here more than once, so I'll not punish you with it again. I've spent some time -- much too little -- in Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal over the last 38 years and have always been enamored by those cities and the people. I'm quite certain I would not have regretted moving to Canada. But I didn't. And several attempts to leave Memphis forever, for good, for once and for all have all come to naught. I'm still trying to figure out why. I'm sure Andy has some theory tracing it all back to my bad upbringing -- just teasing, Irene : ) But it does seem curious that my rage against this city and it's racist culture isn't enough to over come my apparent need to be here. Maybe I need to be angry all the time. : ) Whatever, I need to dig deeper.

OK. Tomorrow is celebration day!!! (Oh dear God, I'm on my knees, begging you please to deliver us from our sorrows)

Mike Geary

----- Original Message ----- From: "John Wager" <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 2:02 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: 1968

I was almost a Canadian in 1968. That year two things happened: I graduated from college, and the U.S. Draft Law changed so that one could no longer get a student deferment for graduate school. Ooops. My senior thesis advisor said that I would be crazy NOT to go to Canada; a philosophy student at war would probably not only get himself killed for nothing, but he might also get others into difficulties. The thesis advisor said that he had already made overtures to some friends in the Toronto area and I could stay with them if I wanted to go. Unfortunately, that year I also re-read Plato's CRITO, and that darned old Socrates convinced me that until the U.S. government ordered me to do something that was itself clearly wrong, I had the obligation to at least let myself get drafted. The next time I saw Toronto was flying over it from Ft. Dix New Jersey to Vietnam.

I was already, but just barely, in Canada when the Grant Park riots occured in Chicago. Interestingly, the man who teaches film studies here at Nipissing is also an ex-pat American who was actually in Grant Park that tumultuous spring. I was still in Chicago for the riots following the assassination of MLK. But I was already in Toronto when Robert Kennedy was assassinated. The US seemed like a sinking ship at the time. We watched the news every night and worried. Probably we didn't worry enough, not recognizing the seeds of today's world. Reading back over that paragraph, I see the word ex-pat. I don't ever see myself that way. I've been Canadian over twice as long as I was ever American.
Ursula,   musing in the morning sunshine

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager                john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
                                  Lisle, IL, USA

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