[lit-ideas] Re: When a civilized society fights a barbarous one

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2006 10:49:29 -0700

Very funny Omar and clever too.  It even has some validity as I find from
reading books on "Anti-Americanism."   Some people do take the movies and
Westerns as indicative of American culture, but it isn't a precise parallel
to what I argued earlier about Moderate Muslims.  I argued that I had
discovered no moderate Muslims speaking up from within Middle Eastern
nations.  They must go outside and live in the U.S. or some place in Europe
in order to speak out.  


I was tempted to say you could say and think almost anything any place in
the U.S.  That's probably not absolutely true; although no one is going to
be jailed or executed for speaking out.  The sort of problem that came to
mind was something I learned about sometime around 15 years ago when I was
still working for McDonnell Douglas (It hadn't quite become Boeing yet).
This was during a period in which MDC had brought in a bunch of young
hard-charging managers who didn't know anything about aerospace but knew
some fairly ruthless management techniques.  These guys were tasked with
"cleaning house," and it became known that if they could find cause to get
rid of older higher-paid employees, top management wouldn't be upset.  I was
fairly surly in those circumstances and figured my days were numbered.  I
toted up how much of a pension I could expect, got onto the computer and
discovered that I could afford to live in one of the more backward states.
I settled upon Tennessee.


My wife's family was from Tennessee; so that was a plus; however she
wouldn't want to move to a town that didn't have the particular Presbyterian
denomination we were members of, but I found such a town in eastern
Tennessee: Maryville, and wrote to the pastor there.  He wasn't exactly
discouraging but he let me know that they were pretty strict about adhering
to a precise doctrine (something I am not).  Also, in hearing about me he
commented that no one in Maryville has as many books as I do, and he said it
in such a way as to indicate that maybe having as many books as I do might
not be a good thing - sort of what people on Lit-Ideas have been telling me
for years.  


I talked over my Maryville idea with a coworker from Tennessee and he said
he didn't think it was a good idea.  "Why not," I asked.  "They respect
former Marines.  I was in the Marines.  They like guns and hunting.  I was a
rifle instructor in the Marine Corps and wouldn't mind doing some bird
hunting.  They like hunting dogs.  I've got hunting dogs."


"Well, yeah," my friend said and hesitated.  "The problem would be that you
couldn't talk like them.  You know too many words.  Also, the first time
someone looked into your house and saw all those books, word would get
around and you would have an instant reputation for being weird."


"I've got one of those already."


"No, I mean really weird.  You could get away with living in one of the big
cities in Tennessee, but Maryville is out in the country.  You really
wouldn't like it there."


I didn't totally believe him, but he did give me pause, and then the Air
Force complained that MDC was laying off too many of its experienced people
and if the experience level dropped too low they were going to cancel some
contracts; so from dross I became gold and never had to put Maryville to the
test - probably a good thing - my coworker was probably right.




-----Original Message-----
From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Omar Kusturica
Sent: Monday, June 26, 2006 9:53 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: When a civilized society fights a barbarous one




--- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


> Omar:




> Texas is in the Southwest United States where I

> live.  I've been there, have

> you?  


*I haven't been to Texas but I've seen a lot of films

about it and I've read a lot of books. The highest

level of civilization that I remember being indicated

is that you were supposed to warn a man verbally

before shooting him. Shooting someone straight in the

back was not considered gentlemanly, you were expected

to give him a second to react or something. Ah yes,

and shooting a woman was thought profane, there were

better things to do with women. So you are saying that

what I have got from films and books is not the real

Texas ? Why aren't there more moderate Texans to speak

out ?




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