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Re: bomb the...

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Sep 14 2001 - 08:15:49 PDT


We all have very strong emotions right now, and being 47 years of age it is interesting to reflect back on the emotional outcrys and sentiments of Vietnam...the liberalism that decried reaction and hatred, and now something else to see how present acts of hatred breed further hatred. What happens to liberalism in such atmosphere? What happens to lessons learned?

Yes... a time to feel patriotic. A time to mourn. A time to react and respond for what I hope is logical reasoning. Respond...rather than react. Reasonably, terrorism has to learn such brutal acts cannot be glossed over. Such would only invite further acts. It makes me proud to see our country's resolve. That many are ready to defend. Yet, it makes me sad that such emotions by the young comes with little personal knowledge or remembrance of the horrors of war. Every major campaign begins with such bravado and patriotism. Each generation that follows hopes something has been learned in the aftermath.

I just wonder though....all those movies we've watched. All the history documentaries. All the college classes. All the discussions from the point of hindsight. Really...have we learned anything at all?

I walk down the halls of our school to pick up students and bring them down to my class. One class has made American flags and has decorated the hall with signs, "Proud to be American!" Wow...was there a time we weren't proud? Why now? Is it because emotions need to rally to psychologically prepare for a war'ing psyche? Did such projects in classrooms also happen for major campaigns in the past?

We hope with movies such as Private Ryan, that we will learn to war no more. Unfortunately...we do have to deal realistically now with acts of terrorism. I just wish there was more a sense of a business at hand that has to be taken care of, than a reaction of hatred. I know how people feel too, my brother was a computer graphic artist for Chase Manhatten in the WTC...trapped on the subway that morning never making it to work. I'm not unpatriotic. I also served in the military at the end of the Vietnam era...I'm, well...just sad, reflective. Feeling like education hasn't really summed up to matter much in the humanity department.

I'm not shocked. My faith and beliefs have envisioned far worse, and especially with the knowledge of modern technology. The depravity of mankind does not surprise me.

Now...I guess what's important for the purposes of our fourm is to ask what our part is in the classroom? How are we dealing with this with our students? How many have television sets in their rooms that have been showing the devestation? How have we served to calm the fears heard in so many questions? What place does art and art education have to restore civilty...to aim toward healing?

It is human nature to react. To open the mouth and like a floodgate, emotions and words escape. Wondering if others here also having emotions, like me are shaking their heads a bit? Find themselves evaluating the past, anticipating the horrors, and feel a bit of skepticism and cyncism with what we know, what we're being told, how we should think, how we should react? Art after all is a vehicle to make us more human. More sensitive. I'm I rambling only? Are there not higher things that call us to a responsibility outside of ourselves, again to seek a proper response rather than a reaction?

Larry

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