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Re: bomb the...

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Sep 15 2001 - 07:43:49 PDT


>The response to patriotism is our way of vocalizing to the world
>that we love and appreciate the country in which we live

Oh...I understand. I too love my country, and served. I cannot help but
note the rise of patriotism, the shouting, the chants, the singing, the
spiritual renewal that came in preparation for each warring campaign America
has assuaged. So while part of me wants to engage and take part in the
euphoric clamor, part of me is already weeping for the torn families that
will get news of their sons and daughters coming home in body bags.

I'm not saying its not necessary. I'm just cautious in allowing the
tendency of euphoria to cause my heart to "react" to what has happened
rather than simply "respond."

>but now we need to show it to the world as well as ourselves.

and why is this? (not saying we don't...but thinking out loud), is it that
the world might not think we love our country? Does not any thinking person
not know that each human being feels connected to their family, their
ethnicity, their region and country? Can it not be inferred that we are
proud of our heritage and the freedom that has come at such a great price?
I cannot help but wonder if part of the "need" is not a psychological need
that prepares a people to have a warring mentality. To get the machine
going.

>War is an awful thing but it is now a reality in our world.

It has always been a reality. It has been education's hope that it could
contribute to a generation that would learn to war no more. It underscores
in a sense that education cannot save mankind alone!

>We must help our young people to deal with this reality.

Learn they will....and when older, they too will have the remembrances of
horror. They too will harbor hopes that mankind will have learned to war no
more.

There is the business of war. Then there is the spirit of vindication that
hates. The two are different. What was done was horrible....and yes, was a
declaration of war upon our country. Pumping everyone up to has a potential
to pump the masses up to "hate" and this too is one aspect I see that comes
of the patriotic. On the other hand, if patriotism helps to silence the
voice of fear and helps individuals find courage to rise so as to engage, so
be it. Yet....is it courage to face reality and responsibility.....or a
spirit that hates so much it becomes deaf to fear?

Believe it or not...it is possible to be in a fox hole shooting at a man, a
man who is a father and good husband, whom you do not have to hate....but
simply find as a misfortune of war and all ugly business. Unfortunately,
you learn to hate in war. When your comrade's face and body parts blow
apart to either right or left of you, you learn to hate. It has been part
of our purpose in teaching art to see the good in all things, the beauty,
and now...I simply don't find it easy to switch off a switch that legimizes
hating something. Someone's switch was off when they committed this
horrible act upon us. Now we very simply must respond, teaching them and
the world that such attrocities are unacceptable. Unfortunately, war breeds
a hatred that passes its seeds along to future generations.

> Teaching them to express their thoughts, fears and anxieties through
> art is a valuable and necessary task. In my opinion, no other subject
> area has this potential.

Teaching them to hope as well.....
such hope (I am hoping some are discovering by now) will have to be found in
a Source outside of ourselves when it comes to lasting peace. As we go down
in record, we may have meant well...and we try, but...

Larry

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