Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Expecting Gratitude for being a Mercenary.

I guess soldiers back from Iraq are all surprised they're getting called "Baby-killer" like the Vietnam troops occasionally did.

Let's see... there's 800 dead Americans and allied troops and contractors.

14,000 dead Iraqis, a lot of 'em women and kids.

Most of the world didn't want this to happen -- Spain's leaders just got their asses voted out for supporting it. People all over the world didn't want it to happen, just their flunky lap-dog leaders.

Soldiers who carry guns into other countries and get shot and are ALL surprised have always been confusing to me. Didn't they know the other guys would shoot back? Didn't anybody tell them? If you go in a house with a gun, can't you expect a home-owner to shoot you in the head? All the gun-owners say that's what should happen, right? What, it doesn't work both ways?

Sooner or later, somebody's going to get hit for these out-of-country activities. Is it the leaders and generals who get targeted? No, it's the privates and sergeants, and lower ranks on the ground. Weren't they told that? Didn't they know? Why did they think they'd get off scot-free? Because they're a people's army? Since when?

People are pissed. Dead pissed. This time it's happened faster than in Vietnam, because this time we've got the internet. Everybody feels used, abused and madder than hell. I, for one, was in protest marches saying "Don't do this shit! You'll be so fucking sorry!" So now somebody goes and does it and comes back -- we're supposed to pat him on the back? "You fucking idiot! We're sorry you were an unthinking victim! NOW do you know better?" is the kindest thing he should expect.

These troops weren't drafted -- and they could read the newspapers. They knew damn well they were going over with weapons to take out other people, for pay, in the name of the corporations, to force the end-game of what had included a lot of friendship with the very dictator they were told they were taking out. This is their job -- for pay. They weren't forced to do it. Nobody threatened them with concentration camp time, or even a punishment battalion. What would they get? A court martial? A drop in pay or rank? Please.

Now their families are whining, "These were kids just following orders!" Kids. Just Following Orders. We were Stabbed in the Back in Vietnam. Pardon me while I go throw up.

And as for a bucolic island where some of this has been going on -- Seattle's got a long history of labor battles. And it's not all that "civil."

And now Vietnam -- what military ever knows the body-count -- remember that term -- for Americans dead in Vietnam vs. civilians? Soldiers never even count the civilians at the time. They're not even there, except as people who get in your way. I mean, this is a war zone, right? What are these stupid civilians doing getting in our way? What are they complaining about? The numbers of dead civilians have to be -- ahem -- dug up later. "I protect my people" is military parlance for "And fuck everybody else." Pardon us civilians for being on our own side again. Cuz the soldiers sure as hell won't be. Not in a pinch.

Soldiers sure as hell defend their own asses. WE don't have that right?

And don't anybody give me crap about Protecting Me. Every time I get on an airplane, my life is just that more dangerous as an American because of the Oil Wars. And now I have a world-wide reputation as an abuser of prisoners. And it will never go away, because the photos are on the Net. Thank you very fucking much.


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Not Another "I Told You So!"


Conservatives out there everywhere, take this to heart.

If you manage to pass the anti-gay marriage legislation, this WILL happen to you:

A certain number of your children will discover they're gay.

And you, as the grandparents, in order to pass on property and have legal rights to those children, whether blood or adopted, will have to go through all the expense that anybody outside the property-based marriage has to deal with.

YOU will suffer the consequences of what you did to the gay population.

This happens every single time.

There are no exceptions.

This happens every single time a conservative says "I know better" and passes cruel laws, or goes to war, after every liberal in sight was desperately signaling, "Don't! You idiot! You'll be so fucking SORRY!"

Do you want to -- once again! -- have to listen to liberals telling you, "Well, you fucking morons -- didn't we tell you? Weren't you paying attention? WE TOLD YOU SO."

So if you don't want the liberals doing the Cassandra Dance all over you -- AGAIN --

Don't pass this fucking bill, you fucking morons.

Or... no.... pass it... I'm getting really really fond of the Cassandra Dance, and I think I'd like a chance to do it to you.


Sunday, July 11, 2004

How Women Think (A Guide for Testicles).

It's not sexy to cook for you. Don't take us home, show us the kitchen, a frying pan and a steak, and think it will get us wet. We don't want to go to bed with our children.

The toilet is where you leave your piss and shit. No matter how much it's cleaned, it stinks. Your piss is not perfume. It stinks. Close the lid, so we don't have to smell your stinking piss.

If we yell at you it's because we've already tried to ask you three times nicely, and you are too stupid and wrapped up in your own little arrogant child self to hear us. If you did that with a boss, you'd have been fired a long time ago. The only reason you ignore us is because we're nice, and you can get away with it. There is a word for men who have ignored us too many times -- Divorced.

Standing in a bar and proclaiming how women should know their place and keep it will NOT get you laid. Unless it's by the guy at the end of the bar who's totally getting off on your manliness. Try him -- you may get lucky.

No, we don't want slapped around. No, we don't want you to kill our children in the so many ways you're proven yourself so good at. Pound on each other, if you must. You seem to get off on it.

We don't get wet when you tell us you put your mom's pet cat in the garage, turned on the lawn mower and let the cat die of carbon monoxide poisoning. No, you didn't do it to put the poor thing out of its misery -- you did it because you'd like to do it to some human you're too much of a coward to stand up to. If you'd do it to a cat, you'd do it to a child. Our child. Don't let the door hit you in the ass, stud.

You want us. You want us much more than we want you. Because of this, we are the boss in any relationship. Get over it, accept it, and you'll be much happier. We are not slave-drivers or abusers. We are generally pretty decent, giving, friendly people. If you meet a strange woman, she's more likely to feed you than kill you. This is NOT true of you.

Our kids are our kids. Yes, you contribured your share of DNA -- but other than that and a drop of snot, you did nothing. We build the baby. That's our flesh and blood and hair and teeth walking around. That's our blood and pain. You should get on your knees in gratitude that some woman let you use her body to pass on your DNA. You're a parasitic breeder, like a virus, and you should be praying to your wife like a goddess for letting you have the opportunity to breed -- or just live.

Just because your simple industrial-built two-stroke brains can't keep up with our chip-driven hyperlinked intelligence, don't blame us for being illogical or talking too fast. Speaking is a human quality. We're better at it than you, which is just one more way we're more human than you. If you can't keep up with a mere six or eight things at a time, that doesn't make us the stupid ones.

Your idea of "honor" for us depends entirely on which one of your clam-neck meat-pops got tucked up our twats. It's all about whose penis is was, or which penis, or how many penises, or what kind. You base your entire religions on which one of you managed to bed us, and you stone and burn us to death for it. Don't try to make out the entire concept is anything but grotesque.

You should stop working your asses off to keep us down. Just think what you'd have been able to accomplish if you didn't spend half your time making sure women can't get any food, money or shelter without you as a middle-man, so we can't eat or sleep warm unless we let you put a penis in us. No, we're not going to make you into our slaves if we take over. If we even wanted to take over. We're not you -- don't judge us by your lowlife standards.

No, we DON't want to send the fruit of our wombs off to your interminable idiot meat-grinder wars. Don't call us "bitter" when you've killed our children and our husbands.

Quit whining over those Walls of Names you put up after wars. If all the women and kids who get killed in your wars had walls, there wouldn't be room for sidewalks. Put up our walls, and give us the pensions and medals for our dead, and then maybe we'll feel sorry for you. Or how about just not killing us and each other in the first place. Would that be too much for your little pea brains?

"Testicle" doesn't mean tough -- it means soft, vulnerable, and liable to draw up and hide any time you get scared or just cold. You people have internal glands on the outsides of your bodies -- some design flaw. You're short a whole lot of genes -- XY is just XX with a leg missing. We're not here for you, you're here for us. Deal with it.

You invented War, Slavery, the Inquisition, Rape, Nazis, the Bomb and the Nuclear Family. You owe us apologies, protection, and a hell of a lot of back pay. Live with it. And try to catch up.

You should be eternally grateful we even deign to breathe the same air with you, let alone let you have sex with us. Any dog acts the way you people do, we'd put down as suffering from hydrophobia.

Be so fucking grateful we don't pick you up by the heels when you're born, and drop you out the window.

And if you're a decent guy and you aren't any of the above -- be so fucking grateful that you've bought a clue, and the women in your life won't end up not being the women in your life. Thank your gods every time you see a woman, that you are not like those other guys.

And if you don't like the bad rep those guys are giving you, then don't whine to us about it, go kick those guys into shape.

They're YOUR people.



Thursday, July 08, 2004

From: The Jewish Comics Discussion List.


All calm down now.

Went out fishing, swells were too high to catch anything, but wet up to my butt (wading is fun!), and got to meet the neighbor dog Rocko's puppy (1/2 lab, 1/2 boxer, too cute). Taught him REAL fast he doesn't get to play with fishing equipment or hooks.

Had a cigarette, too (ONLY for sedative purposes, and very occasionally, and not the grocery-store garbage, thank you). Quite serene.


Got myself into the whole numbers/who's dead/definitions crap that goes on on these lists.

Not good. Not gonna do it. Uh-uh. Sorry if I started any of it.

Lemme 'splain to the non-Murkins out there what it's like in this country right now. Murkins are just madder than hell. Those of us who saw it coming last year at the protest marches are just foaming at the mouth. Those of us who, like moderate Republicans and military wives, finally see they're getting screwed, are coming unglued.

Do you think we LIKE being painted with the brush of prisoner abuse, civilian murder by airstrike, putting in puppet governments, and whatever else crap our government is up to? I feel like a decent German in 1936. Pulling my hair out over my idiot government. I am SOOOOO sorry for this. SOOOOO many apologies.

Yup. I'm not the Jews. I'm the Germans. But this time...

I'VE got the internet. And email. And radio, and television, and video cameras, and film directors like Michael Moore who don't care what they look like (I'm counting the days until he's arrested under the Patriot Act).

Nope. I'M not going to go through crap wars for years and finally, exhausted, put all the pieces together at the end, and out of pure grief and anger and nightmares and the need to shoot SOMEBODY put a bullet between my eyes.

We have people in this country who think it's FUN and RIGHT and a big giggle to abuse prisoners, or drag a black man behind a truck until his head comes off, or tie a gay man to a fence and beat him to death. When they do it, they think it's GOOD.

Right now, over and over, Americans are saying -- and I quote: "Those poor kids in the prison abuse case were just following orders." Just Following Orders. It's being used as an excuse by parents and relatives of soldiers. And Supporting The Troops means you have to support the damn war. And our soldiers were Stabbed In The Back in Vietnam.

But does America know German history? Are you kidding? If you try to bring it up as anything but some Hogan's Hero's re-run, you're sneered at. I just had a newspaper editor laughingly refer to me as The Woman Who Writes About Nazis. THAT stopped when I started signing my emails to him as Donna (The Woman Who Writes About Nazis) Barr. You're not allowed to know, or study, or understand. The party line is that the Germans were just peculiarly evil, and odd, and How Could That Happen? That's the line you follow, and that's all there is to it. This is THE most important history for Americans to know right now, and it is suppressed at every turn. All of a sudden, poof, abracadabra, the Nazis (who are viewed as some kind of alien aberration, born with their boots on) turned up, and killed all the Jews and attacked the world. And Hitler -- my God, the man is worshiped as an evil God. Instead of just another monkey who pooped in his diapers and shaved every morning and liked strudel, lasagna and dogs (and dogs liked him, but dogs, as nice as they are, are flunkies). In other words, somebody we can't look out for or whose methods we can understand, because he's almost a kind of supernatural being. He's Satan. He's EVIL. Nothing past that surface. We can't understand, so we won't -- and we'll be completely unprepared when the same methods surface, as they are doing now.

I live in this country. This is what's going on. And I'm pissed (and I don't mean drunk -- I mean I resent the hell out of it).

The neo-cons need fighting every step of the way, and if my knowledge of what went on in Germany can help me in that fight, then I'm using it. The neo-cons won't quit, and that's why we can't, either. I'm part of the hugest empire ever was, and no way do you want us Decent Germans letting the beast get out of hand THIS time. None of you will be safe. Ever.

So par'm me if I'm not going to get involved in the numbers game. I don't plan to end up BEING part of the numbers, this time.

Oh my God. The neighbor just backed his truck down the road, done up for a Fun Days Float. You never saw anything so Queer Eye in your life.

Donna Barr


Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Burning Questions.

I am going to hell for that pun.

Oh, boy. More Holocaust Discussions. How Delightful. I'm * -- my academic friend is @

@"How is it worse than what has been done to blacks, indians
and women?" is a very hard question, to which I don't have an answer, really(and indeed, it gets one into the 'your lot suffered more/less than my lot' territory which is stupid and childish, as well as very unpleasant...).

*I totally agree. So the people doing (I HATE THIS WORD!) Holocaust literature should stop it! It's stomach-turning. Dead is dead is dead. 100 million people died in that war, most of 'em women and kids. They always do. Where are our walls of names and medals and pensions? I mean, really. We're starting to say STOP THIS STUPID CRAP, YOU FRICKING TESTICLES, before we take a ball bat to You (RY, of course -- rhetorical you).

*This hanging on the results and not on how it happened is going to get all kinds of people, Jews included, killed again.

*What good does it do to remember the results, if the process isn't remembered? In America, we're sneered at if we write about what went on with the Germans. No doubt the corporations would be perfectly pleased if we DIDN't know about stolen elections, security acts, and faked evidence for attacks, among others. GEE, I wonder why?

@I think that one might say that the genocide of the Jews combined three things - a purposeful destruction of Jewishness as well as people (which is different in intention from, say, sending native americans to a reservation - though may have mucvh the sme ends); the lack of material benefit to the germans (e.g. colonilism had a financial motive: the genocide of European Jews didn't); the intended completeness of it all.

*Take a look at it. It's step by stupid step. It's the logical end of corporate thinking. 100% dead means efficient dead.

*You want to hear something that will make you gag? The gas was introduced because it was -- now get this -- more "HUMANE." The ovens were "EFFICIENT" and "CLEAN."

*And don't make the mistake thinking this was all the same person. This is theory + technology + war + too few people with too big a job. A toxic brew.

*They panicked like stupid boys at Wannsee -- "What are we going to do with all these people? We can't feed them! We can't do anything with them! What if they DON't die slowly? AGGGHHH!!!!"

*Disgusting ejaculation thinking (as opposed to pregnancy thinking) if there ever was.

@And there is something about gas chambers and ovens that is differnt from even blankets with diseases in them (that the British gave out to the native americans - 'invisible bullets').

*Yes. It's called assembly-line technology. If you haven't got masses and masses of guards to do the work, you use the technology. Ask a chicken what happens when you get caught in THAT little horror show. And let's go out and ask the dead First Nation and her baby in the trench lightly covered with snow how happy she is her death wasn't by mechanical means.

*Please never leave desperation, stupidity and idiocy out of the equation. And fear -- boy, if bigotry ain't scaredy-cat, I'll eat my shorts. And exhaustion. Spielberg got some of it right, showing the SS commander so full of irritability, confusion, resentment at being stuck with this stupid job. "I didn't sign up for THIS! I'm supposed to be a soldier!" And guess -- oh, just GUESS -- who the lower orders took it all out on.

*Dopes. When are we going to recognize the three rules of fiction, history and science:

*1. If it's funny (also stupid, weird, insane, oddbox, totally incredible) it's right.

2. If it's physically possible, it happened.

3. If it didn't happen, it should have.

*I've repeated these rules to major writers, historians and scientists and they've agreed. Laughing and a little shocked, but they've agreed.

@But maybe not. I've written two books about it and still don;t know. I think about this a lot, but have no real answer (but yes, I agree with your/Cesaire's empathy thing.).

*See "Human Stupidity" up there. We are not very bright, most of the time. And you've only studied the camps and things specific to them. You'd better study the whole society, to put all the little pieces in. Oh, and let's not leave the whole history out. The Americans invented the concentration camp and eugenics based on race (wonder why?). OOOH, there was a juicy idea or two jes' spilin' for somebody to come along and improve on.

@(So, look, when I visitied Auschwitz last year, the prison camp was, well, people are shit to each other all over, I've seen terrible medieval prisons in the UK where e.g. 100s of scots were locked up to die.

*Did you see any Scots actually mourning their dead people? Unable to eat their cream bisquits and tea?

@At Auschwiz-Birkenau, well, it was differnt. On the one hand, in the small village of Birkenau next to the camp, there were Polish kids on tricycles, a house painted pink and called 'flamingo', and life went on. A place is just a place. But then when you wander about, it is, well, differnt. A place isn;t just a place. I asked my guide what he felt and he said (I love this) - 'I grew up here. When I was young I chased rabbits around the camp'. So I just don't know - it's like a mythic place and it isn't. The chambers are just ruined concrete (like just across the road over there) and they aren't. But this very doubleness is a bit troubling...).

*For him it was Troy. Do YOU care about Helen or Paris or Ulysses? They weren't your relatives, you didn't know them. If it happens before you're born, and they're not your relatives -- you have other things you have to do.

*That's how people are. Life is too short.

*Do you CARE that the Makah up here couldn't speak their own language in schools, and were punished for it? Or have you ever heard of them?

*Do you REALLY care like for your own folks? We can't -- we can only keep track of so much of our own herd. The brain is full of shopping, and eating, and cleaning dirty baby butts. Most people have very full hard drives.

@It wasn't that efficient until towards the end, actaully (when they had had years to practice and improve). And involved lots of differnt people with differnt motives, too.

*See? It happened a bit at a time, and only when everybody was at the front and being bombed could the process really start. Nobody asks about stinky factories because factories ALWAYS stink. And we just got this letter from the front that Uncle Hans is missing... or Aunt Trude got smashed in a bombing raid.

*The governments love war. They can do whatever they like while people are reeling. It's just gross.

@Hitler et al too k advantage of the war to do what he wanted, in an especially brutal way.

*Hitler's generation had been through a particularly brutal trench war. Another problem with wars is they MAKE people even more brutal. Would Hitler have done what he did if he hadn't been a trench runner? Crawling through muck and slime and dead bodies rotting under his face when he had to throw himself down when shrapnel went over, weeping bloody tears, blinded with mustard gas at the end of the war. You don't think people get fucked up by that? Without therapy? Without exceptional brains? Or spirit? And that sure as hell was another colonial war. God, I get so pissed off at humans sometimes.

*What we learn from Hitler:

*Do NOT torment your children -- that crap gets passed on. To somebody. And do NOT send your young men off to horrible attritive wars. They come back terrified, screwed up, and spoiling to get somebody. Look at the Iraqi army -- 8 years against Iran. You don't think those people were brutal at the end of that? Please.

@Germans aren't/weren't cats but some creature that doesn't like other animals (hmmm... don't know).

*Total malarkey. Do you KNOW what the Nazis had to do to get the Germans to knuckle under and finally go to war? Germany HAD no Resistance -- the Nazis had everybody on the list, and they stuffed all the trouble makers into camps before anything got started. Dachau was originally built for Germans, did you KNOW that? (There's a family rumor among us that the older generation was in the camps -- and the younger generation was the guards -- but that may just be true for Germany in general). The German unions and teachers and folk in the street constantly argued and fought back and struggled -- and the Nazis kept coming back, kept coming back, kept coming back. They never quit. They terrorized here. Bribed there. Lied all over the place. Poke, press, pinch, crumble, disappeared, burnt, replaced with the more compliant or the true believers and converts, shot, "died while trying to escape." Like rats, the Nazis. Nibble, nibble, nibble. Until the carcass was clean.

*Hm. Maybe the Jews were the mice -- and the Nazis were rats. Rats will always kill mice. It's like a little war between them.

*Ah! Spiegelman only got it wrong by one letter! We got it! Not cats -- RATS.

*German society was horses -- and they looked down and found themselves hobbled by the damn rats and under threat of being eaten alive from the feet up.

*I'm tellin' ya -- think neo-cons. This is why we have to keep fighting, fighting, fighting. These people never quit. They think they're right. They think they're righteous. They think God Is ON Their Side. Nibble nibble nibble.

*Feel the hobbles yet?

@The aim was to create a homogenous volk (facists are
conservative revolutionaries: i.e. 'lets go back to the old days, but we need to do it violently....').

*What old days? The Germans hadn't been a single "Volk" most of their history. It's hard to do that with the Germans. They are all a bunch of very different tribes. They don't even speak the same language. Hochdeutsch is just Oxford English.

@Yes, the time taken for these things to be worked out is long: UK STILL in post WW2 mode, really. (No Vietnam to change the national consciousness)...

*The bible got it right. Four generations. That's how long it takes.

@"It just takes a long time to get a war out of the living room.": yes. And out of the bloodstream, the stories one tells, the way that e.g. my mum keeps jars that are (in fact) empty (rationing etc etc). (the urban geography all round here is based on what got bombed, in fact - WW2 determined the shape of our garden, for example).

*Hell, I never realized why I hoard food. I had no idea we were poor, and sometimes the only decent food we had was what we ran around in the woods eating. And WE weren't starving. But I cannot be caught without food. Makes me twitch. Imagine what the depression or rationing people went through.

@Yes, "what happened in Germany" can happen anywhere, as it is a question of manipulating 'who we think we are' and who the others are (e.g. the Abu Grab torture: this could not have happened unless there had been a living and strong tradition of US racism/anti-arabism -- treating them as less than human).

*Thank you. That strain is there. No decent German would have done that to a Jew. No decent American would have done that to an Arab.

*How's it feel to be painted with the same brush, America? How's it feel to protest you're not like that, that you're a -- ahem -- "Good German?" Not like the Germans didn't warn us until they got numb. But were we listening? NOOOOOOO. We knew better. We're America! We always know better.

@American ignorance is really quite scary (why are there so few maps in the US media???).

*Because, nice little British boy, there are no other countries but America! The sun never sets...

@British are in a way worse: we know, but do it anyway... oh dear.

*The British so badly want to either BE the Romans, or be UNDER the Romans. Hi -- I'm a Roman. Nice to meet you.

@Holocaust a religous term in part an attempt to recoup the loss, maybe? Religion and genocide a distressingly potent mix...

*In so many cases, they're the same thing. Religion is what WE belive, and if You (RY) don't, You're dead. In so many ways.

@PS sorry if above sounds a bit anti-US: not meant to be, I love the USA, honestly, so many good things (west wing, dylan, white stripes etc etc but also democracy and so on): BUT US is the world-empire, so does rather set the agenda.

*Excuse me? Roberta Gregory and I once horrified and delighted a Swiss (now German) friend and colleague -- we sat watching our president on the news, snarling at him, calling him a liar, doing everything but throw noodles at the screen (and if it had been our tv, we would have!).

*Oh, God. I am an American. I yell at my leaders. I'm pissed at my country because it's mis-behaving. I don't want anybody to think I act like those people. I want my country to be GOOD. I give a fuck.

*I am NOT patriotic! I'm NOT! No WAY!

*So why the hell do I keep voting, after I've sworn I'd never do it again, grumbling and grousing all the way to the polling stations?

*Mumble mumble grumble..

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

More Academe

Oh, like I can resist putting more email blatter up here. Waste not, want not.

Me and the academic friends (Caution! Literary arguments! Not for dogs, small children, or police officers under a certain age!).

I'll happily send you a copy of the paper - and will respond more to your comments re: criticism (which are clearly right - but people who write about writing properly respond to the whole text - and whole texts DO say things and are not always excused by e.g. irony)

Me: This is why so many reviewers and school-teachers fall flat on their faces reviewing HUCKLEBERRY FINN. They don't get the point.

AF: and re: extermination of European Jews (lots right in what you say, and indeed Aime Cesaire said same thing in
Discourse on Colonialism in 1951 -AND current historical research also has been developing this line too - BUT (normal human horror not withstanding) there's something about Auschwitz-Birkenau, even now, which is, ho hum, different and awful.

Me: How? How is it worse than what has been done to blacks, indians and women?

It was corporately and mechanically comparitively efficient, but it was the result of short-sightedness and just the sort of administrative screw-ups, viciousness and general scalding idiocy that only the military is capable of when nobody's watching it.

And what people do not GET today is that, regardless of whether or anybody knew this thing was happening, most people didn't care. Non-Jews really did not so much hate or like or anything toward Jews, as a general rule. Jews were not first and foremost in their minds. They could no more have cared, than the average (not all) Americans cared about the treatment of the First Nations. People really only care about their own tribe. It was the horrid talent of the Nazis that they figured out how to split the Jews away, so a people who had so much become a part of German society, could be viewed again, as they had been before, as "The Other." The Germans have never really gotten over the 30-years' war, and "The Other" scares them into the willies.

And most people were so damn busy with depressions, street violence, getting drafted and being bombed, that they didn't pay a lot of attention to what was happening to their neighbors. Remember, NS papers went out after Crystalnacht saying that it had been a mistake because the reaction of the average German was to be appalled by it. Specifically, the average German would have to be so terrorized that he or she would not even dare raise a finger against anything, regardless of personal opinion.

People were not sitting home reading newspapers and listening to the radio on nice safe weekends. All hell was breaking loose, little by little at first, and then just snowballing.

And spiegelman got it wrong -- Germans aren't cats. They're horses. And the Jews didn't so much get hunted as they got stampeded over the top of, crushed, herded, obliterated in a rising panic. Germans never knew when their own loopholes in the fences for safety would open or close. They didn't know whom to talk to. Who was reliable. Who was dangerous. Who would be dangerous because of fear. Or bribery. Or because of the day's weakness. By 1945, they were numb, crazy and just wanted things to be quiet. Like the Israelis, they only wanted very quiet movies and quiet entertainments. The Germans didn't want to talk about anything. Any more than the victims. Nobody wanted to deal with it; they were just too scarred.

The whole recognition of what happened really began to be examined in the 1970's -- but it takes 20-30 years for a generation to even be able to look at what they've been through without twitching.

My husband sat and watched fireworks for the second time since Vietnam last night. He's doing pretty well -- but the noise still gets to him.

It just takes a long time to get a war out of the living room.

And it's weird, but in America, it's almost forbidden to think of what happened in Germany as anything but something that could happen to the Germans. We are jeered at if we write about this and how it happened.

When what is happening here began to happen, my German friends were frantically emailing me. Some of the quotes: "Are you stupid? Are you crazy? Do you learn nothing from what happened to us?" When I tried to impress on them the extent of American ignorance of the period -- other than as a military fashion parade -- you could almost here them gasp squeak and
sputter. They could not believe it had been buried so well.

AK: Term Holocaust started to be used 1960s, and the religious connotation was taken as especailly important... yes this is a very dodgy term

Me: It just makes me twitch... And how does religiousity have anything to do with it? So much more had to do with the forces of capitalism, economies of scale, technological ability, momentum

AK: (Romany 'the
devouring' a more appropiate one?).

Me: I dunno. Kinda describes it, tho', no? The mouse gets gulped by the grazing horse...which has decided to eat everything, like a plague.

Maybe I Should Get Hired To Review...

I wrote this in answer to the following academic silliness. And check the spelling.... I'm writing about Mormons now? News to me.


I'd love a copy.

Oh, and people who write about writing should always realize --

characters can lie, or be confused, or get the facts wrong, or refuse to accept a situation. A lot of reviewers, editors, readers and yes, scholars, make the mistake of thinking that what comes out of the characters mouths necessarily reflects an entire worldview. It may be irony. It may be humor. It may be sarcasm. Look and learn.

Check out "Headaches," the latest Desert Peach. Or "Miki." (Speaking of Maus). Or even "Tongue."

My personal attitude toward The Jewish Tragedy? That it is a perfectly normal development in a system of Viking Economics. In a colonial society, as Western Europe, sooner or later, those actions one has pushed upon others will come back to haunt. White Europeans colonized, conquered, enslaved, and committed genocide all across the globe for hundreds of years. The Germans have a habit of pushing philosophies and actions to their logical extremes. Their question was: If you can enslave Indians, or conquer East Indians, or colonize Indonesians or murder Australians en masse, because they were not white -- why could you not do that to white people? This is why an entire continent of white people -- the Europeans -- now realize that conquest, colonization, slavery and genocide are no fun -- IF THEY'RE DONE TO YOU. They needed to bleed to learn empathy. Horribly enough, the reason the Jewish Tragedy did not gain more notice at the time was that, in comparison to the overall war, it was quite small. Estimates are that 100 million people died in World War Two. Six million just -- hideously enough -- fell through the cracks. I am always horrified by this, but it happened, and there's nothing we can do to deny it.

And I don't use the word "Holocaust." It refers to burnt offerings. This is just too grotesque a use of the word. How can anybody use it in that reference? Who used it in the first place, and why were we not all appalled?

By the way, I'm part Rom and Jewish myself... need I say more?

Donna Barr

-----Original Message-----
From: S B [mailto:safran-can@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, July 05, 2004 5:50 PM
To: barr@stinz.com
Subject: Desert Peach discussed in an academic paper

Dear Donna,

As you probably already know, comix scholarship is
still a relatively new area of study. This is despite
the fact that the format is about 70 years old.

There are a variety of ways that comics-type work is
discussed in published academic papers. Sometimes,
comics with a theme in common are discussed. Sometimes
a specific issue of a comic series is analyzed. And,
sometimes, a graphic novel is the subject of the

Perhaps the most analyzed graphic novel in academe, in
the history of comics, is Art Spiegelman's _Maus_. It
has been discussed in art journals, history journals,
langauge journals, Judaica journals and elsewhere.

It is within this context of sparse academic
scholarship about comics that I happily announce that
_Desert Peach_ was discussed in an academic paper that
was published in 2002, in which it is compared and
contrasted with Alan Moore's _Miracleman_.

The citation for the paper is as follows :

Eaglestone, Robert. Madness or Modernity? : The
Holocaust in Two Anglo-American Comics. _Rethinking
History_ v.6(3) (2002) : 319-330.

If you e-mail Robert, he'll probably be willing to
send you a copy. If not, please let me know and I can
send you a copy of mine. His e-mail address is :

Below, I'm excerpting from the conclusion :


The liberal _Deseret Peach_ can neither explain nor
face the Holocaust, and can only write about it and
draw it as madness - not within human ken. Implicitly,
her liberal paradigm is unable to come to terms with
the events.



Steven M. Bergson

Jews in Comics

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