Being There


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Posted by Ammianus Marcellinus on 04/14/02 - 21:36:39
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Message Body

"It's always easier to take that stand if you weren't there..." except you seem to imply that you have some sort of big moral or epistemic privilege based on your idea that "you were there," some exclusive right to talk about Vietnam or whatever.  Don, you are no more nor less moral than anyone else, and no more or less right than anyone else, just for talking up some big claim that you "were there."  And I can't say that you hold some all-encompassing truth about something just because you say you "were there," either.  You could have done anything, been anywhere.

Now, in fact, if you have some truth, either factual or moral, to convey to us that _is_ based on the fact that you "were there," I'm sure we'd all like to see it _demonstrated_, i.e. what did you _learn_ from "being there" and all.  Otherwise, your claims about "being there" are of no use to us.  And by "us" I mean your readers, especially your male readers.

(Many of us male readers, judging from the traffic on this board, have already been down the road of provisional self-esteem based on warped ideals of masculinity -- we want to know if there's anything more to it than that.)

And, while you're at this process of explaining this truth (about Vietnam or whatever) that you have, please guide us through the learning process so we _know_ that your truth isn't just the result of a warped mind.  Otherwise we'll just go back to reading W. D. Ehrhart or somebody who's already published his thoughts about "being there."

Otherwise, it's only a boast.  Like gutter language, it's empty indulgence, a waste of our time and bandwidth.  And Iím pretty sure that thatís not the type of discourse that would bring Jack here.


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