Letters to the Editor


Gilles d'Aymery's commentary of December 10, 2001, "Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody," elicited quite a few reactions, mostly positive but for the exception that always confirms the rules.

Hey, if America is so bad, why not move out? You won't be missed.

Have a nice day!

Frank Christoffel


This, of course, is the exact thought that has been circling through my own brain for weeks – "John Ashcroft is my terrorist."

But the whole essay resonates with me, as it resonates, I'm sure, with so many of us 10% who are dug in, laying low, and in shock for how profane and vulgar this nation is. Arrogant, belligerent, ignorant, stupid, intolerant, vengeful, brutal, ever so brutal – and ever so powerful. There are so many who write me every day, as there are so many, I know, with whom you correspond – in disbelief and horror for the atrocious disregard for the fundamental aspirations of this democracy, at least as implied by Jefferson and Madison and the other authors of the constitution. And what is worse? Bush administration policies, or lock step compliance from the majority of the citizenry? The second I'm afraid. To suffer profound offence at Ashcroft and Bush's other monstrous fuckassholes has just rung dead into the larger reality that the ideals set forth by the founding fathers just serves as a veil over the teeth of manifest destiny, the real aspiration of the larger populace.

Your young friends are wrong. It is you who will be locked up or deported or whatever – or maybe not. Either way, it will come at the stroke of a pen, reducing a human being into something less than a human being. History is replete with such tales, the library would be full of those books, if you could find one and if it were only open and if it only had any books on its shelves – especially the ones that discuss how replete history is with how so many atrocities have come from such strokes of a pen.

There is some beautiful country here, along the pacific, in the sierras, the rockies, the southwest – where you can walk in the quiet and the undisturbed and just wonder at the beauty of the land. I have some very good friends, scattered about, here and there. I don't know what, if anything more, I can stomach about the rest of this country. Maybe if there were as many schools built each year as prisons, or libraries somewhere that were open – or if in this great, wealthy country 1 in 5 children weren't living in poverty, or desperate poverty – still, then maybe I could stomach it.

And I haven't even begun the speech about the hundred thousand brown people each we stand atop to breath this rarified air . . .


John Blunt


I am going to use this article for a class of mine to critique and analyze. I am sure that is allright. I am very sympathetic to your anger and agree with you that Ashcroft and many like him, have visions of building a fascist state to preserve their power. I too am distraught that my vision of what America should be and what should drive human existence is so drastically different than those within the power structure and the manipulated masses. Philosophers get criticized for being mere spectators analyzing the world from a far, historians weren't even worth blowing up in the eyes of Teddy K, so my question to you is how do we effectively organize. We can continue to write about it, but the time is rapidly approaching that regardless of your national origin or citizenship, opinions that are a threat will be restricted at all levels. I would be interested to hear about how we can raise the consciousness of this nation in the face of enormous opposition, by thinking globally and acting locally. Together we can make a difference. E-mail me back on what you think.



I just read your excellent rant ("Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody"), and I want to assure you that even some supposed "Americans" know a bit of your suffering.

Even before September 11, I would often find myself feeling as if I spoke a completely different language from most of the people around me. During my childhood, everything about me had to be either because of or in spite of my "disability" (I'm legally blind). I've heard some of my favorite music appropriated for yet another commercial jingle. During the Persian Gulf war, I saw an interview with a child who said he wanted to join the army "'cause you get to blow stuff up and kill people." I often just shake my head in astonishment upon hearing an anti-drug public service announcement followed by an advertisement for Paxil or Zoloft or some other prescribed psychotropic drug. When I hear the song "God Bless America" for the umpteenth time, I wonder which god--the one who allowed the Inquisition, the Crusades, starvation, child abuse, and the nastiness that's come to be called simply "9/11"? Do "we" really want the blessing of such a psychopathic entity? Also, I have a friend who is an albino, and some [sic] What will it take for the 90% to wake up? Maybe when Ashcroft, or maybe Ridge, can suddenly _revoke_ citizenships...or perhaps when Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson get in office and instate public stonings...or maybe when their own families start disappearing in the night, as a Brazilian friend once told me used to happen there. I'm not [sic] In the meantime, I think if there's any hope at all, it's up to the rest of us to do what we can.


Andy Campbell


I just finished reading your article ("Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody"), and am still wiping the tears from my eyes.

I have not, until now, read a commentary on this abomination of a "war" and the final annihilation of all semblance of freedom, justice or morality in this country, that so closely mirrors my own emotions.

You, like myself, are 'Vox Clamatis In Deserto', and I understand all too well the pain which that brings as well as the devastating sense of betrayal.

But you are not alone. We are here - who have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to feel. And your words have power, for you speak the truth and to paraphrase Gandhi - it does not matter if you are a minority of one - the Truth is still the Truth.

They can take our lives, but they cannot take the freedom from our hearts nor can they kill the truth.

I actually envy you - being a non-citizen. I, born as a white U.S. citizen, have the misfortune of belonging to a race from which I feel totally estranged and being a citizen of a country which I have come to loathe. I am not an 'American' either - for what that has come to mean now is loathsome to me, nor do I want to be here. I want to get out - desperately. I no longer have rights either - no one who does not go along with this facist police-state dictatorship does. As one who does not support my government and even sympathizes with the "enemy" I can be labelled not only as a 'terrorist' but could be tried and executed for "treason." Such are the wonderful benefits of my citizenship.

I wish I could be deported - for that is the only way I will get out of this country any time soon.

Thank you for your words of truth and for not holding back the depths of your feelings. Feelings - honest feelings - are what the world so desperately needs right now.

Though I know little about you and your work, I have caught a glimpse of your soul from your writing, and you have my deepest respect.

I do not know what will happen to us - those who see the terrible wrongness of what is transpiring and will not ally with it - but I do believe there is Justice in the Cosmos, whether or not we will be present to witness it.

Thank you again for your words, and your courage and honesty.




I loved your article. I'm only 15 and I'm one of the few at my school who even knows or is disgusted by the actions of the US. Ashcroft has sincerely pissed me off because of his treatment to his ethnic "friends." No innocent people ever deserve to be treated that way, ever. It doesn't matter what one's nationality or skin color is, we are all human. All races are humans, and humans are humans are humans. Ashcroft has no excuse for what he has done. He only aids the terrorists by giving the terrorists something to laugh at. Some believe that the terrorists attacked us because of our freedom; well it worked. They're laughing their heads off because our society is becoming a jingoist, fascist, police state and I for one am sick of how people, especially immigrants, are treated in this country. This is not what our country was founded on and I whole heartedly agree with you. Keep up the good work. Live long, hold your head up high, and prosper. May the truth continue to come from your hand and may your purposes and intentions be fully imbedded into your heart. And may Buddha's compassion go with you.

Jesse Ogden


I understand the sentiment perfectly. The sadness and empathy felt by looking at the families of this horror is beyond description. Our claim to care about innocent lives is so insincere. Instead of proving Osama bi laden incorrect about his claims about America, we have become just a s he describes. I too am scared. It is a junta (hunta) regime under which we live. I am afraid there is little of my America left. Many more innocents will be killed than those which we avenged. Which is another story that of revenge. I have suffered the death of a close relative and her children by violent means. We never sought the death of the perpetrator as we just wanted the killing to stop. It is hard to imagine the grief of the human heart demanding the sacrifice of other innocent beings. I do not think this is about the victims but about hegemony. If this were about victims, we would be more careful. Regards,

Pam Magee
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Published January 1, 2002
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