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Re: unpleasant leathers
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: unpleasant leathers
- From: Ron Koster <psymon@ISTAR.CA>
- Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 15:13:34 -0400
- In-Reply-To: <E0yQO5Xemail@example.com>
- Message-Id: <199804191901.MAA16508@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
At 23:13 17/04/98 -0400, Richard Minsky wrote:
>I am Jewish, and grew up in an apartment house with survivors of the camps
>who had been maimed by the "doctors" and otherwise mutilated. As a child I
>had six years of violin lessons from Hugo Kauder, who lived in the apartment
>below us. He was a hunchback because they had broken his back while they
>made him watch them kill his father. Every week he would press my fingers
>into the strings until I cried so I would learn to make a firm tone. So
>don't go telling me what you might feel IF you was Jewish or something.
With all due respects, Richard, I have every right to express what I feel,
and also what I think I might feel, and I didn't say what I thought you or
anyone else "should" feel about the topic at hand, I just pointed out that
the subject had the potential for upsetting someone, perhaps quite deeply.
I didn't deny you your right to your own opinion or feelings, I only
expressed my own, but I can't deny that I find it rather interesting that
you feel that you do have that right to tell me what to think or feel or
express. All I can say, Richard, is don't go telling me "So don't go
telling me what you might feel IF you was Jewish or something", because I
have every right to say what I feel, and every right, too, to merely
postulate over what I think I might feel under certain circumstances.
Of course, I can *only* imagine and postulate how I might feel if I was
Jewish and my life had been directly affected in some way by the death
camps, because really I don't know. And how you feel about it doesn't have
to be how I would feel about it, either. How I *did* feel about the
discussion, though, was that the thread had run it's course and was
dragging on a bit, but I felt no real revulsion to it, personally, I was
just getting a bit bored with it. If anything, indeed, I was able to find
humour in the subject, as most of us did, and even joked about it off list
with a list member. However, another person expressed to me what was their
shock and dismay, their great sadness and disbelief about this topic of
conversation. This person isn't Jewish either, but their life has been
touched in no small way by what took place in the concentration camps, and
maybe their feelings are not shared be me, nor by in all likelihood the
vast majority of this list's membership, including yourself, but I don't
deny them the right to their feelings, if anything I acknowledge their
feelings and can understand how and why they feel as they do, and it was on
their behalf that I wrote, as well as for any others who might have been
feeling the same way.
You also wrote...
>But this isn't about genocide or torture or anti-semitism or anything else
>like that. It's about personal choices, ethics, aesthetics, materials and
...and in your other "Boundaries" post you said...
>The discussion of human skin in binding is neither morbid nor repulsive. At
>the worst, it's academic. At best, it provides practical information for
>practitioners in this field, which is a significant purpose of this list.
>The fact that some subscribers found it to be in bad taste may have raised
>the discussion itself to the level of art. Art is about many things, but
>changing or expanding the vision of the viewer is certainly one of them.
I agree that this topic *can* be looked upon in a merely academic, distant
and impersonal way, but if even one list member expresses words that say,
in effect, "This topic hurts me very deeply", then it's no longer simply
academic, but very, very personal. And to respond by saying, in essence,
"Oh, lighten up!" and discounting that person's feelings only rubs salt in
what are already very deep wounds -- and surely that requires no further
explanation, does it? And yes, when I spoke up I did so on behalf of
another, but if that person did not do so on their own doesn't mean that
their opinion, and their feelings, don't count and should be invalidated.
I'm sorry, Richard, but -- to speak only for myself -- the topic of human
skin binding is of very little importance, let alone interest, to me, and
despite the fact that I'm not perturbed by the subject myself in any way,
if even just one list member out of the hundreds here expresses that it
cuts into their soul in a way that anyone might surely understand could be
the deepest, most painful way, well, I don't need to talk about it any
more. I may not share their feelings, but it doesn't take much thought on
my part for me to understand their feelings; maybe I can't be truly
empathetic, but I can easily be sympathetic and compassionate, and, you
might say, it ain't no skin off of my nose to drop this subject (no pun
intended<g>) -- and besides, there's much better, many more theoretically
interesting and practically useful things that we could all be talking
about here that don't hurt anyone in any way.
Don't you think?
P S Y M O N ? ? ? ?