Dan Schneider: Neo-Nazi Or Anti-Christ?
Copyright © by Dan
In some ways, and to some folks, it seems as if the titled question of this piece is the debate of the millennium. It is a battle between the density of Left Wing Looney Extremism and Right Wing Radical Asininity. Recently I was made aware of two attempts to paint me with a broad brush by two ridiculous fringe folk, of the sort who unfortunately dominate the Internet, and one seeming moderate. One is a Left Wing doggerelist whigger, loosely associated with the recrudescense of the Nuyoricanist and Spoken Word movements. The other is a Right Wing Christian apologist, with a shady- and perhaps criminal- background. The third I shall deal with lastly. Both extremist idiots apparently loathe me- the former for decrying rapist criminal poseur Miguel Piñero as a scumbag, and the latter for, yet again, denuding the wan arguments of the believers that Jesus Christ ever existed. What is amazing is how similar the rants are, how deluded, and how off-target, even though both idiots would readily ascribe me to the other side, even as they would revile each other. Yet, they are both so extreme that they can see no difference between the sane middle and the opposite extreme from their position. Both are cowards, both are anonymous, and both refused to even engage me in debate. Instead, both lied and distorted. The Left Winger out and out called me a Neo-Nazi, while the Right Winger de facto labeled me an Anti-Christ to his views. The age old question that I parody in the title is basically this: which is worse, a Left or Right Wing Extremist?
My answer is there really is no difference, as I will show.
The Left Wing
scumbag in question is a whigger doggerelist, reputedly from South Carolina, who
calls himself Jus Caus. Ain’t you impressed? He even has a website,
and a blog on it, although he seems to have abandoned it the last few months. He
is also, apparently, a Star Trek nerd, as his blog is fashioned after the
Captain’s Logs made famous by that tv franchise. Here is his fulmination from
a few months back:
Captains Log 181:
DAN SCHNEIDER IS A NEO-NAZI. I'm cautious with anger. However, this morning as I sat in a free chair aimlessly scrolling internet pages/sites reading poetical venues, artist reviews I happened upon Dan Schneider's essay, Miguel Pinero: the man, the scumbag! Not a morsel of my being desires debate in the aforementioned title. Nature painted my face with its natural blush when eyes' scanned belittling of Baraka, Carrol, Algarin, Nuyoricans', BB, contempt of Puerto Ricans', and a Caucasian fallacy of colossal magnitude concerning: What is art? Why is there Art? If Art is truth where's imagination? Humanity isn't Art? Art is Art. Art is Art? How can 1 be "bad" if 1 is "good"? I'm so good at being "bad" that I'm "good" can you dig it? Pleased with my body's physical reaction to Custard ideology lacking hesitation I searched the worldwide web for mr schneider. Several sites sprang forth. Being the poet (for no knowledge of a more suitable word) I am I selected linkage to a few of DS's poems. Understanding of the "professional, Amazon book hooker, academia self-proclaimed sage came with lines such as, "...whiter and purer...", "I worry over...the oncoming demands of the negro" (where he choose this derivative of the word because it isn't "poetic" to have identical word usage in poems), and "...be free of the clutches of the Jew in his temple...". Nor is it poetic to repeat entire sentences. DN is a neo-nazi. (See what I did, I used an acronym for Dan S; that's clever!) Under NO circumstances should a writer close his/her essay, review, or poem with the sentence used to begin the work! Tyrants have reasons as do rants. The poem I authored Tuesday will be posted on the poems/stories in remembrance of D. Schneider. Once published, I'll have an official, real life, unimaginative dedication. Dan Schneider is a neo-nazi. JC 3-3-05
Ok, first off, we know that the man cannot write coherently. Some may
slough this off as being a blogger’s prerogative, but I state it’s part and
parcel of his lack of writing skill, as evidenced by this bit of doggerel, also
gleaned from his blog:
I watched the sky
hike up her blue skirt
revealing the night.
It was twenty-seven degrees.
I was outside
wearing short sleeves
skipping rocks atop water
wondering if Jesus and I
could cross it
Birthed with a need
to believe; craving
any and everything
is how I began;
it's how I am;
so I stand.
all I thought I knew.
all I said I'd never do.
Never is a promise
I can't keep.
I've always been in love
with the idea of being in love.
But after witnessing my Father’s
Integrity swing a sledge hammer
to feed his family
I found the only thing I believed;
despite my love for love
I hated what loving was.
Heart flutters caused by others
raptures me up. Being captured
by strangers eye contact
barely brings me back .
I'd rather stitch a white flag
from the skin off my back;
raise it and wave it until
the sun turns black
than to stay trapped
between my Mother’s last kiss
and the first I’ll give my unborn kid.
Between the war now
and the war that will be.
There is no mystery as to why
I sequester myself from reality.
Shortcomings keep hounding me.
Thorns keep crowning me.
Ancestors' blood keeps drowning me.
I'd rather travel to every city
excavating staples from telephone poles
with my teeth than to have these memories.
all I ever want to be
is seven billion people
for three seconds each.
Yet, I remain
in the same skin I slithered in with.
Peering out of merlot filled holes
holding onto the belief
of what life could be
if I had the ability to believe
that Jesus wouldn't release my hands.
I lack all that I am.
So I write you a poem
and sing you a psalms
because I never want
any nails in these palms.
Remember, I’m in love
with idea of being in love.
Don’t ask me to give up
hate. Up to date,
it’s the only thing I believe in.
I've stopped questioning the reasons
why certain times Love and I
would stay up laughing at the sun
like he was the one that was up all night.
Rightfully so, I knew tattoo regret
when everyone of them left.
I keep all their tears as souvenirs.
They remind me
I'll never be able to walk on water.
You can debate which is worse, his use of clichés or the overall
preachiness, but my point is made, and in spades, re: his terrible writing- or
spoken word doggerel. As for his claims of my being a Neo-Nazi. He refers to
coming across a poem of mine called Rockwell’s America posted here: www.unlikelystories.org/schneider1104.shtml.
Apparently Jus Caus- or JC, as he prefers in his Christ-complected world,
or Kevin L. Lewis, if one is to believe his website’s claim as to his true
name, is too young, stupid, or both to realize that the poem is not an
expression of my views on race, but those of noted 20th Century
American Nazi Party head George Lincoln Rockwell, contrasted against famed
American illustrator Norman Rockwell’s more idyllic view of this nation, as
enumerated in his four paintings series The Four Freedoms- each of which
is a section in the poem that the Nazi’s Points clash with. It is a deft and
jarringly political poem that assails and subverts racial extremism,
simplemindedness, and the patina that conservative mindsets like the painters’
encouraged. Of course, it is both too complex and technically strong to be
understood by someone whose political views are as deep as: Don’t ask me to
give up/hate. Up to date,/it’s the only thing I believe in. So, let’s
have some fun with this moron, and look at his claims, one by one:
Captains Log 181:
DAN SCHNEIDER IS A NEO-NAZI. I'm cautious with anger.
Presumably Lewis had gas.
However, this morning as I sat in a free chair aimlessly scrolling
internet pages/sites reading poetical venues, artist reviews I happened upon Dan
Schneider's essay, Miguel Pinero: the man, the scumbag! Not a morsel of my being
desires debate in the aforementioned title.
Yet he sticks his toes in. Now, this piece is a review of a terrible film
made about the poetaster criminal, one in which many Nuyoricans refused
participation in for it glorified Piñero at the expense of other Nuyoricans.
painted my face with its natural blush when eyes' scanned belittling of Baraka,
Carrol, Algarin, Nuyoricans', BB, contempt of Puerto Ricans', and a Caucasian
fallacy of colossal magnitude concerning: What is art? Why is there Art? If Art
is truth where's imagination? Humanity isn't Art? Art is Art. Art is Art? How
can 1 be "bad" if 1 is "good"? I'm so good at being
"bad" that I'm "good" can you dig it?
I belittled no people,
just their art and idiocy. I dare Lewis to show any slam against Puerto Ricans
as a group. This sort of thing is just what Leftists complain of when done by
their enemies on the Right. And I rightly engage the nature of art debate that
talentless hacks like Lewis cannot understand. I have a long record of
championing excellent art- by majority or minority writers as Edward Jones,
James Emanuel, Robert Hayden, Gwendolyn Brooks. But assailing the art of poseurs
and phonies like Piñero, Baraka, and the Nuyoricans is the flip side. My
support of the good writers who are in the minority would be meaningless without
simultaneously ripping the bad. Yet, all Lewis can get from this is that he
thinks I’m a poseur like him. Witness my point being made:
with my body's physical reaction to Custard ideology lacking hesitation I
searched the worldwide web for mr schneider.
Oh, the pain of truth!
sites sprang forth. Being the poet (for no knowledge of a more suitable word) I
am I selected linkage to a few of DS's poems. Understanding of the
"professional, Amazon book hooker, academia self-proclaimed sage came with
lines such as, "...whiter and purer...", "I worry over...the
oncoming demands of the negro" (where he choose this derivative of the word
because it isn't "poetic" to have identical word usage in poems), and
"...be free of the clutches of the Jew in his temple...".
If he’d actually read
more he’d see that no one has been more thorough and devastating in assailing
the Academic tripe out there, as well as I do the poseur hipster garbage Lewis
and his ilk spew. Then he quotes the lines of the Rockwell character out of
context, to impute that they are my sentiments. This is factually wrong,
ethically specious, and displays a desperation to just attack, without looking
up the facts. As I said, Lewis probably has no idea who the Rockwell of the
title references, nor why- although anyone reading the epigraph from Malcolm X
should realize that it undercuts Lewis’s very premise of me as a neo-Nazi.
is it poetic to repeat entire sentences.
Boy, Wallace Stevens is
really in Dutch, now. This from a doggerelist who indulges clichés?
is a neo-nazi. (See what I did, I used an acronym for Dan S; that's clever!)
His attempt at
self-reflexive humor goes over as well as the rest of his points.
NO circumstances should a writer close his/her essay, review, or poem with the
sentence used to begin the work!
Even were this nonsense
granted truth, how does it refer to the poem of mine he references, since it
does not do what is stated? Damn reefer!
have reasons as do rants. The poem I authored Tuesday will be posted on the
poems/stories in remembrance of D. Schneider. Once published, I'll have an
official, real life, unimaginative dedication. Dan Schneider is a neo-nazi. JC
Of course, the weed forestalled his posting of any poem- at least it’s
not on his website. So, what do we know about Lewis? He’s a fraud, using an
alias. He’s a doggerelist. He cannot link together more than one thought at a
time into coherence. He’s a PC Elitist and has no independent thoughts. He
also knows nothing, apparently, of the real Miguel Piñero. I do- I knew the
man, years ago. He was scum of the lowest order. Lewis is just a deluded whigger,
who is so ashamed of his roots he has to preen as if her were not a white bread
kid from the sticks.
Although I do not need to declaim my politics in every breath of my life
nor art, my poem is infinitely more complex and political than Lewis’s, and
anything he could ever hope to do. Add to that the fact that the man is too
cowardly to even confront me and….well, that’s the M.O. of a loser. Whenever
I’ve ripped someone I’ve always emailed the person, if contactable. Not so
with the cowardly Lewis. We’ll see how long it takes the moron to find this
But, if Lewis is bad, could the Right Winger be even worse?
It was a couple of years ago when I posted my article debunking the historical reality of Jesus Christ. Although I never claimed to be an expert in theology nor a professional archaeologist the literature that supports the non-historicity of Christ is vast, and I merely skimmed the surface. Yet, this is infinitely more than the deluded Christ mythologists have- which is absolute zero. This is why, despite my emailing it out to literally dozens of sites on the subject, I never got a single reply from a claimed ‘expert’. I did get quite a few replies- some pro, some con, and the article was one of my most popular ever, with about 1 million hits in its first month, or so, ranking only behind my anti-Iraq war piece, with about 7.5 million hits in the first six weeks, and my assault on the JFK and UFO mythos, with about 2 million hits in the first two months, my analysis of the 2004 Presidential election, with about 1.2 million hits in the first month, and about on par with my essay on the tv series The Prisoner, and those I’ve done on the American Idol tv series.
One of the people I emailed out my article to was a fellow I quoted within my original piece, the Venerable Bede. Apparently he is not so venerable, as he could not take on my dissection, so handed it over to some Internet fraud going by the name of James Patrick Holding (aka Robert Turkel). This is an alias he uses for unknown reasons. He claims he uses it so not to be attacked while working in a prison. Presumably he fears being sodomized by a big, black atheist. His website is also a ministry, although many online have questioned his theological credentials and the fact that his organization seems to worship the dollar above all else. On one of his pages he declares his faith by stating ‘….I vary on a couple of points from the average Christian today on how they will be fulfilled. Here's how. Take #16: Jesus Christ will come again to the earth - personally, visibly and bodily - to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. I completely agree….’ Already that rip you hear is the fraying of Turkel’s neurons. Even more amusing is this posting called Calculated Contempt: Why Bible Critics Do Not Deserve the Benefit of the Doubt. He states: ‘Whenever you run across any person who criticizes the Bible, claims findings of contradiction or error -- they do not deserve the benefit of the doubt.’ Then he justifies: ‘It doesn’t take very long to realize that a thorough understanding of the Bible -- and this would actually apply to any complex work from any culture -- requires specialized knowledge, and a broad range of specialized knowledge in a variety of fields.’ Of course, this is nonsense- all it takes is an elementary school reading level. This is Turkel attempting to cover himself in the patina of ‘expertise’. He claims this with such pronouncements as, ‘Not even most scholars in the field can master every aspect -- what then of the non-specialist critic who puts together a website in his spare time titled 1001 Irrifutible Bible Contradictions? Do these persons deserves our attention? Should they be recognized as authorities? No, they deserve calculated contempt for their efforts. (By this, I do not mean emotional or behavioral contempt, but a calculated disregard for their work from an academic perspective.) They have not even come close to deserving our attention, and should feed only itching ears with similar tastes.’ Aside from the errors in grammar Turkel then tries to cast the rationalists as Holocaust Deniers or Flat Earthers, even though the burden of proof lies with the claimant- his side. In his whole site there is not a single factual refutation of the many discrepancies believers in a factual Christ hold. His sum effort is name-calling, specious reasoning, quoting out of context, and flat-out error. And he knows it; this the real reason he refuses to notify those he attacks, and refuses to link to them, just as he does not provide a link to Cosmoetica. This is also why, despite his claims, it is he who has been marginalized as a lunatic by even most religious scholars, and the fact is that he desperately tries to engage those in the non-believer camps. In an article on the Atheist website The Secular Web, a site which happens to have about a hundred times the Internet traffic of Tektonics, thereby refuting his claims over who is in the fringe and who is not, a writer named Farrell Till wrote a piece called ‘James Patrick Holding,’ the Want-to-Be Apologist. Apparently, as in his refusal to engage me, by claiming to challenge me to a debate, but never making me aware of his piece- whose date of posting is not listed, Turkel has desperately challenged many non-believers, been beaten, then held on like a desperate animal for attention. On another site he apparently raged against the fact that someone else was posting non-religious points of view in his name. That’s because, as with the Left Winger Lewis, the Right Winger J.P. Holding is an alias. His real name, as evidenced by Till is Robert Turkel, and as aliases are not copyrightable, the agnostic JPH was as entitled to use it as Turkel, or Trukel, if another online foe of his is correct. Most likely both are also aliases for cowards as Turkel love to hide behind barriers, real or imagined. Till makes a good case against Turkel as a religion-based scam artist by delineating much of the method behind getting non-profit tax status. He also exposes Turkel’s practice of non-linking and selective quoting of others’ articles- a tactic used by all frauds, as I’ve shown in my above critique of Lewis, and thoroughly trounces him as a fraud.
Well, Farrell Till can’t have all the fun. Now it’s my turn. Unlike
Turkel I will not quote, but take the
whole article, bit by bit, and destroy it point by point. Of course, I was
never notified of its posting, and there is no date on it, for Turkel wanted no
real debate. Recall, if you will, that name-calling, specious reasoning, quoting
out of context, and flat-out error are the Four Horsemen of the fraudulent. Name
calling leads off, as the article is titled The Duke of Hazards: Dan Schneider’s Imitation of a Yapping Chihuahua.
Turkel doesn’t explain his reason for this, so I shall. One of the stars of
the lame 1970s show The Dukes Of Hazzard was actor John Schneider (no
relation). This allows the imagination-challenged Turkel to somehow think tying
me to a mediocre actor somehow refutes my debunking of the pro-Christers’
claims, replete with a photo of the car, the General Lee, from the tv show. Of
course, he does not link to my article, nor did he ever contact me, just as
Lewis didn’t, so I will return his ignorance.
Bede refused to debate me,
and in an email stated his reasons as he didn’t have the time, but would get
back to me. Of course, like Turkel, he had no intentions to ever get back to me,
so passed it on to the bottom feeder. Acharya S. is the webmaster of one
of the sites I quote within my article. Acharya is, in a sense, the
opposite end of the spectrum from Turkel. She is a dogged atheist, and her
response to my piece was tepid, although generally in agreement. I have issues
with some of the claims she makes, as they are not greatly supportable, but in
the main, all the quotes I used from her site I independently verified via
dozens of other pro and con sites re: Christ’s historicity, as well as over a
dozen other books on Biblical research and archaeology. The only bit of
historical error or obfuscation I could find in her claims was the linkage of
Jesus Christ to a minor sun god. That said, the whole of this paragraph
dismisses my claims merely because of one of my sources being a bit dodgy;
although, by comparison to Turkel, Acharya S. is far more accessible, credible, and responsive.
The delicious irony to be savored in all of this is the contrast between Bede, who is very close to a Ph. D. in history, and Schneider, whose website is mainly about poetry (!) and who has no posted credentials; yet he had the nerve to accuse Bede of "slip up[s]," "deception & ad hominem" when "reality is shown". If he has any credentials to speak of, they are certainly either cherry or grape flavor: In his section on the secular references to Jesus, for example, he yanks out the old "procurator vs. prefect" canard that even the leading atheist historian at infidels.org has rejected. So as usual, we'll challenge Schneider to show his mettle against own material and then proceed with the spanking.
Occasionally people ask why there is no record of Jesus in Roman records. The
answer is that there are no surviving Roman records but only highly parochial
Roman historians who had little interest in the comings and goings of minor
cults and were far more concerned about Emperors and Kings. Jesus made a very
small splash while he was alive and there was no reason for Roman historians to
Note the attempts at
marginalization. PhD. or no, I showed Bede was wrong time and time again.
Credentials have nothing to do with correctness in any issue. Notice the link-
it is not to my article but to another solipsistic Turkel article. Now look at
Bede’s answer. Jesus made no historical impact? Not to hear the Mel Gibson
crowd. Plus, there are detailed Roman records of crucifixions and executions in
all their provinces. If Jesus was, as the believers claim, sentenced to death by
Pontius Pilate, there is no way there would have NOT been multiple records of it
throughout the province and back in Rome. So, the believers can either stick
with their claims that a historic Jesus Christ was a nobody, thereby
invalidating the very bases for claims by the Gibsonians, and all the Jesus
apologists who appear on the seemingly bi-monthly ABC News reports, or
acknowledge that he did not exist, because there is not a single record
contemporaneous to his claimed existence. Which is it? How then to explain the
discrepancy between the shifting claims of the believers, which do not cohere
with each other? Two paragraphs in and they are already on their knees.
The Duke of Hazards: Yet, we have seen how Christians have declaimed Christ’s fame far & wide. Why would Roman historians never notice him if the politicians of the day were in a panic? This is subjective editing of facts that contradict the writer’s POV- & facts presented by those on the writer’s side! This lack of consistency is typical of Christian & other apologists.
What the DoH is trying to prove here is hard to say. The whole issue is
that the records we have left are from people who would not give a flying bowl
of hummus what Christians declaimed. DoH offers no specifics as to how
"politicians of the day were in a panic" (what politicians, where? how
much "panic" and on what basis?) and why this should have made a
difference, or what historians he thinks ought to have made an issue of this and
in what work. There is no "subjective editing" or "lck of
consistency" -- the DoH is just, well, stupid and that's a nice way to put
He merely recapitulates
the prior paragraphs, still has no answer, and apparently cannot even copy and
paste correctly- thus his ‘lack’ lacks an ‘a’. Get your tales straight
internally before you attempt to argue them.
Bede:Once Christianity was established as a major cult in the Empire then Jesus became rather more interesting and he is mentioned by Tacitus in the early second century. However, Jesus Mythologists counter this by claiming that he could have got his information from Christians which means his evidence is not independent. So, we have a very convenient situation for the Jesus Mythologists. Until Christianity had spread no one except Christians would be interested in Jesus but all later records are ruled out of court as they are tainted by association with Christianity. This sort of special pleading is one of the reasons that modern historians have no time for these theories as they are set up to be impossible to disprove.
The Duke of Hazards:
The DoH apparently isn't aware that Bede at least is not a believer in inerrancy; I am one myself, even if not the Bob Jones variety, but since the DoH doesn't say what part of the Bible this is "in direct opposition" to there's not much that can be said. There is nothing in the Bible that is in direct opposition to what Bede says. In terms of "after JC's supposed life" the right answer is, "so what"? The historians of antiquity record many things (most of what many record, in fact) after the life and times of those whose acts they record. What? Could Tacitus write accurately about Nero only while the latter was alive, and then, when he died, did Tacitus and all sources about Nero just draw a blank?
And Bede of
course refers not to "historians" but to Jesus Mythologists, who are
not historians and never are.
Note how there is a
supposed reply from me, with a colon, but what follows is Turkel’s nonsense.
The man cannot even ridicule another properly. Bede’s assertion was trounced
in my original piece, and the claim that Christ only became notable of being
written of decades after his death is not a false one, but it does nothing to
resolve why this ‘thorn in Rome’s side’, to the believers, was never
mentioned in his lifetime, nor his infamous death, and glorious resurrection.
Nada, as far as answer. But, an even more manifest answer to why Christ was
written about only decades later would be that, like all myths, it took time to
get enough weight to be transcribed, as well to have enough time to do away with
any contemporary counter-claims to the historicity. Mythifiers know how to
construct there myths, and this was not modern times, so there were no forensics
to worry of. Note, instead of my actual response, Turkel veers off on inerrancy,
which was not the crux of the matter. He cannot argue my points, nor Bede’s,
so goes off into his own world.
Bede: In fact, Christian evidence for a human Jesus who was crucified is trustworthy because it ran counter to the myths of the time and suggested that he had suffered a humiliating death. If they made it up and then suppressed the truth with clinical efficiency, why did they come up with a story which even the Christian apologist, Tertullian, admitted was absurd? It seems far more likely that they had a large number of historical facts that they had to rationalise into a religion rather than creating all these difficulties for themselves.
The Duke of Hazards:Yet, we see this is patently false- the JC mythos is so endebted to other myths that to deny this fact is to practice willful blindness to an absurd end.
I'm not sure why
we should trust an alleged poet who cannot even spell "indebted." On
the other hand, if "other myths" had a bit to do with it we'd like to
know which ones. The DoH can turn his blind eye here
for a list of "other myths" debunked, and see where "denial"
and "willful blindness" as an answer will get him.
Bede’s claim is not
true- witness the historical records of the slave rebellions, such as
Spartacus’s. How this has relevance to the demonstrable similarities Jesus has
with other godlets is never established. And apparently, Turkel is not able to
discern that the prefixes in- and en- are interchangeable, and perfectly
acceptable grammar- one can ensure and/or insure something. Of course, the link is
to claims that I, and many others have roundly debunked, and which the
fraudulent Turkel refuses to stand behind outside his solipsistic website. Of
course, Christians don’t believe in language that grows, nor has duplicity.
Bede: Sometimes Jesus Mythologists will produce long lists of writers none of whom have the slightest reason to mention an obscure Jewish miracle worker and somehow think this strengthens their point. In fact, it has all the relevance of picking fifty books off your local library shelf and finding that none of them mention Carl Sagan. Does that mean he did not exist either? Jesus was not even a failed military leader of the kind that Romans might have noticed - especially if he had been defeated by someone famous.
The Duke of Hazards: This is so ridiculous- but, again, the Bible itself states that JC was a MAJOR thorn on the Romans’ sides- & was hardly ‘obscure’. Can you say ‘eat my cake & have it, too’?
We once again
search in vain for some place in the Bible that "states that JC was a MAJOR
thorn on the Romans' side"' Jesus never saw or spoke to an Emperor of Rome,
or a Senator, or any member of the upper class; he had barely a few moments of
trial with the prefect/procurator of an obscure backwater province, and was
undoubtedly one of hundreds of such prisoners processed by Pilate every year.
From their point of view he was just another face in the crowd, so what's all
Of course, Turkel is right
when he claims the phrase major thorn is not in the Bible- this is my paraphrase, another concept beyond him. Yet, the claims that Turkel makes would,
indeed be news to Mel Gibson and the Vatican. Again, choose one story, and stick
with it. It’s too easy with these clowns.
Bede: Allegations that Christianity is an adaptation of a pagan religion have been around for ages….With this is in mind I present "Bede's Guide to the Production of a Best-seller that Undermines the Roots of Christianity". With this I can guarantee that you will be able to find all the parallels you like between paganism and Christianity or indeed, properly adapted, between any other two unrelated subjects that you care to name.
1. The first thing to do is ensure you cast your net as widely as possible. So within Christianity you should include every cult, heresy and sect you can get your hands on. Gnosticism will be particularly helpful as they did indeed borrow large chunks of pagan thought which is partly why they were considered heretics in the first place. As for paganism, this can include just about everything. Freke and Gandy comb not only Greek cults (Oedipus) but also Egyptian (Horus and Osiris), Roman (Bacchus) and Persian (Mithras). Elsewhere you will find Celtic deities, Norse beserkers and Indian mystics pulled into the fray. Now, with this vast body of writing, finding parallels will not be too challenging provided you are willing to wade through it all.
The Duke of Hazards: So, this is a refutation- not an endorsement, right?
description. The refutation will be found at the above link of the DoH has the
I believe the last
sentence should read ‘if’ not ‘of’, but again, all Turkel does is quote
himself. My point is that the parallels between the precursor gods to Jesus are
so strong that there is no doubt that they played a role in shaping the Jews’
‘new and improved’ God named Jesus. Again, no refutation, only solipsism.
Bede:2. But don't restrict yourselves to pagan religions from before the time of Christ. Remember your methodology should be that Christians copied pagans and not the other way around. This is useful because you can now point to similarities between paganism and Christianity after the latter was already widespread. So if, like Freke and Gandy, you can find a picture showing Bacchus on a cross dating from two hundred years after Jesus was crucified you can still claim that the Christians copied the pagans and not the other way around.
The Duke of Hazards: Of course, even assuming that a piece of art post-dates JC it has no bearing on the fact that Bacchus & the other Sun Gods predate JC. So what’s the point? It’s to add verbal heft to a weightless argument. Again, this actually & unwittingly undermines the writer’s claims.
"point" is that the art that "post-dates JC" is often the
only basis upon which any parallel to JC is made. The mere fact that the gods
existed is beside the point: a depiction of Bacchus crucified (even if not
forged) dated 350 AD means nothing; a picture of Bacchus crucified dated 350 BC
would mean a lot; a depiction of Bacchus mowing his lawn means nothing
whatsoever, whether it dates to 1000 BC or 1000 AD. The "point"
escapes the DoH like the Birdman escaped Alcatraz.
Turkel’s point is simply
not so. The bulk of arguments against a historical Jesus are from prior
cultures, not later ones, so the whole of Turkel’s argument is based upon yet
another claim that has no basis in fact- but it lengthens his article.
Bede:3. Language is important. Christian terms such as 'salvation', 'Eucharist', 'word made flesh' and 'lamb of god' are common currency today. Therefore when translating or paraphrasing pagan sources always use modern Christian language. Never mind that the ancient pagans would not have known what you were on about - you are not talking to them. In this way you can call a woman being raped by various kinds of wildlife a 'virgin birth', you can call having ones body parts stuck back together a 'resurrection' and you can call just about every Greek hero a 'son of god'. Also it is helpful to use King James Bible phrases and style when quoting pagan texts. It gives them some more gravitas.
The Duke of Hazards: Most of the ‘Virgin Births’ were as ‘Virgin’ as Yahweh’s impregnation of Mary. Just what is so different from the philandering Yahweh & the horny Zeus, anyway, is never detailed. The attempt at semiotics naturally fails, especially considering how poorly the Christians, & predecessor Jews, covered up their steals.
apparently missed basic sex ed if he sees no difference between the
overshadowing Holy Spirit creating the Christ child in Mary's womb by divine
fiat, and Zeus getting his jollies turning into geese and raping the
unsuspecting as he drips bodily fluids all over the place. Perhaps the DoH
thinks babies are found under cabbage leaves as well. In any event, if he wants
something to do, he can try this
on for size. Maybe he can even name someone besides Zeus and explain why there
is actually a parallel.
Turkel apparently misses
the point that many ancient cultures were gun shy on sex. There is no
discrepancy with the euphemizing the Bible uses in the Divine Conception. Yahweh
clearly had sex with Mary as Zeus did with many Greek babes. Call it what you
will, but the results speak for themselves. God had a boner for Mary, and went
full on, despite another solipsistic linkage. If I have to explain the parallels
between the god-mortal sex myths then one wonders what Turkel was doing during
sex ed, and if his hands were all sticky.
Bede:4. Do try to confuse liturgy and practice with history. For instance the mystery religions and Christianity were both underground movements so they had to operate in similar sorts of ways. Sacred meals and ritual washing are as old as religion itself so the Christianity using them as well as pagans is not surprising at all. Make it sound like a complete revelation.
The Duke of Hazards: Again, this does nothing but inadvertently give pre-lineage to practices supposedly ‘new’ to Christianity. 2 feet & 2 hands have been shot. How many more limbs to go?
is it? So the DoH thinks the pagans had a lock on fellowship meals, and
Christians had to say, "Darn, we can't enjoy feelowship meals, these guys
already have one"? No one ever claimed that the elemental practice of a
fellowship meal was "new". It IS claimed that the Christian fellowship
meal has new and different meaning than other meals; but if the DoH wishes to
play this game, then every time he and the family go out to eat to celebrate his
latest round of dental work, he's imitating pagans.
This isn’t even a
refutation. Must be the hands getting sticky again.
Bede:5. Say totally different things are in fact closely related. For instance, Mithras was sometimes represented by a bull. Say this is the same as Jesus being called the lamb of God (ignoring that one is a symbol of sexuality and strength and the other of innocence and humility). Compare the Mithric ritual of taking a shower in the warm blood of the aforementioned bull with Christian baptism with water. Claim that the thieves crucified with Jesus are the same as a pair of torch bearers that appear on some illustrations of Bacchus.
The Duke of Hazards: Notice this- the author says ‘sometimes’ in reference to Mithra’s being represented by a bull. This implies that sometimes he was not, for we know the lamb & lion (Christ symbols) were also used. The author again unwittingly kills his own arguments. As for Bacchus; rarely identified with JC- this is just distraction, or white noise to set up an easily refuted argument for 1 that was never proposed in the 1st place.
Er, no, the lamb was NEVER used for Mithras; if the DoH thinks otherwise, perhaps he can inform Mithraic scholars, who have never heard such a thing. The lion, on the other hand, was regarded in Roman Mithraism as Mithra's "totem" animal, just as Athena's animal was the owl and Artemis' animal was the deer. Since Mithra was a sun-god, there was also an association with Leo, which was the House of the Sun in Babylonian astrology. But aside from this evidence all being post-Christian, one may ask what the big deal is. Do we expect the Christians or the Mithraists to say, "Darn, we can't use the lion, it's already taken by the other guys?" Should Exxon give up their tiger because of Frosted Flakes? But if you really want to get technical, Jesus owned the rights to the lion symbol as a member of the tribe of Judah long before Mithras even appeared in his Iranian incarnation (Gen. 49:9). There are other associations as well: In the Roman material, one of Mithra's companions in the bull-slaying scene is a lion; the lion is sometimes Mithra's hunting and feasting companion; Mithra is sometimes associated with a lion-headed being who is sometimes identified as the evil Zoroastrian god Ahriman; one of the seven stages of initiation in Mithraism is the lion stage. But Mithra is only called a lion in one Mithraic tale (which is part of Armenian folklore -- where did the writers of the NT pick that up?) because as a child he killed a lion and split it in two.
As for Bacchus, I
guess the DoH missed Freke and Gandy's quite public identification of JC with
Bacchus -- on the cover of their best-selling book. He also apparently hasn't
read Acharya S thoroughly. Bacchus is in fact one of the top three figures these
amateurs identfy JC with -- Mithra and Osiris are the other two.
Again, Mithras was
represented as a lamb and lion, and scholars aver this. As for Bacchus and the
book he quotes- note I said ‘rarely’, which means that there have been links,
but they are not given credence. They are marginalized as Turkel’s ideas are.
So, we get a factual error and an inability to correctly read. As for Acharya
S., I never claimed to be a devotee, nor to have read her every word. She is, as I said,
part of a fringe element in opposition to Turkel. My views are well within the
mainstream of the scholarship that proves Jesus Christ never existed.
Bede:6. For goodness sake do not mention the things that really made the pagan mysteries interesting. After all your work of showing that Jesus and Bacchus are one and the same, you will lose everything if you let on that Bacchus was the god of drunkenness and his worship involved getting plastered and having sex with anything in sight (goats being a particular favourite). In fact, keep sex out of it altogether. Yes, sex was the central feature of an awful lot of these pagan rituals but that is not the point your are (sic) trying to make.
The Duke of Hazards: Nor is that a point that disproves connections since many cultures have variances from core myths. So what?
what" is that the vast differences disprove and effort at connection;
appeal to "variances" implies a begged question. Chipping down to
lowest common denominators enables all manner of wild fantasies in parallelism;
not that this would stop an amateur like the DoH, but he might consider the ease
of this and that it has
been done before.
Really read Turkel’s
point. He is not addressing mine, thus unwittingly making my point re: the drift
of myths and ideas from their source. It is the connections that
matter, not the variances. Unbelievable stolidity. And some more solipsisms- or
should we call them solecisms by now? Look that word up, Bobby.
Bede:7. Avoid up to date scholarship which will probably pour cold water over your vaunted theories. You will find plenty of nineteenth and early twentieth century writers with a bone to pick that can support your wildest speculations. And do not worry if not everyone agrees with you - you can always dismiss the dissenters as apologists or as those unable to cope with your earth shattering ideas.
The Duke of Hazards: This assertion is actually true- in the inverse! The more detailed the scholarship becomes the slimmer the reed upon which any claims to reality hinge! Then the author details Paul’s non-silence. But, as we’ve seen, Paul (aka Saul) was a nutcase, yet even he admitted he never met Jesus- only had visions! Yet the author parses the writings of this admitted loony tune & non-acquaintance as if they have any relevance! Yet this is so typical of apologists- especially the ever-paranoid Christian Rightists.
Sorry, but the
DoH is spinning the General Lee's wheels here -- Bede's assertion is on the
mark, his is not, and it can speak for itself that he has no details to offer in
reply. The DoH offers no basis for the claim that Paul "only had
visions"; 1 Cor. 15 shows otherwise as Paul describes an encounter with a
physically resurrected Jesus. The DoH then goes on a long-winded spiel about
some other article, and about evolution (?!); we'll skip that and move rather to
where he picks up again with Bede's parody "disproving" Hannibal's
Again, the believers need
to cohere their arguments. Every bit of ‘evidence’- from crypts to the
Shroud Of Turin, to claimed burial sites- has been convincingly debunked. That
Turkel is ignorant of this is no surprise, and apparently he has not watched any
of the ABC News specials for pro-Jesus scholar after pro-Jesus scholar has
admitted that Paul merely had visions. His argument is not with me, but his
cohorts. Isn’t that far more than three strikes, already? Then, he avoids text
which he has no ready-made, pat answer to- how dare he actually cogitate!
Bede: To ask whether or not the great Carthaginian general Hannibal every actually existed might seem rather pointless….In fact, although there is plenty of writing about Hannibal, none of it is contemporary and there is no archaeological evidence for him at all (not surprising given the Romans razed the city from whence he came).
The Duke of Hazards: While there is not as much historical proof for Hannibal Barca as there is for, say, Alexander the Great, it does exist- mention of him exists in contemporary Roman texts, as well as other conquered peoples- with sources, & the ruins of cities he ‘supposedly’ conquered have been found, in acceptable time frames to ascribe to Hannibal. Books & the Internet abound with them.
Unfortunately, as Bede says, none of these are contemporary (notice that the DoH
does not NAME or cite any of these alleged texts; and Bede, not he, is the
historian). Vague references to "Books & and Internet" bespeaks
one who has no actual knowledge; fortunately someone has a Hannibal
fan site that lists the sources for us. The earliest, Polybius, was around
20 when Hannibal died and was a mere child, if he was born at all, when Hannibal
pursued his military career -- which puts his in the same range as Josephus
would be for Jesus. The next best source, Livy, is farther for Hannibal than
Jesus is from Tacitus. In terms of ruins of cities, so what? We have ruins of
cities Jesus "supposedly" preached in, in acceptable time frames.
Hannibal is probably just an invention ascribed to cities that really were
conquered. How's that for an answer?
Note, as with Bede, when
they cannot defend a point, they change the subject. Yes, I did not cite direct
sources because, generally, archaeological and scientific papers are not
referenced online- just as I know of the controversy surrounding Chinese
dinosaurian links to supposed avian descent, but few scientific papers abound
with it online. Yet, there are proofs, in the Roman records, of his conquests.
Perhaps the Romans wanted to create a monster, but there is no reasonable reason
to doubt his existence, and he was not ever claimed a god. Yet, incredibly, the
mind-numbed Turkel even
undermines his own assertion, as a link under Polybius references a work dated
circa 200 BC, or nearly 20 years before Hannibal’s claimed death in 182 or 183
BC. The main page even contains this: ‘There are no primary sources left
from the Carthaginian side. Only the Greeks and victorious Romans left reports.
The main historical sources are:’. Apparently, Turkel does not understand
that the webmaster probably has not the access to the scrolls and text that list
contemporaneous sources, other than the one he inadvertently gives! Bede may
have intended parody, although I believe Turkel meant satire or tweaking- but
just chalk that up to another of his profound misunderstandings. It only allows Turkel to kybosh his own arguments….again!
Bede:Furthermore he is not mentioned in any Carthaginian sources - incredible given he was supposed to be their greatest leader (there are no Carthaginian sources as the Romans burnt their city down)! We find when we actually try to pin him down he tends to recede further into the mists of time. His exploits, such as leading elephants over the Alps, are clearly legendary (the sceptic pretends to be incredulous but seems happy to buy his own amazing theory) and it is not hard to find a motive for the creation of this colourful character by Roman writers (as long we can invent a motive for fabrication we can assume that fabrication exists).
The Duke of
Hazards: There have been found Carthaginian works of art that represent
Hannibal, & the reality of the elephants/Alps tale is debated, although
generally accepted. The calling in to question of something of questionable
historicity is odd when 1 considers the writer defends something of no
historicity. Again, another example of willful selection of facts to support 1
POV the writer likes & against that he does not! The parenthetical comment
is not relevant since Hannibal, unlike JC, had no precursor generals whose life
tales were for the taking. Nor was Hannibal a claimed god with worshippers. The
attempt to disprove Hannibal goes on in similarly futile & misinformed ways,
but we have seen that this is the MO of all apologists. It also is informative
that the writer attempts to outline a Hannibal controversy where none exists,
while ignoring a real controversy that exists- whether Hannibal was black or
What I did not state, but
even Turkel acknowledges, is that the Romans destroyed much of the evidence. So,
there is no argument, since he conceded the point earlier. Then he hangs himself:
apparently had no idea what to do with this and the result is expected -- a spit
in the wind as it were, with little or no relevance to the issue. Works of art?
The DoH names none of these; but we do have art of Jesus, so why not say that
these too were based on a fiction? The "claimed god with worshippers"
bit is a distraction; only those who agreed Jesus was a deity would make a
record of this in the first place, and ascribe Jesus such importance, and the
DoH presumably rejects the NT as a witness.
Huh? God or not, his
crucifixion would have been recorded. Again, the believers cannot cohere
their claims. They are the ones claiming his great impact, except if it does not
mesh with their beliefs that he was unimportant in terms of being recorded by
"precursor" bit is a rehash of the tired "copycat" thesis
we'd like to see the DoH deal with our refutation of if he has the nerve.
Finally, "was Hannibal black" is a "real controversy" indeed
-- among wacko fringers like Yosef ben-Yochanon, not credentialed and serious
Apparently, Turkel has not
heard of the claims of the PC Elitists and multiculturalists, the last twenty
years, who claim Hannibal as black. I doubt their claims, and they are indeed
fringe elements, too, as is Turkel. But, my mention of it is not an endorsement
of it. The claims of the Pan-African Movement fall on their own weight, but to
deny that claims have been made and there is a controversy is factually wrong,
just as there are controversies over the reality and sexuality of William
Shakespeare. They are faux controversies, to be sure- but they exist. Ah, to be
so religious and anti-intellectual- ‘tis a comfy little corner, I’m sure.
Thus the DoH's
rambling contortions that "Jesus is different than Hannibal because he was
claimed to raise the dead," etc are misplaced. Someone like Tacitus would
not believe that Jesus actually did this; nor would a Plutarch, or any pagan
historian. The DoH fails to distinguish the two questions: 1) Did a person,
Jesus of Nazareth, walk the earth? 2) Did this Jesus have powers, was he deity,
etc. The latter does require more evidence, but the former does not.
Of course, Jesus’s
godhead is part and parcel of the Jesus believer’s repertoire. I made this
point. That the point was missed by Turkel is not a surprise. His last sentence
is true, but his claims fail both queries convincingly.
The DoH then goes on to deny that the burden of proof lies with his side; but again, it does -- for it is 1), the not-at-all extraordinary claim, that is at issue here. His excessive babbling on in this vain confuses the issue. And thus ends his interaction with Bede, and our own with the Duke of Hazards. We'll wait and see if we make his listof apologists to interact with -- perhaps he'd even like to try his mettle at debating us on TheologyWeb.
And, like Lewis, he never took me on. I have, and am now 2 and 0 against his ilk. And that's as a layman to the subject- no wonder he didn't want to notify and tangle with me, much less the experts that oppose him! His link is humorous. As of today, one of the topics is asking if banning gay marriage is discriminatory? Please, let us chuckle. Robert Turkel/Trukel/James Patrick Holding, is like Jus Caus/Kevin Lewis, his opposing doppelganger, a fraud and coward, one of many on the Internet. So, I will let him stew in his insanity, especially when he bursts out when he finds this destruction of his views. Religion is, clinically speaking, psychosis- believing in the immaterial and unreal. There is also a difference between real faith in things demonstrably proven and blind faith in nothing. The Turkels of this world cannot reckon that. It reminds me of years ago, when I wrote to William Bramley, author of The Gods of Eden, a book purporting Erich Von Däniken-like claims of ancient astronauts, and corrected him on his claims of Judaic antiquity, and that some evidence suggests that much of it came from Nubian blacks. He wrote back, feverishly, less than two weeks after my writing, begging for proof to bolster his theory. It was as hilarious as Turkel’s claims and failures.
Unfortunately, extremists of either side are not the only examples of cowardice and a lack of ethics. Even seeming moderates can fall prey to the dark urges within.
A few months ago I came across this mention of me online:
http://www.cosmoetica.com Dan Schneider's very comprehensive site. His trenchant criticisms of a critic - Randall Jarrell - were the first things I read on his site. I went on to read much of his other high-energy writing (it would take a long time to read it all.) Seemingly not at all interested in innovation in poetry, and there's not much evidence of wide-ranging interests or concerns in his work. (For example, his dismissive attitude towards artistically poor Holocaust poetry is one thing, the fact that the Holocaust itself seems to arouse in him no particular sense of outrage has to be criticized very severely.)
His site is dedicated to the structure of the Internet, although it seems a few years out of date, and not maintained currently. Noting the patent absurdity of his claim at the end, I emailed the webmaster, Paul Hurt.
Wed, 04 May 2005 07:25:52 -0500
Came across your review of my site online and I
found it puzzling- especially the second half. Granted, you admit you have not
read it all, but if you actually read my poetry how could you claim I'm
seemingly not interested in innovation in poetry? It's laced with it- and real
innovation. Not just someone playing around with typography. Throughout my
crit I also state that the 3 methods to assess poetry, or any art's greatness,
and its producer, is quality, quantity, and diversity.
As for not wide ranging- be it poetry or crit, was this review written only a few months after the site came out? I have pieces on poetry, film, prose criticism on topics as UFOs, JFK, American Idol, politics, Julian Jaynes, arcane science, The X Prize, the irreality of Jesus, the Iraq War. As for the Holocaust, how do you justify claiming it does not outrage me? Show me where I ever said that. Show me where you can infer that. But, even if you could, that has nothing to do with art and/or its criticism. Yes, I'd rather read a great poem by a Nazi than another piece of crap from Csezlaw Milosz, but that is not evidence of anti-Semitism, just a desire for great art. That is what my site is about, generally. If you want phony outrage and political posturing you can read the millions of terrible blogs online- which I've also dissected. Perhaps you should look again, and omit your biased inferences.
If you still have negative comments, fine, but at least make them cogent, not nebulous and inaccurate. This is like trying to review Huck Finn but not getting past the first 'nigger', and faking your way thru it. DAN
I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply, although there was something ‘off’ about it, and I suspected there was trouble brewing. He replied (in red), and then I replied:
Re: Cosmoetica and the comments on my site, 'Linkage and Contrast.'
Thu, 05 May 2005 08:05:49 -0500
Paul Hurt <email@example.com>
Thanks for clarification. Comments interpolated:
Paul Hurt wrote:
The comments about 'Cosmoetica' on my site were written a long time ago and are inadequate, I admit. A brief entry in the Links section can't possibly do justice to Cosmoetica, but the existing comments must be changed.
I appreciate that. I just want to clarify- I appreciate criticism. That's why for 8 years I ran a poetry group. I'd much rather get a negative, but cogent crit that improves a poem, than mere asskissy praise. There are some reviews, for example on Web Del Sol, which is a hack site, that are negative, but so puerile and spiteful, that they shoot themselves in the foot. Your review, however, was obviously more mature, so the claims of lack of depth and your inference of at least a passive anti-Semitism were disturbing. After all, were I to add a line like 'Dr. Mengele was a terrible human being', would that change your review one iota? And, do you really need me to tell you that Nazis are bad, or that Ted Bundy was evil?
Notice how he never addresses the anti-Semitism claim? This is even as he appears to be caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
reaction to much - no, almost all - of your writing is overwhelmingly
appreciative. Your writing is powerful, very wide-ranging (not, as implied in my
existing comments, narrow in focus, although there are reasons why I made the
Such as? Even by the Jarrell essay I showed a deep range in poetry appreciation, and showed why many poetries- i.e. Nuyoricanism or Language poetry are fraudulent. Show me another poetry critic that points out blatant clichés, poor music, and bad enjambment. Most critics merely try to explicate what bad poems say. As for the nor almost all, is there a reason beyond the subjective- i.e.- I don't care for the term 'like' in crit- is there a reason that is not based upon a personal aesthetic or religious/political view?
The attempt at placation belies a more sinister motive that is revealed.
for me, so great an interest and fascination that I find myself repeatedly
reading what you have to say about a writer who doesn't interest me very much,
simply for the insights I obtain into your own mind. I'm not sure where to
place you on the continuum between genius and mediocrity, but obviously, very
much closer to the level of genius than mediocrity. You are very important for
many reasons, but one, of course, is your upholding of literary values at a time
when they're ignored or misunderstood far more often than not - by your
insistence that to be disabled, black, a woman, a victim of an injustice or
atrocity, is not the same as creating outstanding, durable art. But your
importance goes well beyond opposing nonentities, opposing unreflective views -
your achievement is of the solid kind which compels respect.
Let me ask this- since your site claims to survey the Internet? Why do you think that I'm virtually alone in regard to both recognizing current writing's many flaws and in suggesting correctives?
Note how he gushes and claims to respect my work, but wait till I reveal what he does, as his words clash with his reality.
Today, I was reading your essay on Gould, the
evolutionist, and was immensely impressed by its sophistication, its tenderness
- the comments on death, including the death of pets, have particular resonance.
(Animals are our equal in death - their death is just as profoundly shocking, as
profoundly tragic.) To regard you as a dynamic, one-dimensional opposer
would be a complete travesty. I regard you as a very important writer.
In the circumstances, it's deeply depressing (I could use far more outspoken expressions) that, like many Americans, you're at your worst when addressing another matter to do with death - the death penalty. Your support of the death penalty revolts me, but this is far more than a gut-reaction. I've worked on death penalty issues for decades, I've investigated every aspect of the issue in enormous detail - the statistical evidence, the philosophical issues - everything. Your writings on the death penalty are so much at variance with the rest of your writings that I despair. When I revise my comments on Cosmoetica, they will be heavily influenced by my revulsion at your support for the apparatus of death.
I include a piece that recaps my views from my memoirs. You see, I was very involved with the attempted capture and prosecution of a pedophile and suspected serial killer, and I grew up belonging to a street gang and in a neighborhood riddled with pimps, mobsters, and corrupt cops, and knew that the death penalty was the only thing that prevented more carnage than what occurred. In short, I'm not an egghead whose only experience is looking at lions who are zoo-bound, but also in the field. However, and again, that is like criticizing Pound or Eliot's great poetry because they were anti-Semites- it's more properly a crit of the person than of the writing, and defense of the death penalty for convicted murderers is far more defensible than anti-Semitism, which is what annoyed me in your original remarks. Am I correct in assuming you are pro-choice on abortion? Could not someone claim you support death for babies? I don't believe that, and actively say I'm pro-abortion, no euphemizing. Were I to review your site's project by calling you a bloodthirsty babykiller, would not that be fallacious? All I ask is that you bear such judgments in mind and look at their appropriateness in regards to writing. I also stress when reviewing books, such as my review of Julian Jaynes, that the writing and ideas be weighted equally.
Look at his last sentence, and note how a mere difference in a single area of political belief leads him astray- from rational thought and debate to Internet wickedry- and not, he still has not addressed his initial false claim of anti-Semitism. Of course, I have a piece that destroys the anti-death penalty argument- which I attached to the email, but that’s beside the point. It’s not his beliefs, but actions, and lack of honor that are the crux. My piece actually deals with and debunks many of the points he wanly goes on to make:
completely unaware of the mass of detailed discussion of the death penalty,
easily accessible on the World Wide Web. One - surely, very objective -
source of information amongst many is www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/
the Web Site of the Death Penalty Information Center. Read the detailed
information on this site concerned with deterrence, the costs of the death
penalty, and other aspects of this degrading relic of the barbaric past.
You must be aware, surely, that in Illinois, the outgoing Governor, Regan, gave
clemency to everyone on death row because so many innocent people had been put
there (more innocent people than had been executed, in actual fact.)
I am well aware of such, and counter, how many killers or death row inmates have you known personally- not as celebrities, but as persons b4 they were there? This is the difference between real world experience and laboratory theorizing. Do you, as example, believe Ted Bundy's claims about porno's influence on serial killing? I certainly do not support murder, nor do I support feeding and clothing them. Just so you know, I recently completed a penultimate draft of a novel (subject to my wife's suggestions) about an alleged pedophile, mainly from his POV, where I advocate positions that are repulsive. That's not me, though. My point in bringing that up is that I am not void of empathy, as some claim, but simply do not lard out excess sympathy. Were I on a capital jury, believe me, I would be as vigilant as Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men, but if the evidence is there I'd convict. Do you really think an Osama bin Laden or Tim McVeigh, or serial killer like John Wayne Gacy, deserve life? If so, I respect your right to that belief, but not the belief. This is important, because I never attack ad hominem, always the position or work, with vigor. I can separate the person from opinion or work.
As I’ve shown in this piece. I mock and debunk the beliefs Kevin Lewises and Robert Turkels, and now even the Paul Hurts of the world, but never their person.
One aspect of the death penalty which isn't sufficiently emphasized, I think, is the danger of executing someone who is guilty but who was treated in such a vile way in childhood that he can be forgiven if he didn't emerge into adulthood as a good, law-abiding citizen. I think, for instance, of Johnny Garrett, executed in Texas, who was forced to eat his own faeces as a child, who was put on a burner - the burn marks were on his body when he was executed by the State of Texas (as a juvenile offender.) His upbringing was so vile - the facts are not in dispute - that the only possible response would be compassion, overwhelming compassion. But you make the crude statement "I support good things like killing killers." (No qualifications made.) This is completely unworthy of you and it makes me feel revulsion towards you. The late Pope, whatever his inadequacies, protested against the forthcoming execution of Johnny Garrett - as he did so often against the death penalty. I'm a militant atheist, (and a militant anti-feminist, a militant opponent of political correctness, a militant opponent of conformity, of the cloned, neutered, mediocrities who have such vast power now - although their moral or artistic or 'spiritual' power is practically nil.) But I see a need for a secular version of the Christian virtue of forgiveness. In the light of your sensitive writing about death, I'm shocked that you don't see any poignancy, any need for profound opposition, to the horrible travesty of justice in American courtrooms (only those who can't afford a good lawyer are executed) and the horrible series of events before someone is taken to face their death (the last meal, the holding cell, the clock ticking to the final act, the clinical dealing in death.)
These are all legitimate points I deal with in several pieces online, and in the piece attached. I submit that to feel revulsion toward a voice online is silly, and shows emotion overruling logic. In one of my memoirs I talk about guilt I feel to this day over my NOT killing the ped-killer I mentioned, when I had the opportunity, and knowing that he raped and killed for years afterward. In short, your points above are legitimate and should be considered on a case by case basis. However, I wrote my memoirs in part as a reaction against say a Frank McCourt's glorification of misery in Angela's Ashes. My life's early privations rival ad surpass mosr serial killer's yet I turned away from life as a gangster or drug dealer or pimp or serial killer. You are looking to include motive in the disposition of a crime- that's wrong, and why hate crimes are so noxious an idea. If you're black and I kill you because 1) I hate niggers 2) I like your gold necklace and want it 3) I think you are sexy and want to sexually defile your corpse, or 4) I'm deranged and think you are an extraterrestrial coming to take over the earth, does it matter to you why you're dead in an alley? Again, my suggestion is that emotion has gotten the better of judgment. I could send you my memoirs, and include where my best teen pal was a drug dealer, pimp, rapist, and probable killer, and I have great empathy- because I know where he came from. He was killed in a gang fight at 22. But, were he still alive, and I called to testify against him, I would, even if it meant death. Right is right, and my personal love for his human abomination would not sway me. That is a principled stand, and one based on logic. Yet, not a day goes by where I do not think of him, and rue his life of privation as a child in the slums of Puerto Rico. My whole point is to not jump the gun, and I do not urge so in the PC way of a Carolyn Forche, who's a hypocrite, merely that you gauge your reactions less emotionally.
Note the very difference in tone between his and my replies. He is illogical, emotional, and borderline insensible.
Of course, this isn't anything like a proof that the death penalty is ineffective and wrong, but in your support for the death penalty you're in very undesirable company - it places you amongst the morons in baseball caps who can be found outside the penitentiary cheering as the prisoner meets his lonely death. It is a linkage between you and your President, whose sensitivity is of the most limited.
As opposed to those who candlelight vigil for killers- insipid, whiny, etc.? Two can play that game. Do you like such an approach when you're cross-haired? I am an outspoken critic of Bush and recently ripped his war- after an initial reluctant support. I was wrong. I was lied to. I admit it. But, much of the anti-warriors would have allowed Hitler and Tojo to go u/or helped from a distance. I think one of the most principled acts of recent years was about a decade ago when Julia 'Butterfly' Hill spent a couple of years up a tree in protest to logging. It just seems that in claiming to be nuanced your positions reveal as much bias, and easily as much emotionalism as your extremist opponents. Could I be correct? I am a moderate by nature- extremism works only in extremis.
Note how I decimate his claim about unsavory company. I could have thrown in Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal
It puts a great gulf
between you and many of the people whom I most admire - to mention one from
hundreds of years ago, Cesare Beccaria (look him up in a search engine.) At
a time when executions of unspeakable brutality were commonplace, he dared
to call for an end to the death penalty - and his humane views had
influence all over Europe (but not, I'm sad to say, in my own country, England.)
Minnesota, where you reside, stopped executing people long ago - long before Great Britain. Minnesota set the civilized world a wonderful example. You seem far more suited to life in Texas, the execution capital of the Western World, where few people give a damn about the death of the poor, the mentally deficient, the clinically insane, the horrifically abused, than to life in enlightened Minnesota.
I actually moved to Texas in late 2003 after losing several jobs for basically being a whistleblower- so much for principle! Let me tell you, your view is wholly based upon one fact. Texas is far more progressive than Minnesota in many ways- first off it's not as PC and people are far friendlier. Secondly, while the people are against big government, and for the death penalty, and regrettably pro-Christian I can tell you they are VERY openminded. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Arabs live side by side in many suburban communities. My neighbors are Indian- from India, and there are three black families down the block. Minnesota's suburbs are as segregated as Alabama in the 1950s, and most likely many suburbs across the pond, eh? The people here are open-minded conservatives, and Minnesota is peopled with many bigoted 'liberals'. It's bizarre, but it's true. To this day blacks in Minnesota are still called by outdated terms as mulattoes and octaroons. Not in Texas. You've just made a sweeping and inaccurate assessment. And having lived in MN, TX, and New York, I'm qualified to judge that. Anyway, just some things to think about. If interested I can send you other memoirs, or a whole book. My basic point is, I guess, the reverse of yours, I was disappointed that someone seemingly capable of finer points could make such a sweeping statement, or implication, regarding my views toward Jews- which are if a female Jew were sexy and I single I'd have no problem seeking her affections. I guess, that's simply something that is you, and will disappoint, as my death penalty support, does you. DAN
Notice how I catch him at his own bigotry and this vexes him. He would not reply again. He never did apologize for calling me an anti-Semite, and my asswhipping of him in regard to the death penalty, as well, as forcing him to step into his own bigotry, shut him up.
But, then, he didn’t even keep to his word and update the link regarding Cosmoetica. instead, he just removed it entirely, for PC reasons which, I guess, trump his personal honor. First he slurs me, then he lies to me, and then he breaks his word. It may not be as bad as the two other extremist losers, but it is disheartening when a seemingly sane and moderate person turns out to be just another headcase that distorts and lies, even if he does not proclaim me evil, nor rage against me. Yet, all three prove what an utter wasteland the Internet is, and why Cosmoetica is such an oasis amidst it.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: 'PC elitist' and 'Dan Schneider: Neo-Nazi or Anti-Christ'
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 17:01:23 -0500
From: Dan Schneider
To: Paul Hurt firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Hurt wrote:
> Dear Dan,
> I've recently read your piece in which I'm described as a 'PC elitist,' PC meaning, I assume, 'Political Correctness,' even though I'd already described myself in one of my emails to you - and you quote my words - as 'a militant opponent of political correctness.' As regards the word 'elitist,' please see the entry in the glossary to my site on 'simplification words,' in the entry on 'evaluative linguistics.' I'm also described as 'illogical, emotional, and borderline insensible' and 'just another headcase that distorts and lies,' even though you also claim, inconsistently, that as regards 'the Paul Hurts of the world' you never 'mock and debunk' the person. I also, along with the other two objects of your criticism, 'prove what an utter wasteland the Internet is.' Let me take that last point first. I would ask you, as a matter of fairness, to give a link to my site www.linkagenet.com somewhere in the essay, and preferably very near to that comment about the 'utter wasteland' so that your readers can make their own minds up about that. Or, much better, add this email to your critical piece and then readers can simply click on the link above. They may decide that my Web site proves your point completely, or they may decide that you've been unfair, but leave it to them to decide. You do provide a link to my own Links Page, but perhaps only a minority of your readers will use that opportunity to look at any other pages of my site - which I'm sure you'll agree is a very comprehensive one. If they do, I think that some of your other claims will seem very puzzling, such as the claim that my site 'is dedicated to the structure of the internet' and that 'my site claims to survey the Internet.' A brief look at my introduction on the site's Home Page and a look at the Site Map would show that that isn't the main purpose of the site at all. Nobody reading your critique would realize that much of my site is concerned with poetry, like your own site, despite the obvious differences, but you're silent about my writings on poetry. If you have the time, I hope you can produce a hard-hitting piece on these writings of mine. And if you do write a reply to this email, then no matter how critical and devastatingly effective the piece may be, I'll make it easy for readers of my Web site to find it. Let's have complete openness in these matters.
***Re: your claims re: militant PC Elitist, I would state, since you have a fondness for cliches: 'actions speak louder than words.' I find it curious that my follow up emails re: the linkage and retraction/statement were never answered. Of course, I know- like regular post, emails get lost, etc. I cannot know if you are lying or not. What I do know is that I've unfortunately dealt with many people who take time out to slur me and most of it is far worse than yours, or the Right Wing Christian nut or Left Wing ass I included in the piece. I do really like to waste time with such pieces, but have found that unless one answers charges many people believe them. I think my characterizations, based upon your actions to this point, are in synch. a) You imply I am an anti-Semite. b) I call you on it. c) You state you will change it. d) We argue over the death penalty. e) Any info re: my site is gone, even though the shots about my supposed anti-Semitism were up, as you admit, for years. f) I get no response, till now, after I 'shame' you and a few other morons.
I will post this email. I have done so in the past, yet there is a link to your site in the first sentence of the section on you. As for your poetry or writings about it- that was not the point of our exchange- your slur of me was. And, as I state, given your seeming moderation in contrast to the absurd poetaster and the insane pseudonymous Christian Apologist, your treatment of me, when I think I was eminently fair, was all the more disappointing.
> I readily admit that I was mistaken to write '...his dismissive attitude towards artistically poor Holocaust poetry is one thing, the fact that the Holocaust itself seems to arouse in him no particular sense of outrage has to be criticized very severely.' Your response is this case was a justified one, I think, although some people would have misgivings about your comment 'Yes, I'd rather read a great poem by a Nazi than another piece of crap from Cseslaw Milosz, but that is not evidence of anti-Semitism, just a desire for great art.' It could be claimed that this comment of yours did need amplifying. I wrote later 'The comments about 'Cosmoetica' on my site were written a long time ago and are inadequate, I admit...the existing comments must be changed.' This was intended to be an apology, it ought to have been an explicit apology and and you obviously didn't take it as an apology. What I did was to remove the inadequate comments, but by removing the link to your site. I intended to write a more adequate introduction to Cosmoetica and to reintroduce the link, but I found describing and evaluating your site very difficult. My response to your site is a complex one and I felt that nothing less than a full length essay would do - but there were, and are, so many other claims on my time and attention and in the event, I still haven't written the full-length piece.
***That's all well and good, but look at it from my POV. For years you imply I'm a Jew hater. I call you on it, and instead of an apology you just wipe it all out, as if you never made the slur. Frankly, I don't really care, and I'd never bother to have that poetaster remove the Neo-Nazi crap. I'm sure I've had a few morons visit the site for it, but as I said, you seemed adult. He is not. In the past I've had to remove a handful of pieces from the site because of claims of libel or other nonsense- including death threats. Of course, I've never knowingly libeled anyone, although I'm sure I could find many examples against me online. And the fact is I've not the resources to battle back against rich individuals or companies. Let's face it- truth is a commodity in this world and the rich can buy it. Ask President Bush. The point is not hurt feelings, or some such thing- but a going back on your word. All you need have done is removed the crack implying anti-Semitism.
> In actual fact, I haven't changed anything or added anything to 'Linkage and Contrast' for a long time. There are very many changes and additions I do want to make and intend to make to the site but I certainly wasn't singling you out for unfair treatment or attempting to do you down at all. You write '...he didn't even keep to his word and update the link regarding Cosmoetica. Instead, he just removed it entirely, for PC reasons which' I guess, trump his personal honor. First he slurs me, then he lies to me, and then he breaks his word.' You obviously know nothing about my way of working, and about my priorities. I tend to have periods of intense activity, interspersed with periods in which I'm passive, or turn to completely different matters, hoping very much that in the unconscious, ideas will form which will be released later. Attempting to come up with new ideas, with innovations, is an absolute priority for me, and if the mundane activity of updating my site interferes with that, as I think it possibly can, then I'm rigorous and allow the updating to wait. And emails, Web sites, and immersion in controversy, are far from being my only concern. For the past few months, I've been very much concerned with growing crops in land which not long ago was weed-infested, with the appreciation of nature and with other things which have no relation to the Internet.
***Again, your priorities were not at issue. If you could remove any reference, you could certainly have just removed a part of it- the last part.
> Now, I've reintroduced the link to 'Cosmoetica,' although with next to nothing in the way of comment, and introduced a link with the page which criticizes me. As you'll have gathered, I'm completely unperturbed about your attack on me. I think a hackneyed quotation is appropriate enough: I think your attack is 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'
***Your claim is refuted by the actions of this lengthy email and 'protesting too much. Yet, I find it interesting, again, that implying anti-Semitism on my part is not considered an attack, while my posting the unedited exchange we had is. Am I attacking a Nazi if I defend myself from charges of being a 'slimy Jew'- as some online have called me, based simply on my surname? And that is the point- recognizing what started this. If you had simply said 'his poetry sucks', or 'His critical attacks on published works are- quote your last cliche', then so what. I may have mentioned it briefly, but I get sick of being called a libeler if I tell the truth but cannot afford to defend it, or a plagiarist if some wacko sees two words in the same order as another person's essay, or an anti-Semite by a seemingly reasonable site- as opposed to the poetaster and Apologist.
> As regards your further comments on the death penalty, you accuse me of emotionalism in my response to the death penalty. I agree! (to an extent.) But my emotions of outrage are based on very solid and sober foundations, on, for example, detailed statistical analysis, such as can be found in an academic volume like 'The death penalty in America|: current controversies,' edited by Hugo Adam Bedau. These and other studies show that the death penalty has no deterrent effect. You say that 'you knew that the death penalty was the only thing that prevented more carnage than what occurred.' Your visceral feelings aren't supported by the evidence at all.
***As I state in my piece, there are many factors that effect death rates, and if a murder does not occur it cannot be measured against a hypothetical murder that did.
> I understand the emotions of the innocent victims of homicide. I understand completely the emotions of those family members who have lost someone and who want the murderer to be killed. (Although the person they want killed may even be completely innocent of the crime: well over a hundred people on death row have been found to be innocent since the resumption of executions of the USA. What is your reply to that? You surely don't think that the system never makes mistakes? In England, Timothy Evans was hanged for murder, and was later given a pardon. Christie was the actual murderer. As regards the death penalty, you seem naive and simple-minded. Do you believe that only guilty people are put on death row? That only the worst murderers are executed? That executions prevent murder, definitely?)
***If you read my piece you'd know the answer. I have no need to kill everyone accused of murder, and have no problem if the death penalty is never applied. But, I want it there to get rid of the Ted Bundys, John Gottis, Tim McVeighs, and Osama bin Ladens. Obviously you didn't even read the piece I sent, because I rebut all your charges. And this goes along with an unfortunate tendency that PC Elitists tend to have, and which your reactions to me, in our exchange, and the death penalty- not to mention your shot against Texas, belie.
> There are also the American family members who are opposed to executions. These are truly remarkable people, resisting the trend. In all of Europe, all of the Americas except for the USA, in most of the countries of Africa, and in many other countries, people who have been bereaved by murder do accept that the death penalty is not used, that the murderer will not be executed. You seem able to accept that very many of the countries of the world manage without the death penalty and manage very well without the death penalty (with, often, murder rates much lower than in the death penalty states of America.)
***And as sovereign states I support their right to do as they choose. If they want a monarchy, so be it. If they want to allow pornography, so be it. That is a libertarian position, and that is what I am. Murder is one of the highest recidivist crimes- in or out of prison. Why should an accountant in for embezzlement risk his life by being forced to cohabit with a murderer?
> In your response to the death penalty, you depend heavily on anecdotal and personal experience. Although I recognize the pitfalls of this approach, I'll do likewise now. An assorted collection of anecdotes, then:
***And logic figures heavily into it, as well, unlike your histrionic approaches.
> Your idyllic picture of harmony between the races in Texas isn't the whole truth, of course. As in other states, a black who kills a white is more likely to receive the death penalty than a white who kills a black. 'One of you two is gonna hang for this. Since you're the nigger, you're elected.' These words were spoken by a Texas police officer to Clarence Brandley, who was charged with the murder of a white high school girl. Brandley was later exonerated in 1990, after ten years on death row. What are your comments on racial disparities in sentencing, then? Do you agree they exist? If you don't, quote the detailed evidence.
***Well, the same is true for sentencing in all states. But that was not the point of my defense of Texas. Changing the subject is another PC tool, too. Read my piece for my comments. Again, I dealt with all this in the piece. Did you read it? My point was that you claimed Minnesota as enlightened due to a single factor- the death penalty. New York, the state I was born in, now has the death penalty- but is in many ways more liberal than Minnesota. I said that Minnesotans use terms like octaroon and mulatto. Texans don't. Minnesota's suburbs are as segregated via housing as Selma, Alabama in 1955. Texas, in my town, is a racial Mecca- even compared to NYC. To borrow your histrionic fervor- what say you to that, chum? And, as I've lived in both states, and New York, am I not in a far better position than you to know? And, as far as disparagement about the USA- didn't you just re-elect a war-mongering piece of scum in Tony Blair? So, how can you rip the USA re-electing Bush? I didn't vote for the bastard, nor Kerry. You guys at least have a viable third party, yet still elected Blair again. Hardly a show of enlightenment. And, aren't you now deporting Muslim clerics who simply spew bile, not bombs? I'm not sayijng your nation has not the right to do so- but don't get so uppity and smugly superior. And that's with your bombings claiming about one sixtieth ours.
> A long time ago, I travelled from my home city of Sheffield, North England to London, to attend a vigil outside the American Embassy. A black juvenile offender called Gary Graham was due to be executed and there were doubts about his guilt. He was given a stay of execution but later executed. What are your views about the execution of juvenile offenders? Practically no country executes juvenile offenders any longer - those aged under eighteen at the time of the offence - even China, the world's most prolific executioner. Texas, of course, the state you praise so much, has executed sizeable numbers of juveniles. All the juvenile offenders on the death row of Texas were spared death by a recent decision of the American Supreme Court. Very belatedly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the execution of juvenile offenders is after all not in accordance with civilized norms. What's your attitude to this decision of the Supreme Court? If you disagree with it, what should be the minimum age at which a person could be charged with a capital offence? Sixteen? Fifteen? Lower? I recently emailed a leading light of the pro-death penalty lobby, one Dianne Clements, who lives in Texas, and she fully agrees with the execution of juvenile offenders.
***Look at your dialectic. I did not praise Texas- merely defended it from your ignorant attack. There are plenty of things I would change her, as I would in MN or NY. I would go on a case by case basis. I've known kids who killed- not as subject matter after the fact, but before and after. I was in a teen gang. I say fry'em if they deserve it, and a jury of their peers concurs. But, I would be a very Henry Fonda like juror in Twelve Angry Men were I on such a jury. Just yesterday a kid who killed 5 people in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1998, was released from jail, and hasn't a single thing on his adult slate. The chances are high he will kill again- as many do. What say you to the parents of the next victims, as to why this killer was let go? Your beliefs, it seems, are based in the fallacious notion that there is no such thing as evil in this world. Yes, there are things that can influence people, but Ted Bundy did not kill 40+ women because 'porno made him do it.' He had a rather idyllic life- certainly better than mine. Yet, he killed wantonly for years. I don't. Why?
> Some time ago, I met three former prisoners from Pennsylvania's death row. Each of them had been sentenced to death for a murder of which he was completely innocent. One of them had spent approximately two decades on death row. I realized as never before the horror of executing an innocent person. What's your response to this?
***I once wrote to a death row inmate who put an ad in a poetry magazine. He basically wanted to con me and use me. And, if one of those 'innocents' is Mumia Abu-Jamal I would question your claim of 'innocence'. The same goes with Leonard Peltier. I once knew a Left Wing artist who praised attempted killer Kathleen Soliah of the Weather Underground, while she damned abortion bomber Eric Rudolph. Presumably Soliah was a good psychopath, because she was a leftist, while Rudolph was a bad psychopath, as a Rightist. I saw only that Soliah was not as competent bomb-maker as Rudolph as their only difference. Would you agree? Also, do you think there are 'good' terrorists? I worked with many Irish butchers who tithed to the IRA. Were they 'good' terrorists? I recognize the USA's evil hand around the world- mostly of a corporate nature. But, bin Laden is still scum of the earth- a hypocrite and a coward.
> I hope you aren't claiming that your earlier contact with juvenile delinquents, and a 'ped-killer' has given you any unique insights (you write, 'In one of my memoirs I talk about the guilt I feel to this day over my NOT killing the ped-killer I mentioned, when I had the opportunity' - so much for the rule of law). For my part, for what it's worth, I lived in Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles, when terrorist bombs were exploding frequently and when even a simple visit to a library could be interrupted by an evacuation as the staff searched for bombs. Admittedly, I lived in one of the safer parts of the province, but I made visits to Belfast, where things were far more tense. I never once felt that the threats could be removed by the reintroduction of the death penalty, that the death penalty could ever protect me and others, or that the death penalty could ever be justified.
***Yes, I still wrestle with the thought that my inaction that day- nearly 20 years ago. I'm sure many other homeless boys were raped and some killed because of my qualms. Life is not as easy a picture as you present. That ped-killer had a brother who was a cop that gamed the system and kept him on the streets, raping and killing for over 35 years- 50+ if he's still alive now. Your situation is a de facto wartime one- completely different from murders caused by greed, psychopathy, or organized crime.
> You write that you 'have a piece that destroys the anti-death penalty argument.' What complete rubbish. I have such respect for your ability and your energy, but for some reason, not all but some of your rational or emotional responses are missing or stunted - as I've written before, the death penalty finds you at your weakest. I'm saddened.
> Best Wishes,
> Paul Hurt
***But, Paul, as you have demonstrated- you did not even READ my piece, lest your queries would not have existed. By the time you read this fully it should be online. And, if you respect me so much it would behoove you to acknowledge the points I make as legitimate- mainly that my defense against your slur and ignorance of my request was just. DAN
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: The Update on 'Dan Schneider: Neo-Nazi or Anti-Christ'
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2005 08:52:47 -0500
To: Paul Hurt email@example.com
No hard feelings. Just a word- one of the reasons I post so many of these replies or pieces, where I'm accused of everything save the Lindbergh Kidnapping, and Hindenburg and Titanic disasters, is because I know that the Internet and emails lack context or tone. This is how and why noxious political blogs thrive- on people's ignorance and willingness to jump the gun.
I accept your admission and offer mine, although I will keep these exchanges online as proof that amicability can work. For any distress my piece may have caused I return the admission of apology. I have several pieces online of asinine rejections- even one where I had a tale that had a bit of a dour end that two editors who obviously do not read claimed was 'saccharine'. Anyway, thanks. DAN
Paul Hurt wrote:
> Dear Dan,
> Thanks very much for your email. I've now updated the section on Cosmoetica on my Links Page:
> Dan Schneider's site. Words such as 'stimulating' and 'provocative' can be misused but this is the genuine article. An exhilarating, no-holds-barred experience. The first piece I read by Dan Schneider was his criticism of Randall Jarrell: important and original criticism which made me reconsider my reading of Jarrell. The words used by the critic Martin-Seymour Smith of D H Lawrence apply equally to Dan Schneider: '...this century has needed and still needs more like him: untameable, dedicated to their project, undeflectable from it by any pieties - political, academic, polite or dogmatic...'
> He criticizes me on the page:
> Here, I'm described, inaccurately, as a 'PC Elitist.' Some of this criticism, I belatedly admit, is completely justifiable. In my first profile of his site, I wrote that 'the fact that the Holocaust ...seems to arouse in him no particular sense of outrage has to be criticized very severely.' I concede that this comment can't be justified and that I was much too slow to acknowledge adequately or to correct the error. As regards my opposition to the death penalty, also discussed in the page above (Dan Schneider supports the death penalty) I don't concede anything at all."
> In this matter of the Holocaust reference, then, I'm sure you're in the right.
> I'll continue to return to your site, often. Most recently, I've printed out your piece 'Dan Schneider on the Atrophied American Imagination.' Your claims for the artistic worth of your story, your criticisms of the editors, are completely valid, I'm sure. Generally, the editors of literary magazines are in a very precarious economic position, but they have some compensation for their financial difficulties in the power they have over their would-be contributors. Being an editor gives entry to the world of literature, a world which is very prestigious, significant, interesting, even glamorous - and all for the price of a set of rejection slips! (and, admittedly, the further financial difficulties I've already mentioned.) I've never forgotten the rejection of a poem of mine by a UK editor. The poem was in a traditional form, in rhymed couplets. The editor did his best to 'improve' the poem by advising me to move a word at the end of one of the lines to another line - so that now all the lines were in rhymed couplets, except for two lines where there was no rhyme at all, thereby destroying the poem's form completely.
> Best Wishes,
> Paul Hurt
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