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March 03, 2005

Of all the things I've ever written

...this earned me the most hate mail. Nasty, vicious stuff. From drooling yahoos who threatened violence. And so I'm pleased to see Wolcott's special bonus takedown of a nasty perennial slander on the left in a swipe at Slate's review of the movie Gunner Palace.

Posted by Chris Clarke at March 3, 2005 11:57 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:

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Hate mail?


I'm halfway tempted to send you fawning love letters in attempt to even the score. Would B protest?

Posted by: Siona at March 4, 2005 01:59 AM
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Not if *you* wrote it.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 4, 2005 06:21 AM
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Nasty comments from whom??? The right or left? My husband was a member of Veterans Against the War, and according to him, there were a LOT of hatemongers spewing visciousness toward him and his friends as Returning Vets. He was very active in getting adequate "recognition" from the VA and the WWII Boys.

Posted by: CArrie at March 4, 2005 10:33 AM
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The nasty comments I got were from the right. And from friends of vets who claimed to have gotten fruit, saliva, and similar things lobbed at them by peaceniks.

I wouldn't be surprised if something like that happened somewhere, but there are no documented instances of it ever happening as far as I know. from a Slate article on the subject:

"Although Nexis overflows with references to protesters gobbing on Vietnam vets, and Bob Greene's 1989 book Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned From Vietnam counts 63 examples of protester spitting, Jerry Lembcke argues that the story is bunk in his 1998 book The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam. Lembcke, a professor of sociology at Holy Cross and a Vietnam vet, investigated hundreds of news accounts of antiwar activists spitting on vets. But every time he pushed for more evidence or corroboration from a witness, the story collapsed - the actual person who was spat on turned out to be a friend of a friend. Or somebody's uncle. He writes that he never met anybody who convinced him that any such clash took place.

"While Lembcke doesn't prove that nobody ever expectorated on a serviceman - you can't prove a negative, after all - he reduces the claim to an urban myth. In most urban myths, the details morph slightly from telling to telling, but at least one element survives unchanged. In the tale of the spitting protester, the signature element is the location: The protester almost always ambushes the serviceman at the airport - not in a park, or at a bar, or on Main Street. Also, it's not uncommon for the insulted serviceman to have flown directly in from Vietnam."

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 4, 2005 10:53 AM
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Hell, I've been spitting on vets since The Great War! In facyt, every Easter I take the train out to Absecon, New Jersey to personally spit on my own grandfather, who flew in Korea.

Posted by: Alex at March 4, 2005 07:41 PM
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You're a good kid, Alex.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at March 4, 2005 08:03 PM
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Just read that Counterpunch article-- I don't understand why you'd get hatemail for that. Chomsky, in his little booklet entitled Media Control talked about the "Support the Troops" phrase actually being vacuous propaganda that in reality, actually means "Support Our Policy."

Posted by: Eric Lee at March 7, 2005 09:53 AM
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