Dear CASLL listserv members:
I've been on this listserv nearly a year, and only posted once or twice.
I've enjoyed reading the commentary on writing, the joking back and forth,
the planning for conferences. I mainly joined as a result of doing a
reasearch paper on Canadian composition practices/pedagogies for a class.
I'm working on a Master's, with one of my concentrations in writing, and
won't be going on to a rhet/comp PhD, and probably will never publish a comp
I never realized that one had to be of a particular political stripe to be
on the list. Or rather, "in" with the list.
I know that last Tuesday's events have changed a lot of things for a lot of
people. Luxuries of assumption have been stripped away. We look at it all,
and think, what should we do?
I appreciate the fact that many (most?) of the people on this list are
Canadian, and that Canadians very often view many, many things differently
from Americans. I respect that, and respect the right of people to think
and say thoughts that are different from (even antithetical to) my own.
Especially on their own forum.
I want to let you know that I "hate" no one, that I don't want blind
"revenge" on anyone, that I realize the deep complexity of the world
situation. I realize all too well the many failings of my own country and
people. I don't make sweeping assumptions that just because I'm American
that I'm automatically right, and everyone should do what I think they
But I feel I have to speak up. I don't expect to convince anyone. But I
still must speak.
I have not responded to the various messages, comparing George W. Bush
(through his rhetorical choices) to terrorists, to the veiled implication of
"What should the US expect when they treat the world as they do?" I didn't
have the strength to pick a fight this week, and perhaps after all, I was
misreading the intent of the posters. I, and all Americans (and many people
across the world, esp. those who lost people in the WTC) are a little sore
in every way this week.
But I think that the debate has moved out of the civil (not-so-civil?) realm
of politics. Slamming planes into buildings has a tendency to heighten the
stakes, and the rhetoric. We aren't allowed to worry about some things,
because we must worry about others.
Other countries have to deal with internal terrorist acts every day
(Northern Ireland and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict come to mind). But
one has more room when the perpetrators have actual political demands, and
might actually accept negotiation.
What does one do when terrorist murder thousands of people at once, in a
most spectacular way, for the sheer hell of it? Thinking they could murder
the spirit of a people?
I don't really know. I'm not knowledgeable about terrorism, or the
military, or really even foreign policy (which I try to keep up with).
That's why I have leaders to do it for me. That's why I pray a great deal
that they will make the wisest possible decisions, and that God would be
with them, and with the rest of us.
I don't want the US to make stupid decisions. I don't want us to kill
innocent people. We need to think very carefully about what we are going to
But I also know that freedom to live and think as one pleases is one of the
greatest gifts the world has ever known. I am utterly grateful for it. I
myself am willing to die fighting for the gift of liberty, rather than bow
in fear or submission to those who would use force to make me live in an
I know many people are not willing to do so. And holding the ideal (yes, I
will use that word) of liberty like I do, I completely respect other
people's right to differ from me, and to speak that difference. And I
realize that I am on Canadian "turf" here, and perhaps not so much Canadian
as academic turf...or whatever one would call it. I know I'm stepping on
toes. I know you think I'm oversimplifying. But to me, it really is that
As I say, the principle is simple to me. The policy ramifications are not,
and I leave those to others. I wish peace between the collective you and
me, and understanding between us in the time ahead, even amidst grave
I'm signing off the listserv; as I say, I've not really posted much, and my
studies are moving in a different direction. Blessings on you all.
Indiana University/Purdue University
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