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So disappointed.....

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Well I have started in on my new book about my newest interest, David Henry Thoreau. I have had an interest in the romantic period and I am just now getting around to reading some of their work.

 

My plan was to read Thoreau first and then buy this book I saw by Ralph Waldo Emmerson. But after learning how the big larger then life Emmerson who was all about free thinking and abolishing social restrictions and conditioning and wanted to start a Utopian community based upon each individuals talents and abilities. Emmerson who was supposed to be Thoreau's great close friend, actually publically dismissed Thoreau's lifestyle of living at Walden Pond and being an observer of nature and recording it. He dismissed Thoreau as not being ambitious because he didn't have a job, he looked down on Thoreau's daily walks in the woods and he was arrogant because Thoreau wasn't popular or had any commercial sucess as a published author. Emmerson was just then becoming well known and sucessful and hitting the lecture circuit pushing his Utopian community and other free thinking ideals, yet his friend he dismissed. Talk about a hypocrit! I am so disgusted by Emmerson, I doubt I'll ever read anything he wrote based strictly on principle that I will not support such a hypocrit.

Yeah I know he was a man and all men are fallible. But I would expect a bit more in terms of higher standards from someone such as Emmerson. If you're gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.

I swear this is as bad as finding out that Byron was a womanizer. Guess maybe it shows I should stop placing historical figures on pedestals.......

Pam

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Pam,

 

When you listen to a great song on the radio do you have to know everything about the singer to enjoy that song? Is is possible for a person to write great music or great books but still be a person who you might not admire for the way they live or lived? What I'm getting at is some people have a hard time separating the craft of writing music or literature from the personalities who created it. And if you do that---not separate the two things, the artistic craft from the creator---then you are closing the door on a LOT of good music, art and literature that you might like on their own merits. A good example from popular culture would be John Wayne. Don and I grew up loving his movies but we both hate his politics and personal values. Should that make us quit enjoying the old reruns of his films? Or should we just separate the man's work from the man and enjoy the films?

 

I once called you an elitist snob for only wanting to read the English classics. Don't become an elitist snob about the American classics, too. Read them all and judge them all by what is between the pages of the book and not by the way the authors lived their lives. They really aren't one and the same.

 

Jean

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Mom,

You bring up some very good points, but I see this situation differently, your logic can't apply here. My disappointment is in Emmerson the man. The man known for his forward thinking and ideals. It seems ludicrous to read what he wrote when he was talking out of his A**.

He brings to mind many other hypocrits and I don't listen to what they dole out either. It would seem to me that at some point, somewhere one has to take a stand against hypocrits. I for one hate the fact that being hypocritical has found a foothold in the status Quo. Walt Whitman is another horny old hypocrit too. These guys remind me of Jim and Tammy Baker and Bill Clinton and Jennifer Flowers.

Pam

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.

 

Pam,

 

We could go down through out history and find skeletons in the closets of most famous people, people who did wonderful things and changed life for the better for all mankind. You may think that Emmerson was talking out of his a** but how did he influence society and how would society be different had his voice not been heard? Those are the important questions to ask here.

 

This debate about judging a person's creative work separately from the man or woman doing the creating is a very old debate. For me personally, I know that there is too much art, music and literature I would not get to enjoy if I had to like each artist or writer on a personal level before I looked at what they had, or have to, say in the creative venue of their choice. From my point of view, there is no such thing as hypocrisy in the artistic process. It's about letting go and seeing where your muse takes you and sometimes it takes you to places you didn't even know were inside of you.

 

Jean

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Funny, I let loose and let go and I arrive at places I never knew I had inside me, but that is a different topic all together. I could debate this all day with you, but I won't. I have decided to take a stand and not read Emmerson as a matter of principle. Period end of story. Bill of course says I am pre judging him and I should read him first, but I am picketing anything by Emmerson.

Doesn't anyone else have a view? No Emmerson or Whitman or TRhoreau fans? Doesn't anyone read anymore?

Pam

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Pam,

 

Could Bill and I both be wrong? Go to the library and read Emerson for free instead of buying something.

 

Anyone else out there want to enter the frying pan!? Pam is bigger and younger than me so---woo-is-me---I'm at a disadvantage here. :D

 

Jean

 

 

 

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. " Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

"The only way to have a friend is to be one." Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

"Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Pam and Jean,

 

I'll jump in on this one!

 

There was a time when I wouldn't read anything written by anyone whose personal views on any given subject I didn't agree with....Boy, what an ego......I was THE authority on all things moral in my view.

 

I think it's good to know all we can about the authors/artists whose works we appreciate - and want to appreciate. I've learned somewhere along the line that opinions are just that - opinions. Everybody has one. I don't have to agree with them, but I don't have to be argumentative with them either. Even though I don't appreciate the morals and values of many an author, artist, public figure, politician....this doesn't mean they've not contributed greatly to society's development.

 

Jean, you are right....don't buy the books Pam. Go to the library and borrow the works. Keep in mind the author's views, but don't boycott some wonderful literary works because you've decided he is a deplorable hypocrite. Or don't read anything by Emmerson - ever. That's sure your choice.

 

I remember dreading the study of the theories of human nature espoused by Marxism, Freudian psychology, Skinner's behaviorism and my all-time least favorite atheistic existentialism. The reason for my dread was based on the fact that I didn't agree with the theories represented. I learned something though - theory is theory. Sort of like an opinion. Everybody's got an opinion - the rightness is in the way we internalize it. I don't have to agree with it - but for me to tell another that their logic can't be used in any particular instance is really quite presumptive of me.

 

Your logic, Pam is no more right than Jean's! I just wouln't boycott the great authors too quickly. Some of the "arguments" I've seen here on-line tend to place us in a position where one's opinion is much more valid than another's. We all see the world according to ME. It really isn't that way though. Thank God for individuality in expression.

 

Ann

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One lesson we learn early, that in spite of seeming difference, men are all of one pattern. We readily assume this with our mates, and are disappointed and angry if we find that we are premature, and that their watches are slower than ours. In fact, the only sin which we never forgive in each other is difference of opinion.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

Blame is safer than praise.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

There is a time when a man distinguishes the idea of felicity from the idea of wealth; it is the beginning of wisdom.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

Criticism should not be querulous and wasting, all knife and root-puller, but guiding, instructive, inspiring.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

Wise men are not wise at all hours, and will speak five times from their taste or their humor, to once from their reason.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

The wise man in the storm prays God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear.

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

 

I did a 'search' on Ralph Waldo Emerson and I thought (there I go, thinking again !!) that they were pretty good.

 

I'm not taking sides, I'm not being a referee. I 'REFUSE' to be 'drawn' into these 'childish games'. I WILL say this. EVERYONE is entitled to freedom of speech. The 1st Amendment of the Constitution PERMITS that. I'm just saying that I don't enjoy the attacks that are waged' when two, or more people DON'T agree on a certain subject. THAT'S why I USUALLY don't respond to blogs.

 

I'll just close with another quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

 

 

He who has a thousand friends Has not a friend to spare,While he who has one enemy Shall meet him everywhere

 

-- Ralph Waldo Emmerson

 

 

 

Denny

 

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Denny,

 

There's a big difference between debating the merits of a particular classic author and 'childish games.' If there were no differences then a lot of college literature classes would be in deep trouble for lack of anything to study and discuss. I remember many classroom and dorm discussions like the one up above. It's also fun to do and you learn a lot about each other in the process. It's a lot like debating the meaning of the scriptures of the Bible or the writings of Buddha. Everyone has an opinion based on their own background, education and view of the world but no one really knows for sure who is right or who is wrong.

 

There are several cultures in this world who believe in debating and discussing their opinions on topics of morality, literature, art and scripture. They feel that through debate you will study more so that you will be able to defend your beliefs better and in the process you will become more devout in your beliefs. (Case in point: both you and I looked up quotes by Emerson which we probably wouldn't have done if Pam hadn't peaked our interest.) I do not view civil and polite debates about ideas, theories, books and works of art as a negative thing. 'Childish games,' in my opinion, are when someone starts playing head games on someone else and when that happens, I sure as heck hope that others have the guts to step in and give balance to the dialogue.

 

Jean

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I responded, I don't think I was understood correctly, SOoooooooooooooooooo . . . . . . the 'drama goes on !!

 

All I can say is, 'hit me with your best shot' :bop:

 

 

Denny

 

PS: I don't what to 'cause friction' between two friends, so I WON'T respond to this blog AGAIN !!

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Denny,

 

You couldn't possibly cause friction between Pam and I, even if you adamantly voiced an opinion siding with one or the other of us. And we don't need a referee or peacemaker, we're not fighing. We have been discussing topics like the one up above (and many other kind) in PMs and e-mails for several years now and we haven't gotten mad at each other yet. We had one dialogue going about a English author that went on for weeks and we didn't agree about him either.

 

I'm guessing that Pam would love it if more people would join us for a discussion about classic literature, I know I would be thrilled. Is there some reason why there can't be some non-stroke topics on this site? Heck, we could even have a Strokenet book club of sorts where we'd all read the same book and then discuss it in a blog the way people do at local book clubs.

 

Jean

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To my shame and ignorance I haven't read either of the two authors mentioned above.

However if Pams argument is that one guy was spouting morals but living by a different standard I would find it hard to believe anything he said.

 

I say tounge in cheek to my sons "don't do as I do, do as I say". Hard for a philosopher to do that. An actor isn't really spouting words of wisdom.

 

Maybe I have got the wrong end of the stick.

 

I like the idea of a book club...I have just finished Angels and Demons Dan Brown ( thats about my level of reading now) I am about to start 44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith. He wrote the series No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. They were funny.

 

Mary

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Denny,

Who do you think needs a referee? Mom and I? I hardly think so. Mom and I are two seperate people with our own thoughts and opinions. We can be intelligent and disagree and not get mad at one another because we aren't clones of the other. Mom and I are not part of any flock of sheep that needs to think the same in order to be acceptable or accepted. We don't attend that type of institution.

Besides my Emmerson blog made you think and made you look up Emmerson quotes.But the important part is that I made you think! Whether you like partaking in the debate or not, whether you disagreed or agreed. It doesn't matter, what matters is that you thought original thoughts.

Haven't you ever discussed bands, authors, literature or anything and learned from someone else who had an opposing view? Well that is free thought! Welcome to the ideals of the Romantic era of Americasn Literature

Pam

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Mary, you being from England, I'm not surprise you haven't read Emerson or any of the other American classic authors from the 1800s. I haven't read all your classic authors either. I'm not even sure if they are still required reading here in the states for college students. If you interested in Emerson here's a website with a few facts about him and his work: http://www.online-literature.com/emerson/ He was a pastor of a Unitarian Church for three years, had a crisis of faith and resigned. I really don't know what Pam is referring to when she says that he lived differently than he wrote about. A prolific author can write a lot of stuff over one's life time and what may be true in one era about how he lived may not be a true about how he lived in another era, people do evolve. That doesn't necessarily make us hypocrites because we change or strive to live up to values that we can't quite reach.

 

I read the No#1 Detective Agency, too. It was pretty good but I read it so long ago I can't remember the characters or plot enough for a good 'book' talk.

 

Jean

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so, i'm off the site for a week b/c of being sick and i miss this juicy blog.......DAMN!!!!!

 

pam, if i were to judge all men by whether or not they keep "it" in their pants (literally or figuretively), i would not have read a word on listen to a speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King (a compulsive womanizer/sex addict), or Freud (a cocaine addict, a suicide, who was infatuated with his wife's sister, and had an odd relationship with little Anna Freud), or Jung (had a sexual affair with a female patient,) and that's only ONE character defect.

 

people with great ideas can have feet of clay, or worse. toes of maggots comes to mind.

 

also some men, although suffering from testosterone poisoning, have some very worthwhile things to say.

 

sandy

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Hey, wait a minute here, Pam. I think Sandy is agreeing with me. Does that mean you just said "uncle?"

 

Jean

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i'll just keep you both in suspense....just guessing...^_^

 

what i really want to know, though, is what Annie meant in her reply to you guys. i have read her reply several times and STILL don't know what she is talking about. :huh::huh:

 

sandy

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Jean:

 

I have never done arguments with anyone including my hubby, but I like your book club idea a lot and think we should implement that one, and Mary I read Angels&demons, and I liked that book better than Da Vinci Code, though currently I read gorden korman author my kido likes and I want to b involve in what he is reading such that we can talk about it infront of dad. I guess I might read emerson when kido is forced to read him in college:)

 

Asha

 

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Asha,

I ask you.... why wait till kiddo is in collage? Read Thoreau now and Emmerson if you must.

Pam

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Asha

 

do you really mean it :Ask: when you say, "I have never done arguments with anyone including my hubby" :uhm: ?

 

even as part of a stimulating intellectual debate :silly: , which i'm having in this blog with my virtual Mom and identical twin sister :party:?

 

nobody could be THAT much of a good girl!!!! :nuhuh:

 

go out and KICK SOME BUTT :Booty: :swordfight: :rifle: -you'll feel a lot better..... :yay: :wtg: :yay:

 

sandy :giggle:

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I have never read either authors, but the idea of a book club on this site sounds good. Count me in.

 

 

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