January 2009

Letters to the Ethical Spectacle

Spectacle Letters Column Guidelines. If you write to me about something you read in the Spectacle, I will assume the letter is for publication. If it is not, please tell me, and I will respect that. If you want the letter published, but without your name attached, I will do so. I will not include your email address unless you ask me to. This is in response to many of you who have expressed concern that spammers are finding your email address here. Flames are an exception. They will be published in full, with name and email address. I have actually had people follow up on a published flame by complaining that they thought they were insulting my ancestry privately. Nope, sorry.

Dear Mr. Wallace:

I just read your article on publishing which you say may be "whining." It is the truth, and painful as it is, it was perversely comforting to me. I have been rejected by over 40 agents for my academic (sorry, but this time it is a female prof who has an affair with male student) novel but, actually, the facts are friendly according to some buddist I read somewhere so having all the facts on one page, and bookmarked for when I need to remember them, I think--because of this article -- am going to start submitting to small, obscure literary presses, such as where my first novel was published! But thank you for this clear eyed view.


Hi Jonathan,

I've been reading your newsletter for over a year, but I just went and read your bio with the update in August. I want to say that you are an inspiration to me. You have had a varied and interesting life and you are doing what you want. I enjoy your newsletter every month.

Please continue your good work.

Regards, Rob

Dear Mr. Wallace:

First Iím going to introduce myself, Iím Prentice and I am in 8th grade. My fellow classmates and I are doing a Holocaust research project that involved your Auschwitz issue. So far I have learned lots about the holocaust. One thing Iíve learned is that the Final solution was caused because Adolf Hitler wanted to annihilate the whole Jewish population in Europe because of its rich agriculture. Iíve also learned why Hitler targeted certain groups of people. Lastly Iíve learned inside information on concentration camps and death camps.

ďOn the one hand, we must remember the past; on the other, what happened there could never happen here, because the Nazis were different.ĒMr. Blumen I disagree with this statement you made in your intro because people are unpredictable and you never know what can happen next. Just like the KKK, people thought racism was over after the 1900ís but the KKK still remains till this day. Also when you said ďthe Holocaust is a human issueĒ, I agree because no one could have stopped this situation/problem but Hitler because his beliefs and arrogance got to him. Overall Mr. Blumen the intro was very accurate and most of the comments/statements you made were very meaningful and truthful.

As a young colored male I think the holocaust is very important because in the early 1900s colored citizens werenít allowed and education or rights the whites were allowed and to be sitting here know typing and learning about the Holocaust means a lot to me, learning in general is a overall step for me and others of my kind. The Holocaust actually relates to my history/heritage in many ways because just like Hitler disliked Jews, Blacks were disliked by many. Also because just how Hitler mistreated Jews, Blacks were mistreated by whites by being used as slaves. After reading about the Holocaust I have learned that life brings many uncertain mistakes or happenings that causes tragedies such as the Holocaust. As an African-American teenager this experience taught me that I should life live and cherish it because things come unexpected.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I recently read an article on the web, where you wrote regarding the death penalty and most importantly about how we treat people within the system. Two years ago, I plead guilty to felony theft. I ruined my life and the life of my children. I will forever regret my actions and will forever live with the stigma of being less than to those who have known me for over 51 years. I am less than, even though I served time, am doing community service and trying to pay restitution.

So thank you for putting to words what a great deal of us feel because of a mistake we made. "Karla Fay should not have been killed because the process that began when she deprived Debra Thornton of life--turned her into a thing--culminated by turning Richard Thornton into an animal. And all of us. There is no redemption and no justice in such killing, only degradation." We are degraded and made into things and for those of us who do not suffer the death penalty, we are still things and there is so often no redemption for us.

I've learned this lesson and even though a great deal profess that they care, that they forgive.society has made up its mind and we criminals are less than for the remainder of our days. Your words were honest and true and I thank for on behalf of myself and the others I have served time with who know these words to be true. With God's grace, maybe we'll be able to change these peoples view and show them that each one of us deserves a second chance.

Blessings to you and yours


I've really liked the Ethical Spectacle since I discovered it about a year ago when I was a lowly sixth grader suppressed by stupidity and arrogance in the school I go to. (It's still like that by the way. :( )

Your article about Obama is great, and although I supported him (and still do), some things I disagree with him about, like his support of fuel from corn, and his flip-flopping stance on warrantless wiretapping. (Which I'm against.)

I'm very against censorship and have started my own underground 'zine (which sadly, it itself has in fact been suppressed, although it still exists.)

I've really got to thank you and others for influencing me to fight against censorship and other things practiced by idiots.


just read your frog and scorpion piece - written a while ago now! But putting it on the web has worked. By a series of near-arbitrary turns, there I am reading your excellent essay. I learned a lot from it, and I thank you. I particularly liked the joke about the ex-partner. I will enjoy reading your other essays.

Best wishes,

-- John