Letters to The Ethical Spectacle

For several nights in a row, dispatch gave us code 1 calls at 9 pm, just as our shift was winding down. The second or third night, we went to the Brooklyn apartment of an older couple . The wife was seated on her bed, muttering, exhibiting the right side facial and arm weakness that is the sign of a stroke. Her breathing and blood pressure were normal, though her pulse was rapid. However, as we moved her to the ambulance on our wheeled stretcher she began turning blue and going into respiratory arrest.

D. drove and I was in the back of the ambulance, alternately suctioning her throat, which was filling up with fluid, and ventilating her with a bag valve mask. The experience of trying to breathe for someone in the back of a jolting ambulance is much different than that of ventilating a CPR dummy on a hard concrete floor. The ride to the hospital took less than ten minutes and when we arrived there was no-one outside the hospital to help D. with the stretcher so that I could continue bagging her while we took her in. So I sealed the mask with both hands, D. gave her a couple more breaths with the bag, and we ran her up the ramp, shouting details to the ER doctor, who had already been notified by our dispatcher. He took over and within a few minutes, our patient was alert and muttering again.

It was an intense experience-- the first time I really worried about anyone dying in my ambulance--but I could see how it was no longer something extraordinary, just a hard day on a job where I know there will be worse. It made it much easier that she improved so quickly, as that wasn't necessarily in the cards.

I enjoy receiving your email and can be reached, as always, at jw@bway.net.

Dear Mr. Wallace,

While performing a search I came upon your website. I went to your home page and saw the title Emergency Medical Technician. I have been an EMT for twelve years, and a medic for seven, so my curiosity was piqued.

I have heard many, many stories as to why people become EMTs, but your essay really brought home the reality of wanting to help (in your case, at the WTC), and being unable to.

I am currently teaching an EMT class, which tests in two weeks, and I have a few older students who are still fairly unsure of themselves. Would you mind if I reprinted a copy of "Emergency Medical Technician" for them to read, just to let them see another's point of view on the subject? I would sincerely appreciate it, because I want them to see that everyone who gets into emergency services goes through the same fears and uncertainties, and even yells "SHIT!" from time to time. By the way, there is a book called Paramedic, by Paul Shapiro, a NYC medic. His insight on EMS on the streets of New York is humorous at times, and morbid at others. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Thank you, Mr. Wallace for taking the time to read this. I look forward to your reply.

Hamp Ingram, EMT-P, A. S. hingram@adelphia.net

Hi Jonathan --

John O'Driscoll of Shanghai's song about a twisted human sister, a young girl bedecked in suicide Semtex, contains a verse "we're not gonna take it" attributed to AC/DC. Alas, we native Long Islanders recognize the verse as actually from a Twisted Sister song of the same name. Just need to shortcircuit it from being Shanghai'd on behalf of AC/DC.

Matthew Hogan matthewhnj@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace,

my name is Dan Singer and I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your article Steganography, My Ass. I was taking a recently-completed course on censorship and intellectual freedom when I found your article while searching for something to present to the class as an assignment. Your writing about acts of censorship and oppression since September 11th was to me a perfect example to use. I actually enjoyed preparing what I would say about the article, and I received applause when I was finished with my presentation.

The attacks on freedom that occur in this country scare me. From Police and FBI requesting library patron records(I am a librarian) to the Government detaining so many Muslims to people being fired for not agreeing with the government's policies and actions or expressing other unpopular views, sometimes I wonder if I woke up in the US today! Please keep writing, your work needs to be read.Sincerely,

Dan Singer Dizzy19668@aol.com

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I have been reading the Ethical Spectacle for the best part of a year now, since coming across a link to it from some article on censorware. It gives me a window on the world which none of the information channels which I read daily - newspapers, BBC Online, Time magazine, can give - full of discussion, opinion, emotion and personal points of view. My experience has been vastly broadened by reading your essays and those you publish. It's wonderful and inspiring that there are still ordinary people out there who not only stop to think but take the trouble to share that thought. I wish I could say that about myself, but I have long been too caught up with my own life to make that step forward. Perhaps now with your inspiration I will.

Anyway, thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Stachowski greg@astro.as.wsp.krakow.pl

Greg decided to write something and his piece on Iraq appears in this issue.

An Auschwitz Alphabet
Dear Jonathan,

(sent from Adana, Turkey)

I'm TANER GÖDE, male, 34, married, one son (16 months, almost named BERKAY EKIN meaning STRONG RAY OF LIGHT FROM THE MOON CASTING UPON A FIELD OF WHEAT) and I have lived in HOLLAND (The Netherlands) for 20 years. There, at elementary school, in 1977, we were "faced" with the truth of WW2, the Nazis and the killing of the 6 million Jews. This fascinated me, in a negative way... How could 6 million humans be killed...???

I have been plunging into this issue since then. I have read a lot of issued about it and there's a picture in my office showing a railroad station (apparently an arrival perron) and two large groups of people, woman and children at the left, men at the right, and in fron of them some SS officers with guns. I wrote underneath "DEPORTATION DER JUDEN". Many customers coming to my office (I am a sworn translator) don't even know that the Holocaust has happened. One of a fellow translator of the German language did not know the meaning of the word "DEPORTATION". I also explored REINHARD HEYDRICH's biography and was only shocked to read what happened and what he made happen.

I am moslem, a devoted one and I would like to stress one issue, my belief and my perception of the real world: GOD EXISTS. There is ONE GOD, fos us moslems, for you jews and for the christians, there is a God. Nothing in this world is without a cause. See for your self, find for your self. There is GOD.

Love and respect go to you and your family.Take care,

TANER GÖDE tanergode01@superonline.com

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I just wanted to express that I find your website educational and truly moving. It is beautifully and thoughtfully compiled.


Elizabeth Elizabeth.Roldan@us.pm.com

My friend, if you would take your time and read the prophecies of the Bible, and see how most of them have already come true, or how amazing it is that after sleeping for hours (which is when you are closest to death) you awaken every morning. And when you awake every morning, there's a Sun shining through your window, and the nature which you observe with awe- which had to be created by SOMEONE, maybe then you will realize that God is real. Ask Him to prove Himself to you. He will. (Although, the test results of your younger sibling should have opened your heart, so perhaps He was talking to you then, you just failed to hear Him. If you close your heart too tightly, one day you may find that it can't be opened)

ckandrea ckandrea@netzero.net