Letters To The Ethical Spectacle

One of the things I love best about being an emergency medical technician is giving people oxygen. There are no contraindications, no-one is allergic to it and you can give it freely. Every once in a while, you have the magnificent experience of watching someone who is weak, disoriented or half-conscious come back like a freight train after a few minutes of high flow O2.

I am aware that long before I ever contemplated being an EMT, oxygen was a frequent metaphor in my writing. One image that turns up repeatedly in my fiction is that of the child who didn't get enough oxygen at birth, a deficit which can never be made good no matter how much she receives later.

I just searched The Ethical Spectacle for occurrences of the word and found the following in a speech I gave at a demonstration opposite the White House in 1996: "Freedom of speech is oxygen." Wonderful and strange observing the separate strands of your life weave themselves together in unexpected ways.

Jonathan Wallace jw@bway.net

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 also respect that. 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 your 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:

The idea that Interview with the Vampire was pornographic is not only ludicrous but just plain silly. You are trying to censor artwork that should not be censored. If you don't like the movie, don't watch it. Your opinion is yours, but you have no right to defile the enjoyment of others. The writer of the book, Interview with the Vampire was in fact Anne Rice, a woman. Yes the movie has some semi-erotic scenes. So what? Your accusations are absolutely without merit. In a scene in the move there is an erotic situation in which a youth has blood sucked out of his hand. This is one example of how you are wrong. The scene in the theater was an example of opposites. Men and women are opposties. In this scene the "man" represented evil, and power. The woman, however represented goodness, youth, and beauty. These scenes did in fact use symbolism, of a kind, but in a completely non-sexist way. Thank you

Brandon Boswell


It appears that the current leaders of Israel are intent in taking as much land as possible, and the acts of Arafat and militant groups help them in their quest. If the Palestenians would lay down their weapons, and decide that they would no longer commit acts of violence, in a very short time they would have a Palestine state. In a hundred years Israel may even become an anachroism, since cooperation and intermarriage between two groups, where one has a thousand, the Palestenians, to each one member of the other, Israel. It is as you said in your article, the Palestenian leadership's insistence of fomenting a culture of violence, is the overwhelming cause that is preventing them from achieving their state. The whole situation reminds me of George Orwell's novel 1984.


Dear Mr. Wallace:

I'm doing a presentation on Barry and Hardin's (and Olson's) "Individual Actions and Collective Consequences" -- the Prisoner's Dilemma in explaining the logic of collective action (for a graduate course, Political Inquiry) and your page helped a lot!! Now I will be able to not only present on this theory, but I have a plethora of discussion points and interesting perspectives to add. Thanks so much!

Tamara Pavasovic

Dear Jonathan Wallace,

I just went th your website on Auschwitz. I read your information on God. You said there was none. I am a 13 year old girl and I am a believer in Jesus Christ. I have studied the Holocaust since I was 8 years old.I have also done research on it to. I believe that there is a God. For Jesus died on the cross for us. For you. He was the king of the Jews. He came for you. You were his chosen people.But you dined him. I can't explain why the holocaust happened! I only know in my heart, that he is there.He came for all are pain. I never have gone through what you have. But I just look around at nature and the creatures of the world and also the human body. And I think how can you say there is no God? He's there. You have to have faith. We must learn how to forgive the Nazis for what they did. Like Corrie Tenboom did. She was in a concentration camp for hiding Jews. She was a believer too, in Jesus Christ. The Nazis killes her sister, but survived and has helped thousands of Jews learn how to forgive.

So Mr. Jonathan to think again about God,with a open heart. Please think again. Jesus Loves,sincerely,Im praying that you to can forgive,


Dear Mr. Wallace:

hello,i dont know and i am not sure if u have the time to read my mail,any way it is the first time i am writing for some one who i dont know,i am from lebanon i have 31 years old and i have 2 deplomas pharmacy and biology,i dont want to speak about my self ,i just want u to understand my point,i beleive in justice but not in this world so power and to be smart are the only way to acheive anything u desire,my problem is that i hate the level of arabican mind,i dont feel we can awake for our death i am desperd and i want to chage something but i feel hopeless,i have a girlfreinf from ukraine i explained her the situation it means btw arabican and israel and the same for some other freinds(ukranian)and the raction was very positive and encouraging but buti am not satisfied u nedd to go to the large feild and show ur case,any way i want to thank u for ur interest and i am checking ur site daily(may be)

Dear Jonathan:

The unrestrained anger and hate Welch oozes in his essays speak much louder than his demagogic rhetoric. He is obviously a frustrated and deeply disturbed individual. He epitomizes all the characteristics of a hard-core, bug-eyed, psychotic lefty...and as such an extremist, is easy to ignore as "totally off the wall."

Bob Wilson