Oleg Volk, in his infinite kindness, has forwarded me a letter sent to him by a certain person who was offended by his site. Here is that letter, name omitted to protect the [insert here].
> Location: i am a phlebotomist. i found it
> Picture URL:
> Link: Do not have a link
> Best: existentionalism
> Worst: guns
> landscapes: on
> abstracts: on
> Frequency of Visits: First time
> Other Advice: OK, Dude...first of all. You are a talented
> photographer, and it seems you have skills with a CPU. I like the way
> your site is built and organized. Logical, simple enough to
> understand, yet it conveys complex ideas. However, one thing that I
> do not like is all the guns. I mean, have you heard of the columbine
> high school shootings? Also, let me give you a disclaimer: all this
> is my own biased opinion. However, the photograph of you with the M16
> lookin' rifle in a flak jacket is pure psycho. And what the hell is a
> "pocket weasel"????? You name your guns???? Do you also have a name
> for your penis? It is stated that you are single, lookin for a female
> to date. Well, it seems that if you don't find one soon, you'll start
> picking people off from a clock tower with a sniper rifle. Don't get
> me wrong, there's nothing wrong with guns, I celebrate the US
> constitution, the first (I am happy you express yourself) and second
> (you have your guns) ammendments. But c'mon...one or two images of
> you with guns would be good. Not a freaking hundred. Once again, I
do not mean disrespect, and hope you can take this constructively.
I mean, hey, people. Oleg Volk, “picking people off from a clock tower with a sniper rifle”? I felt pissed. Very. And, having what the worthy Kim du Toit terms an RCOB moment, I replied [given in italics]:
Hello Mr. S.!
Mr. Volk, in his infinite kindness, has forwarded me this message. While
certainly you are entitled to your opinion, I am also entitled to mine. Here
is my opinion on your letter: OF COURSE Mr. Volk's [excellent] site has
pictures of guns. It is *about* protecting the right to keep and bear arms
in the first place. What do you expect to see on a site like that? Teddy
bears? Even more interestingly, you say that posting such images is wrong
because of Columbine. What does that have to do with anything? How does the
act of two young boys, driven homicidally insane by social pressure and
psychiatric drugs [look it up], committed via a mixture of guns,
incendiaries, and propane, have any relevance on the posting of images of
firearms on the Internet? [I understand from your letter that you agree with
the ideas expressed in the Second Amendment, thus I will not insult your
intelligence by thinking you actually believe it was the "availability" of
weapons that caused the massacre]. You also claim that the naming of weapons
is an unhealthy habit. Would you, then, call the authors of the Lay of
Roland, the Legends of King Arthur, and the Last of the Mohicans unhealthy?
Would you call Rudyard Kipling unhealthy? As to calling the affection with
weapons itself unhealthy, I will merely note that, to the experts, it is the
dislike of weapons that is unhealthy:
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."
~Sigmund Freud, "General Introduction to Psychoanalysis"
Sincerely yours, Boris Karpa, Ashdod, Israel
P.S. Here is some poetry for you. I hope you enjoy it:
One would think the man would not reply. But he did.
>Indeed it is Mr. Karpa. Our right to keep and bear arms. Or arm (teddy) bears, for >that matter. God bless america. Or, run refugee camps over with tanks (I'm sorry, >that just slipped out, do forgive me).
>Also, I do not view Mr. Freud as a 100% valid authority. Too many of his theories >have been proven unbased by modern psychology and sociology. I mean, not >everything is a penis, for crying out loud.
>As far as your reference to ancient warriors naming their weapons. They did. They >also happended to be very knot-headed, "red-nekked", even for their times, not to >mentioned ours, male chauvinist pigs. They treated women, serfs (in applicable >countries, those were slaves, as you know), people of other race, creed or ethnicity >like shit. I do believe we, as a group of people living on this planet have move past >that, at least a little ways. I hope.
>God bless america for giving me the right to express my opinion (and yes, have >guns. >I own guns. I am not against or afraid of them) without fear of being >decapitated.
>Thank you for writing to me.
Oh well. Shrug.
I frankly don't know what "ancient warriors" you're talking about - I referred to sources diverging from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century, and certainly Mr. Kipling is no 'redneck' [whatever that means in the first place]. Your description of the treatment of women by such people doe by no means reflect the complexity of the reality of the Middle Ages or of the more modern times. Let me, for a moment, divert your attention to certain example of how an aristocrat was supposed to treat women in the days of the past.
"An insult directed at a woman is not answered by her, but by the man protecting her, which becomes the insulted party, while the insult becomes a degree graver than if a man where insulted." V. Durasov, The Dueling Code, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1912, reprinted in Y.A. Gording, "Duels and Duellers", St. Petersburg, the Pushkin Fund, 1996.
Why am I quoting it? You see, the various codes of behavior - which, in transformed form, influenced such late imitators as the famed Jim Bowie and the Alamo defenders - did exist, and they were based on the perception of the woman as a superior, rather than inferior, to a man, being. In truth, intolerance and hate were not the only fragment of those cultures and it would be a mistake to abandon them altogether [suffice it to say that the Anglo-American legal system takes its root in the medieva/feudal system as practiced in Britain in the 12th century. G.M. Trevelyan's "History of England" is a good guide to the society of the time].
So no, we are not in all ways superior to our ancestors. As you remember, in no other century were people of other "race, creed or ethnicity" treated more "like shit" than in the 20th. Not every moment forward in time means movement towards progress. It often does, but it is not necessarily so.