Letters

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Fifth Estate # 78, May 1-14, 1969

 

Brothers:

Thanks for reprinting my Other Scenes article on nudity in and out of the theater (They Can’t Get Any Nuder. FE #75, March 20-April 2, 1969). I’ve just seen it and you did an esthetically nice job. But a line was dropped from one of the final paragraphs.

My point (the important part) was that “the real qualitative difference in the experience of public nudity lies in its goals. If one’s goal is to convince a skeptical public that nudity need not lead to sensuality, then one’s participants dare not touch. But if one’s goal is personal self-fulfillment—and nudity is just a means to that end—one will want to touch. And to be touched.

I felt I owed an explanation to those who might have missed the point because of the dropped line.

Incidentally, shortly after I wrote this piece, I saw both “Dionysus in ’69” (which was busted at the University of Michigan) and the Living Theatre’s “Paradise Now” (I’ve also seen “Che,” but it doesn’t compare in the same sense.)

Both of these performances do what I suggested theater must do: participants do touch with meaning. I suggest that any of your readers who have the opportunity to see either production do so; they’ll profit.

Robert Wolf
New York City

Dear People,

Just thought I’d drop a line to say hello from sunny ‘Nam and that all heads over here dig your rag a lot. It really helps keep us together and in tune with the times, so to speak.

I was overjoyed at the turn-outs of people on Easter weekend to protest the war. It’s really a groovy feeling knowing that there’s people back in the world who are trying to help us by giving us their active support.

Active support is really where it’s at brothers and sisters. You can’t get nothing done by just thinking about it. You’ve got to go do it!

I’d like to extend a personal thanks to any brothers and sisters from the Detroit area who went to Chicago to join in our cause. With people like you who went, and people like the groovy heads that make the Fifth Estate, I know the GIs are going to be able to beat Big Brother one of these days.

Peace,

Pvt. Michael Wacker

To the Editors:

We, students, all over this so-called democracy are waking up. We are reacting to a one-sided, misinformed, unrelated, no-purpose educational system. We realize that our present educational system is our final phase of brainwashing.

When we get our diploma we are turned into qualified brainwashers.

We do want an education. We do want to develop mentally in such a way so that we can look at the world as it really is, and take the necessary changes for the survival of man NOW.

And since we are supposed to be students of this country we unlike most citizens will be democratic about the whole thing. So-called democracy is supposed to stand for Truth, Justice, Freedom, Knowledge, Rights, Respect, and let it be added the pursuit of liberty among many other things, therefore we ask for nothing more than what this system is supposed to stand for.

Therefore, in conclusion let it be stated in frankness, we will no longer tolerate this shit being put down. Let it also be stated that if the educational system of this country continues to rape our minds, either it must function, or guess what ???

We Demand:

1. a voice in the hiring and firing of all personnel.

2. a voice in the policy-making of the administration.

3. a constitution and a convocation on May 22, 1969 to be the opening date.

4. a student judiciary.

5. A change in attendance policy and the add-drop policy.

6. two student convocations per year, the first on or before 2 p.m. May 1, 1969.

7. the school paper and staff be responsible to the student body.

8. ten rooms for student organization offices.

9. student organizations be given control of their funds.

10. a complete, itemized audit of funds from 1962-1969.

11. a Black Studies Program.

12. a course evaluation beginning this semester.

13. more books on oppression, racism, economic systems, and the Black experience.

14. a Community Education program which will admit economically, socially, and/or racially oppressed people without an admission examination and with financial aid where necessary.

15. an improvement in general maintenance and cleanliness of the school plant.

16. a. students be addressed by the title (Mr., Mrs., or Miss.)

b. student lounge be open until 9 p.m.

c. Card Playing be allowed.

17. more parking facilities.

18. the removal of Dr. Paul Jones, the dean of Highland Park College.

These demands must be implemented on or before 2 p.m., May 1, 1969.

“Power to the People.”

This is a copy of the paper distributed by the Association of Black Students at Highland Park Junior College.

S. Freedman

Dear People,

It is really great to read about—some real—people for a change. I happened to pick up a copy of your paper from a friend of mine, and I really dig it.

You just can’t imagine what a bummer it is to be stuck over here. I’m so sick of -hearing about what great things the Army will do for you. Does killing people make you a man? If so, I want to remain a 21 year old boy.

Also I would like to correspond with any hip people who understand.

Be cool,

Sp/4 Tommy Dyar
HHB I/4 Arty.
198th Bde.
APO San Francisco, Ca. 96219

P.S. Hurray for Tom Sincavitch!

To the Editors:

By sheer accident I picked up “your” newspaper. Only twisted minds could write such twisted trash.

Whatever education you’ve had has certainly fallen flat on its face—the word “truth” was never made known to you. On second thought the “commies” don’t like that nasty word.

At least report some things as they really are—not a newspaper of Detroit but rather “A puppet news of Russia.”

A fourth generation Detroiter

Editors’ Note: The following letter came from a GI who had left the Army, gone to Canada and finally surrendered to the Military Pigs at Ft. Wayne in Detroit.

Dear People,

Well, I’m now at a special processing company at Ft. Riley, Kan. It’s quite similar to the stockade except the guards don’t have shotguns and they don’t read your mail.

I spent an unbelievable week at Ft. Wayne. I was worked over by two sergeants before I was there five minutes. One of them held a .45 pistol to my head and ejected all of the rounds.

Then they took away all of my clothes and I was forced to stand naked while they interrogated me. There were many other indignities which I won’t list.

I’m presently awaiting court-martial. It will take about a month and I’ll be found guilty and sentenced to six months at hard labor.

Both the SPD and the stockade up here are highly over-crowded and full of anti-war activists.

Most of the people up here are from Detroit; in fact 50% of the people in SPD are.

If possible could you send up some copies of the Fifth Estate to pass around to the other guys. I can also get them into the stockade.

Peace,

Name Withheld

To the Editors:

I ran across the March 5th issue of your paper in, of all places, Mole City, Vietnam, and was very impressed.

Friends of mine over here are receiving similar publications, but yours is the first one coming from anywhere near my ‘hometown area, northeastern Minnesota.

Thought you would like to know the paper is definitely a winner over here. Keep up telling it like it is, and see if you-can get a few issues to me over here, I’d really appreciate it.

Robert E. Evanson
Vietnam

To the Editors:

We, of the BLACK PANTHER PARTY understand that due to the Economic Exploitation of Colonial Subjects (that is, all Black men, women, and Children) by this racist thug-ass government, Black children are going to school with empty stomachs.

The BLACK PANTHER PARTY is here to meet the needs and desires of Black people and to provide the necessary tools for their basic survival. Food is a basic necessity for survival. So let it be known.

The Detroit branch of the BLACK PANTHER PARTY is now implementing a Breakfast for School Children Program.

We are appealing to Businessmen to support this most worthy program, either in the form of financial support or donations of food and other perishable goods. There can be no doubt in your minds as to the necessity of this program, and there should be no doubt in your minds as to the sincerity of the BLACK PANTHER PARTY programs.

All contributions should be sent to:

Breakfast for Children Program Care of: Eric Bell, Lt. of Finance, Black Panther Party, 8417 12th St., Detroit, Mich. 48206

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE

BLACK POWER TO BLACK PEOPLE

PANTHER POWER TO THE VANGUARD.

Dear Sirs:

Kudos to Robert Dudnick (“Remember This,” FE #75, March 20-April 2, 1969) for reaching a new ebb in the genre of paranoid, narrow-minded essay on the New York Times.

He says, “Who cares if they don’t know ‘Catcher in the Rye’ from a farm manual?” Well, I do for one, because they might not know the difference between Holden Caulfield and Johnny Appleseed either.

You see, it’s like the old Dean said, “No man is an island.” If the man for who Mr. Dudnick carries his brief would mind his own business I too would be willing to respect his intellectual privacy. But that same, provincial, uneducated man so poorly defended on page 6 is often the same one found arresting draft resisters, condemning free artistic expression and giving “nigrahs” a hard time.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” You’re damn right you are, Mr. Dudnick. Help him, before he destroys you.

Sgt. Paul Widzowski
Rach Kien, Vietnam

P.S. You really should be more careful, editors, as to whom you have writing for you. When I first read Dudnick’s article, I thought it was from the dear old “Stars and Stripes.”

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