Sunday, January 29, 2006

atypical USians

"Every once in a while in life, if you're lucky, you get to be part of something unambiguously good." There's a tag line waiting for its feature film to be made, from Sheila Lennon at the Providence Journal, who knows a story when she sees one.

The Journal tells the story of a married couple from New England who will be honored by Israel in June for helping hundreds if not thousands of Jewish people to escape death in 1939-40. They will be only the second and third persons from the US to be so recognized.

Projo offers both a story and a flash presentation about Martha and Waitstill Sharp's gumption at a time when most USians were somewhat vague about Nazi peccadillos. The mystery of some people's rightness of intuition, the rarity of not just seeing into the actuality of what's going on, but then of doing the necessary thing at astonishing personal risk. How far the Sharps seem from, say, these fine specimens of Legion XXIV, whose most compelling ethical burden appears to involve choosing the right footwear to go with their togas, fasces, and Maine weather:

Today a lot of US citizens are working all over the place -- including Palestine -- because they're driven by the same inability to not give a shit. All media capital's efforts to the contrary.

(By the way: Anyone interested in the awakening of Prague to what the Nazis were up to at the time the Sharps were there could do worse than Sebald's Austerlitz and Radok's Distant Journey (Dalek√° cesta).)


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