Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Self-Censorship Repeal Part II: more postings of old writings from the Army days of the 60s
There’s a little more news in the “self-censorship” issue that I discussed here on May 3.
I’ve posted, in the “content” subdirectory of my main publishing site “doaskdotell.com”, two more manuscripts. One of them is a 1981 short story by me “Expedition” that deals with strip mining and mountaintop removal. No, that doesn’t lead to censorship. (Maybe it could have at one time.) The main course is “Chapter 4”, not from my first “Do Ask Do Tell” book, but from the 1969 unpublished novel “The Proles”, which I wrote out by hand in a binder notebook in the barracks while I was stationed at Fort Eustis. VA. The chapter is titled “Interlude” and actually is a detailed, graphic account of my fourteen weeks in Army Basic Combat Training in early 1968, with much more explicit language than was used in my 1997 book.
The language in a few spots is quite explicit, using expletives that were common in Army “proletarian” speech during the Vietnam era. In a few cases, terms with racial overtones were also used. The fact that a much higher percentage of African Americans wound up in infantry combat and became casualties in Vietnam, because of the student deferment system at the time, is certainly important and born out here. So is the ambivalent attitude toward homosexuality, which was often ignored but sometimes could be deployed as a way to control or demean others who were weaker in the barracks.
With COPA overturned, I have gone ahead an left the crude language, typical of 1968, in place, as a historical record.