Wed, 12 Feb 97 14:47:06 CST
Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.UIC.EDU)

The following, in the form of a letter to a real Normal person, is farcical,
yet the point is serious: Any attempt to posit a "Western Civilization" anteri-
or to the mid-nineteenth century is ideologically spurious time-immemorializing
of the past, and futurewardly procrastination of what is delusionally apprhend-
ed as now in place. Andre Gunder Frank is conservative by about fifty years,
and I should have come out with this long ago, but "personal motives" no longer
seem so compelling, now.


Few US folk heroes had careers more amazing than that of Emil Sposzta (1809-
1872), the first Normal. According to Professor John H. Gagnon of SUNY Stony
Brook, and his views since my discipleship swept the field, deviance was con-
cocted in the latter half of the 19th century. It follows that, logically, so
were Normals. Indeed, the life of Emil Sposzta was taught as a role model,
until the 1950s, in the New York City schools. His autobiography, From Immi-
grant to Mild Obscurity, was on optional reading lists along with Bulwer-
Lytton's Last Days of Pompeii. (Unless you read the first, you will say, as
I did, that the second stinks, and Mrs Applebaum, English Teacher, will Take
Points Off, remarking in red, "There must be *some* reson it's a classic.")

My mother, in helping me pronounce the name of Emil Sposzta, would merely
sigh, cryptically, "Why can't you be more like him." As late as the New Leftish
Era, Jonathan Kozol, in Death At An Early Age, found traces of the name of Emil
Sposzta as "the way it s'pozed to be" in African-American English.

Yesterday, when I beheld, in my Shrink's office, next to Monet's Daphnis
Spraying The Field of Chloe From The Air, the famous engraving done for the
publisher of From Immigrant to Mild Obscurity, and asked the doctor, "Why
has not one dime been spent to find out what secret power that man had?" he
merely scribbled notes.

love and sex to steve,
Forgot which Chinese Year this is, but for you, I do believe this is The Year
of the Five Animals. One day, your beloved Steve will make the Sacrifices in
question at the Suburban Altar of Heaven and Earth. Please take care now that,
as my beloved Louise failed to do with her family's own hereditary occupation
of cobbling, do not allow Travel Agentry and online-magging go to your head as
she did Feet. Son-of-heavenning, nobody can do a thing about. This great land
has a tale to tell of quite Normal immigrants killing quite Normal other
The preceding was made possible by a generous grant to the Unied Illuminating
Company of Hartford CT, $20.54, let it shine let it shine let it shine.

Daniel A. Foss