H. L. Mencken, Bravery, and The Greeks
A Response to
"The Greeks"


    ear RALPH:

    I certainly hope it was Mencken who wrote that exceedingly ill-informed piece on the Greeks. The piece is straight out of the booboisie. It would take an essay, a book...a series of books...to convey all that fourth and fifth century has given the western world.

    It is no exaggeration to say that our western civilization stems from that time and that small city.

    I will argue you on science; on medicine; on civil government, on theatre, philosophy and most superbly the æsthetics of architecture and the depiction of the human body.

    Political life was tumultuous, it always is in a democracy with full freedom of speech. Fourth and fifth century were an astonishing achievement, more important by far than the renaissance or the age of reason.

    And don't forget the free men of Greece saved the West and changed history when they defeated the massive slave armies of Persia on the plains of Marathon; and bested the Persian fleet, the largest ever assembled up to that time, in the Bay of Salamis.

    Had the Greeks lost we would all be Zoroastrians and speaking Persian.

    --- hgg1932@aol.com

    Dear RALPH:

    I thought you might find it amusing to hear that I often use RALPH as a sort of social filter.

    I am often approached by intellectual nullities who believe that my university e-mail address makes me quite special, and so they would like to cozen up to me, rub shoulders with the elite.

    Well, I always proudly point out that when I can, I contribute to RALPH, and I point them at your URL.

    90% of the time that gets rid of them. They must think I'm either insane, or gay, or both; any of which possibility scares the bejesus (bejeezus, I think I mean) out of them!

    If that doesn't get rid of them yellow5 does.

    --- xxx@caltech.edu

    Note: This letter refers to an article in RALPH on bravery
    which also appeared at spinewire.com

    Dear Friends:

    I just finished reading "A World Full of Heroes" by Carlos Amantea. I can't thank you enough for publishing what I have never been able to express in words. Please forward my appreciation to Mr. Amantea. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    --- robert.ginis@barclaysglobal.com