model or wasted life?"
for giving Karl Meyer ("A Radical Takes Root," April/01)
the kind of prominent space in the magazine that's more often
devoted to academic achievers. We need academics too, but we definitely
need more people like Karl to encourage us-not necessarily to
be leaders like Jesus, Gandhi, King, and others who've been deified
without heed for the truths they conveyed-but to live more simply
and caringly, and to resist injustice. Richard Mertens's article
was straightforward, informative, and not condescending as the
few pieces that appear in the media often are about dedicated
there's no mass movement that might save our planet from war,
pollution, greed, ignorance, and poverty, it's people like Karl
and many other individuals and organizations (War Resisters League,
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Women's International League for
Peace and Freedom, Peace Action, Doctors without Borders, et
al.) who are resisting militarism, injustice, and social and
environmental degradation throughout the U.S. and the world-despite
the general lack of interest by mainstream media, and therefore
lack of public awareness and concern.
Morrissett Davidon, X'47
always, I read the April issue with great interest. However, this
issue also evoked a measure of disgust, starting with the front
cover followed by the cover feature. The Magazine is indeed hard
up for material. The manicured photo of Mr. Meyer, to imply the
work ethic, is an affront to the responsible, patriotic working
segment of humanity. New gloves, new scythe with bar code, and
clean scarf do nothing to convince most U of C graduates that
Mr. Meyer is to be admired-how juvenile.
certainly agree with Mr. Meyer that he is not a martyr. However,
his biography accurately approaches the definition of a "bum,"
not willing to work, support himself, or immigrate to any other
country of his choice. Is his old-age health care going to be
provided by the taxes of patriots?
left the U of C in June 1944; went to India, China, and Burma;
and defended our democracy against the Japanese. I took additional
risks defending democracy in Bolivia, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
and Peru from 1967 through 1970 as a member of the regular Air
Force. I did not encounter Mr. Meyer as a member of the Peace
Corps in South America during that period, however.
Mr. Meyer regards waste as immoral, how does he evaluate his life?
Most responsible citizens, I believe, would offer this summary
of his life-what a waste!
C. Hardin, SB'47
Brevard, North Carolina
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