Saturday, April 7, 2012

With Greatness, Comes Responsibility

A decade ago, Gunter Grass, of renown writing fame in Germany.....walked on water.

Then one day....Gunter came around to admitting that he had actually had been in World War II.....which had been something that had been kind of hinted that he missed out on because of his youthful age.  He came to admit that he wasn't just in the German Army at 17, which alot of young German "boys" would admit as well....but he was in the Waffen SS group.

So in 2006....Gunter Grass admitted to his past....he no longer walked on water.  He might have still been listed as one of the top ten German writers of all time....but he was looked in a different way.

This week....Gunter Grass got around to publishing a poem (What Must Be Said).  The topic of the poem?  A fair amount of negativity leveled at Israel for the suggestion of attacking Iran because of the brewing nuke weapon episode.

Gunter says it's all so unfair that the media piles onto him and that they just understand his intent in this poem business. The quote I grabbed from Gunter off the "Local"...."That is quite hurtful and not worthy of a democratic press."......says a good bit about his approach to criticism on Israel.

The problem I see that if the poem had come from Huns, the local tire dealer, or Johann, the local baker....the criticism would have been limited to the local village and a couple of folks who just said it was a stupid poem.  Gunter Grass is Gunter have higher expectations with him and his vision of life, liberty, human character, youth, innocence, the pursuit of happiness, and society.

There are a couple of societies in existence today....where everything Gunter Grass writes....would be reviewed by someone who would make a decision if if angered or upset anyone in the government.  Had Gunter wrote a pro-Israel piece in Iran....we wouldn't be hearing about it because it would never have been published.  If Gunter Grass had written a anti-Nazi poem in 1944, no one in Germany would have ever published it.

The real story here, is that Gunter lives in a great place.....a great society....a vibrant economy, and has to be his own judge in what he writes and publishes.  If he doesn't like criticism.....he ought to pump up his own reviewing process a notch or two.    Or grow up to accept harsh criticism over what he writes.

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