Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 23 15:12:46 UTC 2010

I don't understand. Who keeps track of spitting incidents at airports?? If
no one, does that mean they must not occur, since they are impossible to
verify decades later?


On May 22, 2010 8:39 PM, "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at> wrote:

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Poster: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Vietnam

At 2:09 PM -0400 5/22/10, Bill Palmer wrote:
>OK, pure conjecture here, but I'm wondering if the "po...

>I say this based purely on personal experience and conversations with
>colleagues. I served in Vie...
Actually, I was the one who cited the Lembcke book (unless I missed
another mention by Mark), but my direct message to ADS last night
didn't get through (twice); it showed up only in Ron's excerpting it
along with his response.  I found the book useful when I was
researching my "Spitten Image" paper (American Speech, 79.1, 2004)
and it is cited therein (in the section called "Great Expectorations:
Humiliation, Revenge, and the Salivation Army), along with an earlier
even uglier parallel in which the "Freikorps" literature after WWI
blamed leftists, Jews, and women for spitting in the face of,
stabbing in the back (literally), and otherwise humiliating the noble
German veterans returning from that war.  This urban legend was one
of the elements, as detailed by Klaus Theweleit in a masterful 1987
book, justifying the Nazi takeover.

Lembcke was looking specifically at the scenario of "hippies"
spitting in the face of returning Vietnam vets at airports, only his
research showed that no such accounts could ever be verified, they
always involved FOAF transmission.


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