12 October 2003 19:56
The faithful sidekick
It's a racist remark to describe Hammada as anyone's "faithful sidekick", as if he played Tonto to Leach's Lone Ranger, or Sancho Panza to Leach's Don Quixote. You have what appears to be a great site, but you lack character and humanity. Hammada was a great artist without Leach. Even in his book, HAMMADA, Leach never came close to calling Hammada his "faithful sidekick" or anything close to it. Too bad both men are dead, because you can have it your way. Most people won't catch you, but I saw deeply into your empty soul.
Mike Borheady, San Jose, Ca., USA
13 October 2003 10:53
You sad, pathetic, little man.
Firstly, how can the phrase 'faithful sidekick' be described as racist? I don't recall Dr. Watson or (maybe more at your level) Dick Grayson being ethnic minorities. Clearly, you associate the term with the slur but don't you think that such an association is a tad racist?
Secondly, anyone with two braincells to rub together would realise that Spooky St. Ives is deliberately tongue-in-cheek and doesn't treat anybody, dead or alive, as the great I AM. Or do you think we really do force the Mayor to drink from St. Eia's well to make sure the water is fit for human consumption?
Hamada discovered Leach first in Japan and then went with him to England. Fact. Clearly, Leach was first in that sequence and so, that makes Hamada at this point ..... wait for it ..... a follower of Leach. Doesn't mean Hamada couldn't and didn't have plans and talent of his own. In deed, as the feature makes clear he spent relatively little time in England before going back to Japan and doing his own thing to resounding success. Or didn't you read that far?
Thirdly, the whole Leach Pottery section was written their co-operation and no one objected to anything therein (apart from correcting a few typos in the first draft). Trevor actually worked with Bernard Leach and lent me his copy of the extremely rare Beyond East & West from whence I obtained much info. Who the hell are you?
Finally, getting back to two of my pet hates, ignorance and racism, I think it is the height of both not to bother getting people's (especially 'foreigners') names right:-
It's Shoji HAMADA, you halfwit.
So, you've looked into my soul have you? Well, by this e-mail you have given us the opportunity to look inside your head and, boy, it's true what they say about America being full of vast, empty spaces.
13 October 2003 12:43
Points well taken. It's still a racist remark.
13 October 2003 21:20
No, it isn't.
To be racist it would have to make some slur based on a perceived deficiency due to race, religion or nationality. Anyone can be a sidekick and anyone can have one, as I've already pointed out. If I referred to Leach being a sidekick of Kenzan VI, is that racist too?
The sidekick relationship has got nothing to do with race but with who came first. QED.
13 October 2003 23:00
Who came first is mere chronology. Hamada (thanks for the spelling lesson) is no ones sidekick. You might say "...and his dear, life long, devoted friend. Take your choice. He's not a sidekick.
14 October 2003 09:53
My dictionary defines 'sidekick' as:
A close friend or follower who accompanies another on adventures.
Compare and contrast said definition with Hamada's decision to track down Leach in Tokyo, study his work and subsequently accompany him to England to boldly go in ceramics where no one had gone before.
And, let's face it, 'a close friend who accompanies another on adventures' is so much more exciting and entertaining an image for the audience (most of whom probably know bugger all about the history of ceramics) than 'his dear, life long, devoted friend', which makes them sound like a couple of retired vicars!
You know you really ought to try and lighten up a bit more. Either go onto decaf or join the NRA and take up sniping.
PS. No charge for the spelling lesson. You see, you've learned something from Spooky St. Ives!
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