A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

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A FORUM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND VIGOROUS DEBATE, CORNERSTONES OF DEMOCRACY
[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ]. If you have questions, please contact me at todslone@hotmail.com.
Encouraged censorship and self-censorship seem to have become popular in America today. Those who censor others, not just self, tend to favor the term "moderate," as opposed to "censor" and "moderation" to "censorship." But that doesn't change what they do. They still act as Little Caesars or Big Brother protectors of the thin-skinned. Democracy, however, demands a tough populace, not so easily offended. On this blog, and to buck the trend of censorship, banning, and ostracizing, comments are NEVER "moderated." Rarely (almost NEVER) do the targets of these blog entries respond in an effort to defend themselves with cogent counter-argumentation. This blog is testimony to how little academics, poets, critics, newspaper editors, cartoonists, political hacks, cultural council apparatchiks, librarians et al appreciate VIGOROUS DEBATE, cornerstone of democracy. Clearly, far too many of them could likely prosper just fine in places like communist China and Cuba or Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Russia, not to mention Sweden, England, and Austria.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Mathieu Bock-Côté

Le Silence des journaleux
Le Rejet de la critique non-approuvée

From: George Slone
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2020 1:25 PM
To: mathieu.bock-cote@quebecormedia.com
Subject: L'essai recent de M. Bock-Cote...

Salut Mathieu Bock-Cote, Chroniqueur du Journal de Montreal:
Ci-dessous est un contre-essai que j’ai ecrit vis-a-vis de ton article recent.  Publie-le dans le Journal de Montreal en tant que temoin de ton ouverture inhabituelle a la critique… 
Au plaisir,


G. Tod Slone (PhD—Université de Nantes, FR), aka P. Maudit, Founding Editor (1998)
The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence
www.theamericandissident.org

wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com
   
todslone@hotmail.com
217 Commerce Rd.
Barnstable, MA 02630



Une idée qui ne mène pas le monde… des artistes et poètes
Une ministre de la culture !  C’est le visage de la fonctionnaire gouvernementale souriante de Nathalie Roy qui m’a provoqué d’écrire la critique suivante.  Qu’est-ce qui se passe quand le Gouvernement se proclame Chef de la Culture et donc contrôle la culture par la distribution de piasses ?   Et qui (quels poètes ?  quels artistes ?) ne reçoit pas inévitablement de piasses gouvernementales (subventions, bourses, invitations) ?  La distribution de l’argent sert comme véritable outil de censure.  Pourquoi les journalistes ne posent pas ces questions ?
Mon expérience comme poète invité au Québec témoigne tristement que les artistes et les poètes québécois sont dans le casier à homard gouvernemental.  Sinon, pourquoi j’ai été, au Festival de la Poésie de Trois-Rivières, le seul poète parmi les 150 invités qui osait critiquer les gardiens de la poésie (les organisateurs Bellemare et cie) et leur prohibition de débattre la poésie au Festi ?  Incroyable ce décret, n’est-ce pas ?  Et pas un seul poète rémunéré par le Gouvernement osait me joindre pour insister sur le débat et surtout sur la liberté de l’expression au Festi !  Evidemment, on ne m’a jamais réinvité !  Et Le Nouvelliste refusait de faire un petit reportage là-dessus !  
Evidemment, Il existe une machine littéraire bien subventionnée par le Gouvernement, et les poètes et les artistes n’osent pas la questionner ouvertement ni surtout la mettre au défi !  Et cela constitute le problème fondamental qui confronte la culture au Québec, le problème que les journalistes n’osent pas poser.  
Dans son article, “Soutenir les artistes, soutenir la culture,” Mathieu Bock-Côté écrit:  “Disons les choses clairement : la culture n’est pas qu’un divertissement et il ne s’agit pas d’un secteur secondaire de l’économie. Quelle que soit la manière dont on chiffre ses bénéfices, elle a une fonction vitale.  Une formule un peu usée résume bien la chose : la culture, c’est l’âme d’un peuple.”  
Mais quand l’âme d’un peuple est bien contrôlée par le Gouvernement, la culture devient l’âme du Gouvernement comme c’est le cas en Chine et au Cuba… et tristement au Québec itou !  Au Cape Cod, où j’habite, l’état de la culture est peut-être même pire qu’au Québec.  C’est la Chambre de Commerce qui contrôle la culture.  C’est le tourisme qui détermine quel art sera soutenu et quel art sera mis dans les oubliettes.  En vain sans doute, je continue depuis des lustres à critiquer ouvertement cette situation déplorable y compris le tas de poètes et artistes qui l’acceptent et y participent.  Un exemple de l’inanité qui résulte inévitablement du contrôle gouvernemental c’est le concours présent du Centre de Culture de Cape Cod—et c’est pas pantoute une blague—UPLIFTING ART FOR ELEVATOR DOORS 2020 (de l’art positif pour être affiché sur les portes de l’ascenseur).  
Bock-Côté écrit:  “À travers une chanson, un film, une série télé, on ne se contente pas de s’évader. On se découvre comme société.  En écrivant cela, je n’oublie pas la montée de l’insignifiance, je n’oublie pas notre américanisation mentale.  Mais les Québécois, sans toujours s’en rendre compte, y résistent. Ils ont besoin de se raconter eux-mêmes leur expérience du monde, sans se contenter de produits d’importation traduits.”
Mais tristement les Québécois ne luttent pas contre le contrôle de la culture par leur propre gouvernement.  Bock-Côté conclut:  “Si le secteur de la culture en venait à s’effondrer vraiment, c’est une des fonctions vitales de la société québécoise qui serait touchée.  De ce point de vue, le gouvernement du Québec doit être plus ambitieux et ne pas se contenter de demi-mesures qui lui donnent un air pâlot, faible, impuissant. Ottawa ne doit pas mettre la patte non plus sur ce domaine.”  Malheureusement ce journaliste ne semble pas capable de poser les questions que je pose icitte.  C’est le conflit éternel du boulot et la vérité crue !  Au contraire, Bock-Côté embrasse le contrôle du gouvernement du Québec sur la culture.  Or quand les politicards contrôlent la culture (la poésie, l’art), ils délimitent inévitablement la liberté de l’expression et donc la culture elle-même.  Alors, soutenir quels artistes ?  Soutenir quelle culture ?  Les artistes qui osent critiquer ouvertement la culture de l’Etat ?  C’est une question impensable pour les artistes et poètes de l’Etat !  Enfin, la subvention gouvernementale des poètes et artistes est une mauvaise idée…

Friday, May 29, 2020

Poetry Daily

Poetry Daily chose NOT to respond to the email and poem I sent in 2013.  See below.  Today, I wrote Poetry Daily again and with a different poem.  Will it respond?
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From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: staff@poems.com Subject: Poem for Word Coppers Don Selby and Diane Boller Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2013 10:04:07 -0500

Hi Don Selby and Diane Boller, Poetry Daily,
Are you both part of the Word Police, as I suspect?  If so, the following was written for you and with this email (and your response or non-response) will be published in the next issue of The American Dissident!  Vive la Liberte de parole!!!
 
Sincerely,
G. Tod Slone, Editor,
The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence



Free Speech in Peril: Notes on Stage One Censorship 
Conformist journalists, academics, poets, professors, 
political hacks, librarian marms, and others 
have been replacing FUCK with the F-bomb, 
as if somehow the word were highly dangerous,
yet FUCK is as common as it gets,  as in
FUCK you, FUCK me, and FUCK it all.  

Now, was that really so FUCKING painful?   

Say FUCK in front of the wrong cop, however, like I did
and end up in jail for a whole FUCKING day, then
a month later standing before some FUCKING judge,
who, against the FUCKING prosecutor’s wishes,
of course dismisses the whole FUCKING case.

We need to rise above the easily offended
and hammer their censor protectors

by using, now and then, prohibited words
like FUCK, NIGGER, CUNT, DYKE, WETBACK,
QUEER, FAGGOT and MUTHAFUCKA, though
we ought not use them to insult the weak, 
but rather to shine a light on freedom of speech
and make the self-evident point that sticks and
FUCKING stones will break my FUCKING bones,
but FUCKING names will never FUCKING harm me.

The word FUCK is on the endangered vocabulary list,
thus I’ll say it whenever I FUCKING can to help preserve it.  
The word FUCK represents freedom,
my FUCKING freedom,  
so please, please don’t FUCK with it!


 

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tim Green

The following was created in 2009.
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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Wanda Brown


Editorial Issue #39
The Corona Apocalyptic
Dear Mr Slone, Please feel free to criticise Quillette and myself in any forum you see fit. However please refrain from submitting to us in the future. Regards,Claire Lehmann  [“Quillette is a platform for free thought. We respect ideas, even dangerous ones. We also believe that free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress. Quillette aims to provide a platform for this exchange.”]”
—Claire Lehman, Ed-in-Chief, Quillette

Will the pandemic help destroy the little democracy we have left and increase the power of Big Government bureaucracy?  Gary Goude notes, “Well, for now the LA county sheriff and LA city sheriff,  on the mayor's orders, have closed gun shops in the county as ‘not essential’ and then the Gov ordered all background checks stopped, which means you are not able to purchase any firearm. I am no lawyer but I am certain this is a 2nd amendment unconstitutional violation. Hopefully it will be challenged in court.”
    Well, I was going to title this editorial, “The Business of Poetry & Writing,” but then came the apocalypse.  So, I changed it, though not much at all in the editorial.   Lehman’s comment (see above) is so amazing that I’ve quoted it a number of times in the past.  Perhaps it is a sign of the present apocalyptic times.  Such gems are rare.  The norm is deafening silence, a virtual echo of a quarantined literati. What is astonishing is that Lehman cannot even comprehend the gross intrinsic hypocrisy in her statement… in her very being.  And so had I committed an act of blasphemy?  Yes!  That’s what I’d done!  I’d criticized Quillette
    Sadly, the literary journals are never looking for rude-truth writers, apt to criticize the literary establishment that hands out the carrots—prizes, grants, invitations, awards, tenure, publications, etc. And yet the often self-aggrandizing statements of fluff exuded by poet and writer hacks of the establishment beggar to be criticized.  As an example, cite  Jamil Publishing:  
We know that poetry is greater than all its parts. We feel that it is truth from deep within and in its greatness, in its vastness, in its enormity we find that poetry is all encompassing and visionary—seeing deep into our history, the breadth of our present, and far into our future.  Creative writing is a tool that give voice to the voiceless.
     Moreover, the poetry journals openly profess their racist and sexist biases.  Again cite Jamil Publishing:  
We are looking for women and artists of color [i.e., white men need not apply!] who are actively working in the community.
      Few—very, very few—dare to call the editors out on their egregious racism and sexism.  NewPages.com has no problem with it at all!  BUT it does have a serious problem with a journal like The American Dissident, which will and does criticize the establishment, including NewPages.com itself, which of course refuses to list The American Dissident.  Well, I for one, as a poet and editor, call out the hypocrites, racists, and other poet fraudsters! My reward? Full ostracizing!  Oh, but of course!  And I’d have it no other way. 
Poets & Writers magazine hates criticism to the extent that criticism simply does not exist for the magazine, which incarnates the sad reality of the business of poetry. Its staff is composed of many well-paid haters of uncomfortable truths, including an Executive Director, Managing Director, Deputy Director—Development & Marketing, Development & Marketing Coordinator, Development & Marketing Assistant, Director of Finance & Accounting, Staff Accountant, Administrative Coordinator, Editor in Chief, Senior Editor, Managing Editor, Associate Editor, Assistant Editor, Senior Web Editor, Associate Web Editor, Associate Publisher, Senior Advertising Manager, Advertising Assistant, Director of Readings & Workshops, Program Associate, Director of Information Technology & Web Development, as well as a bunch of Fellows, including a Raab Editorial Fellow.  Wow.
  Money determines the direction of poetry (e.g., towards pc-diversity and diversity/identity politics, while away from rude truth), just like everything else.  And evidently Poets & Writers magazine has tons of money, although not as much as Poetry magazine with its $200 million foundation.  Cultural councils like the NEA grant tax-payer money to magazines that do not question and challenge cultural councils. Hardcore critique of the business of poetry is essentially banned by the grant-according machine, including its proponents and cogs.  Try getting a critical essay on the business of poetry published in a poetry journal or even a cartoon like the first one in this issue.   Bonne chance! Coopted prize-winning/tenured poets hate criticism.  For them, it simply does not/cannot exist.  Eileen Myles’ response to it reflects the general decrepitude of establishment poets like her:  “go away troll.”  
Over the years I have contacted many editors, poets, journalists, writers, curators, artists, and, of course, academics—professors, deans, and college presidents.  For some reason, I am still sort of surprised how they categorically refuse to address the hypocrisy and inanity underscored.  I still don’t quite understand their absolute reluctance to publish criticism in their diverse newspapers, journals, and magazines.  Alas, it is definitely the sign of our pitiful totalitarian times.  
    BTW, rarely do I ever NOT depict real people nowadays in my cartoons and aquarelles.  There are so many nut-jobs out there to pick from.  No need to invent them! And by nut-job, I mean blatant hypocrites and liars, inanity spewers, spineless virtue-signalers, reason-devoid professor poets, and on and on. Anyhow, an American Library Association bookmark, kindly sent to me by Jennifer Fulco, inspired the issue’s front cover, which depicts three American Library Association leaders: American Libraries Magazine Editor/Publisher Sanhita Sinha Roy, ALA President Wanda Brown, and Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Deborah Caldwell-Stone.  Librarians are like journalists and poets today: PC-infested, self-congratulating ad nauseam, and extremely averse to outside criticism. My concerns regarding the ALA are that it refused to address questions raised regarding its total apathy and inaction regarding my being permanently banned from Sturgis Library. Its Office for Intellectual Freedom is as hypocritical as it gets.  And its American Libraries Magazine refuses to publish any hardcore criticism, regarding libraries and librarians.   
The back cover of this issue presents a satire on the vapid official Academy of American Poets April 2020 National Poetry Month poster (see image below), created by contest winner Samantha Aikman. The anointing judges were “renowned” dyke cartoonist Alison Bechdel and former U.S. chicano Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.  Identity politics rules!  The vapid, almost meaningless, words on the winning poster (not mine!) are those of U.S. Native-American Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo: “Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.”  Might Harjo be so implanted on Cloud 9 as to not realize that not  everything is growing, that somethings are in fact croaking?  No doubt.  And so, in the satirical version of that poster, the line was altered to better fit the reality of the business of poetry. Finally, despite my beggaring, I received no critical essays from contributors.  In any case, many thanks to those who have subscribed over the years and in doing so helped keep The AD afloat.  Many thanks especially to Dolores Granger for her generous contributions!  And many thanks to Russell Streur for his directing a contribution for nonprofits to The AD.

Lucy Loomis


The following cartoon was sketched in 2011.  I post it now because I decided out of the blue this morning to compile a book on the Sturgis Library banning incident in 2012.
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