A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone of Democracy

***********************************************************************************************************************************
A FORUM FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND VIGOROUS DEBATE, CORNERSTONES OF DEMOCRACY
[For the journal (guidelines, focus, etc.), go to www.theamericandissident.org ].
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.

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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Karen Wulf

Karen Wulf, PEN New England

20 comments:

Charlotte W. said...

Great toon. I love it. A similar message could be repeated in so many parts of life in addition to academia.

G. Tod Slone said...

Thanks much, Charlotte. It's still quite odd to me that the director of an organization profession to "defend freedom of expression EVERYWHERE" would simply refuse to respond to my having had my expression suppressed. My only explanation for it is PC. Karen Wulf must be a PC clone and heard from similar others that I was a bad guy. Hope all well.

mather said...

The lady on the left looks like Bukowski, ha ha. You sure don't flatter them! I love the pom-pom and the leg kick. The faces alone reflect your opinion about them.

mather said...

Just thought I'd let you know that Don Winters has decided to give up poetry. I'm not sure how that happens, seems to me like waking up and deciding you're suddenly not gay anymore. I got the word from Steve Henn at Fight These Bastards. They are not angry with me for criticizing them, in fact they're going to publish two critical prose pieces in their last issue, both are pieces that you rejected, along with a couple of poems which you will probably hate. One of the prose pieces is the Pinksy "Shirt" critique. It will be, of course, A MUST READ.

Charlotte W. said...

Here is a good related quote:

"This general fear of conflict and emphasis on consensus and accommodation is typical academic drivel. How do you ever arrive at consensus before you have conflict? In fact, of course, conflict is the vital core of an open society; if you were going to express democracy in a musical score, your major theme would be the harmony of dissonance.

"All change means movement, movement means friction and friction means heat. You'll find consensus only in a totalitarian state, Communist or fascist."

Saul Alinsky, 1972

G. Tod Slone said...

Well, Bukowski's daughter looks like Bukowski too. I think you mentioned that about Winter a while ago. If not, someone else did. But I agree with you on that sudden change. Is he going back to selling houses? Sounds like you're trying to rub it in RE that Pinsky piece. If so, it's not working because I am unphased. As mentioned I did not think that piece was that good. If it were, I would have grabbed it. I'm always desperate for good writing to publish. You've written better. Henn had called me an asshole somewhere down the line. But then Winter convinced him to publish that cartoon I did on Moore, which provoked brouhaha.
Well, Charlotte, that's a great quote, one I've copied down. Thank you. I agree with it entirely.

G. Tod Slone said...

BTW, click on the cartoon, which is really a watercolor, and you'll get the full size.

mather said...

Yes, it took me a while but I figured out I can click the toons for a full size, and that's usually the only way I can read all the words.

Bukowski's daughter does indeed look like him, pobrecita.

I have no idea what Winter's doing. My guess is he's doing the old disappearing artist trick, and will re-emerge in a few years to mount a come-back, although Henn assures me this is not the case.

mather said...

They're talking about David Foster Wallace on the classical station. There's a tribute to him at the University of Arizona poetry center. If you go you will get an introduction to his work, a kind of "doorway in", which of course is necessary because his work is impossible to read. The woman in charge of the doorway mentions Wallace's "famous humor" (she'll tell you when to laugh) his "wisdom" (she'll tell you when to be awed) and his "curiosity" (she'll tell you when to be surprised and delighted too). Come on down today, they'll have carrot cake and lemonade for a small mandatory donation. He must have been quite a charmer in real life to get treated this way. Good with the kids and the photo-ops.

mather said...

In case you were wondering, this is what a real writer looks like:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/litupmagazine/3058583435/

G. Tod Slone said...

Well, I'll have to try univ. of arizona poe ctr for a subscription. Counterpoise has 225library subs. I have 17.
Never heard of Wallace. Yes, when a university celebrates a poet, then I'm automatically suspicious. True, I did a reading at EC. But I wasn't really celebrated. The female profs in the back of the room scorned and grimaced. I'd said something like I can't seem to find any good poems by women. Can't please everyone. But when you do like Wallace, then you're doing something terribly wrong. I like you little account of the woman telling you when to applaud, etc. How did you find out about this AZ thing?

mather said...

David Foster Wallace was the guy who wrote Infinity's Jest and other similar tomes of motionless verbiage. He thought he was James Joyce. He has been hailed for several years as a hot writer, experimental, genius, etc. I'm surprised you haven't heard of him. I think he's dead now, died young, not sure how. I heard about it on the public classical station.

G. Tod Slone said...

NPR makes me puke. I cannot bear to listen to it. They ought to call it National Bourgeois Radio or PC Radio.

mather said...

NPR makes me puke too, especially Lake Wobegon and any time they have some local mfa teacher read a fucking poem about how when she was poor she learned to appreciate the little things, like string beans and tire swings.

This channel I listen to is a public channel that plays hardly anything but classical, although they do have the occassional opera and a little news.

I don't think you'd have much luck getting the poetry center of U of A to subscribe. I used to go down there with my recent journals, after I'd read them, and try to give them to the Poetry Center for public consumption. They would just look at me distastefully and throw the journals in a box somewhere in the back. They didn't want them cluttering up the front lounging area, which was reserved for poets who either worked at the U of A or were dead.

mather said...

I've noticed that the cool thing now is to call anyone who criticizes a "hater". I've been called a "hater" probably twenty times in the last month. "Look at the stupid hater", "Oh, he's just another hater", "Get a life, hater", "Go away, you fucking hater!". I always feel there is more hate in their response than in my initial criticism. I am rude, I know, I am not nice, but I don't feel I am hateful, at least I don't feel that way until I run up against someone who calls me a "hater", as if that just sums everything up, sweeps me under the rug, as if some pop culture name-tag from Snoop Doggy Dog can be used to destroy any intellectual argument I am making. They dust their hands off and smile to themselves... What annoys me even more than the gangsta-mtv-lingo is their quickness to LABEL. They simply label and dismiss, label and dismiss, like an assembly line. That is how their brains work, they feel absolutely no need to think about what I am saying, no curiosity about where I might be coming from. It is a frightening thing to go up against. You know this...

G. Tod Slone said...

On several occasions I tried getting into classical a la Bukowski. It just doesn't work for me. I prefer a pscychedelic smoothie like Terje Rydal (guitarist) or Ebehard Weber (bassist) or Jan Garbarek (saxophonista). To each his own. Yes, the U of A poesy ctr sounds like horseshit. I probably won't even receive a response.
Well, you sure did put it in excellent terms: the critic. Yes, I've experienced it all and yes I agree with your analysis cien por ciento! Christ, if we weren't enemies I'd probably run it somewhere.

mather said...

I like to work to classical music because it doesn't have any words, plus the channel has no commercials. Yes, I know, Bukowski listened to classical too...I am not a music afficionado and have no idea who those names are you mentioned. I don't even have a cd player or a single cd or record.

I don't consider you my enemy, I just think our relationship is destined to remain at arm's length. I'm fine with that. I like what you do and would miss you if you weren't here.

G. Tod Slone said...

Thanks for the comment, Mather. I was really joking regarding "enemy." I don't consider you an enemy either. So, did you decide to give work a rest? Do you have any sharply critical pieces for me? I think you should be commended for maintaining a willingness to keep the door open. So many, perhaps most, will shut that door and NEVER open it again. I don't think I'll ever again hear from Shaulis. But I think also that he and I are at antipodes regarding the PC issue. You and I are not really at antipodes.

mather said...

Yes, I'm on an indefinite vacation, probably 3-6 months. It's great. No, I don't have any pieces for you. I've been writing a lot of stuff on blogs and in emails, but you really demand a polished piece, which is good, and I just don't have anything put together like that. Maybe something will occur...

I think people have arguments and then later feel ashamed of it and just want to put it behind them. It is not a true forgetting, it is just a talent for pushing things to the back corner and refusing to look at them. I don't want to get maudlin on you but I didn't talk to my own father for 10 years because of two or three poems I wrote when I was 23 years old. The poems were critical of him and my family, but not meant to hurt others, only to express myself, and really that was my only material, so I used it. Ten years...I just got tired of it eventually, and one Christmas I called him on the telephone. His voice was different. Neither one of us cried, or even talked about what had happened or why. We both felt very good afterwards and have maintained a relationship ever since. 1500 miles between us helps things...

I have had the door slammed on my face too here in the press world, and it seems so silly...it is a go-nowhere attitude...I try not to do it...

But, you do push people.

susana said...

Thats great thanks for sharing..
___________________
Susana
Get Payday Loan in 4 easy steps