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 ].
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

Friday, August 21, 2009

John Donatich

The sketch above depicts author Jytte Klausen sitting on the shoulder of Yale University Press publisher John Donatich, who is wearing a turban similar to the one depicted in one of those 12 famous Danish cartoons regarding Mohammed. I sent the sketch to him and to Klausen, whose book on the Danish cartoon affair was originally supposed to include those 12 cartoons.  Donatich, however, censored them.  He did not respond.  Klausen, however and to my surprise, did respond.  See below. Did she understand the sketch?  BTW, the Yale University Woodward Report is an excellent groundbreaking document on free speech and expression.  Too bad Yale seems to have placed the report in a dusty basement archive. 


From: Jytte Klausen
To: George Slone
Sent: Mon, October 5, 2009 4:03:27 PM
Subject: Re: A cartoon with Prof. Klausen


Dear George; I like your cartoon. Will you give me permission to use it one day? Of course I'll use it with the appropriate credit.

JK

36 comments:

mather said...

nice cartoon...good composition, I like the tie but what's the pin? I can't make it out even on the enlarged photo...

G. Tod Slone said...

The tie clip is the Yale Bulldog, the universities mascot. I made the fuse longer to look like a tassle. Now, I'm going to add black gowned shoulders to the guy to make that clear.
Thanks for the comment and I wouldn't worry that people are going to think you're a Slone toadie. What people? Nobody looks at this but you and I.

M.P. Powers said...

Hello Mr. Slone,

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is M.P. Powers. I am not a member of the academe, although I did graduate from Florida State University with a B.A. in Business Marketing, if that counts for anything. It was only years later that I decided I wanted to pursue a career elsewhere (see: in the field of poverty) as a writer/poet. In the meantime, I have worked as a patio furniture salesman, gravedigger, dragger-of-tree-limbs-to-the-wood-chipper (no official job title), roadkill taxidermist and gospel organist. My hobbies include papercrafting and potatosack racing. I have become quite proficient at the electric bagpipes and my washtub bass. I can dance a Siberian mazurka and hacksquat 530lbs. Furthermore, I speak Gikuyu and Bulgarian fluently, and I am in the process of patenting no less than two inventions: a zero-gravity hamburger masher and gas-powered drywall stilts complete with thirty-feet of exhaust tubing and a built-in fan. Also, I have circumnavigated the globe in a hot-air balloon, backwards, wearing nothing but welding-goggles, and I am currently writing a thesis on Schopenhauer's On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The reason I am writing you is because after browsing through your blog the past couple of days, I have become wholly intrigued, not so much by your arguments (however interesting they may be), but by you personally. Is this where we cross the line into ad hominid? Probably. But that doesn't lessen my curiosity about one (1) G. Tod Slone, Don Quixote incarnate. When I read your story about the trips you took to the library the day you almost got arrested, I couldn't help but picturing you cavorting through the halls and up and down the stairs clad in a freshly turtlewaxed suit of armor, or quite possibly parrotgreen tights of the kind Robin hood might don. Your CRX was Rocinante. The only thing missing was Sancho and a couple three broken windmills.

Anyway, enough of that! It's good to see you're shaking down the corrupters and corruptness of the game. Many others would've and probably did give up the fight long before you, if they ever even began it in the first place. You're still plodding along on your imaginary horse, and kudos for that.

My conclusion: you're the guy in the backyard still drinking off the keg, long after the party ended and everyone else passed out. Prost! Ergo Bibimus! I understand more than you know.

G. Tod Slone said...

Hello MP,
Well, I do appreciate your commenting here! We don't get many outsiders at all. Anyhow, at first, I thought here goes a thinly disguised attack from the unkown... and how I rellish those! Now, I'm not quite sure what to think. Anyhow, thanks for your comments, though they make me feel a bit inadequate as in maybe I should be out there designing an ultra-high gravity vat for grilling French Fries on Jupiter and/or writing a thesis on Lyn Lifshin. In any case, I certainly prefer the comparison with friend Quixote than with any number of politicos, academics, and/or beaverish poets. Although, I don't list my CV on the website (I tend to stay clear of self-vaunting), I have been (for your info only) a radiation monitor on submarines, welder at a shipyard, carpintero, taxista, census taker, bank examiner for the FDIC, midnight checkproofer for a bank, interpreter at Le Mans (France), grape harvester, teacher of English on two US destroyers, have a doctoral degree from a French university, and speak/write fluent French (spent 7 years over there!), Spanish, and to a lesser degree italiano and am currently working on my Deutsch. Amen. Glad the site has kept your attention for more than one glance. Wish I could get more people to it. But people don't seem to give a damn about democracy. What they like is M. Jackson and was happenin wit da coffin.
T.

M.P. Powers said...

Hello Monsieur Slone,

It's been a pleasure milling around your site the past couple of days. Have enjoyed all of your blog entries, especially the one involving "grilling the feet of Canadians." I also enjoyed the one about how Lifshin was caught blowing that milchcow in the Ruth's Chris bathroom a couple weeks ago. Too bad the flannel shirt slid off its back and gave her away... Anyway, getting back to my resume - I feel I shortchanged myself when I gave you my credentials. First off, I am also studying Deutsh. I plan on moving to Berlin by the end of next year. Der Verbrecher gab es zu! A distant cousin of mine is a best-selling author over there name of Lilo Beil. I am parts German, Irish and Norwegian. I was born in Chicago, but have lived in Florida for the past 20 years. I have worked as a greengrocer, oyster shucker, septic-tank technician, security rover, small-engine mechanic; I have paraded around in chickensuits and promoted chop suey restaurants in the medians of highways; I have become an old hand at the mandarin, have hitchhiked from Slicklizzard, Alabama to Zaza, Idaho, twice. In my spare time I organize applebobbing contests, and ride mechanical bulls without even wearing a cup. I have parachuted into the Grand Canyon using only some guy's bedsheets; I played left field for the Mudhens for a stint, and once used a length of kernmantle rope to lasso the neck of a small, unassuming businessman from the backseat of my ladyfriend's Chevy Impala.

Alright, now that I got that off my back...

Hurrah for democracy!

Now, where was I?

G. Tod Slone said...

MP:
“Most poets can’t even write a simple line like the dog walked down the street...” wrote Bukowski... quite perspicaciously. So, here’s a few questions for you, which evidently will not be met with concise answers... for concision is the weapon of truth tellers, not that of the fluffy:

Why can’t you write a simple line?
When did your prose get so corrupted by fluff?
What does fluffy prose serve, democracy or the bourgeoisie?
What are you hiding from?

Often fluffy prose serves as a barrier... or rather as a last refuge for cowards.
T

G. Tod Slone said...

PS: Most of what you write makes little, if any, sense at all, and hell if I feel like trying to decipher it. It's weird. Your writing is weird. I’ve come across it before, though not often. It's a kind of educated immaturity, an oxymoron of sorts. The whyfor and whatfor of it would make an interesting essay in a psychological sort of way.

M.P. Powers said...

Good Evening Mr. Slone,

That's kind of a harsh reply, don't ya think. All I was doing was ingratiating myself to you, telling you a little of my background. Being an aspiring "dissident poet" and all, I thought that kind of thing would interest you. I guess I was wrong. That's kind of disappointing, but what's more disappointing is that I put myself out there in front of possibly tens of thousands of readers with my declaration that you were some modern-day Don Quixote. I can tell that's just not the case. He was too much of an independent spirit, and you obviously are still using Bukowski as crutch. I mean, c'mon! You have to begin your retort with a Bukowski quote? Don't get me wrong, I like him just as much as the next guy, but to reduce yourself to The Bukowski Handbook whenever something "weird" or indecipherable comes along is as unforgivable as it is unoriginal and mentally lazy. Something I never would've never would've expected out of a self-proclaimed "dissident poet," with credentials like yours. Also disappointing was your demand for concision. I can write that way in my sleep, if I want to, but sometimes it's more important to dance a little with the word. To step forward and back, swing it around and doe-se-doe hoedown-style. I've noticed it's the dull blockheads who are always on the hunt for the simple sentence. I mean, there's things to be said for simplicity, but too often the people who insist on it are simple themselves, and could never muster a "creative" sentence if their lives depended on it - i.e. they never have and never will dance with words. I hope this answered all your questions, G. Tod. xoxox.

p.s. Earlier today, I called that library you haunted a few months back and found out the real story you bastard. They told me this handsome, longhaired gentleman with a dignified air (who hailed from Concord) had one of the old ladies in a headlock and was beelining around the second floor, bashing her over the head with Emerson's Self-Reliance (hardcover). They also said there were two CRX's in the parking lot. His was the one with bumper nuts swinging off the back of it. That's the last thing they saw when he drove away.

G. Tod Slone said...

Will the dude manifest the guts to tell us who he is? Likely not. CRX? Yeah, I drive one. How do you know that? Sounds like you know me somehow. Do you live near me? Why the need to hide behind veil? Are you a female Islamic parading around as a wannabe poet? Ah, so you can actually write the dog walked across the street! Glad I shook you up enough to write so one can understand what the hell it is you're writing about. So, you proved yours was indeed an act... a writing act. Bukowski is not a crutch. I quoted him and I quote many others when they confirm what I observe first hand. Yours is a cheap ploy with that crutch regard.
When you "dance with the word," it rings as false as anything I've ever heard. The dancing is fine up to a point, and that point is when the dancing becomes the only purpose... and becomes nonsensical... childish. When you have nothing at all to say, then dance with the word. That's what poetry has become today... a mob of dancers with the word who have not a fucking thing to say. And that's why poetry matters not in the least in America.
If you have no experience, then get some. There's plenty out there to get, plenty for everyone. Just take a few steps! Then write about it.
I'm not looking to battle with you. I don't know who the hell you are. You won't tell me who you are because you are hiding. You came here to battle with me... and that's fine.

M.P. Powers said...

Hello Herr Slone,

If you think I'm hiding just take your cursor and roll it up the screen to where it says M.P. Powers. Click the name and you will see my blogger profile. Then go to the bottom of that page where it says "Mule Latitudes." Click that and a whole world will open up - my blog - which has been around for two years, updated almost semi-frequently. By the way, I'm surprised you didn't do this before. Personally, I always do a little research on the person I'm debating with and/or making accusations against. A "dissident poet" should know this. Be familiar with your opponent. Don't make a ass of yourself and jam your foot in your mouth simply because your were too lazy to do a search. That kind of apathy and ineptitude is exactly what's wrong with America these days. It's the reason democracy always end up riding in the backseat with the mother-in-law.

No I don't live near you. I live in Florida, like I said. I knew you had a CRX because you mentioned it in your library story, the one where the two policemen and everyone in the library watched as you went riding off into the sunset with those two cerulean-colored bumper nuts dangling off the back. Note: if anyone reading this doesn't know what "bumper nuts" are, do a google search.

I agree with you that dancing with words is fine up to a point, and that too many are dancing on clouds, SAYING NOTHING in the process. Not my m.o.

G. Tod Slone said...

MP,
Glad we agree on the word dancing. Seems like our battle fizzled. Anyhow, I'm not really one for battle for the sake of battle. I'm always on the lookout for allies, but can go it alone if I have to.
T.

M.P. Powers said...

Damn Slone... And here I was ready to go toe-to-toe with you every day for six to eight months. You took all the fun out of it!

One last pt. though. I don't think we totally agree on the dancing with words thing. I think it's important to say something in a poem, but it's also important to do it in a way where you're not simply imparting facts and opinions.
There has to be a little music, and emotion. If not, the thing becomes cold and bloodless, like a corpse. It's just as bad as poetry that dances on air alone.

Also, it's easier to make sense than poetry.

I don't know if we agree on that either.

G. Tod Slone said...

Why the need to go toe to toe with me? In other words, you still haven't revealed why you actively sought battle with me. The only reason, from my perspective, is that somehow you knew me, or knew someone or something whom or that I criticized. Why the secrecy?

Perhaps you ought to have stood up and said, yeah, maybe you were right about that Bukowski crutch comment. But no, that would have been too much, I suppose. But if a man can’t admit wrong, the dude’s got serious problems.
This is an interesting remark, though of course only an opinion: “I think it's important to say something in a poem, but it's also important to do it in a way where you're not simply imparting facts and opinions. There has to be a little music, and emotion. If not, the thing becomes cold and bloodless, like a corpse. It's just as bad as poetry that dances on air alone.”

I don’t really agree with you…. well, not fully. Sure, it’s nice to put words down with a certain rhythm and sound… and that I always work on when putting a poem together. I’m not big on metaphors, which often dilute the message because of the often artificiality of them. As for emotion, that usually is the instigator, for me at least, so automatically present (e.g., anger, amazement at the hypocrisy, or whatever you want to call it). Just the same, a cold corpse that says something is still worth an infinite number of dances on air alone. When you focus on making music from nothing, you end up with nothing, though with a visibly contrived air. Besides, how can you get nothing to exude emotion? And when you focus on making music around something, you end up with that something and almost always with a visibly contrived air. Amen.

M.P. Powers said...

I never actively sought battle with you, G. I introduced myself in a colorful, partly fictional manner, and then a certain someone gave me away in email. Hence your change in tone after my second post. My toe-to-toe comment = tongue-in-cheek (see: laughter). If I really wanted to be secretive, as you allege, I would've posted all this anonymously, instead of using my real name.

Now, I find it very interesting that you want me, "the dude," to go back to the Bukowski crutch comment. If you had referenced anyone else, I probably wouldn't have said anything. Using Buk as your defense is just all-too-common, mainly for people who haven't yet begun to think on their own. I explained it all above with my Bukowski Handbook remark. People who rely on his opinions too much are like biblethumpers who consider the statement "bible says so," their ace in the hole in any debate.

Re: Airborne poetry. When I think of this kind of poetry, I think of the stuff that both of us despise. The ultra-academic-lite stuff. Some jackass telling the world about a bullfinch he gazed at in the yard one time. There are many other variations too, and it's kind of hard to say EXACTLY what makes the airborne poem, but one thing is also true. I didn't make this clear before - there are poems that are light on meaning and heavy on dance, and then there are the opposite. They all can be great, if done with an expert hand. Even the ones with no dance. But the heavy-handed ones, the staled cheesepuff ones, the ones clumsily cobbled together by the self-absorbed Dionysiuses of the world... those are the ones that need to be incinerated, along with their authors.

M.P. Powers said...

G. Tod,

One question I forgot to ask. In what way is a metaphor artificial? To me, that's like saying imagination is artificial. In a foxhole it might be, but in poetry, it's what separates the artist from the hack. Agreed?

M.P. Powers said...

Oops... I didn't see the word "often" before artificial.

(ahem)

"Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues" ~ Chester Eddie Cooper, vibratingbedsalesman

G. Tod Slone said...

Again, you fail to understand. Why, I don’t know. I did not use Buk as my “defense” at all, but rather as a simple confirmation of my observation. There’s a world of difference! But, for some reason, you cannot perceive it. Personally, I’m not afraid to say that I liked Buk a lot. Just the same, I’m miles away from being or trying to be a Buk-type writer. Not sure if you can understand that either. Sure, I could have quoted nobody. But I like to quote people, and as Mather knows, I do quote a lot of different people, not just Buk, not just Thoreau. Tell an academic fop, Orwell also noted the same thing I state, tends to throw the fop for a brief loop. In any case, it’s not just me, now it’s me and someone else. The adversary always wants to divide and conquer and otherwise depict the opponent as a lone rebel, a loser, if you will. That’s the usual tactic. Often, I get the response WE blablabla. The dude can’t say I, he must say WE as if somehow that made him automatically right, while I wrong. An adversary will do that when he doesn’t have a logical retort. Nonetheless, they are MY observations, not second or third hand ones. It’s interesting (and probably rather common) how you twist things, as in my simply quoting Buk into my “relying on his opinions.” There too is a world of difference between the two and an absurd jumping to far-fetched conclusions on your part. Again, CONFIRMATION is the key word here, not RELYING on someone else. If anything, it seemed that quote turned your ass right around into defluffing your poet metaph feathers.

I don’t mind the observations of the bullfinch so much at all. Hell, I make them and even sometimes write about them too. What I mind is the closed doors of the bullfinch observer poet mags (supported often by public dollars) to anything else but bullfinch poesy. That’s what I’m fighting against. I’m not saying NO to bullfinch poesy. I’m saying let’s open the doors to other kinds of poetry including poetry that actually criticizes poets, academics, and their machinery. Do you understand me here? Perhaps not. I’m against the MacArthur Foundation because it gives ½ million dollars to ONE bullfinch poet each year. I’m against Poetry Foundation because it gives $125K to ONE bullfinch poet each year, etc., etc. I’m against the inherent corrupt selection process of the NEA and state cultural councils, etc., etc.

No, I disagree with you. Defining poetry ought to be open and not objective. For me, the metaphor definitely does not define the poet or the verse. For me, courage defines the poet, one way or the other. Flowery verb is only an artifice and part of that artifice is the metaphor. Evidently, in bourgeois times of old, flowery verb did define poetry and the poet. But this is now the 21st century.

BTW, why do you RELY on the opinions of Chester Eddy Cooper? Now, if it were anyone else, I would have…

M.P. Powers said...

If you say you used Bukowski as a "confirmation of your observation," and not as a crutch, I guess I'll believe you. The reason I pointed that out in the first place is because when I first read it I thought, "Oh, Christ... Here goes... Another bozo who can't utter three sentences of opinion before reaching for Ham on Rye." I've just seen it too many times, and I hear it all the time, and I'm sure you do too: "Bukowski said..." "That's not something Bukowski would do..." "Well, ya know what Buk's opinion was..." etc. etc. After a while, Bukowski tends to become a nuisance. He said the same thing about Hemingway, by the way. And I say, it's time for all the Bukheads, the ones who are trying to find their way in poetry, to find a new father. But of course, that's just not gonna happen. The Bukheads are plenty happy with the one they got, even though he won't get them anywhere. Especially if they consider his poetry the summit.

I agree and like what you say about being open to different kinds of poetry, and I like how you're going after the corrupters of the game, as I said in my original post. I however do find odd your habit of always asking me if I understand you. Must be a carry-over from your days on the tenured track, I guess. Something pedantic about it.

The only other question I have is what do you mean by "flowery verb?' I've heard of flowery prose, and flowery phraseology, but flowery verb seems kind of oxy-moron. Verbs incite movement. They're usually the bare essentials of a sentence, the blood and bones, if you will. How does one make them flowery? Just curious.

G. Tod Slone said...

Actually, I don’t see Buk quoted much at all… if ever. And I really don’t hear people talking about him, right and left. If I had, I would have quoted someone else. So, evidently, you know tons of people I don’t know who are Buk immersed. Just the same, I think his poetry is as much the summit as anyone else’s. I’d sure as hell choose a book of poems by Buk, than by WCW, WS, Y, or any of the poet laureates, national or state.

Well, “verb” is simply a synonym for phraseology. It’s quite common in French. Sometimes my French hazes in and around my English… nothing purposeful or pedantic on my part… it just does… that’s what happens when you spend seven years in France. In fact, my first poems were written in French in France. Then I came back to the States and started writing in English and my English was all fucked up because of the seven years mostly writing in French. So, I picked up a grammar book and used dictionaries. But “verb” I’m sure is used in English in the same context. Just checked with the woman, who says yes it’s used that way too in English. So, now you’ve learned something!
T.

mather said...

Anyone want a laugh, go here: http://timothy-green.org/blog/2009/08/six-pack-of-lit-mags-for-rattle-readers/#comments

and read the comments, especially the ones from David Ochs on...

M.P. Powers said...

The problem with Bukowski isn’t Bukowski. It’s his derivatives. The Scourge, I call them. The hacks so lacking in originally they’ve resorted to pilfering Bukowski’s whole personality, along with his shoes, his shirts, his shitstained boxers. They are dancing upon his grave, smoking his cigars. By the way, have you ever noticed they all wanna be Buk at 71? (see: the comfortable memoirist, sitting back, totally relaxing, celebrating themselves and THE HARD-WON VICTORY). And they think that by simply scribbling a few clean uncluttered lines, they’ve made it. What they don’t understand is that clarity equals nothing if there’s not an undercurrent of possibility going on. This is where imagination comes in. It’s what’s between the lines and what flows beneath them, sub-aquatically. It’s what genius is made of. WITHOUT IMAGINATION ALL ART FAILS TO BECOME.
~~~~~~~~~~~
On another note, I am happy to know you have a significant other in your life. I had pictured you more of a loner. The kind of guy who doesn't cut his toenails and festers in some small, dank lair, photographs of tenured professors fluttering softly on the walls, their eyes carved out with an exacto-knife, an errant lamb disemboweled in the middle of a ring of candles, two rolled up copies of Poetry Magazine jammed in its mouth....

Just joshin ya Slone!

In all seriousness, I'm glad I came around & will be back again. I appreciate that you appreciate democracy and that our modern-day Don Q. is not abandoning Rocinante or the windmills. I also like knowing (this is why I came here in the first place) that I could be as much of an asshole as I wanted to be in here, and, in the spirit of free-speech, you wouldn't delete anything.... even though it's your own blog.

Thanks & Auf Wiedersehen!

p.s. I wasn't kidding about Berlin

"This is our town, and don't you forget it!" Frank Tilghman ~ Roadhouse

G. Tod Slone said...

And you're right, I will not delete anything... unless you're selling soap or your book on Bukowski.

M.P. Powers said...

Et tu, Brute? What the hell, Slone? And here I was trying to bow out in as gracious a manner as I know, and you have to knife me on the way to the door. Not very becoming of you.

"Palmolive anyone?"

G. Tod Slone said...

Just joking, for chrissakes!

M.P. Powers said...

G. Tod,

That's what I always say when I'm pulling the knife out of the other person's skull.........

mather said...

I thought you were going to put a gown on this guy?

M.P. Powers said...

I'll wear a gown for Slone... if that's what it takes.

G. Tod Slone said...

Ah, M to the rescue... stoke the flames! What's this gown stuff? Academic? Looks like Tim just turned off the comments again. I two long ones decimating the dude's really lame mag reviews.
Viva Bukowski!!!

mather said...

I was talking about a gown on the cartoon!

mather said...

I find it fascinating that bloggers would simply prefer a hundred comments like angie's: "Interesting to think about the origin of the epiphany" or whatever the hell she said...

Hey, you ever notice the sky is blue? Man, that's amazing...

G. Tod Slone said...

Haven't gotten around to it. Been doing not much of much. Shit, rainy, wintry kind of day today. Summer is dead! Yeah, if anything Tim ought to censor the idiot comments made by his usual socket puppets, as D. Ochs calls them.

mather said...

It is often like a kind of one-man show, where the blogger writes something and then comes out with his various "characters" and puts sycophantic words in their mouths...happiness and complete agreement reign!

I asked Ochs a question earlier in your blog, but either he didn't see it or thinks I am not worth answering...

G. Tod Slone said...

Good way to put it: the one man show and the sychos. I keep getting my comments censored by Inside Higher Ed, an online newspaper of higher ed news. That pisses me off, but of course I'm helpless to do anything about it with the small consolation of being able to mention it in The AD... and again for whatever the hell that's worth. As far as I know, D. Ochs likes you and even expressed sorrow when he heard we had a falling out.

mather said...

All right...it's nothing...my over sensitivity...

mather said...

I imagine an octopus with a sock puppet on each hand telling him how great he is...didn't you make a cartoon like that?

G. Tod Slone said...

Yes, I did do a toon like that for the Academy of American Poets. I'm exchanging with caffe on tim's site.