A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone 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, May 10, 2013

Frank Bidart

Question:  Will just one poet staff member of the Academy of American Poets respond? 

Answer:  No.

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: jbenka@poets.org; gcoletta@poets.org; adimitrov@poets.org; engleson@poets.org; aference@poets.org; agaleo@poets.org; mgannon@poets.org; pguzman@poets.org; slasner@poets.org; plegault@poets.org; bmerrell@poets.org; mnesmith@poets.org; rquigley@poets.org; ksugar@poets.org
CC: mediarelations@wellesley.edu; fbidart@wellesley.edu
Subject: Bidart Satirized: Open Letter to the Academy of American Poets
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 14:53:13 -0400

To Staff Member Poets of the Academy of American Poets (Jennifer Benka, Alex Dimitrov, Eric Engleson, Audrey Ference, Mary Gannon, Patricia Guzman, Stacy Lasner, Paul Legault, Billy Merrell, Meghan Nesmith, Gerard Coletta, Amber Galeo, Richard Quigley, Kate Sugar):

Please forward this email to the high-and-mighty Chancellors, since their emails are not available (i.e., Victor Hernández Cruz, Toi Derricotte, Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, Juan Felipe Herrera, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Marilyn Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ron Padgett, Marie Ponsot, Claudia Rankine, Arthur Sze, Anne Waldman, and C. D. Wright).

Might there actually be a freedom-of-expression proponent amongst you and/or the Chancellors today? Might one of you actually be capable of thinking and acting exterior to the group-think, established-order poesy box? Have things changed at all at the Academy of American Poets since it censored and banned me in 2007 from commenting on its forums, or is it still censorship and indifference to censorship as usual? Your likely silence will serve as a response to that question. If just one of you is curious, for further details regarding the censorship incident, including the transcript of the censored comments, consult http://www.theamericandissident.org/orgs/academy_american_poets.html.

For cartoons of former chancellors Bidart and Hejinian just posted today on my website, consult http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/. This letter with your names will be posted under the Bidart cartoon. Thanks to the Internet, dissident poets like me do have a voice and freedom of speech scorning poets like most or ALL of you can still be publicly denounced. Finally, as Bukowski perceptibly wrote,“Poetry has long been an in-game, a snob game, a game of puzzles and incantations. It still is, and most of its practitioners operate comfortably as professors in our safe and stale universities.”



Frank Bidart said...

I'm bewildered. When did I "favor the censoring of a fellow poet"? When did I favor censoring anybody, except those yelling fire in a crowded theater when there's no fire? I'm not without sin, but I don't recognize the incident or occasion or situation you're talking about. Your criticism would cut deeper if I knew what you're talking about. Frank Bidart

G. Tod Slone said...

Answer: My comments were removed (censored) from the Academy's website. I informed all chancellors, including Bidart, of the incident. Not one of them gave a damn. Bidart still doesn't give a damn! This is what I am talking about: http://theamericandissident.org/orgs/academy_american_poets.html. It is all there, including the censored comments and illustrations.