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, December 28, 2014

Paul Pronovost, Cape Cod Times


To Paul Pronovost, Ed., The Cape Cod Times:  Here's another letter you won't publish in your newspaper.  Why not?  Dangerous times?
G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident

Dangerous Times:  Too Many Journalists Are PC-Ideologues
Sadly, your editorial, “Dangerous Times:  Journalism Remains a Perpetual Punching  Bag,” reflects the same one-sided victimization and self-congratulatory stance as the previous editorial you published  on 8/26, “Exposing the Truth: Media’s Pen Remains Far Mightier Than Any Sword.”  Well, unsurprisingly, you did not publish my letter with its regard.  Will you publish this letter?  In other parts of the world, journalism can indeed be dangerous (Cuba, Russia, China, Iran, ISIS) or, if not dangerous, tough.  But the “assaults on journalistic integrity,” as you term them, can also come from within.  It is odd that you do not even mention the huge assault, as underscored in Sharyl Attkinsson’s recently published book Stonewalled.  That assault has been by the Obama administration and newspaper editors themselves, in case you are unaware.  It is the assault of political correctness (left-wing ideology) on truth and transparency!  How did you manage not to include that in your editorial?  How not to question the integrity of journalists who do put PC above truth telling?  ”The truth is often far from pretty,” you note, “but it remains the truth, and someone has to tell it.”  But then why do you not follow your own advice here on Cape Cod?  Why do you continue to refuse to report on Sturgis Library’s permanent banning without due process of me, my ideas, and books I publish from its premises?  Why do you refuse to report that my civil rights are being denied under your editorial snout right here in Barnstable where I cannot attend any cultural or political events held at my neighborhood library, you know, the one my taxes help support, the one that disdains free speech, vigorous debate, and due process, democracy’s very cornerstones?  You, dear editor, are one of those very hypocrites you decry in your editorial...

PS:  Journalists sometimes, perhaps many times, are not the victims at all, but rather the perpetrators, either by their silence or active participation, of status-quo bullshit, you know, like Obama's "the most transparent administration in history"...

 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Passion for Freedom



Open Letter to the Anonymous Organizers
Of the Passion for Freedom Festival
Why the anonymity?  Why are you not even listed on your web page? How does one contact you, besides via the impersonal contact form?  How does one criticize you, if you are anonymous?  How does that jive with freedom?

Anyhow, art should be more than SEX— nudity, vaginal monologues, open fornication, menstrual fluids, and giant penis sculptures.  It should be more than self-promoting artist doggies beggaring for fame.  Your focus is commendable.  But why did you choose self-promoting artist doggies beggaring for fame as judges?  The web pages of Gary Hill, Sarah Maple, Lee Weinberg, and Deeyah Khan prove the point.  In fact, Khan even promotes herself as the “Muslim Madonna.”  You know, Madonna the multimillionaire celebrity air-head pop singer… unless, of course, she means the other Madonna.  Hmm. 

Perhaps one of the last bastions of non-freedom in the West for artists is for artists to criticize the art machine that feeds them… including the Passion for Freedom festival.  What do you think?  Might such a view be included in your statement:  Everybody has something to offer, something that may enrich or support FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION”?  Or might your other statement negate that inclusion:  “Every individual and every organization willing to take a part in our activities or support us is welcome.”  So, if I am not willing to support you, then I am not welcome.  That seems to be the modus operandi of just about every thin-skinned art curator (and poet) on the planet today. 

Not one of your prize winners created art critical of the art machine.  So, featured above is a satirical sketch I did on four of your art-machine judges and your festival.  Would you have considered it for your Exhibition?  Or would it have been too un-understandable (i.e., incomprehensible) and/or not large enough in size (anything huge in size tends to be acceptable as art today)?  If you are not impressed by the technique, which is certainly not my forte, what about the idea incorporated in the sketch? 

It is sad to see artists basking in the art limelight.  Ai Weiwei comes to mind, as Celebrity Dissident Incarnate, friend of politicians and the art machine that pays him so royally.  The light becomes so bright for some of them that it evidently blinds them to the intrinsic corruption in the art machine… which churns out the blinding light… and monetary rewards.  So many artists grovel for connections that might help lead the way to fame, even minor.   But what about the few artists who refuse to grovel… before the NEA, Guggenheim, MacArthur, etc.?  Why don’t you feature one or several of them?  The problem of course is simple:  how would you ever hear about them?  You wouldn’t!  Art festivals also grovel for fame!  What Faustian deals are concluded by artists and festival organizers! 

Finally, I strongly urge you to provide a space on your website devoted to criticism of your Passion for Freedom festival.  Now, that would truly be a manifestation of such passion and reverence for democracy.  Last year, to the deaf ears of Passion for Freedom curator Agnieszka Kolek (is she still one of your organizers?), I essentially suggested the same thing with a different critical sketch (see  https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=239569862679528067#editor/target=post;postID=7541908710591132773;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=2;src=link).  Thus, I give it another whirl.  Rare—very, very rare—is the literary editor who will publish harsh criticism of his or her literary magazine.  Evidently, the same goes for the art festival organizer.  Thus, in accord with what you purportedly do, I “discuss subjects omitted in politically correct circles” (i.e., criticism of the academic/literary established order and art machine) in “open and uninhibited discussion,”  though clearly I do not fall into your gathering of “like-minded people.”  Am I “more than welcome”?  Out of 882 people who checked out the sketch on Kolek, only one commented, a friend, Timothy Bearly, who noted perspicaciously:  It's always frustrating to see safe and predictable artists pretending to be audacious, avant-garde and controversial. ‘Not afraid of regimes,’ but afraid to respond to a critical email.” 

Finally, the question remains: is your festival just another cocktail-party, celebrity art festival, or are you truly different?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Michael Dirda

Notes on Dead Poets and Dead Poet Book Reviewers

To Michael Dirda, Washington Post Reviewer:
How not to conclude when reading your book reviews that you are a paladin of the literary-established order.  Is there no such thing as a bad book review in the Washington Post?  Your review of James Booth’s Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love serves as yet another example of blind positivity.  You seem unable to question the most basic of principles, including fame and what fame might imply in literature.  You state:  Philip Larkin (1922-1985) is as famous a poet as any…”  So, for me, that likely implies he played the game, kept his mouth shut, did not have the balls to question and challenge the literary establishment.  So, why should one revere a “famed” poet therefore?  You state in your hagiography of Larkin that he wrote “clear, accessible poetry that, once read, could never be forgotten,” and cite the following to support your odd contention:  “Sexual intercourse began/ In nineteen sixty-three/ (which was rather late for me). . . . What will survive of us is love. . . . Age, and then the only end of age. . . . Never such innocence again.”  Are there really others besides you, who will NEVER ever forget those seemingly banal lines?  And who gives a damn about Larkin’s purported “geek-chic” look?  Who cares about his sexual experiences and porn collections.  Who gives a damn if he enjoyed “washing dishes and doing laundry”?  What I care about is wisdom.  And your article did not present an iota of wisdom.  Why do you guys insist on inflating these dead, flaccid poets?  Let them stay buried. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kathleen McCartney

.......................................................


From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: sophian@smith.edu
CC: wendykaminer@aol.com; kmccartney@smith.edu; has@harveysilverglate.com
Subject: Kaminer, McCartney and Sophian J. Houston lampooned in a new P. Maudit cartoon
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:12:50 -0500

To the Student Editors of The Sophian Censor, Smith College:
It would truly amaze me if you simply responded to this email.  It would actually knock me over, however, if you possessed the INDEPENDENCE you boast and the spirit of INCLUSIVITY to publish the cartoon sketched on one of your own, as well as Wendy Kaminer and President Kathleen McCartney, posted on the American Dissident blog site:  wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com.  Feel free to comment.  The American Dissident NEVER censors comments. 

[NO RESPONSE]

Friday, November 14, 2014

Michael Dirda


Notes on Michael Dirda's Review of Ted Kooser's Splitting an Order



You need to write a book on how to get so excited over such a banal poem, “Painting the Barn,” by established-order ex-insurance executive, former poet laureate of the USA Ted Kooser, “the most [apart from Billy Collins] accessible and enjoyable major poet in America,” according to you.  Have you ever wondered what “major poet” implies besides linguistically deft?  Clearly, it implies a poet who never makes waves, never goes against the grain of literary established order, and thus never bucks the ivory-tower system.  Is that good?  Methinks not at all! 


Perhaps Kooser is “enjoyable” to you, but why should he be enjoyable to me and other individual thinkers?  Sure, hordes of academics could likely write 350-page dissertations on that poem, but does that make it great… or even simply good?  And isn’t great subjective?  Yet you and so many other established-order cogs would have people believe it is an objective term.  Now, what I look for in a poem is obviously NOT what you look for:  unusual wisdom, as opposed to sentimentality, for example, over a dead dog.  What you and other literati of the established-order do is promote the innocuous, like Ted Kooser, because the innocuous does not upset established-order literati.  It is really quite that simple.

Few poems contain unusual wisdom like, for example, Villon’s “Estoit-il lors temps de moy taire?,” Jeffers’ “Finally I say let demagogues and world-redeemers babble/ their emptiness/ To empty ears; twice duped is too much./ Walk on gaunt shores and avoid the people” and Neruda’s “Nací para golpear las puertas, para empuñar los golpes,/ para encender las últimas y arrinconadas sombras/en donde se alimenta la araña venenosa./ Serán nombrados.”    

What we need are poets with guts like Villon, who dared criticize the ruling Parisian theocrats during his time and risked death by hanging.  Where are those poets today in America who RISK in their poetry upsetting established-order apparatchiks, who promote coopted, innocuous poetry… and thus weaken literature, dulling its blade, rendering it palatable for the established order? 

Why not try being original and not push celebrity literati in your literati columns?  Why not seek out rare poets who really do RISK speaking rude truth in their verse—RISK not getting tenure, RISK not getting grants, RISK not getting invitations, RISK not getting awards, RISK not getting reviewed in your columns?  Nature and feelings are fine in poetry, BUT poetry should NOT be limited to those things.  Such imagery from a vanishing America further enforces the overall autumnal quality of these recent poems,” you write regarding Kooser’s new book.  Wow.  “Overall autumnal quality”!  Now, that’s a good one!  What about overall RISK and bold TRUTH TELLING? 

“But if you reflexively dismiss modern verse as dauntingly esoteric or embarrassingly corny or tediously singsong, you need to try Ted Kooser,” you conclude.  Rather than “dauntingly esoteric,” I find modern verse devoid of any criticism at all of the academic/literary established order machinery, professors, and favored icons diligently working to keep poetry castrated. 
 
 

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Breanne Fahs

 
 

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: breanne.fahs@asu.edu
CC: lmanderson@asu.edu; alesha.durfee@asu.edu; michelle.mcgibbney@asu.edu; yasmina.katsulis@asu.edu; kimberly.a.scott@asu.edu; sally.kitch@asu.edu; koblitz@asu.edu; heather.switzer@asu.edu; sujey.vega@asu.edu
Subject: Fahs lampooned in a new P. Maudit cartoon
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:52:02 -0500

To Prof. Breanne Fahs,
You are featured in a new P. Maudit cartoon this week on The American Dissident blog site:  wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com.  Nothing personal, since I don’t know you.  I’ve done 100s of cartoons on professors and other academics over the years.  Only two or three student editors have dared publish them.  I’ve forwarded the cartoon to the student editors of ASU News, who will likely not publish it… because student editors generally tend to be like their professors:  PC-indoctrinated, lacking in individuality and courage, and scornful of democracy’s cornerstones—freedom of speech and vigorous debate.  Hopefully (and there is always hope, no matter how dim that light may be), those student editors will prove to be somewhat unique and respond.  Hopefully, you too might respond.  Now, how about getting your university library to subscribe to The American Dissident, not for the sake of the faculty, but rather for that of students.  LOL, right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Peter Schjeldahl

 
Text on bottom of picture:   
Schjeldahl:  “Like it or not, Christopher Wool, now 58, is probably the most important American painter of his generation.  His works ace the crude test that passes for critical judgment in the art market:  They look impeccable on walls…
PM:  “Impeccable on walls?  Well, how about these two I just finished? 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Anne Speyer


The only thing an unconnected citizen can do to get his opinion into the arena of debate is the Internet.  Long live the Internet!  One day, however, the censors (i.e., the civility gatekeepers) will sadly gain full control over it.  Now here's a great quote by UCLA Professor Michael Meranze that I just came across.  It's perfect for librarian gatekeepers like Ann Speyer and Lucy Loomis, as well as for journalist gatekeepers like Paul Pronovost (Cape Cod Times) and Noah Hoffenberg (Barnstable Patriot)...

"The demand for civility effectively outlaws a range of intellectual, literary, and political forms: satire is not civil, caricature is not civil, hyperbole and aesthetic mockery are not civil nor is polemic. Ultimately the call for civility is a demand that you not express anger; and if it was enforced it would suggest that there is nothing to be angry about in the world.  The call for civility in discourse confuses the enforcement of administrative time, place, and manner restrictions with the genuine need to defend people from personal threat.  The result is that the administrative desire trumps all else." 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Barnstable Village Cultural District

The following is an American Dissident broadside, which I handed out in front of Sturgis Library on October 10th during its Celebration of Kurt Vonnegut.  90% or more of those arriving refused to take one.  The cartoon on Vonnegut below was part of the broadside. 

What is the point of confronting ambulating brick walls like the 90%?  That question I have to ask myself every time I stand alone protesting against local corrupt pillars of the community.  Sure, I know it is 99% unlikely that I’ll meet anyone even remotely interested in the free speech issues I evoke.  No matter.  During the protests, I often have interesting thoughts and obtain grist for my mill of creativity. 

At the library, the arrived like dignitaries to a gala.  But dignitaries of what?  Bourgeois conformity and propriety?   How sad it all was.  Nobody was willing to focus on the facts I presented.  Nobody gave a shit.  The common reaction is to scorn and mock the rare person who dares question and challenge  such people. 

Barnstable is a town dominated by an elite of stepford wives and husbands, a representative microcosm of the nation.  They are why I do not love America...  


Vonnegut’s Clapboard Tomb…
And Its Gravediggers of Liberty

—An Open Letter to the Apathetic, Easily Offended, and Ignorant Citizens of Barnstable—
It really is a sorry kind of person who makes it to the top.
        —Kurt Vonnegut

     Kurt Vonnegut called Sturgis Library a “clapboard tomb,” upon quitting his job as library trustee.  A tomb, of course, is a place for the dead.  Has Sturgis gotten any better since Vonnegut’s time in Barnstable?  Experience tells me it’s actually gotten a lot worse.  Lucy Loomis, its director, is totally unaccountable and totally autocratic.  Upset her fiefdom with a dash of freedom of expression and be prepared for permanent punishment, which is precisely what happened to me in June 2012. 

     My speech crime consisted of an open letter published on my blog site and sent to the directors of the Clams Library System of Cape Cod, not one of whom responded.  Not even director Ann Speyer, who lectures on censorship and book banning, gave a damn.  Only Sturgis Library trustee and Loomis boyfriend Dan Santos responded, though indirectly, dismissing as “intellectual masturbation” my argument that Loomis was a hypocrite regarding her written collection development statement that ”libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Loomis and not one other library director in the system would subscribe to The American Dissident (only $20), published in Barnstable and presenting a viewpoint at antipodes to that of Poetry Magazine to which Sturgis subscribes.  I’d even offered a free subscription, but Loomis rejected it, thus proscribing the points of view of all those published in it… permanently. 

     Less than one week after that open letter was disseminated, Loomis and three cops approached me while I was peacefully sitting alone in a room at Sturgis, as I’d been doing almost daily for about two years.  There, Loomis said she was permanently banning me.  No warning had ever been issued.  Off I went… a tad angry!  Loomis and later trustee Ted Lowry refused to provide me with a written statement regarding the action and reason for it.  Nine months later the State Secretary of Records forced them to open their records to public scrutiny, so that finally I could read what had been written about me.  Democracy in action! 

     Due process?  We no need no stinkin’ due process!  That is Sturgis Library’s true motto.  Would Vonnegut have embraced it?  Did he embrace it?  Imagine no possibility of due process was offered!  Imagine Loomis having the audacity to deem me a public danger, arguing:  Because of his behavior when the police were here they almost arrested him—he can go from calm to extremely agitated in a matter of seconds.  So l believe this is the correct decision for the safety of the staff and public.”  That was the only damning thing written in the documents made public.  Notice it is an aberrant after-the-fact rationale and, why two years later, has not one staff member been threatened or harmed by me, if indeed I were such a potential danger?  Of course, I have no history at all of violence or of making threats.  How many others like Loomis protect their fragile selves in layers of self-serving deceit and ignorance of democracy, including the Supreme Court (Tinker v. Des Moines Sch. Dist.) argument that “in our system, undifferentiated fear or apprehension of disturbance is not enough to overcome the right to freedom of expression.”  Trustees Ted Lowry, Sue Angus, John Ehret, Colin Campbell, and Mike Downs, and others who’ve made it to the top, seem unable to comprehend that America’s greatness lies in her unique FIRST AMENDMENT, not in political correctness!  Any departure from absolute regimentation may cause trouble,” noted the Court, “any variation from the majority's opinion may inspire fear.” Thus, my speech crime inspired fear and caused Loomis emotional trouble. 

     The Barnstable Patriot (Noah Hoffenberg) and Cape Cod Times (Paul Pronovost), to this day, refuse to publish anything regarding the above.  Clearly those papers are not independent!  My very civil rights today are being denied in Barnstable because I have been permanently barred from attending any cultural or political events held at my neighborhood library, you know, that “clapboard tomb.”  Imagine that I was not permitted to attend Speyer’s lecture on Banned Books Week! Imagine not one community pillar gives a damn, not Town Manager Tom Lynch, nor Town Attorney Ruth Weil, town councilor Ann Canedy, state reps Cleon Turner and Brian Mannal, who’d proclaimed the matter a civil rights issue, was going to help, then didn’t (yes, vote for Mannal!), not local human rights commissar John Reed, nor artists and poets of Robert M. Nash’s Cultural Council of Cape Cod, not the Barnstable Village Civic Association, the writers of Nancy Rubin Stuart’s Cape Cod Writers Center, the instructors at CCCC, including Dan McCullough, John French, and Sarah Polito, not PEN New England, the ACLUM, etc., etc.    

     Now, would Vonnegut have been on their side too?  Surely, none of his living family members and friends give a damn.  “I don’t buy it!” snapped one Sturgis loyalist a few weeks ago.  And how shamefully easy it is for her willfully ignorant ilk to dismiss incontrovertible facts, like those presented above, and the very principles of democracy 

 

Barnstable Village Cultural District


Barnstable Village Cultural District


David Biespiel


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Anne Speyer

The following was distributed in front of Sturgis Library during librarian Anne Speyer's lecture several weeks ago.  The hypocrisy of Speyer and librarian Lucy Loomis is mind-numbing.  Yes, today, those who ban books and people celebrate Banned Books Week.  And those who don't give a damn about banned books in their own neighborhood present lectures on banned books and censorship.  Mind-numbing...


Librarians Banning Books Celebrate Banned Books Week

(What Anne Speyer’s Lecture Will Conveniently Fail to Mention)

Of course, free speech is often precisely about pissing off other people—challenging social taboos or political values.

—Jonathan Turley, left-wing legal scholar, George Washington University

 

M

ostly, we have hypocrites in politics.  No surprise there.  We also have hypocrites in higher education.  No surprise there either.  We have hypocrites in the ranks of those professing to be advocates of freedom, including public librarians.  Now, that ought to be surprising…

     Is it not ironical that some (perhaps many) of the very organizations that promote Banned Books Week are either banners of books or apathetic when books are banned?  Is it not equally ironical that some (perhaps many!) of those who attend “Banned Books Discussions,” likeBowdlerized, Banned, and Burned: An Investigation of Banned Books” presented at Sturgis Library by Director Anne Speyer of South Dennis Free Public Library, don’t give a damn when book banning occurs in their own backyards?  How to possibly understand their apathy, if not outright support?  Unsurprisingly, Speyer wouldn’t even respond to that question. 

     On June 19, 2012, Sturgis Library director Lucy Loomis PERMANENTLY BANNED not only The American Dissident and any books I’ve authored, but also me and the ideas of those published in the journal.  On that nefarious day, three cops showed up with the director in the room, where I was quietly working alone on my online college courses, to escort me out of the taxpayer-funded library without warning or even possibility of due process.  Imagine that not one library director in the entire Clams Library System of Cape Cod would respond to my complaint regarding that authoritarian decision, let alone express an iota of interest in it. The only response I received was an indirect one from Dan Santos, Sturgis Library Trustee at the time, current director of Barnstable’s Department of Public Works:  “He is no more than an exhibitionist engaging in intellectual masturbation.”  Yes, just the kind of ignorant fellow we need in public service! 

E

ternally banned, yet I never made threats, never made disturbances in that library, and I'd been going to it almost every day for several years!  What I did, however, was question and challenge IN WRITING, one week prior to the decree, Loomis’ hypocrisy regarding, especially, the written collection-development statement, borrowed from the American Library Association’s “Library Bill of Rights,” that “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Well, my point of view is certainly not provided in that library, which proves the point I’d made. 

     Loomis refused to present me with a written document stipulating the reason for her decision.  The library trustees also refused to do that.  It took the Massachusetts State Secretary of Records nine months later to order the library to make its records available to me (i.e., the public), since it determined the library was not only being funded by the public but was clearly serving a public purpose.  In those records, only an indirect comment by Loomis to Ted Lowry, president of the library trustees, indicated the reason for the decision:  “Because of his behavior when the police were here they almost arrested him—he can go from calm to extremely agitated in a matter of seconds.  So l believe this is the correct decision for the safety of the staff and public.”  No other reason or incident is mentioned in the library’s records!  In essence, the only reason was thus an after-the-fact one (i.e., after the decision to permanently ban). 

R

eally, I was quite pissed off when I saw three cops enter the room with Loomis!  I hadn't even spoken to anyone in the library for a week.  And yes I was quite pissed off when one of them actually grabbed my arm, twisted it behind my back, and frisked me because I’d said, “I do not have any weapons.”   I’m 66 and not a big guy.  And I was not making threats in any way whatsoever.  Ah, but it turned out that cop was the training officer and showing a new recruit how to frisk a citizen.  And I have no record of violence whatsoever.  In essence, Loomis played the he-makes-me-feel-uncomfortable card.  Since that nefarious day over two years ago, if indeed I were such a danger to the staff and public, why have I done nothing at all to harm the staff and public?  So, here I am today with an almost-arrested police record for the crime of manifesting a little anger in public… and PERMANENTLY punished for it.  Bravo America, or rather Barnstable! 

D

oggedly since that nefarious day in June, I’ve contacted scores of organizations and town officials.  To date, not one of them proved sufficiently concerned to offer to help or even write a simple letter to the director, requesting she rescind the authoritarian decree or at least provide due process.  Not even the ACLUM or State Attorney General Martha Coakley would lift a finger!  To date, not one of the official sponsors of Banned Books Week has been willing to do that either!  So, why the hell not American Library Association, PEN America, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, American Book Sellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Project Censored, and Center for the Book at the Library of Congress?   And why did not one town counselor or commissioner of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission give a damn either? 

E

ssentially, a responsible citizen does not keep his or her mouth shut in the face of injustice, which is why I stand protesting here tonight next to library property.  Those attending Speyer’s lecture, who had the curiosity to take a copy of this flyer, should ask themselves after the lecture why they too likely do not give a damn.  BTW, featured in the above picture are local hack hypocrites Brian Mannal, Ann Canedy, and Cleon Turner, as puppets of propriety.  Indeed, for them and so many others, some vague notion of propriety is far more important than freedom of speech and expression. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kamden Hilliard


Wade Wallerstein, editor of the student newspaper, The Phoenix (Sarah Lawrence College), did manifest unusual openness by publishing my letter to the editor and two cartoons I'd sketched on SLC Professor Marie Howe, Poet Laureate of New York (see http://www.sarahlawrencephoenix.com/editorial/2014/8/26/letter-to-the-editor-g-tod-slone-of-the-american-dissident). 
He would not, however, publish the above cartoon, nor permit me to respond to the four students who criticized the two cartoons published.  Thus, in the spirit of OPEN DEBATE, as opposed to ONE-SIDED NON-DEBATE, I include the four student responses and my un-published response to them. 
...........................................................

From mikey:  This is idiotic/absurd and i have no idea why you published it
Top of
Bottom ofFrom Jake:   None of this is "hateful" or "immature". I'll grant that it's a vague, rather masturbatory attempt at anti-establishment criticism. But there is nothing wrong with calling into question what is a very observable phenomenon: that too much of leftist, academic discourse these days is concerned with 'sterilizing' conversations. Some call it political correctness, others call it censorship. But it is important to always have voices from the other side reminding everyone that, sometimes, truth is unpleasant. And that's my takeaway with P. Maude.
Though I'd like to add that I think this cartoonist would do well to actually read Dark Phrases because it is a wonderful publication and I agree that it is important and necessary to have a platform for minority voices. There is nothing "racist" about that.
Top of Form
From Katherine:  As the editor-in-chief [Wade Wallerstein] of a publication widely distributed, read, and discussed in the SLC community, you have the power to amplify a voice that has been ignored. You also have the responsibility to decide when it is appropriate and constructive to do so. I fail to see how these cartoons and this letter contribute truth, fact, or reason to any community dialogue about race (or poetry, or democracy? It's unclear). It is well-known on and off campus why spaces for people of color and other minorities exist, and trying to spark a debate about it only leads to beating a long-dead horse. Mr. Slone is welcome to take his personal objections directly to the editors of Dark Phrases. Publishing his immature and hateful rhetoric seems unnecessary.  And how is it constructive to call for a statement from Dark Phrases? Its editors have better things to do than justify, for the thousandth time, their very existence and the mission of the publication.
Top o
From Margaret Caroline Pless:  Wow. These cartoons are worse than unfunny... I have to read them three of four times and I'm still not sure what P. Maudit's deal it. Is it Marie Howe's poetry? Women named Brooklyn? The fact that SLC exists and has spaces like Dark Phrases for authors of color? That poetry doesn't matter? Ugh, someone sound the hetero-normative white guy klaxon. Batton down the hatches and sit tight until he no longer needs to explain to all us non-guys and non-whites why we're wrong. Confidential to P. Maudit: I know for a fact white students can submit to Dark Phrases. They can even go into Common Ground and participate in QPOC meetings. The question is whether or not they have anything to contribute to said spaces; some do and some won't. You don't, so go back to your blog (and it is a blog; it's hosted on "blogspot") before I lampoon your terrible site (including it's lulzy list of publishers who ignore you) on mine.
…………………………………………………….
To mikey, Jake, Katherine, and Margaret:  So, just dismiss what you don’t like as “idiotic/absurd,” “masturbatory,” or “immature and hateful.”  No counterpoint argumentation at all necessary!  Bravo!  Is that what your professors have been teaching you?  Ad hominem is always the lazy way out.  Instead, they should be teaching you to be precise and underscore untruths, if there are any.  Use logic and fact to support your denunciation of purported untruths.  If you couldn’t find any untruths, well, then I guess that’s why you resorted to kneejerk ad hominem to protest, as in how dare he criticize one of our own professors!  Moreover, because you cannot understand something does not automatically make that something “idiotic/absurd.”  Point to the lies.  Prove they’re lies.  That’s what an educated person should do.  To only publish minority voices is indeed racist against white students and staff members.  How else can an un-indoctrinated individual possibly perceive it?  It is time people rejected such double standards!  Imagine a journal that only published white voices at Sarah Lawrence College.  Yes, let’s call it White Phrases.  Yeah, then we’d have the KKK accusations.  Well, shouldn’t we then have the Black Panther accusations regarding Dark Phrases?  Ah, the double standards, of course!  But REASON should always trump DOUBLE STANDARDS.  Period.  Are students being taught that anytime someone stands up for reason against PC-indoctrination and provides an unapproved point of view, he or she must be dismissed as “immature and hateful”?  BTW, the editors of Dark Phrases decided not to respond.  Period.  After all, what could they say?  It’s okay to be racist and EXCLUSIONARY if you’re a minority, but not if you’re white?  Wow.  Yes, we’ve come a long way, baby.  Oh, yes, of course those editors “have better things to do” than to justify their lack of INCLUSION.  So, why is it fine for minorities to publish exclusionary literary journals, but not fine for whites to do the same?  After all, two wrongs do NOT make a right!  Now, Margaret, how does it feel to be a hateful, PC-anti-white, heterophobic racist, as in “Ugh, someone sound the hetero-normative white guy klaxon”?   Again, the double standard trumps reason.  The statement on Dark Phrases clearly stipulates that “artistic work of students, faculty, and staff of color” is featured.  Period.  It is that statement that I contest, for evidently even if whites are published in the journal, clearly they are not encouraged to submit their writing to it.  That statement needs to be changed.  Period.  How can you not comprehend the message in the cartoons?  It is not complex!   Oh well.  Please DO lampoon me and/or The American Dissident blog site.  Don’t simply threaten to do so!   I am not fearful, nor EASILY OFFENDED like you seem to be, of valid criticism.  Often, I create from it!  Again, try finding a lie, something NOT factual, on the blog site, rather than simply calling it stupid or some other inane, puerile epithet.  Come on, you’re supposedly getting a college education!  Try taking a course in LOGIC 101.  Or has that been replaced by Political Correctness 101 at Sarah Lawrence College?  Anyhow, thanks for commenting.  Democracy demands citizens of different persuasions communicate and debate.  I only wish Professor Howe would instill that in her students (you guys!)… by example.