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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sam Cornish

Notes on Artistic Sterility and the Academic Imprimatur
The dude* sent me an email announcement—a great
self-congratulating pat on his back—, I was his bĂȘte noire.
Since he was on my list, I was now on his, though
when I shotgunned, it was usually to announce
not the light of lime, but rather a good sledgehammering.
His press had teamed up with a regional college to
the “literary arts” and the likely modus operandi
                                                of innocuous icon idolatry.

His vision of art seemed to be a castration of it,
eliciting the approval of ladder-climbing pedagogues
—those chairs, deans, chancellors, VPs, and presidents—,
other members of the local chambers of commerce,
and, of course, the proverbial old ladies in the audience.    

To be first in the series, as concrete illustration of the benefits
of sucking up, kissing ass, and playing the literary game,
he chose Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish,
editor of children’s literature
            and renowned author of An Apron
Full of Beans. 

The dude’s purpose, besides pushing his own press,
                        was to help students of creative writing
to garner not the courage to stand up and away from the herd,
but rather to gain expertise in the fine art of literary networking. 
"This is a wonderful opportunity to be aligned
                                    with a rising academic institution,”
he declared, sounding more like a politician than a bard. 
"I want the literary community and the community at large
to know about the vital literary programming at Endicott...”

Yet how could he proclaim “vital” the output of programmers
who rarely, if ever, railed viscerally against the machine?
“I am hoping to be involved in the creation of the Hub
for the Arts on the North Shore,” he career-fully excogitated,
when perhaps as a poet he should have instead
                                                            truthfully excoriated.

Just what higher ed needed, I thought, a tad depressed
by the persistence of poetry into the smiley-face verse factory
                                    —another hub, yes, oh sadly,
of artistic censors, blind-eye turners, PC and too much civility.

*Doug Holder, publisher, Ibbetson Street Press, and Endicott College adjunct instructor

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