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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kathleen McCartney

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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?