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

Monday, March 28, 2016

Philip Kennicott

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From CronyCapitalism to CronyArtism

Establishment Art and Its Professional Paladins

Justifying Lack of Objectivity

Le plus grand style en art est l'expression de la plus haute révolte.  
—Albert Camus  

The high and mighty, those in power, cultural or other, seem to be able to get away with just about everything and anything.  Now, that’s a platitude, as obvious as it gets.  Alas, Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post culture critic Philip Kennicott doublespeaks like the worst of political hacks.  First he presents the evident objectivity problem when one reviews the art work of a friend, then, of course, opts for that lack objectivity, though in a flurry of masking blather to further promote the work of his friend.  
“Can an art critic fairly review an artist friend’s work?” he asks in the title of his article.  Without yet reading it, I immediately concluded he’d respond in the affirmative.  And sure enough.  Kennicott begins with a dubious statment:  “There’s no upside for an artist to be friends with an art critic.”  Evidently, there is an upside if one is friends with critics like him, who are perhaps form the establishment majority.   “The personal connection means the critic must pass on reviewing the artist’s work, and while the loss of critical wisdom may be negligible, the loss of exposure is a nuisance for the artist,” he continues.  And yet the critic Kennicott does not pass on reviewing his friend’s work and surely he does not give a damn about the zero exposure of many artists, myself included.  In fact, those like me who actually stand up and criticize the Kennicott ilk, as unobjective gatekeepers of propriety and pushers of chamber-of-commerce friendly l’art pour l’art, not only do not receive exposure but, for all intensive purposes, are blacklisted into oblivion.  Period.   
Next and unsurprisingly, Kennicott argues:  “I have wanted to write about Maggie Michael’s work for years now, but I can’t without first offering the reader a huge caveat:  Anything I say must be reasonably assumed to be compromised by the fact that I know her, like her and socialize with her.”  But why even bother with the caveat?  Most people who ponder art are likely well aware that art establishment circles are highly incestuous, akin to D.C. crony capitalist circles that likely control them as puppet masters.  
And so the female friend is promoted.  The painting, “Clone No. 17 (Bunny Grey),” highlighted in Kennicott’s article is in itself utterly innocuous, a virtual threat to nobody, questions and challenges absolutely nothing, and could easily be used and further promoted in the nation’s kindergarten finger-painting art classes.  Indeed, it is no more threatening than the can of paint used to create the two blobs.  Kennicott’s description of seeing it and the other items in Michael’s solo show, called “A Phrase Hung in Midair as If Frozen,” is mind-numbing:  “As we stood in front of paintings, I babbled about the things I was seeing. I was particularly struck by several early works from more than a decade ago, the “Clone Series,” in which two pools of paint are thickly poured onto an acrylic sheet, creating ‘clone’ forms with rounded edges.”  Those works constitute the direct opposite of what Albert Camus and others had envisioned:  l’art engagé.  And indeed socio-politically engaged art, the kind Kennicott likely would not be reviewing, is threatenting to the art establishment, which promotes the opposite kind of art to ensure it’s own survival.     
In accord with another establishment art critic Kriston Capps (Washington City Paper), the show “makes the case for her [Michael] as the strongest painter to emerge from D.C. in a generation.”  Has art really tumbled so far downhill into the absyss of absurd vacuity?  Apparently so or at least in D.C., home of the nation’s political corruptocrat crony capitalists.  Michael’s “clones” illustrate why art doesn’t matter, to paraphrase the “why poetry doesn’t matter” supposition of former NEA CEO crony capitalist appointee Dana Gioia.  The chamber of commerce is ever hovering above the art scene holding the puppet strings.  
Kennicott isn’t interested in the evident conflict of interest in reviewing a friend’s art, or rather he’s really interested in rationalizing it as somehow having a positive influence, as in “how friendship [i.e., cronyism] changes the way we see art, how it both sharpens the eye and expands the meaning of the work. I’m interested in a fundamental question that is at the heart of so much criticism: Does affection improve our judgment by making us receptive to ever finer nuances, or does it weaken our critical faculties and cloud our objectivity?”  
Objectivity?  Is he joking?  Gatekeepers, by their very nature, are not objective.  Might he and Michael be having an illicit affair?  After all, it’s DC we’re talking about here.  Is his essay the first step in their coming out?  Or perhaps he’s hoping to build a large art critic backing in an effort to win another Pulitzer Prize?  
Kennicott cites the incestuous relationships of a couple of past critics to back his rationalization.  “Critics were not always so worried about the conflict of interest that friendship creates between the reviewer and the artist.”  No, they’re usually a lot more worried that someone might notice the friendship (i.e., the cronyism) and blow the whistle.  

The music critic and composer Virgil Thomson maintained social relations with the flower of New York’s musical aristocracy for years, and reviewed their work regularly. The art critic Clement Greenberg absorbed artists into his egomaniacal orbit, maintaining complicated and deeply compromised personal and financial relationships with many of them, including an affair with Helen Frankenthaler. Both critics are still read with passionate interest today, even if their ethics wouldn’t pass muster at a provincial daily newspaper. In fact, their continuing influence has as much to do with their social and artistic alliances, and the power over and insight into artists that gave them, as it does with their writing.

Kennicott argues that “Respectable critics live by different standards today, though social relations still complicate the best of intentions. It’s easy to see why personal connections would compromise disinterested discernment.”  Yet isn’t he one of those purported “respectable critics” and NOT living “by different standards today”?  And is it really that easy to see… or is it a lot more easier to rationalize, as he does again and again?  “But critics who entirely isolate themselves from artistic circles sacrifice a great deal, too. One loss is sympathy, not just for a particular artist, but for the whole artistic profession, which is often lived precariously on the edge of poverty.”  
The edge of poverty?  Give me a break!  Is Michael on the edge of poverty?  Poverty is an old artist stereotype.  For some odd reason, today, poverty is a PC-positive trait, which is why Hillary had argued that after leaving the White House, she was on the edge of poverty.  Kennicott seems desperate to justify his dubious position of being in favor of evident lack of objectivity.  Indeed, by making it public and open, he seems to hope his position will be strengthened.  “Only by long and careful observation, an osmosis of decades, can a critic begin to understand the creative act, and that is unlikely to happen if he has lived entirely in the glorious and sterile seclusion of pure independence and objectivity.”  
In other words, the critic should get dirty (i.e., corrupt) and write art hagiographies for artist friends.  But imagine staring at Michael’s “clones” for decades and then finally understanding the meaning of life itself.  Inevitably, a certain distortion must evolve during those decades, where the critic begins to see not the paintings but rather the interior of his own brain.  And indeed some people can fill tons of pages with virtual nothingness… especially when they’re paid nicely to do so.    
Kennicott argues that critics often (usually) describe an artist as the sum total of past artist influences.  “But it’s very easy to get that wrong, and given the one-way-street nature of most criticism, the critic is never corrected. So it’s possible for critics to be very stupid about art, for years and decades, without ever confronting the solipsism of their ideas and judgments.”  Yet why are critics never corrected (i.e., criticized)?  Kennicott doesn’t go there.  Yet only the desire of an artist to climb the establishment ladder would prevent him or her from criticizing the critic.  And what harm might that desire/cowardice do to the artist’s art?  Kennicott doesn’t go there either.  The reality is different.  Critics are criticized… but they do their best to keep those criticizing them fully ostracized, as if the latter don’t exist.
“The chastening blessings of friendship are the best corrective to that, but are available only to critics who occasionally cross the church-state line that divides criticism from creativity,” notes Kennicott.  Crossing the “church-state line” is, of course, a thinly-veiled euphemism for willingly engaging in intellectual corruption.  One might also ask why Kennicott thinks there’s some kind of great divide separating criticism from creativity.  Evidently, an artist can be a critic and vice versa.  Or perhaps it’s a question of dubious professionalism, as in paid critics of the establishment.  

Finally and quite oddly, Kennicott evokes unfairness, though still concluding that conflict of interest intellectual corruption is justified.  “The problem with mixing friendship with criticism isn’t that it clouds judgment but that it increases it immeasurably, which is unfair to all of the other artists. Indeed, one might say that the ideal state of affairs would be for critics to befriend every artist, to better see their work in all its intimate detail. But that is impractical, and honestly, how many artists would want to put up with us?”  Well, likely all ladder-climbing artists desperate for recognition (i.e., the bulk of the herd) would just love to put up with you characters…  

Friday, March 25, 2016

Peter Hart


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From: George Slone
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2016 5:40 PM
To: ncac@ncac.org
Cc: charles.brownstein@cbldf.org; pen@pen.org; mickey@projectcensored.org; dan@bookweb.org; info@abffe.org; bstripli@syr.edu; info@publishers.org; ftrf@ala.org; madler-kozak@nacs.org; dangelo@nacs.org; info@cbldf.org; oif@ala.org; jlarue@ala.org; dstone@ala.org; justin@nefirstamendment.org; pamelageller@gmail.com
Subject: Att: Peter Hart and NCAC hypocrisy
 
To Peter Hart, NCAC Communication Director,
A cartoon I just sketched with your regard, highlighting your bias against free speech, was just posted here:  http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2016/03/peter-hart.html

Will you respond?  Likely not because likely you will not be able to offer a cogent counter argument to the message in the cartoon.  All you will likely have in your arsenal is ad hominem or thinly-disguised ad hominem, as in “looking to cause controversy”…  BTW, in case Joan Bertin kept it from you, my critical essay regarding NCAC’s “15 Threats to Free Speech 2015” is located here:    

On another note, though really the same note, I’ve come to conclude that far too many proponents of free speech are ideologically bound (i.e., blinded) to the extent they are not really proponents of free speech.  Karen Wulf of PEN New England is an example.  Charles Brownstein of CBLDF serves as another example.  You can read my dialogue de sourds with him here:  http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2016/01/comic-book-legal-defense-fund.html.  Or perhaps, like Joan, you too are not curious and abhor criticism when it concerns you and your pals.  
If you are into the HATE SPEECH mantra, then why the hypocrisy and need to pretend to be into FREE SPEECH?  




Thursday, March 17, 2016

Matthew Zapruder


L—A—M—E

A Dialogue de Sourds with the New York Times Magazine Poetry Editor 

Matthew Zapruder is the new poetry editor for the New York Times Magazine, as well as MFA director, creative writing at Saint Mary’s College of California and editor at large at Wave Books.  His words are taken verbatim from his self-introduction in the New York Times.  Since the latter would NEVER publish my alternative view, I’ve woven it into this dialogue de sourds.  PM, poète maudit, is my cartoonist sobriquet.  

MZ:  As I started to choose the poems that will appear each week in the New York Times Magazine over the next year, I imagined who might be reading them. 

PM:  You mean like, uh, well-to-do, politically-correct, bourgeois poets and their groupies—you know, other safe, pensioned, and cocooned academics like you, who have opened wide and just said ahh to poetry?  

MZ:  I thought about how life is already so complicated and busy, and how, on Sunday mornings, people might want to just sit and drink coffee and quietly move through the paper. I thought that people might turn the page and see a poem and say: “Oh, no. Something else I have to do. Except for the crossword, I thought I was safe.”  

PM:  Well, any poem you likely decide to select will inevitably be a safe one!  So, no problem, people, the poem next to that ole crossword puzzle will just make the safe space a bit larger.  Yawn!  More coffee, please!!!  

MZ:  For most of my life as a poet, I have been thinking about this very moment, when a poem enters into someone’s life.  Most of the time, this happens in expected situations: a classroom, a wedding, a funeral.  Maybe we have even chosen to pick up a book of them. But I believe that poems are meant to be a part of our lives. They are made up of our language, reconfigured and rearranged to make our minds move in different directions than they ordinarily would. At their best, they make something close to a waking dream.

PM:  Well, for most of my life as a poet, I haven’t been thinking about that at all.  Instead, I’ve been trying to shake up the comfy lives in which far too many poets like you dwell.  The poems I write are sure as hell NOT going to be part of your life in the ivory tower, though they’d probably make your mind move in a different direction if you didn’t keep the door so firmly shut and would probably be a waking j’accuse nightmare for you and those like you.    

MZ:  It’s great to have the chance to put poems in front of people in the midst of what they are otherwise doing. I like the idea that someone would turn the page of the magazine and see a poem, and that those words in the poem would have a chance to follow up on, refract, amplify, reconfigure the language of culture and news. The poem gets a chance to exist in a place that is not isolated or rarefied. 

PM:  You mean it’s great to have the chance to be an official gatekeeper of poetry and serve as a filter for what poems people will have in front of them.  And how does a poem get a chance to exist in such a place when it is created by an isolated (insulated) entrenched ivory-tower academic like your first choice, rarefied Poet Laureate of the US Congress, Juan Felipe Herrera?

MZ:  Poetry is in fine shape now, as it has always been, even though there is a small industry of people periodically informing us it’s dead.

PM:  Oh my, so I must belong to that small “birther” industry of literary deniers, who argue that poetry has indeed become a protected safe space to the extent that whoever dares openly question and challenge the ineluctable flaccidity of the poetry—the dead poetry of zombie poets—presented to the public by the gatekeepers of the literary established order, will be ostracized and banned.  

MZ:  Nevertheless, people go on writing it in all sorts of different ways. Why? I guess we need it. Virginia Woolf wrote, “The poet is always our contemporary.” I believe she meant that poets, for all time and in all lands, have always found the places in language that continue to be common to human experience. 

PM:  Well, I write it not out of some vague “need,” but rather as part of my citizen duty to decry corruption in all its forms.  For me, it is not the language (forme), but the message (fond)!  And why choose such a vacuous quote?  Well, it does seem to back the flaccidity of your self introduction.  How about this quote by Charles Bukowski?  After all, he’s now perfectly acceptable as part of the literary establishment.  You can find him on the Academy of American Poets website.  It really sums up your MO perfectly.  “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.”

MZ:  Poems are, in and of themselves, an assertion of both a particular imagination and a common humanity, the possibility that my dreams can be yours, and vice versa. 

PM:  Now what the hell does that mean?  My dreams of inclusion will never jive with your dreams of excluding poets like me.  And your dreams of obtaining and publishing badges and names could never have jived with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s… you know, as in “I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names [Herrera], to large societies [Academy of American Poets] and dead institutions [St. Mary’s College]. Every decent and well-spoken individual affects and sways me more than is right. I ought to go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways.”  Rude truth?  Well, we ain’t gonna find that in your poesy selections for the New York Times Magazine!  

MZ:  My exciting and somewhat daunting task is to pick, each week, a poem and write a very short introduction, which somehow manages to open up the poem without interfering with it. When I think of these introductions, I imagine them as little keys that will open the lock of the poem. And each time, just like in those old stories we heard as children, once the lock opens, the lock and key will disappear, and it will be clear that nothing was ever locked at all.  

PM:   Locks that have to be opened by special gatekeepers of poetry?  No wonder poetry doesn’t matter!  No wonder it’s dead!  Rather than stories heard as children, how about stories heard as adults, you know, like censorship and banning by the Academy of American Poets, Banned Books Week hypocrisy, ivory- tower speech codes, etc., etc.?  Now, how about a little rare honesty and tell us what poems and poets you will kneejerk reject in the name of inclusivity from appearing in the New York Times Magazine?  How about stepping aside from the gate for a moment and allow this dialogue de sourds ,as clarion for new openness, real inclusion, and vigorous literary debate, enter into your realm? 

MZ:  [Silence is golden…]… or  [adhominize me as angry, jealous, hateful, illiterate… in an effort to entirely divert attention away from the points made in my argumentation]

Fogo Island


Well, I am into photography, not just hardcore criticism.  And I'm into Newfoundland and Labrador.  Why?  The answer is in the photo above.  I shall be returning in June once again.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sherman Alexie

For the cartoon I sketched on Sherman Alexie scroll down a ways on my blogs...
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An American Glavlit Change of Rules

A rose by any other name might smell just as sweet, but a poem about a rose by a non-white writer is obviously better than a poem by a white writer. Even if it's the same poem.  This is a story about a white poet who made it all the way into Best American Poetry by using an Asian name.  
—Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage magazine

After a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen’s name on it and send it out again.  As a strategy for ‘placing’ poems this has been quite successful… The poem in question… was rejected under my real name forty times before I sent it out as Yi-Fen Chou (I keep detailed records). As Yi-Fen the poem was rejected nine times before Prairie Schooner took it. If indeed this is one of the best American poems of 2015, it took quite a bit of effort to get it into print, but I’m nothing if not persistent.
—Michael Derrick Hudson, poet who got a poem into The Best American Poetry

So, the scandalous news is out: the Best American Poetry guest editor, native-American Sherman Alexie, prefers race-based selection of poetry.   In essence, Alexie overtly changed what had already been covertly changed regarding established-order Glavlit* rules.  Diversity was now officially dictated into the rule book as Rule #2:  poetry by whites is to be disfavored, unless authored by women.  However, Rule #1 still remains intact:  criticism of the literary established order is absolutely verboten
Now, thanks to Hudson’s overt confession (see quote above), guest editor Alexie was forced to also confess and ended up presenting a rather rambling justification of the total lack of objectivity in the selection process:  “and, hey, guess what? In paying more initial attention to Yi-Fen Chou's poem, I was also practicing a form of nepotism. I am a brown-skinned poet who gave a better chance to another supposed brown-skinned poet because of our brownness.”  Racist?  You bet!
Now, add to that aberrant comment:  “I am a powerful literary figure and the pseudonym user [Hudson] is an unknown guy who has published maybe a dozen poems in his life.”  Modest?  Far from it!  Alexie further notes:  “If I'd kicked him out… he might have tried to go public with that news. And he would have been vilified and ignored. And I would have been praised. Trust me, I would much rather be getting praised by you poets than receiving the vilification I am getting now.”  Well, at least that’s positive!  Poets were actually decrying the poor fellow?  Good!
“If I'd pulled the poem then I would have been denying that I was consciously and deliberately seeking to address past racial, cultural, social, and aesthetic injustices in the poetry world,” notes Alexie.  But does American literature really need PC social-justice race-warrior indoctrinees determining what poetry is best and what isn’t?  Hell, they’re overseeing just about everything else nowadays!  
So, the scandal broke and in jumped white-privileged author Conor Friedersdorf, penning a reportage/analysis on the Alexie Affaire in the Atlantic and in full support—oh, but of course—of the avowed anti-white racist guest editor. “Sherman Alexie’s post offers a refreshing degree of candor,” he argues.  “It is blessedly free of euphemism, jargon, or evasions.”  Candor or rather forced candor?  And sadly NOT “blessedly free” from a gross strain of vanity and vapid PC-diversity verbosity.  The article becomes seriously tedious after Friedersdorf notes “there is an internally consistent integrity to his actions.”  Yet internally consistent PC is hardly integrity.  Reason is integrity.  PC often and ineluctably conflicts with reason.  Merit is reason; skin color is PC.  
“At the very worst, he did the wrong thing. Who among us hasn’t?” noted Friedersdorf, apologizing for the guest editor.  Yet how easily one could say the same about Hillary… and Nixon… and how about Hitler, Mao, and Stalin?  Yes, they did the wrong thing.  BUT who among us hasn’t?  That constitutes a horseshit apologia.  Period.  
Thus from a reportage/analysis of a seeming literary insanity, manifest in the guest editor’s justification, Friedersdorf manifests his own seeming literary insanity of RACISM as the crux in poetry, as it’s become everywhere else in America.  The white-privilege author jumps on the White-Privilege bandwagon:  “It is the strongest, most widely persuasive premise from which to declare white nepotism immoral and intra-white solidarity irrational and unnecessary.”  So, am I really privileged in the world of poetry because I'm white?  Yet I’ve been shut out right and left by lit magnate mignons.  Were they shutting me out because of my white skin color?  If so, doesn’t that contradict the vacuous white-privilege notion?  Well, from my perspective, it was not my skin color at all, but rather my vocal hardcore criticism against the instrinsic corruption in the literary establishment, as illustrated by the likes of Alexie.  How can one possibly believe that a black or native-American mignon would have to stand behind someone like me to get published?  Absurd!  
So, what did the high-brow Alexie/Friedersdorf Affirmative Action, white privilege hogwash not address?  What Friedersdorf failed to realize in his lengthy, social-justice-warrior article was the significance of the statement that “In the end, I chose each poem in the anthology because I love it.”  In essence, one egocentric, autocrat, established-order, minority poet got to choose the “best” poems in America.  It was the same egregiously clouded fact regarding the poet laureate of the U.S. Congress.  One egocentric, autocrat librarian of Congress gets to choose the “great” American laureate.  Was this not something that should be highlighted and in fact challenged?  Apparently not!  
Perhaps it was time David Lehman change the name of his autocratic anthology from Best American Poetry to Brown Lives Matter American Poetry.  Sadly, it is always the call for diversity of skin color, not of ideas, and where inclusiveness always implies exclusion of certain ideas, especially tough criticism of the likes of Alexie and Friedersdorf.  As Daniel Greenfield wisely (i.e., reasonably) noted:  “When you artificially privilege people by race, then you reward work by race, not by merit and you encourage fraud. And you are responsible for that fraud. For all the talk of ‘entitlement’ and ‘white privilege’, the bottom line is a white guy pretending to be a minority gets a leg up.” 
In conclusion, Friedershof writes:  “With limited resources, he did the best he could to put together a great book of poems and to run what he regarded as a just process for doing so.”  Friedershof thus opens wide and spews the widely-unchallenged fraud of implicit objectivity imbuing the term “great,” especially when applied to poetry... and racism has become a "just process."  
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*As for Glavlit, read Solzhenitsyn’s The Oak and the CalfVladimir Lakshin notes:  “Glavlit is the Russian acronym for the body which censored all printed matter in the USSR.  Each glavlit censor was supplied with a secret book of instructions, constantly amended and updated, which lists the topics that may not be mentioned in print."

Friday, March 4, 2016

Matt Jennings

Cloaked (College-as-Usual)
“My name is Matt.  Please join me in this conversation,” notes Matt Jennings, editor of Middlebury Magazine in his brief editorial, “Uncloaked.”  Of course, I’ve heard that one before.  Sadly, the term “conversation” seems to have become code for "ideological monologue," as in the let’s-have-a-conversation-about-race monologue.  Orwellian inevitably comes to mind, as I leaf through Middlebury Magazine, alumni mag of Middlebury College.  
“Inclusion!”  It seems PC-mimicry has become well-implanted at the college, where the “conversation” will not likely include Middlebury’s terrible speech-code rating, especially regarding its Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy (see the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, https://www.thefire.org/fire_speech-codes/middlebury-sexual-harassment/).  Needless to say I brought that up a while ago to the deaf ears of the editors of New England Review and Middlebury Campus (the student newspaper), as well as to the previous editor of Middlebury Magazine.  For me, it is incomprehensible why the vast majority of magazines and newspapers tend to knee-jerk reject criticism with their regard.  In each and every issue of The American Dissident, which I publish and to which the MC librarian refuses to subscribe, I include the harshest critique lodged against me and the journal.  What’s the big deal?  Well, those editors should look into the mirror and ask themselves that very question.  
Yes, “please join me in this conversation,” notes the college's interim Chief Diversity Officer Miguel Fernandez.  And yes, “what it means to be inclusive.”  Well, of course, that’s an easy question!  Inclusive means to exclude freedom of expression when those in power do not like that expression.  BTW, who is the college's Chief Democracy Officer?  Oh, it only has a Chief Diversity Officer?  I see.  Diversity (i.e., not of ideas, but of superficial skin color and ethnicity) is far more important than democracy (i.e., free speech and vigorous debate) at Middlebury!  Now, imagine the PC uproar if President Laurie Patton decided out of the blue to actually be original in academe and establish the first college Chief Democracy Officer!  Oh yeah, just a 60s pipedream.
Now, what in tarnation does Patton's “collective community ownership of inclusivity” mean?  Not even Orwell himself could have come up with such a term!  Hmm.  Yes, “we need to engage in discussion,” notes Fernandez, but only as long as that discussion excludes social-media misunderstandings of his understanding.  Hmm.  Anyhow, My name is Tod.  Please join me in this conversation.  


[Sadly, though quite predictably, nobody was willing to do that, not Fernandez, not Patton, not Jennings, and not the editors of those other rags, all of whom were sent this “let’s have a conversation addendum…]

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I'd also sent this front cover of The AD to those deaf Middlebury College ears.  Pres. Liebowitz was replaced by Patton.  Liebowitz is now Pres. at Brandeis.  Hmm.  College-as- Usual.