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. If you have questions, please contact me at todslone@hotmail.com. Comments are NOT moderated (i.e., CENSORED)!]
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, not to mention Sweden, England, and Austria.

More P. Maudit cartoons (and essays) at Global Free Press: http://www.globalfreepress.org

Thursday, November 24, 2022

The American Dissident

Well, The American Dissident website is back online.  Issue #44 has been distributed.  Now, the editor is open to submissions.  Keep on truckin'!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The American Dissident, Issue #45

The American Dissident no longer has a website, so the blog (wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.comwill serve for the time being.  Issue #44 has just been printed and distributed.  The journal is now open to submissions for issue #45.  For the front cover of issue #44, examine www.blogger.com/blog/post/edit/239569862679528067/169679148501828063.  

If you have any questions, please contact the editor at todslone@hotmail.com.  

With an SASE, send three critical poems and/or a critical essay, preferably questioning and challenging the local academic/literary/art establishment, local media, local library, local museum, etc.  Democracy cannot thrive without open critique.  Copies cost $10 each.    


G. Tod Slone (PhD—Université de Nantes, FR), aka P. Maudit, Founding Editor (1998)

The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence

www.theamericandissident.org 

wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com    

todslone@hotmail.com

217 Commerce Rd.

Barnstable, MA 02630

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Kevin Carey, Anne Pluto, Lloyd Schwartz, Daniel Tobin

The following is the front cover for the next issue of The American Dissident due to be published later this month (October, 2022).  Below it, appears the email sent to the 4 prof/poets depicted on the front cover and invited by Sturgis Library to read.  I, a poet/editor, was NOT permitted to attend the reading.  Not one of the prof/poets deigned to respond.  In essence, not one of them gives a damn about vigorous debate and freedom of expression, the two prime cornerstones of a thriving democracy.  They do incarnate the sad state of America today...

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To Prof Poets Kevin Carey (Salem State University), Anne Pluto (Lesley University), Lloyd Schwartz (University of Massachusetts), and Daniel Tobin (Emerson College):  

Are you perchance aware that I, as a dissident poet and editor, was not permitted to attend your reading at Sturgis Library, my very neighborhood library?  If not, now you are fully aware!  From my decades-long experience with poets and academics, however, I doubt very much that any of you will stand up for freedom of speech and actually write a letter decrying library director Lucy Loomis’ autocratic decision to permanently ban me in 2012 for the crime of having disseminated written criticism of her egregious hypocrisy, regarding the library’s (and the American Library Association’s) collection development statement, in particular, “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view."  Read the letter from the State Secretary of Records of Massachusetts demanding Loomis open her records to public scrutiny, so that I might at least examine what she wrote about me... nine months after the banning.  

Evidently, my point of view and the points of view of all the poets I’ve published since the 2012 banning are NOT permitted at Sturgis Library, one of the oldest in the country.  Loomis refused a free subscription offer!  Likely, I am very, very different from each of you because, as a poet, essayist, cartoonist, and editor, I tend to speak truth openly, especially regarding the multitude of well-fed academic/literary (and librarian!) establishment cogs serving to undermine freedom of speech and vigorous debate, democracy’s very cornerstones.  From the inevitable resultant dross (e.g., pathetic apathy and/or ad hominem), I create!  Would the Cultural Center of Cape Cod open its doors to my critical aquarelles?  Of course not!  PROHIBITED! 

Currently, I am contemplating an idea using the four of you for the front cover of the next issue, #44, of The American Dissident.  As a highly unusual literary editor, I not only brook harsh criticism (unlike Loomis and most others in power positions), but encourage it especially regarding the journal and me... and publish the harshest received in each and every issue.  Is there another literary journal that does that… in the name of democracy, as opposed to groupthink wokidiocy?  Well, I have yet to find one!  

So, I encourage you to respond.  And yes, I too was once a professor, but, for me, speaking truth openly always took precedence over climbing the see-no-evil, speak-no-evil ladder to tenure.  Attached is my Curriculum Mortae for your perusal.  Now, would Salem State University, Lesley University, Emerson College, and University of Massachusetts ever consider hiring someone like me?  Certainly not!  As a side note, how not to LOL regarding Schwartz’ "Pulitzer Prize for Criticism."  Yes, anything but criticism of the dubious Pulitzer and all the other hands feeding him!  Be curious!  Check out the links in this email!   

Why are the bulk of poets and poet organizations so incapable of dealing with criticism?  Why is Loomis so incapable?  Why does she feel compelled to ban criticism of her?  Never have I made any threats!  I have no criminal record!   It has reached the point where criticism (with the exception of samizdat) simply does not exist with her and their (the poets’) regard.  

As another side note, shame on Edie Vonnegut for using his family name to become a library trustee censor.  For him, I attach the cartoon I sketched in 2014, depicting what his relative Kurt had said about Sturgis Library, where once he too served as a trustee.  

One day, in the brave new world of the Loomis’s, someone like me will be cuffed, arrested, and incarcerated for simply disseminating an email like this one… and thanks to those like you... and, of course, in the name of democracy.

Au plaisir,

G. Tod Slone, Ed.

The American Dissident


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Curriculum Mortae

 Curriculum Mortae

—A Dissident Citizen Poet Professor’s Resume—

G. Tod Slone, PhD

todslone@hotmail.comwww.theamericandissident.org 


Dissidence:  If there is no risk when speaking rude truth, there is really no dissidence.  It is for that reason that dissidence really implies, at least in America, criticism on the local level.  Evidently, there is no risk at all criticizing an American president, thanks to democracy’s legal framework.  Examine my two essays:  “The Cold Passion for Truth Hunts in No Pack” and "Notes on RISK and Writing."  


By openly criticizing the academic/literary/art establishment administrators, I personally risked jobs, promotions, invitations, grants, publications, and general blacklisting.   As for  the latter, the Cape Cod Times, for example, will not include me in its list of Cape Cod authors because I’ve dared criticize its editors.  The Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Poetry Foundation, NewPages.com, Arts & Letters (Chronicle of Higher Education), Publishers Weekly, American Libraries Magazine et al have essentially blacklisted The American Dissident (see below), the journal I publish.  The very term, dissident, stems from opponents of socialist/communist authoritarian regimes and requisite in-lockstep groupthink.  It needs to be applied more frequently in America because such authoritarianism has become an integral part of the nation.  Those who toe the line—the bulk of so-called professionals—will automatically detest somebody like me.  Indeed for a summary of the ad hominem (kill the messenger/avoid his message) hurled my way, examine 


Dissident Objectives:  “Go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways” (Emerson); let my life “be a counterfriction to stop the machine” (Thoreau), “write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention” (Orwell), and teach students and others the importance of individuality and dissidence in a democracy, and open their hearts to hardcore criticism, while encouraging them to learn and create from it.  


Dissident Formation and Experience(For a number of other examples of my dissidence, examine “Testing the Waters of Democracy” on The American Dissident website.

The Sixties.  While the Sixties perhaps sensitized me to ubiquitous corruption, it also pressured me to de-individualize, groupthink, and group behave, in essence, prerequisites for a successful career as a university professor or other such “professional.”  

Université du Maine (1980-82) and École Nationale de Mécanique (1982-88). While a lecteur de langue anglaise in France, I became interested in reprobates Villon and Céline, as well as other French authors.  There, I also read Bukowski for the first time and in French and consequently wrote some of my first poems in French.  

Elmira College (1989-1991) Faculty/administrative corruption/apathy transformed me into a firm dissident (i.e., truth-speaking individual, as opposed to careerist ladder climber).   Deans sided with a handful of students, who complained now and then that I’d offended their sensitivities.

—My first truly critical essays and poems were published in The Octagon, the student newspaper. They criticized students and my so-called colleagues, as well as administrators.

—I created and disseminated my first critical newsletters, “Purple Marasmus,” which I distributed mostly to the Humanities faculty, who I harshly criticized in them.  Elmira’s color logo is purple.  

Fitchburg State College (1991-1996). My eyes were further opened to academic corruption (e.g., a closet homosexual department chair wanting me to visit him every weekend at his home, highly whimsical faculty evaluations, nepotism, eviction mid-semester from my office w/o due process, a prevaricating dean and apathetic faculty). The American Association of University Professors and the ACLU of Massachusetts remained silent regarding my grievances of state-college corruption.

—Eviction from my college office (McKay Campus) mid-semester due to one complaint by a colleague that she was afraid of me, despite my having no criminal record.  To this day, I could be arrested if I stepped foot on McKay Campus.

—Received a year’s salary as settlement payment after a lengthy in-house hearing.  The college never admitted wrong-doing.

—The student, local, and state newspapers (Boston Globe), as well as The Chronicle of Higher Education, refused to publish my accounts of corruption at Fitchburg State, which provoked me to begin publishing a newsletter, Corruption Magazine, which morphed into Corruption Massachusetts.

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (1998).  My experience at this so-lauded “blue-ribbon” high school, as a full-time substitute babysitter, resulted in a few highly critical published op-eds in the local newspaper, as well as a non-fiction novel, Total Chaos (People’s Press—2001).  

The American Dissident (created in 1998). A 501 3c nonprofit journal of literature, democracy, and dissidence places rude-truth telling and risk above team-playing, networking, and turning a blind eye.  Sadly, it is rare for poets, writers, artists, editors, and journalists to engage in such a modus operandi.  

Walden Pond State Reservation (1999).  Arrest and incarceration in a Concord jail cell for a day.  I was solo protesting the absence of free speech at Walden Pond State Reservation.  Both the local media and Thoreau Society were pathetically apathetic.  The judge dropped the case against me at the Concord Court House.  

Bennett College (2001-2003).  Numerous highly critical op-eds were published in the local and college newspapers.  

Festival International de la Poésie de Trois-Rivières (Québec—2001).  The only invited and remunerated poet out of 150 who dared criticize the hands that fed in the form of poems I’d written in French.  Never invited back.    

Eastern Connecticut University (2002). Wrong skin color (and who knows how many other institutions I’d applied to rejected me for the same reason). Agustin Bernal, Dept. Chair:  “The search for the tenure-track position in Spanish/French was declared ‘failed’ by the administration, after three equally acceptable finalists (you among them) were submitted to them for campus interviews. The entire pool of candidates was reviewed and they concluded it wasn't ‘deep’ or ‘diverse’ enough to be satisfactory.”

The Concord Poetry Center (2004).  Director Joan Houlihan stated:  “The idea of your teaching a workshop or delivering a lecture on the art of literary protest or poetry protest, or simply protest (Concord is where it all started!) occurred to me even before you mentioned it, so, yes, it’s something I will consider as we progress (this is only our first event).  However, I must say I don’t favor having you teach at the center if you protest the reading.”  Evidently, I chose to protest the reading.    

—The complete silence of PEN New England (“defending freedom of expression”), regarding impediments to my freedom of expression and the likely influence of poet Joan Houlihan on PEN director Karen Wulf, both comfortably installed at Lesley University, further provoked my questioning and challenging of such organizations.

—The silence of some 500 college English professors regarding my attempts to interest them in radically altering the academic culture of sycophancy, turning a blind eye, careerism, PC, and prevarication confirmed my observations that college professors tended to be apparatchik careerists first, while truth tellers last.  

geocities.com/enmarge.  That was my first website URL, which was removed sometime in the mid 2000s due to one anonymous complaint.  Geocities refused to respond to my protest with that regard.  Vice notes, “Geocities was one of the first places your average person could make a website for free.”  Yeah, well, it was also one of the first places that began censoring websites!  

Grambling State University (2005-2007).  This was my second experience at an all black (HBCU) college.  There I found the same intellectual corruption, as I’d found at Bennett College,… and wrote a number of highly critical op-eds published in the student newspaper.  

Watertown Free Public Library (2008).  The director issued a six-month no-trespass order with my regard without due process for my attempting to interest its reference librarian in subscribing to The American Dissident.  

Academy of American Poets (2009).  My comments on the Academy’s website were censored and I was banned from participating in its online forums.  No reason was provided for the banning.

American Public University (2010-2017).  Online instructor of English.  This was my very last teaching job… because I disobeyed the Chair’s order that I cease expressing myself… regarding criticism lodged against me.  

Sturgis Library (2012).  Permanently banned from my neighborhood library w/o warning and w/o due process.  The reason:  “for the safety of the staff and public.”  Five days prior to the banning I’d sent to the library directors of the Clams Library System of Cape Cod a critical essay of their collection development policy, which states, “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Also, prior to the banning, the Barnstable Patriot interviewed me.  


Dissident Publications. Numerous critical letters to the editor of student newspapers at colleges employing me confirmed professor indifference to matters of corruption, free speech, and vigorous debate.  A number of those letters can be viewed on my blogsite.  Numerous publications of poetry, essays, satirical cartoons, novels, and plays.  Some of those publications can be viewed on my website and at globalfreepress.org/contributors/usa/g-tod-slone and globalfreepress.org/cartoonists/g-tod-slone

Dissident Art Exhibits.  Critical art exhibits at the Concord Free Public Library (2008) and Sturgis Library (2011).

Solo Protests.  Staging of various solo protests critical of state-sponsored poets at the Concord Poetry Center, Concord Free Public Library, Robert Creeley Prize in Acton, and elsewhere confirmed poets were largely indifferent to questions of free speech and vigorous debate.  

Foreign Languages Spoken and Written:  French (near-native fluency—Parisian and québécois), Spanish (fluent), Italian (intermediate fluency), German (reading fluency)

Professional Formation & Experience

Doctorate in English (Université de Nantes, Nantes, France), 

M.A. in French (Middlebury College), 

B.A. (Northeastern University).

Online adjunct English/Spanish instructor, American Public University System; English instructor, US Navy (Central Texas College),Visiting professor of French and Spanish (Grambling State University), Online writing instructor (Davenport University), Assistant professor of French and Spanish (Bennett College) and (Fitchburg State College), Assistant professor of Humanities (Elmira College), Lecteur de langue anglaise (École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique, Nantes, France) and Université du Maine (Le Mans, France), Adult Education instructor of Spanish (Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education, Concord, MA), High school mid-year replacement teacher of Spanish (Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, MA), Community college instructor of Spanish (Mount Wachussetts Community College, Gardener, MA), Language program director in Martinique, France (ASA International Adventures, Amronk, NY), Lecturer of French (Northeastern University, Boston, MA), High School teacher of French (Nazareth Academy, Wakefield, MA), Shipyard welder (General Dynamics), radiation monitor (Groton submarine base), FDIC bank examiner (South Dakota), interpreter/translator (Le Mans auto race—11 consecutive years), census taker…

Publications See http://theamericandissident.org/g_tod_slone_books.html


This CM is a work in progress…