A Forum for Vigorous Debate, Cornerstone 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

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hrant R. Russian

Money, money, money!  Is that what art has become on Cape Cod?  Sadly, it appears so.  With all of these positives it is hard to even think that we are anywhere near the apocalypse of art on Cape Cod,” noted Clive Beasley in his comment on “Cape Cod Museum of Art faces mountain of debt,” which appeared in Cape Cod Times, which refuses to report on my being permanently trespassed from Sturgis Library for having expressed an opinion in writing.  Yet, isn’t money, money, and commerce, commerce the “apocalypse” for art?  Beasley further states he has “yet to hear anyone say, ‘We do not want to have an art museum on Cape Cod’.”  Well, if money, money, and commerce, commerce is indeed what art has come to be on the Cape, as it sure as hell seems, then let me be the first to say I don’t want an art museum on the Cape, especially if funded with taxpayer dollars.  There, Mr. Beasley, now you’ve heard it.

What is needed at the museum is not a “business-oriented leader with a talent for fundraising,” but rather a democracy-oriented leader with a talent for encouraging rude truth, vigorous debate, and real freedom of expression in art.  Such a director would likely be willing to work for a lot less than the Joe or Jill-average art director.  Rather than force money out of the public’s pockets via Massachusetts Cultural Council, the NEA, etc. to help finance the museum debt, why not have one or several of those pro-Obama Cape Cod multi-millionaires foot the bill.  Hell, it would be tax free! 

Over a year ago, I’d written a critical (questioning and challenging) letter to Elizabeth Ives Hunter, Executive Director, and Hrant R. Russian, President of the Board of Trustees of the museum.  Neither, of course, responded.  Hunter has since resigned (forced out for lack of money-raising prowess). The letter is still pertinent and follows: 

Your statements in the Cape Cod Museum of Art brochure are vacuous and self-congratulating. Does not art deserve more than the smiley-face vacuity of politicians? What are “outstanding artists”? Should our nation’s citizens simply open wide and swallow without ever questioning and challenging such terms? Can an artist, who questions and challenges the art community, as I do here, actually rise to become one of your “outstanding artists” to be displayed at your museum? Thus, we finally begin to define the term.

What does “operating for the benefit of the public” imply? Who in fact is the “public”? Is it exclusively formed by the herds of obedient sheep who open wide and swallow? By criticizing you, am I still part of the “public”? Or has that automatically rendered me persona non grata or "enemy of the people," to borrow the Soviet gulag term?  What does “held in trust for the public” mean? As an individual thinker and artist, I’d be much more interested in art that is not “held in trust for the public” by art gatekeepers like you and Lucy Loomis, director of Cape Cod Cultural Council and Sturgis Library.  [Loomis just informed me she was, and no longer is, director of the Mid-Cape Cultural Council.  Thus, I erred.  Oddly, she has failed to correct me regarding her hypocritical collection development policy.  Evidently, I must not have erred with that regard.  See http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2012/06/lucy-loomis.html.]

From my experience with art and literary gatekeepers, it is likely you will not understand anything written in this email at all, whose purpose is not to convince you but rather to make a statement for the public record.  Here’s several more questions for you: Why do art managers on the Cape always seem to wear ties and jackets? Is it not odd that art seems to be paired with the bourgeois game of golf today, as in your Friends of the Cape Cod Museum Golf Tournament? Should not art be more than paintings of hydrangeas, boats, lobster shacks, nudes, and seascapes? It seems that you willingly participate in the widespread banality, subservience, and castration of art today. Why do you tend to support subservient and castrated artists? Well, I certainly know the answer to that one… and so do the apparatchiks at the local Chamber of Commerce.


Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:38:16 +0000
From: sturgislibrary@comcast.net
To: todslone@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Cape Cod Art Museum featured in this week's American Dissident blog entry
Mr. Slone:
There are two incorrect statements in your latest blog post. There is no Cape Cod Cultural Council -- there are regional and town Cultural Councils on the Cape; the one for Barnstable and Yarmouth is called the Mid-Cape Regional Cultural Council. I stepped down from the MCRCC over a year and a half ago. Their current President is Becky Lawrence.
There is no need to send us notifications about your blog posts -- if we want to subscribe, we will do so.
Thank you.
Lucy Loomis, Library Director
Sturgis Library, Barnstable Village


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