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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thomas J. Cottle

Always Unquestioning and Always Unchallenging
So much was taken for granted in our society,
even by the highly educated, especially when
it served self.

One such fellow* told me the other day, he
believed that poor teachers ought to be fired.

So I asked him what a poor teacher was.
Was it someone who didn't get
the PC teacher-of-the-year award
or someone who dared go upright and
criticize his colleagues and administrators?
Was it someone who spoke rude truths in the
classroom and in so doing upset the coddled
or someone who actually taught students
to question and challenge their university?
Or was it the old “you’ll know a poor teacher
when you see, hear, and observe him”? 

The fellow, unsurprisingly, never did get back to me. 

*Thomas J. Cottle, Professor of Education, Boston University
The poems I've posted here recently illustrate the importance of naming names as a vital means of quality control.  They also illustrate how one can create from  dubious statements made by others.  They were written in 2008 and 2009 and form part of a new collection tilted Triumvirate of the Monkeys. which will be published in a couple of weeks.  BTW, I am not a fan of those who obtain degrees in educationism.  Much of the stuff taught in university schools of education is as inane  and utterly boring as it gets. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Jay Parini

Carole Kuebler


NB:  Insufficiently innocuous would of course include any essays or poems critical of the above NER editors, their friends, Middlebury College, and New England Review.   And of course such a term wouldn’t be used.  Bad taste or rant would be the vocabulary of choice.  It is shameful so many professors and college literary review editors purposefully seek NOT to expose students to all points of view, including the above.   Shameful.

BTW, I am a Middlebury College alumnus, 1980.  The student newspaper has been irresponsibly unresponsive.  Evidently, its student editors are learning quite well from their irresponsibly unresponsive professors.  They teach DIVERSITY at Middlebury, but apparently not DEMOCRACY.

The following is the email I sent to the English professors and instructors of Middlebury College.  The number of "hits" clearly indicate that many of them obviously checked out the cartoon.  Curiosity in a college professor is a positive trait!  Sadly, not one of those professors commented.  Absence of desire for vigorous debate in a college professor is a negative trait. 

From: George Slone
Sent: Friday, January 24, 2014 6:06 PM
Subject: New England Review satirized

To Editor Carole Kuebler, and Outgoing Editor Steven Donadio, New England Review (as well as Members of the English Department, Middlebury College): 
You are both featured in a new P. Maudit cartoon posted on The American Dissident website: 
http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2014/01/carole-kuebler.html.  Five years or so ago I’d also lampooned Jay Parini and Breadloaf in a P. Maudit cartoon.  I just re-posted it on the blogsite here:  http://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2014/01/jay-parini.html. 
Please feel free to comment, though lengthy experience with academics sadly tells me that likelihood to be nearly nil.  Please read the Nota Bene below the cartoon… and please tell me I’m wrong, not lacking in bourgeois taste, but wrong.  The unique thing I do is test the waters of democracy mostly in the Academic/Literary Established Order.  From my experiments, I create essays, poems, and even full-length works.  It is sad you will likely not evoke such “testing” to students as a creative-writing possibility.  Indeed, rather than seeking to build bridges and network in an effort to climb the ladder of dubious “success” (academic or literary), I seek to expose truth and to tell it openly as I perceive it.  From the academic and literary dross uncovered, I create.  The dross is the grist for my creative mill. 
Finally, as a Middlebury College MA graduate in French literature (1980), I look forward to your comments and hope you might even wish to subscribe to The American Dissident (only $20), which is quite unique in the world of literary magazines.  Too bad your students will likely never hear of it.  Perhaps you’d even consider inviting me to present a lecture on the journal and what I do as a creative writer.  (Dr. Dan Sklar, Endicott College, has been inviting me to his creative writing classes almost each semester for the past five years.)  I know, you’re probably now chuckling.  No matter.  So, might there be just one brave sole amongst you willing to engage in a little vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy?  I do not bite, but I do satirize! 

Thank you for your attention.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alyson Cook

A Circular Oddity
My argument was dismissed
as circular, which meant
round and round and round,
and, sure, I could go round
and round the same subject,
and, as friend J observes,
many of the great artistes
went round and round too.

My statement was simple:
the poet laureate of the US
Library of Congress was ineluctably
a fellow from the established order,
someone who did not make waves
or rock the established-order boat
in any way whatsoever.

But, as mentioned, the Ivy League
PhD professor dismissed that argument,
that direct observation, as circular.
Thus, I asked how it could be
any other way with poets laureate,
and she wrote, in the spirit of debate:
So I will not be responding to future emails.*
*Williams College professor Alyson Cook

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tim Green

The Literary Paladin*

The idea of getting paid
by someone or something
to run a literary journal
can only ring falsely,
at least to me. 
And if the salary stems
from a nonprofit foundation,
a 501 c3 designation,
stipulating no
political affiliation,
that too must be questioned. 

What might comprise
the contract obligations?
Why was the quidam
chosen for the position?
Were others even considered?
What taboos might be implicit
in the payment arrangement?

*Inspired by Tim Green, paid editor of Rattle

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amiri Baraka

The above cartoon was sketched in 2007.  Baraka just died.  So, I thought I'd reanimate it.  Clearly, the cartoon is not critical of him, per se, but rather of all the numbnut literati who helped raise him up to icon status.

John Bonanni