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, July 29, 2014

Sam Cornish

Notes on Artistic Sterility and the Academic Imprimatur
The dude* sent me an email announcement—a great
self-congratulating pat on his back—, I was his bĂȘte noire.
Since he was on my list, I was now on his, though
when I shotgunned, it was usually to announce
not the light of lime, but rather a good sledgehammering.
His press had teamed up with a regional college to
the “literary arts” and the likely modus operandi
                                                of innocuous icon idolatry.

His vision of art seemed to be a castration of it,
eliciting the approval of ladder-climbing pedagogues
—those chairs, deans, chancellors, VPs, and presidents—,
other members of the local chambers of commerce,
and, of course, the proverbial old ladies in the audience.    

To be first in the series, as concrete illustration of the benefits
of sucking up, kissing ass, and playing the literary game,
he chose Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish,
editor of children’s literature
            and renowned author of An Apron
Full of Beans. 

The dude’s purpose, besides pushing his own press,
                        was to help students of creative writing
to garner not the courage to stand up and away from the herd,
but rather to gain expertise in the fine art of literary networking. 
"This is a wonderful opportunity to be aligned
                                    with a rising academic institution,”
he declared, sounding more like a politician than a bard. 
"I want the literary community and the community at large
to know about the vital literary programming at Endicott...”

Yet how could he proclaim “vital” the output of programmers
who rarely, if ever, railed viscerally against the machine?
“I am hoping to be involved in the creation of the Hub
for the Arts on the North Shore,” he career-fully excogitated,
when perhaps as a poet he should have instead
                                                            truthfully excoriated.

Just what higher ed needed, I thought, a tad depressed
by the persistence of poetry into the smiley-face verse factory
                                    —another hub, yes, oh sadly,
of artistic censors, blind-eye turners, PC and too much civility.

*Doug Holder, publisher, Ibbetson Street Press, and Endicott College adjunct instructor

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Robert Redeker

In 2010 Redeker (in the center), a high school teacher of philosophy, wrote an essay critical of Islam.  For that imam Yusuf al-Quaradawi issued a fatwa death sentence against him.  The Secretary General of the Teachers Union refused to express support for Redeker's right to freedom of expression.  Redker had to go into hiding for fear of his life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sarah Polito and John French

Well, here's the first cartoon I've done since my return from glorious Newfoundland and Labrador.  Today, I noticed a young guy actually reading the sign placed in front of my house:  The American Dissident.  On it are a few dissident poems and notice of the permanent banning of my ideas by Lucy Loomis of Sturgis Library.  I also keep AD flyers in a little box by the sign and mail box.  To date (three years later), I've yet to hear from a neighbor on the sign and flyers.  People don't really give a damn about freedom of speech in these parts.  Below is the email I sent to the English profs of Cape Cod Community College, as well as the student newspaper.  Most student newspapers don't really give a damn about issues of freedom of speech, including valid criticism of professors. 

From: todslone@hotmail.com
To: ksoderstrom@capecod.edu; briley@capecod.edu; spolito@capecod.edu; pmolendze@capecod.edu; pmcgraw@capecod.edu; jkershner@capecod.edu; dgregory@capecod.edu; jfrench@capecod.edu; cesperson@capecod.edu; wberry@capecod.edu; pallen@capecod.edu; ldebower@capecod.edu; dmccullo@capecod.edu
CC: sturgislibrary@comcast.net; cwish@fawc.org; capecodpoetryreview@gmail.com; jleghorn@fawc.org; mroberts@fawc.org; jmcdonough@fawc.org; thomasgelsthorpe@gmail.com; hrc@barnstablecounty.org
Subject: Poet in Residence et al
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2014 11:12:03 -0400

To the English Professors of Cape Cod Community College (Sarah Polito, Chairperson, Lore Loftfield Debower, Patricia Allen, Bill Berry, Christine Esperson, John French, Dianne Gregory, James Kershner, Patricia McGraw, Michael Olendzenski, Bruce Riley, and Kathleen Soderstrom): 

Your poet in residence Joe Gouveia is now dead. Please do read my essay on that here:  http://theeyeoftheneedlevortice.blogspot.com/search/label/G.%20Tod%20Slone.  It will certainly be different from what you’re used to reading.   In fact, why not mention it to your students, while underscoring the utmost importance of alternative viewpoints in a thriving democracy?  
Please consider me as a possible replacement for Gouveia, as poet in residence at Cape Cod Community College.  Unlike Gouveia, I do possess a doctoral degree and ample college teaching experience, both in France and here in the US.  Unlike what he did, I do “go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways” (Emerson), even at the risk of job, which, I suppose, is why I do not hold a tenured university position.  OR is that what a poet should not do in today’s colleges, poet residencies, and writers’ conferences?  (Uh, Professor Polito, will you ever be responding to the emails I sent your Cape Cod Writers Conference?  Hmm.)  How, one must wonder, do such entities end up being so closed-minded, so anti-dissident, and so established-order friendly?  Well, only you can answer those questions.  I cannot.  After all, cooptation is not my goal.  It is yours! 
Finally, how can each of you be so apathetic regarding what happened to me, a local poet, here in Barnstable?  Recall I brought to your attention a while ago that I was permanently banned without warning or due process from Sturgis Library because of written criticism, especially regarding its written policy that “libraries should provide material and information presenting ALL points of view.”  Well, my point of view and the points of view of those published in The American Dissident have been permanently excluded, proving the hypocrisy. 
How can one celebrate Barnstable and the likes of Mary Otis Warren when you and most others in the County remain indifferent to such human rights abuses?  My very civil rights are being denied in Barnstable!  I am not permitted to attend any cultural or political events held at my neighborhood library, which my very taxes help pay for.  Not even the Barnstable County Human Rights Commissioners care!!!  And you backslap and self-congratulate as if nothing! 
Thank you for your attention, though not for your likely silence. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

P. Maudit on Vacation in Newfoundland and Labrador

Well, I'm just back from almost a month in Newfoundland and Labrador.  What an interesting road trip!  It's the third time I've been there.  The people are incredibly friendly and pleasant.  It is night and day compared to the people on Cape Cod, where I live.  It was a shock!  One morning I was walking in a small outport when a man came up to me and started talking to me, then invited me to his house to have coffee with him and his wife.  Wow!  On another occasion, an old fellow stopped his car and asked if I needed a ride.  Even the young gals, who'd normally frown at me on Cape Cod, were joyous and eagerly talked with me.  Besides the wondrous population, the scenery of course is otherworldly.  If I were to move again (and I hate moving), it would be to Newfoundland.  In the picture, I am depicted with the moose skull I found in the barrens of St. Anthony.  Now, time to get back into my dissident mode...