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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Don Share

Editorial - Issue #35

The Silence…
Of the Poets, Professors, and Free-Speech Advocates

 What you find is that there’s never just one cockroach in the kitchen.
—Warren Buffet

The SILENCE is deafening. The SILENCE is foretelling. The SILENCE is Orwellian. Poetry Foundation and its Poetry magazine are highlighted on this issue’s front cover.  Send a critique, as I’ve done, to its editor, Don Share… and SILENCE. Ask the Foundation, as I’ve done, why it refuses to list The American Dissident with the other poetry magazines listed… and SILENCE. The SILENCE is incarnate in “post-truth,” word of the year for Oxford Dictionary. Dolores Granger brought that to my attention, while a Wall Street Journal editorial had brought it to hers, noting the term indicates “a time in which truth becomes unimportant or irrelevant.” And that of course explains… the SILENCE.  Post-truthers hate truth.  Ideology hates truth. 
    Interesting things, perhaps even unimaginable ones, can occur when one openly criticizes the feeding apparatus of a post-truther and tests the waters of democracy. Imagine, for example, that Quillette, a conservative magazine, banned me from its “free-speech platform”! (See cartoon on page 5.) Perhaps it should be the poet’s prime job to speak the rude truth that will shake and break the fragile backbones and egos of editors, poets, professors, cultural-council apparatchiks, and journalists. If one pushes an ideology, which inevitably conflicts with truth, the best response to such truth is always… SILENCE.  
     Still it is perhaps surprising that so few intellectuals, even purported free-speech proponents, will respond to uncomfortable criticism.  National Coalition Against Censorship is a pitiful example, refusing to address criticism. Why?  Does its SILENCE indicate the criticism to be on target… or the critic to be a mere plebe and thus unworthy of response… or perhaps both? Recall the Charlie Hebdo massacre over three years ago.  Today, that liberal magazine is located in a secret “bunker.” One to two million dollars per year is spent on security, which the magazine, not the government, has to pay. Seven Hebdo journalists died, while others were wounded… by Muslim assassins. And what about the Pulse Nightclub massacre by a Muslim extremist in Florida and the Muslim would-be butchers at the Garland, TX Draw Muhammad contest? But for the ideologues at NCAC, Islam somehow is not a threat to free speech. One journalist, Fabrice Nicolino, wounded at the Hebdo massacre, recently said, “Chez moi, où je suis connu, des voisins d’extrême gauche ne veulent plus me dire bonjour, car ils ne sont surtout pas Charlie.” (Where I live, where I’m known, my extreme leftist neighbors will no longer say hello to me.)  Why not?  Well, because Hebdo criticized Muslims… just like it did everyone else.   
      Inside Higher Ed is yet another sad example (see last issue’s front cover). I’ve questioned its editors on a number of occasions. Their response? SILENCE! Poets & Writers magazine is equally pitiful. I dared criticize its front-page story, “Ten Poets Who Will Change the World.” Was it a farce? Well, if you know poets, you know damn well it wasn’t. So, I wrote an essay (see p27) and sketched cartoons for six of those world-changing bards and sent them to the editors, the 10 poets, and even some of the latter’s academic colleagues.  SILENCE!  
    Most recently, I wrote a counter-essay regarding a piece published by a Bridgewater State University professor in Bridgewater Review and sent it to the editors, the author, and even the student journalists of the university newspaper, The Comment. SILENCE! Then I drew a cartoon on some of the characters, including the university president and shot it out to the targets.  SILENCE! The literary letters section at the end of this issue includes other instances of SILENCE, as modus operandi of those who hate free debate…   
n another note, George Carlin once said, “Government wants to control information and control language because that's the way you control thought, and basically that's the game they're in.” With that regard, poets, writers, editors and journalists, who quote someone who said SHIT-HOLE, should write SHIT-HOLE, not s-hole. The same goes for NIGGER and any of the other vocabulary on the forbidden list from BITCH to SPIC to CRACKER. And why isn’t NAZI on that list?  Isn’t it highly insulting to call any white person, who disagrees with PC-Antifa, a Nazi? Writing the n-word or b-word does not automatically give someone the moral high-ground. Instead, it gives a person the low-ground of a common self-censoring conformist. Saul Alinsky perhaps was on target: “He who controls the language controls the masses.” Do you want to be part of the masses or a staunch individual? Clearly, an army of Alinsky acolytes have been toiling away at controlling the language in the universities. When one writes s-hole or n-word, then clearly one is being controlled and needs to contemplate those who seek to control and pressure.  Faceless bureaucrats! Faceless academics! Faceless SJWs! Well, I for one will fight against control by them. And if that means they’ll call me a racist, islamophobe, homophobe, or sexist, so what!!! My ma taught me, sticks and stones…  What the hell are the mothers teaching their kids today?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Christopher Busa

Our Brief Correspondence
Below is the brief correspondence I had with Busa.  See also my essay "Bards of a Feather Flock Together… At the Fine Arts Work Center of Provincetown" (https://wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2018/08/b-ards-of-feather-flock-together-at.html).  Not one of the artists and poets contacted would respond.

From: George Slone [mailto:todslone@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2018 8:33 AM
To: cbusa@comcast.net
Cc: eileen.myles@gmail.com
Subject: The Crux...
To Christopher Busa, Founder and Editor, Provincetown Arts, “An annual magazine devoted to art, writing & theater since 1985”:  
Might I humbly suggest that you insert the word “establishment” in front of the word “art” in your subtitle?  After all, should not art and writing be concerned with rude truth?  
I attach a challenging aquarelle because it stands at the crux, at your very problematic crux.  Examine it, if you still have an iota of curiosity regarding things exterior to your art-establishment safe space.   Why will nobody publish it?  Is that a problem?  Yes!  It is a problem.  It is at the very crux of the art problem… to the extent that any artist even capable of contemplating it will likely experience problems in the world of the art establishment, your world.  I also attach the old aquarelle I did with you standing in the background.  
“Go away troll,” had written one of your poesy-establishment cover girls, Eileen Myles.  And indeed that seems to be the extent of permissible debate in the establishment world of poesy and art today.  Rude truth is not permitted in such safe spaces.  Only ideological echoing is permitted.  The crux!  Think!  Now, why not one little page in your journal devoted to criticism of you and your journal?  Pipe dream?  You bet!  The crux!  Think!
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

From: Christopher Busa
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2018 3:12 PM
To: 'George Slone'
Subject: RE: The Crux...
Silly Slone, I was trained in literary studies during a decade in graduate school with some of the foremost critics of the time. Your idea of criticism, from the shrillness of your rants, excludes any sense of illumination. Please do not contact me again. CB

From: George Slone [mailto:todslone@hotmail.com]
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2018 2:57 PM
To: Christopher Busa
Subject: Re: The Crux...
Hi Chris,
Well, I had to laugh out loud at your two little sentences of utter outrage.  The, your, severe hatred for criticism is truly mind-boggling, at least for a staunch independent thinker like me.  Also, your predictable "go-away-troll"-type B ad-hominem response confirms that hatred for anything not hagiographical in nature... and scorn for vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy.  It is indicative that perhaps you have never been exposed to criticism, that you exist in a safe-space art bubble.  
It is quite sad that your attitude mirrors that of most poets, artistes, writers, journalists, and professors in today's America, where egregious backslapping and self-congratulating, as in your "excellent writing” statement, is the general modus operandi.   It is equally sad that you and those like you cannot comprehend that safe-space zones devoid of real external critical voices do not benefit creativity.  On the contrary, they benefit tourist-friendly art-as-usual, castrated and fully palatable for the business-as-usual establishment.  Below is the preface to one of my poetry books, Blackhole Abyss.  I should have dedicated it to you.  It includes an email sent to one of your likely cohorts, Michael Roberts.  Anyhow, thanks for your response, though again I encourage you to open your hermetically closed doors…   
G. Tod
L’Art pour l’art Is Cooptation
With artists it’s always the same thing—100% innocuous/anodyne, total absence of criticism or even reflection on the human condition in their art.  It is always the forme that counts, rarely the fond. Mega-sized paintings, photos, and sculpture are art, no matter what. It leaves me bewildered though, at this point, only a tad, for evidently to climb the art-establishment ladder one must follow establishment instructions and avoid establishment taboos. 
   The art reflects the vacuum in which the artists live—the safe cocoon, often an academic sinecure and/or group-think coterie. The art, rather than questioning and challenging, facilitates the continuing intrinsic corruption of society and its holier-than-thou community pillars. L’art pour l’art, or art for the sake of art, in today’s society is so commonplace, so widespread, that one might not even wonder if any other art modus operandi might even exist. 
  On Cape Cod, where I’ve been living since 2010, the art scene is very big.  Sadly, the art apparatchiks, who manage and fund it, are professionals—gatekeepers of propriety, close friends of the Chamber of Commerce—, who do not believe in inclusion and free expression.  Yes, they like the terms and will use them, but only in the Orwellian sense, as in we believe in inclusion, but your art is too critical, so it can’t be included.  The art scene on Cape Cod is 100% smiley-face art—innocuous and safe. Rare—very rare—artists who question and challenge local authority figures will not be funded or invited.  The local newspapers will not cover their art or art-related stories.  For the local art apparatchiks, the rare critical artist simply does not exist.  I do not exist.  
The birds squawk outside as if humans in general didn’t exist, as if in a time of pre-humanity.  Always I look for that beauty.  Now, here’s an email I sent to Michael Roberts, Executive Director, Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.  Did he respond?  Of course not!  What does that signify?  Well, clearly the nail got hammered on the head!  
Hey, how come nobody contacted me to teach a workshop. Hell, I even live on Cape Cod.  Here’s what I’d like to teach.  Is it not odd that you seem to offer everything BUT? 
The Rare Poet as Truth-Teller
What is needed in the art and writing world is criticism.  How does one shake up the established order when the artists and writers are essentially an integral part of it and, consciously or not, abide by the thou-shalt-not-criticize-the-pillars-of-the-art-community commandment?  Few poets take risks.  Few poets will dare speak rude truth to power. Most would rather turn a blind eye, join the club of censorship and ostracizing, and otherwise climb the networking ladder of publications, awards, invitations, grants, workshop instructorships, tenure, and general anointment. In this course, you will be encouraged to question and challenge that dubious modus operandi and, from that, create poems. You will learn that conflict with power—literary, artistic, cultural, etc.—on all levels can provide a wonderful source for creativity…  

From: Christopher Busa <cbusa@comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2018 9:26 AM
To: 'George Slone'
Subject: RE: The Crux...
Clearly, your eyes are too clouded to read excellent writing, let alone understand. You are a silly pest that sucks blood from living things.

Kevin Howard