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

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Richard Blanco

The cartoon below was sketched in 2013.  I publish it now because Director Lauren Wolk (i.e., Woke) of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod highlighted Blanco for National Poetry Month.  Rather highlight a Woke Cuban immigrant, than a rare critical poet who dares criticize the political/cultural machine...
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From: George Slone

Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2021 1:53 PM

To: lwolk@cultural-center.org <lwolk@cultural-center.org>

Cc: bruce childs <bruciea@yahoo.com>; Garry Goude <GarryGoude@mail.com>

Subject: Is silence golden on ole Cape Cod?

 

To Dir. Lauren Wolk, Cultural Center of Cape Cod:

Thanks to you, I just posted the Richard Blanco cartoon I sketched in 2013:  wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2021/04/richard-blanco.html.  Are you capable of independent thinking?  If so, check it out and why not allow me, a local Cape Cod artist/poet, to exhibit at your Center some of my highly critical poems, cartoons, and aquarelles, regarding the other side, the dark side, of the Cape Cod art/poetry scene?  If not, as I suspect, then you are just another cultural apparatchik… just what Cape Cod needs.  




 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Rita Dove

In celebration of National Poetaster Month, below are three cartoons I sketched in 2004, 2006, and 2007.  Academic black-privileged Rita Dove of course did respond to any of the cartoons.  Also, below is an email I sent in 2007.  No response was ever received.  What I dislike about those like Dove, black or white, is how easily they fit into the establishment and how unlikely they'll ever bite the numerous hands feeding them.  For me, a poet should be a raw truth teller, not an academic careerist.  But then again, I guess I'm quite different.  BTW, I decided to post the three cartoons now after receiving an email from the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, which is highlighting Dove and one of her rather typically vacuous statements:  “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.”  It aberrantly also highlights ex-president ("It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is.") Bill Clinton's vacuous statement:  "National Poetry Month offers us a welcome opportunity to celebrate not only the unsurpassed body of literature produced by our poets in the past, but also the vitality and diversity of voices reflected in the works of today's American poetry.”  When poetry is backed by hacks, you know damn well that poetry is fucked.  The Cultural Center, whose motto is "All the Arts for All of Us," will not unsurprisingly include my art.  Orwellian at its finest!  Long live the curating (censoring!) cultural apparatchiks!  

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Date:

Tue, 4 Dec 2007 17:41:44 -0800 (PST)

From:

"George Slone" <todslone@yahoo.com>  pastedGraphic.pngAdd to Address Book  pastedGraphic_1.pngAdd Mobile Alert 

Subject:

Academy censorship... is Rita Dove a knowing partisan?

To:

rr5m@virginia.edu, jobrien@virginia.edu, jep6p@virginia.edu, sdf8x@virginia.edu, jrf2j@virginia.edu, shb7f@virginia.edu, ggc8n@virginia.edu, derrico@virginia.edu


Since I cannot locate Prof. Rita Dove's email on your webpage, I am contacting you, her colleagues, in the hope that maybe one of you might actually be open to communication from an ardent poet critic of the academic/literary established order, of which you all belong.  Please either forward her email or forward this email to her.  Thank you for your attention.  BTW, you might like to subscribe to The American Dissident, a 501c3 nonprofit literary journal devoted to critical writing against the machine, as in "let your life be a counterfriction to stop the machine" (Thoreau).  Your students would certainly (hopefully!) find it refreshing in its dissident perspective.  

G. Tod Slone, Ed.
The American Dissident

 

Dear Prof. Dove: 
I doubt you'll ever respond, (Prof. Snyder has yet to respond), but I like to cover my bases, so to speak and just found your email this evening.  The Academy of American Poets censored (banned) me from participating on its online forums last July.  My assumption is that you approve of this censorship.  For the details, including the banned transcript, see www.theamericandissident.org/AcademyAmericanPoets.htm.  In July, I contacted each staff member of the Academy and have yet to receive a response or apology.  
BTW, you might like to subscribe to The American Dissident.  Your students would likely find it refreshing because of its strong stance against the academic/literary established order, which of course includes you and your poet chancellor friends.  BUT it would take a very strong person to accept such critique.  To date, I've only found two such poet professors, one of whom invited me to speak before one of his English classes ( Endicott College ).  BTW, I have a doctorate and, when employed teach as a professor.  BUT when employed, unlike the bulk of professors in America , I am actively, unabashedly, and courageously vocal, so often find myself unemployed.  

 

Sincerely,


G. Tod Slone, Ed.

The American Dissident

www.theamericandissident.org

1837 Main St.
Concord, Ma 01742








Sunday, April 18, 2021

Peter Schjeldahl

Curator/Censor Publicists In Full Control of the Art Machine

Below is an aquarelle incited by elite New Yorker art publicist, Peter Schjeldahl, which I created in 2014.  It is the first in my series, Entartete Kunst (Depraved Art).  I've done over 40 such aquarelles, each an example of art that would automatically be rejected by elitists like Schjeldahl.  In the aquarelle, the three "paintings" hanging on the wall are the works of Wool, who Schjeldahl lauds ad laudanum...  For another aquarelle example, see wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/2018/05/sebastian-smee.html.  Contemplate all of the art and poetry that have ended up in total oblivion, thanks to centuries of rule by curator censors like Schjeldahl...



Thursday, April 15, 2021

Patrisse Cullors BLM


Since BLM hypocrisy (Patricia Cullors) is in the news today with her million-dollar mansion(s), I post the back cover of last year's American Dissident, issue #40.  

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Gerald Locklin Too Many for the Road

Some for the Road: Poems for Gerald Locklin. Edited by Paul Kareem Tayyar. World Parade Books. Huntington Beach, CA. 44pp. 2008. ........................................................... 

Poets ought to take a moment midway through one of their numerous verse-hatching sprees to contemplate Brecht’s “Schlechte Zeit für Lyrik” (“Bad Time for Poetry”). Some for the Road is an anthology of poems praising “outlaw” poet/professor Gerald Locklin, who has gained fame in the small press for, as noted in Fred Voss’ poem, “he even knew Charles Bukowski/ had gotten drunk with him/ exchanged letters with him.” Has it really gotten that bad in the milieu? Todd Fox’s foreword reads like a speech delivered at the annual Used-Car Salesman of the Year Banquet. It’s as embarrassingly eulogizing as it gets in poetry, and that’s pretty damn embarrassing. Do we really need hagiographic volumes like this, considering the state of the world, not to mention the state of the literary established-order? “And to make finding the words even more daunting is the fact that Gerald Locklin is a writer who needs neither our praise nor our criticism!” writes Fox. So, why the slobbering praise? “What does one say about a writer with over 200 published books, a few thousand poems in magazines too many to number…” he continues. For one thing, it says Locklin produced far too much innocuous crap like Bukowski, Lifshin, and so many other “established” poets. But even more revealing, it indicates he was not a threat to the established order. Unsurprisingly, Lifshin is one of the eulogizers in this thin volume: “…How can I write a poem/ about Bukowski and I/ and Locklin looking for a liquor store for Buk…” Why are poets so admiring of poets who publish like beavers with pens up their asses? Rather than Fox’s two pages of vacuous tribute, it would have been interesting to read a compilation of Locklin’s own words of wisdom—are there any? “Do not be mistaken!” hails Fox. “This could easily be about Billy Collins…” Yeah, no doubt! “I mean, I write about saltshakers and knives and forks—and talk like a politician," wrote Collins. “When does a writer know he is unimportant?” asks Fox. “The answer is easy—no one reads or talks about him.” What a simplistic assertion! So, if someone reads or talks about me, then I’m important? It doesn’t matter what I have to say? That assertion underscores just how much Fox and so many other poets so easily and willingly gravitate to the herd-yoke of adulation of the popular and famous. Who were the teachers who taught this guy? They ought to be fired on the spot. Well, it turns out that Locklin was actually one of Fox’s university professors. He was also one of Patricia Cherin’s, who writes in “An Occasional Poem for the Toad”: “I learned panegyric from you/ and encomium/ so here it is.” Perhaps the toad should have also taught the fledgling poet manicomio and suckup. “As his successes, decade after decade, in both the academic and mainstream publishing world piled up, he continued to welcome and make room for us in his classroom and English department,” fawns Fox. It’s enough to make one vomit. What Fox needed was a professor to push him to question and challenge what being accepted really tended to mean in America. Donna Hilbert’s “Ode to the Toad,” as in “O Gerald our toad,” should have perhaps been titled “Ode to the Toadie.” Poem after poem in this volume should not have been published, but rather sent directly to the toad god himself. To add to the inbred nature of the anthology, there’s even a syrupy poem written by son Zach, which ends thusly: “…I remember seeing the cover of Poop,/ the picture of my father naked in the bathtub,/ bearded, longhaired, spectacled,/ with a rubber ducky and an open beer can,/ and thinking,/ But Dad doesn’t drink Coors Light.” Perhaps those lines sadly sum up the reality of the average hippie recycled into tenured university professor. Finally, these poems represent the kind of pap one would expect from poet laureates extolling the hand that feeds. They do not make one think at all. They question and challenge nothing at all. They offer no new insights or interesting thoughts. They are entirely socio-politically disengaged. If they do anything at all, they likely put a smile on Locklin’s warty face and add to the endless publication credits of the poets who wrote them. If Locklin had had any sense at all, he would have told Fox and company: no thanks. This volume epitomizes what poetry has become and is becoming in the USA today. Don’t buy it! Don’t support it!




Daniel Greenfield

 

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Academic Freedom Alliance Keith Whittington

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The above cartoon was sent to the people depicted in it.  Not one of them deigned to respond to it.  Does that sound like real freedom of speech advocacy?  In essence, free speech for us, but not for thee.  Ah, but Whittington did respond to the email I'd sent prior to my sketching the cartoon.  He was outraged that I dared out him as just another virtue-signaler.  Below is our brief correspondence.  

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From: openscholar@princeton.edu <openscholar@princeton.edu> 

Sent: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 8:59 AM

To: Keith E. Whittington <kewhitt@princeton.edu>

Subject: AFA [via OpenScholar @ Princeton]


To Marlo Safi, Culture Reporter, Daily Caller:

First, bravo to you for actually making your email address available.

Increasingly, it seems that those in power positions are not contactable by We, the Plebes.  That has certainly been my experience.  In any case, I read your article, “Politically Diverse Group Of 200 Academics Form Alliance To Defend Free Speech Among Educators.”  From my perspective, as a dissident ex-professor, the 200 elite academic signatories are likely doing nothing more than an exercise in virtue-signaling.  What else is new, eh?  As an example, in 2014, I tried criticizing Cornel West, one of those elite signatories mentioned in your article.  His secretary simply refused to give my criticism to her boss.  Does someone with a private gate-keeping secretary sound like someone interested in freedom of expression?  Methinks no!  For my critical cartoons and correspondence with the secretary, see wwwtheamericandissidentorg.blogspot.com/search?q=cornel+west.

As for Princeton, the nexus of the Academic Freedom Alliance, it will not even respond to my attempts to get its library to subscribe to The American Dissident, a journal devoted to freedom of expression.  Well, I sent this email to Keith Whittington, chair of the AFA and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University.  Will he bother to respond?

Finally, the problem with most reporters is that they simply report, though often with a touch of scorn or kudos, without any real questioning and challenging at all.  The case of Amanda Gorman is striking with that regard—100% blind praise…



From: Keith E. Whittington <kewhitt@princeton.edu>

Sent: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 9:21 AM

To: todslone@hotmail.com <todslone@hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: AFA [via OpenScholar @ Princeton]


Thank you for your interest, but I'm afraid that you are significantly misreading the current university environment if you think joining such a group counts as virtue signaling. This is a quite costly signal for the signatories, who can be expected to be targets of harassment as a consequence of their identifying with a group defending free speech. If standing up for free speech counted as virtue signaling on campus these days, there would be no need for such a group.

Keith 


From: George Slone <todslone@hotmail.com>

Sent: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 8:05 PM

To: Keith E. Whittington <kewhitt@princeton.edu>

Subject: Re: AFA [via OpenScholar @ Princeton]

 

Hi Keith,

Thank you for taking the time to respond.  However, you ignored my comment regarding one of your signatories, Cornel West.  Moreover, it is likely that most of the signatories are tenured and/or, like West, possess the correct pc-mindset and/or skin color, thus not really risking much at all.  Charles Sykes was on target when he wrote:  “Tenure corrupts, enervates, and dulls higher education.  It is, moreover, the academic culture’s ultimate control mechanism to weed out the idiosyncratic, the creative, the nonconformist.”  To that observation, I’d add that tenure tends also to weed out rare individuals apt to exercise free speech.  Regarding West, how can those like him, who cannot bear criticism, stand for freedom of speech?  Also, the signatories will have the full backing of the group.  As for me, I spent two decades at diverse institutions of purported higher education, so am quite aware of the “university environment.”  Hell, I was fired at the last institution employing me for not obeying the dean’s direct order that I cease responding to criticism lodged against me.  Rather truth, than job.  It has been my experience that most professors, by far, tend to be adherents of collegiality, team-playing, and see-no-evil, hear-no-evil careerist ladder climbing, rather than adherents of free speech.  Harassment, as you call it, needs to be defined as the law defines it.  Otherwise, anything can constitute harassment.  Professors need to build backbone.  In any case, it is my firm belief that you and the other signatories are really not risking much at all.  Just the same, hopefully, you might accomplish something to help bolster freedom of speech.  Personally, I have always spoken out at the university, as well as out of the university, and never with a group behind me.  That is the kind of speech that is most needed on campus and off campus:  the individual courage to speak out and without group support.  Well, I guess you won’t be introducing your students to The American Dissident… 

Au plaisir,

G. Tod


From: George Slone

Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 9:36 AM

To: fire@thefire.org <fire@thefire.org>

Subject: Elite Members Only! Plebes Need Not Comment! The FIRE, Above Criticism!

 

To the Faceless FIRE Staff, Who Might Respond:

Why does FIRE not provide a forum for criticizing members of FIRE, including their articles?  Without such a forum, a milieu of backslapping and self-congratulating ends up flourishing.  As an example, I'd like to send Peter Bonilla criticism of his publicist article on the Academic Freedom Alliance, but his email is simply NOT available to plebes.  Does that sound like advocation for freedom of speech (and debate)?  Methinks, no.  How about you?  Is silence also golden at the FIRE?  I have criticized three members of AFA, including Haidt, West, and Whittington.  The first two remained silent.  The latter responded, though fully ignored the essential point made in my criticism:  does an elite professor like Cornel West, who possesses a gatekeeper secretary to protect him from uncomfortable criticism, sound like an advocate for freedom of speech and vigorous debate?  



From: George Slone

Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2021 10:21 AM

To: Keith E. Whittington <kewhitt@princeton.edu>; mcole@uts.columbia.edu <mcole@uts.columbia.edu>; jhaidt@stern.nyu.edu <jhaidt@stern.nyu.edu>; cwspecialassistant01@gmail.com <cwspecialassistant01@gmail.com>

Cc: fire@thefire.org <fire@thefire.org>

Subject: Whittington, West, Haidt, Lukianoff and Bonilla satirized in a new P. Maudit cartoon

 

To Professors Whittington, West, and Haidt,

You have been satirized in a new P. Maudit cartoon.  Be curious.  Examine it.  Expose your students to it.  What precisely is NOT true in it?  That is the question you should focus on.  If there is a falsity, please do inform me and I will correct it.  Finally, why does a free-speech signatory like Cornel West NOT make his email address available to We, the Plebes?  Thank you for your hopeful, though doubtful, attention.  

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Annie Broche

Lettre ouverte à une critique

Chère Annie Broche et pour tous les autres qui n’osent jamais,


Curieux ton courriel.  Bizarre, mais intéressant.    Tout d’un coup, après six ans, la haine de ta gueule vis-à-vis de moi !  Bizarre.  Je me demande, pourquoi donc ?  Qu’est-ce qui t’a incité ?  Mais tu ne me le dirais pas sans doute.


Pour tes accusations/insultes, il est sans doute impossible pour toi et tous les autres, qui n’osent jamais critiquer ouvertement (et à risque du job ou de quoique ce soit), de comprendre le modus operandi de quelqu’un comme moi qui ose.  Tout de même, j’essayerai de t’instruire… si possible.    


Tu me critiques d’être “en colère contre l'institution littéraire.”  En fait, j’ai jamais été vraiment en colère ou plein de haine contre cette institution.  Critiquer l’hypocrisie, les mensonges, l’idolâtrie, et la corruption intellectuelle n’est pas forcément signe de colère.  Au contraire, c’est plutôt signe de désir fort de s’engager (d’exposer l’hypocrisie, les mensonges, et la glorification des icônes, des établissements, les prix, etc.).  Quand il n’y a pas de critique comme, par exemple, dans le cas de la jeune poétesse de Biden, c’est plus que curieux.  C’est plutôt aberrant dans une société qui permet la liberté d’expression.  Réfléchis là-dessus si possible.  C’est pas la France de Macron icitte, c’est l’Amérique !  


Tu me demandes:  “Tu continues ta vendetta contre les groupes élitistes auxquels tu aimerais en faire partie.”   Une vendetta?  C’est un mot tout à fait aberrant pour quelqu’un comme moi qui lutte pour la justice et contre l’injustice et surtout pour la liberté d’expression et de dire ses quatre vérités tout à fait ouvertement !  En toute évidence, si je voulais vraiment faire partie des “groupes élitistes,” je ferais comme toi, vis-à-vis de tes employeurs écoliers:  de ne jamais les critiquer !  Point c’est tout.  Ainsi ton accusation est complètement sans fond.  


Ça va bien à Cape Cod.  Merci.  À propos, icitte on a des chômeurs, des sans-abris, et des ouvriers, et non pas seulement les riches partisans du Parti Démocrate.  Instruis-toi, ma chère !  


En fait, je n’ai pas besoin d’une femme pour combler mes désirs créatifs.  Cependant j’aime bien les femmes.  C’est grâce à la créativité que je ne suis jamais déprimé ni isolé émotionnellement.  Les gens comme toi qui ont besoin, qui sont “needy” comme on dit en anglais, d’un partenaire en principe ne sont pas créatifs.  


Tu me conseilles (m’insultes):  “Il faut laisser la rancune car elle va te dévorer jusqu'à temps que  tu ne puisses  plus respirer.”  En fait, je n’ai jamais eu de la rancune.  C’est grâce à mes diverses “batailles” sur les 30 dernières années (6 lustres !) que j’ai écrit beaucoup de poèmes, beaucoup d’essais, beaucoup de vignettes (BDs), ainsi que des romans et pièces.  Réfléchis là-dessus !   Moi je préfère la porte (être viré) à l’obéissance (fermer la gueule.. et l’esprit) ! 


Tu opines:  “Ta lutte ne mène à rien sauf d'assurer ton confort de savoir que tu proclames ton point de vue mais sans trajectoire.”  En fait, toute lutte ne mène nulle part.  La mort, c’est la mort.  Trajectoire dans quel sens ?  Trajectoire dans les “groupes élitistes” ?  Trajectoire dans l’emploi permanent ?  Non.  Plutôt trajectoire dans la créativité continue.  La créativité ne doit pas être faite pour gagner de l’argent et de la recognition (par les “groupes élitistes”).  La créativité surtout doit être faite pour la créativité et pour la liberté d’expression.  Je me demande si toi t’es maintenant gauchiste fasciste contre cette liberté comme tant de gauchistes d’aujourd’hui.  Si oui, je comprends donc encore mieux ton opinion vis-à-vis de moi.


Enfin, tout ce que j’ai essayé à propos de toi après ton marriage, c’était d’établir de l’amitié.  Mais pour toi, une telle pensée/action est défendue du fait que t’es devenue propriété privée d’un autre mec.  C’est pas pantoute la liberté ça, ma chère !  Tu m’as demandé :  Comment ça va ?  Alors, moi, je te demande:  comment ça va ?