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, August 10, 2022

Curriculum Mortae

 Curriculum Mortae

—A Dissident Citizen Poet Professor’s Resume—

G. Tod Slone, PhD


Dissidence:  If there is no risk when speaking rude truth, there is really no dissidence.  It is for that reason that dissidence really implies, at least in America, criticism on the local level.  Evidently, there is no risk at all criticizing an American president, thanks to democracy’s legal framework.  Examine my two essays:  “The Cold Passion for Truth Hunts in No Pack” and "Notes on RISK and Writing."  

By openly criticizing the academic/literary/art establishment administrators, I personally risked jobs, promotions, invitations, grants, publications, and general blacklisting.   As for  the latter, the Cape Cod Times, for example, will not include me in its list of Cape Cod authors because I’ve dared criticize its editors.  The Academy of American Poets, Poets & Writers, Poetry Foundation, NewPages.com, Arts & Letters (Chronicle of Higher Education), Publishers Weekly, American Libraries Magazine et al have essentially blacklisted The American Dissident (see below), the journal I publish.  The very term, dissident, stems from opponents of socialist/communist authoritarian regimes and requisite in-lockstep groupthink.  It needs to be applied more frequently in America because such authoritarianism has become an integral part of the nation.  Those who toe the line—the bulk of so-called professionals—will automatically detest somebody like me.  Indeed for a summary of the ad hominem (kill the messenger/avoid his message) hurled my way, examine 

Dissident Objectives:  “Go upright and vital, and speak the rude truth in all ways” (Emerson); let my life “be a counterfriction to stop the machine” (Thoreau), “write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention” (Orwell), and teach students and others the importance of individuality and dissidence in a democracy, and open their hearts to hardcore criticism, while encouraging them to learn and create from it.  

Dissident Formation and Experience(For a number of other examples of my dissidence, examine “Testing the Waters of Democracy” on The American Dissident website.

The Sixties.  While the Sixties perhaps sensitized me to ubiquitous corruption, it also pressured me to de-individualize, groupthink, and group behave, in essence, prerequisites for a successful career as a university professor or other such “professional.”  

Université du Maine (1980-82) and École Nationale de Mécanique (1982-88). While a lecteur de langue anglaise in France, I became interested in reprobates Villon and Céline, as well as other French authors.  There, I also read Bukowski for the first time and in French and consequently wrote some of my first poems in French.  

Elmira College (1989-1991) Faculty/administrative corruption/apathy transformed me into a firm dissident (i.e., truth-speaking individual, as opposed to careerist ladder climber).   Deans sided with a handful of students, who complained now and then that I’d offended their sensitivities.

—My first truly critical essays and poems were published in The Octagon, the student newspaper. They criticized students and my so-called colleagues, as well as administrators.

—I created and disseminated my first critical newsletters, “Purple Marasmus,” which I distributed mostly to the Humanities faculty, who I harshly criticized in them.  Elmira’s color logo is purple.  

Fitchburg State College (1991-1996). My eyes were further opened to academic corruption (e.g., a closet homosexual department chair wanting me to visit him every weekend at his home, highly whimsical faculty evaluations, nepotism, eviction mid-semester from my office w/o due process, a prevaricating dean and apathetic faculty). The American Association of University Professors and the ACLU of Massachusetts remained silent regarding my grievances of state-college corruption.

—Eviction from my college office (McKay Campus) mid-semester due to one complaint by a colleague that she was afraid of me, despite my having no criminal record.  To this day, I could be arrested if I stepped foot on McKay Campus.

—Received a year’s salary as settlement payment after a lengthy in-house hearing.  The college never admitted wrong-doing.

—The student, local, and state newspapers (Boston Globe), as well as The Chronicle of Higher Education, refused to publish my accounts of corruption at Fitchburg State, which provoked me to begin publishing a newsletter, Corruption Magazine, which morphed into Corruption Massachusetts.

Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (1998).  My experience at this so-lauded “blue-ribbon” high school, as a full-time substitute babysitter, resulted in a few highly critical published op-eds in the local newspaper, as well as a non-fiction novel, Total Chaos (People’s Press—2001).  

The American Dissident (created in 1998). A 501 3c nonprofit journal of literature, democracy, and dissidence places rude-truth telling and risk above team-playing, networking, and turning a blind eye.  Sadly, it is rare for poets, writers, artists, editors, and journalists to engage in such a modus operandi.  

Walden Pond State Reservation (1999).  Arrest and incarceration in a Concord jail cell for a day.  I was solo protesting the absence of free speech at Walden Pond State Reservation.  Both the local media and Thoreau Society were pathetically apathetic.  The judge dropped the case against me at the Concord Court House.  

Bennett College (2001-2003).  Numerous highly critical op-eds were published in the local and college newspapers.  

Festival International de la Poésie de Trois-Rivières (Québec—2001).  The only invited and remunerated poet out of 150 who dared criticize the hands that fed in the form of poems I’d written in French.  Never invited back.    

Eastern Connecticut University (2002). Wrong skin color (and who knows how many other institutions I’d applied to rejected me for the same reason). Agustin Bernal, Dept. Chair:  “The search for the tenure-track position in Spanish/French was declared ‘failed’ by the administration, after three equally acceptable finalists (you among them) were submitted to them for campus interviews. The entire pool of candidates was reviewed and they concluded it wasn't ‘deep’ or ‘diverse’ enough to be satisfactory.”

The Concord Poetry Center (2004).  Director Joan Houlihan stated:  “The idea of your teaching a workshop or delivering a lecture on the art of literary protest or poetry protest, or simply protest (Concord is where it all started!) occurred to me even before you mentioned it, so, yes, it’s something I will consider as we progress (this is only our first event).  However, I must say I don’t favor having you teach at the center if you protest the reading.”  Evidently, I chose to protest the reading.    

—The complete silence of PEN New England (“defending freedom of expression”), regarding impediments to my freedom of expression and the likely influence of poet Joan Houlihan on PEN director Karen Wulf, both comfortably installed at Lesley University, further provoked my questioning and challenging of such organizations.

—The silence of some 500 college English professors regarding my attempts to interest them in radically altering the academic culture of sycophancy, turning a blind eye, careerism, PC, and prevarication confirmed my observations that college professors tended to be apparatchik careerists first, while truth tellers last.  

geocities.com/enmarge.  That was my first website URL, which was removed sometime in the mid 2000s due to one anonymous complaint.  Geocities refused to respond to my protest with that regard.  Vice notes, “Geocities was one of the first places your average person could make a website for free.”  Yeah, well, it was also one of the first places that began censoring websites!  

Grambling State University (2005-2007).  This was my second experience at an all black (HBCU) college.  There I found the same intellectual corruption, as I’d found at Bennett College,… and wrote a number of highly critical op-eds published in the student newspaper.  

Watertown Free Public Library (2008).  The director issued a six-month no-trespass order with my regard without due process for my attempting to interest its reference librarian in subscribing to The American Dissident.  

Academy of American Poets (2009).  My comments on the Academy’s website were censored and I was banned from participating in its online forums.  No reason was provided for the banning.

American Public University (2010-2017).  Online instructor of English.  This was my very last teaching job… because I disobeyed the Chair’s order that I cease expressing myself… regarding criticism lodged against me.  

Sturgis Library (2012).  Permanently banned from my neighborhood library w/o warning and w/o due process.  The reason:  “for the safety of the staff and public.”  Five days prior to the banning I’d sent to the library directors of the Clams Library System of Cape Cod a critical essay of their collection development policy, which states, “libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view.”  Also, prior to the banning, the Barnstable Patriot interviewed me.  

Dissident Publications. Numerous critical letters to the editor of student newspapers at colleges employing me confirmed professor indifference to matters of corruption, free speech, and vigorous debate.  A number of those letters can be viewed on my blogsite.  Numerous publications of poetry, essays, satirical cartoons, novels, and plays.  Some of those publications can be viewed on my website and at globalfreepress.org/contributors/usa/g-tod-slone and globalfreepress.org/cartoonists/g-tod-slone

Dissident Art Exhibits.  Critical art exhibits at the Concord Free Public Library (2008) and Sturgis Library (2011).

Solo Protests.  Staging of various solo protests critical of state-sponsored poets at the Concord Poetry Center, Concord Free Public Library, Robert Creeley Prize in Acton, and elsewhere confirmed poets were largely indifferent to questions of free speech and vigorous debate.  

Foreign Languages Spoken and Written:  French (near-native fluency—Parisian and québécois), Spanish (fluent), Italian (intermediate fluency), German (reading fluency)

Professional Formation & Experience

Doctorate in English (Université de Nantes, Nantes, France), 

M.A. in French (Middlebury College), 

B.A. (Northeastern University).

Online adjunct English/Spanish instructor, American Public University System; English instructor, US Navy (Central Texas College),Visiting professor of French and Spanish (Grambling State University), Online writing instructor (Davenport University), Assistant professor of French and Spanish (Bennett College) and (Fitchburg State College), Assistant professor of Humanities (Elmira College), Lecteur de langue anglaise (École Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique, Nantes, France) and Université du Maine (Le Mans, France), Adult Education instructor of Spanish (Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education, Concord, MA), High school mid-year replacement teacher of Spanish (Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, MA), Community college instructor of Spanish (Mount Wachussetts Community College, Gardener, MA), Language program director in Martinique, France (ASA International Adventures, Amronk, NY), Lecturer of French (Northeastern University, Boston, MA), High School teacher of French (Nazareth Academy, Wakefield, MA), Shipyard welder (General Dynamics), radiation monitor (Groton submarine base), FDIC bank examiner (South Dakota), interpreter/translator (Le Mans auto race—11 consecutive years), census taker…

Publications See http://theamericandissident.org/g_tod_slone_books.html

This CM is a work in progress…

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