HILTON KRAMER’S AND THE NEW CRITERION’S GREAT BETRAYAL

Hilton Kramer and his magazine the New Criterion’s sniffy attitude towards popular culture is well known.

Here’s what is not well known.

Conservatives have been betrayed by Hilton Kramer.

What Hilton Kramer has been ultimately doing is giving a conservative legitimacy to Modernism.  This was always the whole sneaky agenda from the beginning, when Kramer left his full-time position at the NY Times and started the New Criterion with Samuel Lipman in 1982.

Hilton Kramer’s whole raison d’etre was to forge an insidious alliance between the cretins of Modernism and decent folk who found themselves aligned with conservative beliefs.

The New Criterion professes ignorance of how the real high-brow culture of 19th century Romanticism, its Greek & Roman revival, its great musical composers like Brahms & Dvorak, Beethoven, its great poets like Heine and Keats and Shelley, the greatness of Poe in that tradition, how all that beauty and ecumenical  greatness was hijacked by hateful, crackpot, narrow Modernist con-men like Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Ford Madox Ford, John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, John Dewey and William James.

It’s fine to appreciate the sort of abstract art found in the little New York art galleries advertised in the New Criterion; one can certainly adore Modernism and Abstract Art if one wants, but to pretend that High Modernism somehow represents the sole legitimate fine arts culture of our time is a lie—one that needs to be confronted and rejected, whether one is a liberal or a conservative.

The New Criterion, despite its free market rhetoric, is heavily subsidized; I doubt there’s much editorial freedom for change possible; its template is well-established, but nonetheless we make sincere a plea to Mr. Roger Kimball and anyone else involved in the production of that magazine to take a fresh look at so-called High Modernism and then join the rest of us in the real world who love fine arts and popular culture. We still hold out hope, that in the long run, this betrayal can be overturned.

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39 Comments

  1. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    The New Criterion has been vigilant in showing how radical Islam has intimidated U.S. cultural institutions such as The New York Times and Yale University Press. Plus they spotlight the large number of academics who take a pro-Arab and anti-Israeli line in the classroom.

  2. thomasbrady said,

    June 23, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Bob,

    I dunno…almost every Dem in Congress voted to go to war after 9/11, the Obama administration is following the Bush administration in its fight against the radical Muslims in the middle east…I don’t think there’s any danger that the NY Times, the Yale Review or US intellectuas are going to let militant Islam take over…true, it’s more of an issue in Europe and yet…are Paris and London being ripped apart by suicide bombers? No, it’s poor Muslims blowing up each other for the most part…why should an art magazine be obsessed with some nasty bit of the political landscape? There’s plenty of (political) periodicals with much larger circulations that harp on the same thing…to me, contemporary Islam is a fish in a barrel…an unfortunate people living in the desert with a one-resource (oil) economy which creates a terrible have/have-not culture, screwed over by Britain, France, US, etc…yes, Islam is unfortunately influenced by violent madmen and the people are oppressed…but I’m not sure how a comfortable, high-brow Arts magazine taking potshots at Islam helps anyone…Art and Letters, at least, should try and bring people together…there’s political channels for this, and I’m not taking one side or the other, I don’t want to offend the pro-Israel lobby nor Islam, frankly… sure, the New Criterion can write whatever it wants, but it just seems to me when an arts magazine becomes obsessed with a political issue in such a one-sided way, it’s not good for Arts and Letters…are they being courageous for making a stand for what they believe in?…yes, I suppose I have to concede that…but there’s a certain baiting spirit which doesn’t seem proper or right given the context: literary/arts magazine…plus the Modernism which the New Criterion supports doesn’t meet their own political smell test by a long shot… I find that kind of ironic…

  3. Jem Asbrae said,

    June 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Oh no! The New Criteria’s collapsed into failure, and an unpoetic line. Excellent work Thom; the evidence sifted, all the teas crossed and eyes dotted, exposing a conspiracy, attempt at infiltrating the intelligensia and wreaking havoc with double-agents and triple bluffers, to wrestle away from the clever young and easily swayed by Yale and Harvard sophistry, the beauty of all words.

    I am disgusted at what’s been going on at The New Critieria, with its lax, anti-intellectual ethos of ‘whoever’, ‘packitfuckininlike’ and ‘other’ not ‘one’. Is there a hotline we can call, a global English language poetry organization on the case, chasing they who wrought such wrong on America’s heritage and code of love in Letters man, what are they doing about it!?

  4. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 24, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Another problem with The New Criterion is that it’s so beautifully put together, so it’s hard to throw away. I’d rather it come on cheap inky paper so I’d have no qualms about tossing it. I’ve got shelves filled with TNC back issues in the basement….

  5. Chuck Godwin said,

    June 24, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Since Guy Davenport passed away, I only read TNC for the William Logan rants, tho some of the art stuff is good. The political line is, like any political line on either side of the spectrum, odious, so I don’t subscribe but read what they put online (usually the Logan piece) or at the library.

  6. thomasbrady said,

    June 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Was the New Criterion instrumental in getting William Logan heard as a critic? If so, they deserve kudos for that; Logan’s a tremendously funny ‘balloon-puncturing’ critic, though too much a High-Modernism man for my taste… (which is why TNC hired him, no doubt…)

  7. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    It’s a freedom of speech issue. Threats and violence from Muslims is intimidating artists and writers from creating freely. I applaud The New Criterion for speaking out about this.

  8. thomasbrady said,

    June 24, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Bob,

    As a writer, I don’t feel my freedom of speech or my artistic freedom is curtailed one bit because I’m afraid to offend Muslims.

    If I felt compelled to offend Muslims, I feel that compulsion would automatically make me a person who was less free.

    If someone threatened you with violence, and you went to the police, and they said to you, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to give you complete freedom of speech against those who are threatening you with violence,” what would you say? You’d sputter, “What? Is that all you’re going to do?” So I’m wondering how much a ‘freedom of speech issue’ really means in your particular context of ‘threats of violence.’ Threats of violence are wrong, and so wrong, in fact, that laws in our society require physical force be brought to bear against those threats of violence. Serious threats of violence can mean a prison term. If someone is stalking you, you don’t fight off that threat with ‘freedom of speech,’ do you? I’m not saying that ‘freedom of speech’ is not an important freedom to be cherished. Of course it is. But I’m wondering if this is really a ‘freedom of speech’ issue. There’s all sorts of laws which inhibit speech, if that speech is libelous or slanderous, for instance; ‘threats of violence,’ too is speech that is not permitted. Acts of violence, however, which occur without any prior ‘threat’ might make us wish we had been threatened first. And yet ‘threats of violence’ will never be condoned, unless it’s one country warning another, or a cop saying, ‘Drop that gun or I’ll shoot!” What we object to, of course is, “Stop saying/writing that or I’ll shoot!” This goes to the heart of what you’re saying. But again, is this really a ‘freedom of speech’ situation? It isn’t, really, because if we grant the person who is about to get shot complete freedom to continue to say what offends, we have not addressed at all the issue of the person holding the gun who is saying, “Stop saying that or I’ll shoot!” ‘Freedom of speech’ isn’t going to cure this confrontation one bit, is it? This is a subtle distinction. I am not in any way denying ‘freedom of speech’ as a general principle, but I’m questioning whether this particular issue you raise is, in fact, a ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘artistic freedom’ issue. I’m wondering, for instance, how it helps to refer to “Muslims intimidating artists…” when most Muslims would never do such a thing. I don’t mean to catch you on semantics, but we do have to be very careful about speech; trotting out the word ‘freedom’ at every turn, or the word “Muslim” at every turn is not, in my book, always the best way to be attentive in dealing with issues of speech.

    The way I see it, we have 3 scenarios.

    1. I say something and I offend Muslims and freedom of speech is invoked and I continue to offend Muslims with impunity.

    2. I say something and I offend Muslims and freedom of speech is invoked and I continue to offend Muslims and I am shot and killed.

    3. I say something and I offend Muslims and freedom of speech is invoked and I continue to offend Muslims and my speech contributes to an alteration of the state of things by which Muslims become less offensive to me.

    I find it hard to believe that #3 will be an outcome.

    If by ‘freedom of speech’ you refer to the ability for persons to express outrage in the face of violence, I fully support that ‘freedom of speech,’ but this ‘freedom of speech’ would permit free and open dialogue in response to truly offensive acts and should not be confused with ‘freedom of speech’ that merely offends.

    Finally, I support 100% the New Criterion’s right to express their beliefs and support your right to support that right…I just kind of feel it finally doesn’t lead to any good…

    Tom

    • notevensuperficial said,

      June 24, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      4. I say something and I offend Israel and freedom of speech is invoked and the Israel First shop at The New Criterion doesn’t call neutrality in western Asia an “anti-Semitic” position.

      5. A U. S. Senator says something and offends Israel and freedom of speech is invoked – as well as clarity of perception and willingness to tell the truth – and that Senator gets re-elected.

    • Bob Tonucci said,

      June 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

      Tell it to the cartoonists who have had to build panic rooms onto their homes because of attacks from radical Muslims.

      • notevensuperficial said,

        June 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

        How much does the one have to do with the other?

        Do those cartoonists believe that violent Muslim superficialism compels them to support a stolen state No Matter What? – or that western Asians should have had to pay for the utterly criminal Holocaust?

        I’m not a zionist for Palestinians, Bob. But neither do I think that Americans have a genuinely principled cause in rationalizing or materially propping up settler psychosis in Ramallah – or in Tel Aviv.

  9. Jem Asbrae said,

    June 25, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Some of my best freinds are xxxxxxx, and I certainly don’t hold back when I patronize ‘em; I love fuckin xxxxxxx man, I wanna hold their hands as we walk in the shadow through the valley of the death, some of my closest facebook freinds are fuckin xxxxxxx mate, tho I’m Amerpentupastral myself, street corner christ saving cyberville wretches, the worms, the worms, I love the fuckin xxxxxxx Thom, and it’s interesting to watch and be part of them competing with their ‘other’ religions of beleiving in the sacred right to bear arms and blow eveymuthafuckinlastoneofyer Ameripentup baptists, the dawgs, the wagos, tha fix, the dayglo shits and giggles, tha ya’ll is ye muthafuckinspud, wotcha punk rasp coughing ku klix love of hooded sentience, the fuckin xxxxxxx in xxx xxxxxx, taunted by the State of America, not by the content of their cooler talk, it’s a State in Disgrace debate, with punditry and something public, but privately more deeper than that, the Chintz and the Fookians, Krooks and Crykes, news spreading, taking our women and work, kidnapping Amerpentupastrals in the one true blue approach to the poetical being, catz who rock ‘n roll music, any ol way ye choose it, it’s gotta backbeat or you lose it, if ye wanna dance with Paul, if ye wanna dance wiv Paul.

    You know he needs that rock and roll music, it’s way to early for the conga, late for a waltz and frozen out of conversation, you vanish into the milleau of a taunting few old timers with entertaining bile and the begrudgery you’ve gotta learn, how to hate man: it’s beautiful in the American poetry pools of Bukowski, Ginsberg, Beat Confessionalists, Suicide Poets and the soul of Man exposed by poetry alone, in a deepfelt pose, tone, way of appearing as love in Letters – a sort of malign draw to feeling pleased at the loss others less fortunate than us, experience. Insulting poor, disposessed intellectual pygymies, taunting them and goading you because I am jealous at some level, deluding myself I need this ‘crap’ in my life right now, all this speaky stuff about always always cracking the odds, alwaysplaying the right par on course and running with the hare and rabbit on the field we most desire to meet Poetry in – all Her guises a million super flarfist gazoons’ choonz, and tha knew why eyes, Northumbrian babble older than time – locked into crazee modern kvetches about tha dán and main-rhymer double-store of grá, Love, love and loathing three way proposals that God’s one of them Amerimental Flaptist twats, mine and yours equally deific and splendiferousness itself tha makes this doggerelist piss emself laughin

    Yours

    Amerpentupastralist

    fucking loving it –

    xxxxxxx

    Mej Asbru

  10. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

    We’re all gonna make a great buncha dhimmis.

  11. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 26, 2010 at 12:32 am

    These exchanges have strengthened my long held belief that there is no middle ground possible in the Israel-Palestinian struggle. One ultimately has to pick a side. I pick the Israeli side, and notevensuperficial obviously picks the Palestinian side.

    • notevensuperficial said,

      June 26, 2010 at 1:16 am

      obviously picks the Palestinian side

      Did you read what I wrote, Bob? Being an American, and so long as “America” isn’t being egregiously, self-defeatingly evil in my name, I’m on America’s side.

      For example, in the case of the ultracon war in Iraq, pro-America means “anti-invasion”, “anti-occupation”, “anti-incompetently-helping-Iranian-proxies-like-Tricky-Trigger-Cheney’s-pal-Chalabi”. In the case of the war in Iraq, pro-America also means “pay exactly as you go” – definitely, in the case of ultracon theory of their war in Iraq, not a priority.

      Well, in the case of the banks of the Jordan river: to me, pro-America means “not another dime; not another soldier for Israel”. Pro-America also means “support for Palestine to the extent that Palestinians really help themselves” – which, for close to 70 years, hasn’t been much.

      You see, Bob? Between the nations, scrupulous neutrality; among the peoples, as ,much good-Samaritanism as can be afforded.

      And to people who say, ‘if you’re not for Israel, then you must be for Palestine‘ – I say: since in no way does it really commit me to supporting any country but my own – not another dime; not another soldier for Israel.

      And, Bob, a major irony of the 1001 cruel ironies of western Asia is that it would make Israel’s survival more, and not less, likely, were we pro-America Americans to quit voting for Washinton Likudnikim, shun Nixonyahoo, and support the voices and policy recommendations of Israelis like David Grossman.

  12. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 26, 2010 at 9:44 am

    It sounds so reasonable, but I suspect such scrupulous, finely nuanced neutrality isn’t possible in the real world. Adding to the air of unreality is the phrase “pay exactly as you go” — America hasn’t paid exactly as it goes for at least 60 years, and perhaps far longer than that.

    We humans are creatures with hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate, not detached, cerebral beings. And maybe that’s good, if it keeps us from being the Eloi to the Mohammadan Morlocks.

  13. notevensuperficial said,

    June 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    neutrality isn’t possible in the real world

    Sure it is, Bob. “Neutrality” doesn’t have to mean ‘choosing no side’, or ‘never acting on the grounds of discernment of real differences’.

    “Neutrality” can mean ‘choosing our (collective) side; acting on our principles, principles guiding an interest in the best result for us, without that interest having been usurped by a partiality external to us’.

    For example, a jury-and-judge sends some people to jail and sets others free without losing its neutrality with respect to scrupling to take the part of some persons and not others. (Sure, the criminal justice system is misshapen by the interests, the partialities, of money, race, and so on – but the goal of neutrality of judgement isn’t abandoned, and we don’t set free demonstrated murderers, because the system’s neutrality is compromised. Instead, we try, with baby steps, to make the juridical principle of neutrality effective wherever we find it to have failed.)

    I don’t see why this sense of “neutrality” is impossible to apply to or impose on America’s foreign-policy sensibilities and practices – unless “we” are partial, unless our interests are those of identity rather than of principle.

    the air of unreality

    I agree that Keynesian borrowing to pay for things no ‘private’ marketplace will ever account for – like universally accessible schools, roads, and hospitals, and, yes, just wars – is rational.

    But fiscal “conservatives” should at least consistently, and not merely expediently, pretend to believe in the rules they would impose rhetorically, not just on progressive policies, but rather on all of proper government.

    “Unreality” is, though coarsely grained and too kind, an accurate word to describe the “air” produced by ultracon rhetoric.

    hearts full of passion

    Principle, consistency, and reasoned rejection of purely identity-based argument are not antithetical to our ‘passionate’ natures.

  14. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Have you been to Palastine/Israel, Bob?

  15. notevensuperficial said,

    June 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Not a reasonable question, Makmood.

    I’d not speak for Bob; I’ve “been to” perhaps three dozen countries on six continents, and lived on three continents, and I’ve never “been to Pal[e]stine/Israel”.

    But we’re having a disagreement – perhaps a conversation – on the grounds of facts, rationality, commitments, passions — why should the interaction devolve into ‘credentialing’ each other? Even demonstrable, actual credentials?

    I’m absolutely sure, Makmood, that you can find people who’ve lived for decades on the eastern shore of the Med who profoundly disagree with your perspective on the region – whatever it is -, and people who agree with you 99% who’ve never been more than a couple of hundred miles from their (distant) hometowns. You see what I mean? – travel can be irreplaceably informative, but, in itself, having traveled ‘proves’ nothing. – Any more than does a PhD in Political Astuteness in Intractable Cases.

    Why not ask Bob a real question, and leave the ad hominem credentialing to deservedly insecure ‘minds’?

  16. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    As Philip Larkin might have said, I wouldn’t mind visiting Israel if I could be home by dinner time. Oh, and if I didn’t have to worry about being blown up on a bus by a Palestinian.

    I suppose I should have said such scrupulous, finely nuanced neutrality isn’t possible for a government with an interest in the matter at hand. And the U.S. has a large number of people who are very pro-Israel and very anti-Palestinian, to include many Jews, many Christians, and those who watched the 1972 Munich Olympics on TV.

    I only wish “we don’t set free demonstrated murderers,” from your fingers to G-d’s ears!

    • notevensuperficial said,

      June 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      an interest in the matter at hand

      Sure, Bob, there’s an absurdly potent electoral interest in Israel First, No Matter What.

      I’d not put the hat on neo-con Jewish-Americans, though; even with one-issue voters, they have a hard time holding on to their four Senate in perpetuam seats (NY, CA). (I think the Jewish-American electorate is quite diverse, and has a majority quite to the foreign-policy left of, say, Slick Paulie Wolfowitz, Slick Dickie Perle, and Slick Dougie Feith.)

      The real Israel First voting bloc in America is that of Christian Zionism, isn’t it? I mean, the crowd – tens of millions of motivated American voters – who think that, once the infidels have been ethnically cleansed from the Greater Holy Land, the Jewish people of Israel will submit to the Ferdinand-and-Isabella dilemma: the Cross – or the sword. It was no less a hard-liner than Sharon who warned of the danger to a Jewish state of their American Christian-superficialist ‘allies’.

      I still assert that America’s interest is best served by starving the settlers absolutely: not another dime; not another soldier.

      • The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

        June 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

        America gives Israel a billion plus per year,
        Egypt too, just so they won’t fight.
        Don’t blame me, it wasn’t my idea,
        It’s Jimmy Carter’s legacy with no end in sight.

        Modern man can accept
        Just about any atrocity,
        So long as he doesn’t lose
        Connection to ‘lectricity.

  17. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Oh, so you haven’t been to the place you are talking about.

    So you are basing what you say on secondary sources of information. Interesting.A bit like the World Cup soccer tournament, you pick a team on, the color of their shirt, or because you like something about them, and cheer all the way. Like the Israelis at the 72 Olympics, 38 years ago now, before they started cloning passports and killing ‘terrorists’ on those boats trying to bring ‘stuff’ to the overfed Palastinians whinging about living in a holiday camp by the sea.

    Where do you live Bob? You see the thing is, 3000 years go, God promised the descendants of those who made me, 3000 years ago, that no matter who was living in Apt 309 Jibbly Towers, New York, that that bit of real estate, was mine, and if you live there and don’t fancy moving out, I’ll come with my European mates and fuck you out of it, because God promised me it and it has been the one thing keeping our family going for the last 2000 years, since we got booted out of the apartment by some wicked guys God said we gotta smite.

  18. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 27, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    notevenreasonable

    You say asking Bob a very simple, yes or no question of have you been to Plalastine/Isreal, is ‘unreasonable’?

    Why?

    You sound very defensive. If someone oproffers an opinion on a complex subject and I try to guage their experience, for you to say, no, you cannot ask the basics, shows only you are a bit inesecure about whatever side you are on.

    I haven’t been, but knowing the guys here who sort everything out because you’re soo intellectual, I’ll keep out of it and wait for you three to solve the planets problems with your hot air.

    • notevensuperficial said,

      June 27, 2010 at 11:28 pm

      ‘unreasonable’? [/] Why?

      Stopped after you read your name in bold type, eh, Makmood?

      Well, if you’re still reading this post, go on back to the one you’ve quoted and you’ll see “why”.

      You’re not try[ing] to g[au]ge [Bob's] experience” – you’re asking for a credential that’s not relevant to any facts, logic, or priorities that are on display in the conversation.

      [insecure

      'I know you are but what am I', Makmood? Really?]

      • Mikmood Fringlesmeine said,

        June 28, 2010 at 1:25 am

        xxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx, so, you’re saying just because someone’s name, xxxxxxx, is spelled M – A – K – M – O – O – D, it is unreasonable of ‘em to ask ‘Bob’ an innocent question: Have you been to Israel/Palastine, xxx, sorry, Bob?

        Clutching and straws, along with junior high school level of debate, immediately come to mind, between the suppressed laughter at your little ‘joke’ xxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx, ‘whoever’, anonymous person trying to keep earnestly to the point about – what is the point again please notevens … sorry, xxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx, anonymous critic on the P/I debate?

        Those Islamist extremest, who claim legitimacy for their world according to a racist, mysogynist 7C text, aren’t like other religionists who found theirs on a 2500BC text that is also a sacred legal document authored by God via various prophets, whose credentials are, erm, they liked talking about killing people, lots of people, because that was God had told ‘em to do. Like the tiny amount from the hundreds of millions of Islamists who think along the same lines, God, the promised land and the religious contracts they are in dispute about; the people directing and doing their gods’ work.

        Enjoy another video, of some people watching centuries old olive trees getting uprooted by the lads. Dead funny. What I wanna know is, what the fuck do these Palastinians think they’re doing, squatting illegally on land promised by God to the devout European people, notevensuperficial, taking what’s been promised by God

        xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, what a lovewly name.

        Don’t they know, it’s not their land? Are they thick?

        There’s plaenty of vids either way, so chill out and sway to this instead, poetry swingers.

      • notevensuperficial said,

        June 28, 2010 at 2:43 am

        Ok, McMakmik – did you see what I said to Bob? I mean the part where I scorn arguments that western Asians should pay for crimes committed by Europeans against Europeans.

        Can you illuminate your passion for Palestinians?

        I mean, why them – and Alabamans – of all the fucked-over people in the world? Why no peace march for Burma? or Tibet? or Uighur province? or the Congolese, who, not ten years ago, suffered the bloodiest war since ’45? How about the starving, medically uncared-for, uneducated masses of Rabat, Cairo, Istanbul, Damascus, Tehran, Karachi, Jakarta – you know, the Muslim world? – masses whom no Israeli has ever denied a grain of rice or a red cent.

        McMakmik, I don’t think anyone in Europe gives a raggedy rat’s ass about “Palestine” – it’s just a slogan; and I don’t think peace marches are a form of conscious politics – they’re just obedience.

  19. Bob Tonucci said,

    June 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    No, I picked the Israeli team in the World Cup b/c they’re the only democracy in that region. And Apt 309 Jibbly Towers, New York got blown up on 9/11 by Islamic terrorists.

  20. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    You really should try going to Palastine/Israel Bob, if you can fit it in between solving the problems of the world on poetry soocial network sites.

    I am sure the people in Gaza and Bethehem and all the other places in Israel, would find what you have to say, possibly the sort of thing that might bring resolution to the conflict; make them realize how foolish they are, and how morally wrong it is of them, to harbor any notions of having rights in the land of Israel. It’s a good job they have no citizenship, these paltry few million.

    God promised it Bob. What’s more logical than that?

  21. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 27, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    What lovely European flowers these young Israelis are. A poster for the State. That cocksureness, ‘God gave me this land’. Brilliant.

  22. Makmood Kinklestein said,

    June 27, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Hopefully one day the young kid will be as brave as this brave Israeli soldier slapping down the ones’ God didn’t make an unbreakable covenant with.

  23. June 27, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Have things ever been much different?

    Immigration

    Immigration now the topic of discussion,
    the uninvited millions moving in.
    A burden on our system and our nation,
    filling hospitals and schools and jails.
    They come in droves across our borders,
    into our land, disregarding our laws,
    even claiming the right to this invasion.
    They say they should be welcomed and forgiven,
    telling all it’s but the simple result of need
    and desperation and, after all, it was God Almighty’s
    own decision, and death, of course, must come to he
    who our Holy claim to this land defies.

    Somewhere the ghost of an old Chief chuckles,
    nods in recognition,
    then cries.

    Copyright 2008 – HARDWOOD – 77 Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald

  24. Mamood Trinklekz said,

    June 28, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Take no notice of me notevensuper. You don’t mind me calling you notevensuper, do you notevensuperficial. It’s just that I wouldn’t want to cause any offence to you, xxxxxx.

    I cannot demonstrate any real love for the Palastinian people; they exist only via secondary, media sources and having no ‘real’ experience of the what’s on ‘debate'; one can act as sympathiser with the ‘people’ who are pawns in the biggest game of all, politics and poetry.

    You have the voice of a people, the rest of the world listens. You got the voice of a corporation, it aint poetry notevensuper, this voice God ordered to speak, thus what can be done, for the Palastinian and Israeli beyond seeking to speak from a worse off majorty perspective, point of view; by looking at the poverty on both sides and noting which one is the greater. Forget the sophists on both ‘sides'; try to discern and present the starkest evidence via visua and audio recordings, and if you do put a position forward in debate, do so in one you are careful not to instigate.

    I read somewhere that the poet speaks in a voice of the victim. That is why the poets who do speak for their peoples, can end up on the largest global stage; and others not because the peoples they speak for are not primarily victims but winners.

    That’s why the official poet laureates of England are unable to write poetry that grips the world, and unofficial poet Laureates of former or present colonies in dispute, can.

    But you are right notevenfinancial; I am merely a chalatan sloganeering on the reality of all six billion nine hundred and ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand people, other than me.

    I am a European who has never left there, a provincial ass; and the horror, terror and suffering I’ve experienced or witnessed in person, is slight to non-existent; and I try to be thankfulfor the blessing of this entity of consciousness and God who made it, me, you, us – or not. I’m easy and happy with either, both or neither reality being a ‘real’ one; for ‘reality’ via these yes has been blessed by good fortune and tho I am not one to get involved n political debates as sensitive as this one; having most of my 60 great-great-great grandparents alive in times of holocaust and famine, coupled with the political environment on their island for the last centuries; makes me recognize one can take both sides into the mind as cyphers in some process-with-self that leads hopefully to poetry; but most of the time – waffle.

    I am a fake in relation to caring about anyone but myself, but one can try to prosecute and defend according to what comes in; the whims and whisps that get us gassing theatricaly with a straight face. In tragic prose I fail, but sure, in comic prose I do too; so I gotta be about equal at both, da da!

    The important thing is, do it for yourself and post vidz as counter strategy to the mock, sub-psueds corner, mini New reublic imitators debate on the P/I conflict as a theoretical construct which amounts to all sides boring the brains out of one another with the so called ‘proof’ of some verbal quibble that is wholly unimportant in any real sense, only for the ego and lonliness of a cast of usual bluffers trotting out examples and counter example of America or England’s noble caste in tune and touch with your ‘living’ tradition of poetry as practised by schools of actors without answers to what poetry is, in any meaningful sense, beyond their own touchy, carey relempathy attempt at appearing in sync with the poetic and verbal-art philosophy of whatever stream we ourselves are in and represent, as people we want you to trust when it comes to speaking seriously of the serious question, what is poetry and how can I make money from it?

  25. thomasbrady said,

    June 28, 2010 at 11:20 am

    “I read somewhere that the poet speaks in a voice of the victim. That is why the poets who do speak for their peoples, can end up on the largest global stage; and others not because the peoples they speak for are not primarily victims but winners.”

    Interesting idea. Don’t know if I agree.

  26. The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

    June 28, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    The Jews were first.
    Jesus next, with “Judaism for Dummies” (of which I’m one).
    Then spake Muhammad.

    What to make of him, angel or devil?
    Hard to say, whether one is standing in the Far East under its Confucianism
    Or in the Wild West under its Confusionism.

    It took 1700 years for Christianity to get Enlightened.
    So we have to wait until 2400 for Islam to get it too?
    No. There isn’t time.

    Modern life is a superhighway,
    Ten lines of traffic flying by,
    Ideas and concepts flying by,

    And those who throw stones from overpasses
    Needs must be taken out.
    The road must stay open.

    The road must stay open.
    Wow, tough guy.
    And what am I doing to keep the road open

    Besides paying my taxes
    So that 20 year olds can risk life and limb?
    No cliché that,

    Lots of limbs being lost
    To keep the road open.
    But if the government called me

    I’d go. Yah, easy to say that,
    When there’s a snowball’s chance
    They’d call up my 50 year old ass.

    So I guess I should shut up,
    Keep my chickenhawkish views to myself,
    And draw stick-figured Muhammads.

  27. June 29, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Has anybody seen Martin Scorsese’s latest, ‘Shutter Island’, with Leornardo DiCaprio?

    No?

    Well, you’re all in it,

    • thomasbrady said,

      June 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

      terrible film, scorsese’s washed up, don’t waste yr money, gary!

  28. The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

    June 29, 2010 at 11:30 am

    The films, the films
    Of Martin Scorcese
    Watch them enough
    And you’re sure to go crazy

    Saw ‘Taxi Driver’
    When I was 13
    And ever since then
    Life’s lost its sheen

    Love Bobby DeNiro
    Yes he’s ineluc-
    Tably great, he’s my hero
    So I always say “f–k”

    Hate f-bombs and why-oh-lence
    With a Hollywood gloss?
    Skip the films of Scorcese
    You’ll feel “no big ross”

    Will his films mellow
    As onward he goeth?
    Quoth Whitney Houston:
    “Hell to the no-eth!”

  29. The Noochie-Coochie Man said,

    June 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

    “Israel is the promised land,”
    About that I don’t care.
    Zi’nists now own Israel
    Cuz they stole it fair and square.

    Like ev’ry nation’s stolen,
    Wh’er by pillage or by sack.
    The conquered should accept it
    Or try hard to steal it back.

    The Palis they are trying,
    And the Mexicans, them too.
    The kinder and the gentler
    ‘herit nothing but a loo.


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