An empty shell as president, a torturer running the secret government, Education run by a privileged amateur, and the EPA pivoted to environmental destruction for pay, I’d say America is actually sporting a government that is representative of the American government.--Upthepeople/CommonDreams
The key component of this presidency is the same as that which has been inseparable from at least the majority of his predecessors. The main difference which is disgustingly and unavoidably central to Trump’s presidency is his vain, brutishly honest expression of his (and most presidents before him) lack of integrity between his words used to get elected and his actions after being elected. This slimy method of misrepresentation is made uniquely Trumpian by the crudeness of his interpretation, but his rudely indifferent wording is, perversely, a more honest expression of what is the long established method of operations within the global corporetum known as the “USA.”--CTS
From time to time, Americans will talk about the mass killing, treaty-breaking, impoverishment, and forced removal or assimilation of Native peoples in the U.S. as “a shameful period in our history.” While this may sound like the noble acknowledgement of a genocidal crime, it is far too half-hearted and disingenuous, since these acts are central to the entirety of U.S. history, from the first landing of European ships on North American shores to the recent events at Standing Rock and beyond. An enormous body of scholarly and popular literature testifies to the facts.--JJ
Exceptionally well done, Whitey. Whitey is a curse. He lives everywhere. My old friend CL has always been fond of pointing out the exceptional white qualities of his peers, the whiter the more annoying.
He acknowledges and measures the degrees of whiteness in everyone. America is snuggled up in a white blanket like a babe. America is a shit-hole country of whiteness, dontcha know?
In his best journalism, it’s often hard to distinguish between lucid reports of actual events and his wildest hallucinations. For Thompson, there was a special benefit to choosing the drug you used when reporting a particular experience – whether it was a presidential campaign, or a sequin-fraught Debbie Reynolds stage-show, or a convention of boozy district attorneys watching propaganda flicks about the dangers of marijuana. Drugs could either help you comprehend the madness or maintain your sanity. Gonzo journalism wasn’t simply about getting the insane facts right. It was about enduring them.--SB
While it is true that Balzac’s Paris is a multifarious monster—precursor to the textual Berlins and Dublins that came after—the difference between Balzac and his city-novel progeny is that the modernists were less concerned with a city’s “biological continuity” (its unity, progression, and connective tissue) and more interested in what could be called a city’s “biological discontinuity” (its intrinsic inability to adhere to a tidy narrative). This is what Döblin meant when he referred to “the chaos of cities.” In exploration of this biological discontinuity and in articulation of a certain urban texture, the modernists implemented new ways to embody the city’s multitude: the stream of consciousness, multiple perspectives, free indirect discourse, appropriation, fragmentation, and, especially, montage.--TM
I think I know Portland well enough to write a novel with the city as a central character. Yet I get lost and can't find a narrative, truth or fiction, that suits me whenever I sit down to write about Portland and its other characters.
I should have quit Art long ago, but then what would I have done? Nothing appealed to me as much as the dream of literature. I found nothing else worthy. Nothing that might move me along a reasonable path and into the heart of the mundane, where society thrives and coexists with "reality," where jobs and status and money and the ordinary prevail.
How did it
come to this,
that I became
an insane lover
of the world's madness,
that the sight and sound of it
repelled me in my dreams as I
tossed through the night,
and never learned to
live a quiet life
before taking flight;
never quite getting
very much right?
In 1964, when Joseph Brodsky was 24, he was brought to trial for “social parasitism.” In the view of the state, the young poet was a freeloader. His employment history was spotty at best: he was out of work for six months after losing his first factory job, and then for another four months after returning from a geological expedition. (Being a writer didn’t count as a job, and certainly not if you’d hardly published anything.) In response to the charge, Brodsky leveled a straightforward defense: he’d been thinking about stuff, and writing. But there was a new order to build, and if you weren’t actively contributing to society you were screwing it up.--RW
For as long as I can remember my own creative life has been a skirmish between switching off and turning on, not in the Tim Leary sense, but in the sense that political thought will occasionally put you down for the count. By that I mean politics is out of the hands of the ordinary man, but art can give him succor, even save him.
When Salvador Dalí came to lecture at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936, he arrived with two Russian wolfhounds on leads. He wore a deep-sea diver’s suit and carried a billiard cue. A jewelled dagger hung from his belt. The subject of his lecture was ‘Paranoia, The Pre-Raphaelites, Harpo Marx and Phantoms’. The audience couldn’t hear him through the diving helmet, so it was not immediately obvious that Dalí was suffocating. When friends did eventually sound the alarm, they found the bolts on Dalí’s helmet stuck fast. Send for a spanner! By the time they’d taken the helmet off, Dalí was close to death.--LF
Sounds like a hoot. I went through a long gestation with the Surrealists. What they did still interests me, though I haven't recently read or looked at their work.
I think the way they grovelled and clamored for recognition must have influenced many, many artists thereafter. Warhol most notably.
Terry Simons is the founder of Round Bend Press Books, Round Bend Press Detritus, and an associated writing/editing service to aid and abet renegade authors. He has worked as a day laborer, dishwasher, factory drone, community organizer, journalist, media consultant and freelance writer. He attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University, where he read journalism, politics, literature and history. He is the author most recently of "Along Came the Death Squad: Political and Scattered Notes."
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