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  #41  
Unread 10-14-2019, 06:00 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Dear Poetry Police

I got published in 'Think' journal recently. I was really happy. Then I did a little research and found that it started as some sort of Ayn Rand fan club (or something). I'd never read a copy of 'Think' before I submitted, but someone I know recommended it to me. And I've never read Ayn Rand, but I know she is associated with some kind of Nietzschean, borderline fascist philosophy. I then shared my publication on Facebook in full possession of this knowledge. And I didn't even get an Ayn Rand badge with my free copy. Should I be ashamed now and apologise? Or should I just think 'fuck it, poetry editors are clearly all nuts and nobody reads poetry journals anyway'.

Also, I was friendly to the school caretaker today, even though I think he might be a little bit racist.

Yours

Worried of England.
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  #42  
Unread 10-14-2019, 06:12 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I'm making jokes because I genuinely don't know what to think about all this. Though I'm sure someone will tell me and by the time this thread has run its course everything will be clear.
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  #43  
Unread 10-14-2019, 06:47 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Information seems a good thing to have. Then, armed with broad information, I would think people are free to submit or not to any journal that catches their fancy.

Cheers,
John
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  #44  
Unread 10-14-2019, 07:23 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Mark, here's what you should think.

If we could imagine a magazine called Fascism Today, with articles such as "How To Keep Your Sister From Marrying a Jew" and "Why People of Color Aren't Really People At All," then I'm pretty confident that no one here would think it's okay to send them poems even if the poetry editor is a poet we all like and respect.

But of course, no one here is likely to classify First Things as such a magazine, if I may speak for everyone here. But it's easy to understand why some people may be more than a bit offended by its articles telling them that their marriages blaspheme God's law and may lead to the downfall of civilization, and indeed can be likened to bestiality they are so unnatural and destructive. But, of course, Fascism Today would call for gay people to be killed or converted, so First Things is mild by comparison, and so maybe those who would boycott Fascism Today would still be honored to have a poem in the pages of First Things.

You can imagine a continuum of offensiveness as we consider a variety of other magazines whose views do not correspond with your own, and at some point I presume that most of us would be willing to publish our poems in a magazine whose politics don't align with our own but we still don't consider to be disqualifyingly evil. The question is, when is that point reached? And that is a question for each of us to answer individually. My sense, though, is that there is a point where all of us would and should balk, but there are also points where reasonable minds may differ.

I knew when I sent translations to First Things years ago that the magazine didn't reflect my own values and views, but I deemed it to be a reasonable and benevolent reflection of viewpoints I did not share. At some point, as the editorship changed, I came to believe that it was no longer a place I would feel comfortable sending my work. I didn't, however, conclude that those who still sent them work were bad people as a result, and I continue to hold Mike Juster in high regard. I do see the value of having good poems fill some of the space in a magazine that might otherwise use that same space to denigrate and debase people from an attitude of moral superiority.

By the way, this discussion reminds me of something currently in the news. People are criticizing Ellen Degeneres (a famous gay talk-show host) for being seen at a ballgame laughing it up with George W Bush. Ellen is married to a woman and Bush supported a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage (as well as starting a war that killed thousands and disrupted the world order for the worse). She says (with the support of Elton John, among others) that they are friends and his views don't matter when it comes to friendship. Many people see it as hypocrisy, white privilege, and kow-towing to the widest possible audience for her talk show.
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  #45  
Unread 10-14-2019, 07:45 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Slater View Post
People are criticizing Ellen Degeneres (a famous gay talk-show host) for being seen at a ballgame laughing it up with George W Bush. Ellen is married to a woman and Bush supported a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage (as well as starting a war that killed thousands and disrupted the world order for the worse).
That's some parenthetical aside.

Ellen arguing that she there's nothing wrong with being friendly with people who disagree with her is a straw man. People are angry with her for being friendly with a war criminal.

Sorry for this tangent. Carry on.
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  #46  
Unread 10-14-2019, 08:12 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is online now
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Max, when you consider that Ellen has branded herself as a gay rights icon, I think it's fair to say that people are also mad at her for publicly declaring her friendship with one of the most prominent enemies of the movement she constantly reminds us she has been instrumental in leading.

But it's not all that tangential a tangent as tangents go. The question is the extent to which we should agree to disagree with those whose morality offends our own and focus instead on what we share in common. Ellen apparently prefers to see the retired fellow who paints pictures of cute puppies rather than focus on what he did before retirement. And I guess she likes being invited to VIP seats where the invitations are reserved for those who will allow themselves to be used to promote the team owner's agenda even if it is contrary to her own.
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  #47  
Unread 10-14-2019, 09:29 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Mark, when I was published in the first “Think” after extensive correspondence with the editor and revision, I found that (she) the editor was an intelligent, thoughtful woman chiefly interested in advancing the cause of poetry and women therein. I did not smell Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand, the atheist, enjoyed, she claimed, aggressive male sex, and has suffered by a climate change in approval since she escaped the soviet union and discovered some of the virtues of selfishness. As to the Ayn Rand of modern vilification, I’m unqualified to discuss her excesses, and absolutely refuse to do so.
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  #48  
Unread 10-15-2019, 07:25 AM
Chris O'Carroll Chris O'Carroll is offline
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First Things published two poems of mine back in 2012 and 2013. I've since sworn off submitting there, and I feel special respect for the poet who expressed objection to one of the magazine's toxic articles by withdrawing a poem after it had been accepted, thereby foregoing a check from a well-paying venue. However, I'm not quite cranky or arrogant enough to believe that my way is the only righteous path, so I have no beef with poets who feel OK about publishing in FT. The magazine is spiritually repellent and intellectually dishonest, to be sure, but the notion that writers I admire should be shunned or written off because of an association with it just doesn't sit right.
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  #49  
Unread 10-15-2019, 02:33 PM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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I generally “shun” only people or associated things that give me headaches (almost all of which behaviors are in principle reversible): that is, people who overpost 37 times per hour, every hour; people who seem to have hidden agendas or who try to coerce me into joining some political army or who go bananas more than four times a year; or people who insert their loudspeaker (=tannoy) into my thoughts without welcome or permission. Apart from the hidden agendas, in principle these problems can be reversed or controlled. Less is very frequently more.
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  #50  
Unread 10-16-2019, 07:13 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Mike Juster is a friend of mine. I have never known him to be anything other than an eminently tolerant and reasonable person.

I'm trying to find a comfortable space to interact with people whose views on LGBTQ issues (and so many other issues) are so different from mine. We'll see if it's possible.
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