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  #21  
Old 10-30-2018, 11:21 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I'm tired of sides and left and right. Of hearing about CHUDS and Boomers. Tired of feeling like every reaction I have to hatred and atrocity must be filtered through the correct political prism. Tired of having exactly the same feelings of sickened disgust at the vile, toxic, religion-inspired misogyny and/or homophobia that produces this

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-45829440

and this

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45918845

yet feeling like voicing disgust for the former is acceptable while voicing the same disgust at the latter somehow allies me with the neanderthals of the English far-right. I'm very tired of ideology and politics and resolve henceforth to simply be as kind to people as I am able.

Edit: and I'll make my judgement about who those people are and the level of kindness they deserve on a case by case basis.

Edit edit: It seems that most of the energy here is expended not in sympathy for victims of injustice but at sniping vitriol against fellow writers for occasionally appearing in the 'wrong' magazines. The tiny, overwhelmingly liberal world of poetry bickering while the world falls apart.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 10-30-2018 at 06:59 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-30-2018, 12:41 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Mark, just the other day you argued against my complaints about centrists by saying that centrists, when they devote their energies to non-issues like "the regressive left", shouldn't have to issue prefaces about there being far bigger issues (e.g. the actual fascist right) around.

Yet now you are upset that some of us are question fellow formalists who are happy to appear in pro-fascist rags like The New Criterion without issuing the caveat that there are far bigger issues (e.g. the actual election of a murderous fascist in Brazil, which TNC's editor supports).

You see the double standard, yes?
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  #23  
Old 10-30-2018, 02:50 PM
Andrew Szilvasy Andrew Szilvasy is online now
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I didn't know much about Roger Kimball; I knew TNC was more right wing, but had no idea how bad his politics were. I like David Yezzi; I don't know his politics, but the poetry I've read has never jumped out to me as conservative, necessarily. I'm happy to be wrong on that, though it may not matter.
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  #24  
Old 10-30-2018, 02:59 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Most of TNC, with a few exceptions, is pretty bland politically: fairly solid art & lit discussion with the occasional one-liner to remind you it's a conservative outlet (also in this vein: their inability to praise a queer or minority artist without taking a potshot at politically left art). A lot of their overtly political stuff in the early days of the Trump admin seemed squeamish about Trump, though of course eager to point out how the left is worse, suggesting that Kimball may have kept any explicitly anti-Trump material out. (But then, those were the good old days, when Republicans still hemmed and hawed about Trump's manners before they cast their votes in favor of his fascist policies, so maybe Kimball didn't need to.) But Kimball himself is an anti-moral slimeball, and anyone who works for him taints themselves by doing so.
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  #25  
Old 10-30-2018, 03:04 PM
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Orwn Acra Orwn Acra is offline
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I think Yezzi is more left-leaning. I hope he does the correct thing and resigns. The poetry selections, anyway, have gotten more and more insular with the same people reappearing every third issue more or less. I wonder if they've had a drop in submissions over the last few years.
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  #26  
Old 10-30-2018, 03:18 PM
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Julie Steiner Julie Steiner is offline
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Every one of us is a preacher, in one way or another. We all want to testify to the truth, as we see it, and to have others adopt our way of thinking.

It saddens me to see people using preaching methods that they should know don't work, because those same methods have never worked on them--and have, in fact, strengthened their resolve to promote the opposite point of view.

For example, some churches preach only to the choir. That is, their mission is not to persuade sinners of the error of their ways. Their mission is to be a social purity club, where the like-minded can rail to the like-minded about what terrible people the less enlightened are. They relish the idea that those they consider to be sinners will be sorry someday that they didn't admit that the churchgoers were right. This sort of preaching fills a need, but the need it's filling is self-esteem therapy rather than making any sort of positive difference in the world.

In contrast, some churches preach by going out into the public sphere to berate or shame sinners. This, too, seems to me to meet some sort of self-therapy need rather than converting anyone. Yelling at people for not being of your mindset does not convert them to your mindset. It just convinces them, and everyone else in earshot, that people with your mindset are nasty, vindictive, hate-filled people.

And then there are churches that try to use civil power to outlaw things they consider sinful (or to legalize things they consider virtuous), as a substitute for effective preaching. Their approach seems to be, "If you're not very good at persuading people to your point of view, no problem--just take away their choice in the matter." While imposing your rules on people against their will certainly does make a difference in the real word, the law will be changed back as soon as your group loses power, if you can't convince others to freely choose the outcome you wish. Legislating what people can and can't do physically does nothing to change their minds and hearts.

My own church practices all three of these ineffective and/or downright harmful preaching methods. I stay in my church anyway, because that's where the religious hypocrites are, and religious hypocrites are the sinners who do the most harm to themselves and others. (See Matthew 23.) If I leave, I can't keep trying to change minds and hearts to a worldview that is more in harmony with their own professed beliefs.

By staying, I may seem to be endorsing things I find repugnant, but I think I've been pretty vocal about clarifying my positions on those, and it's no secret that although I still participate very actively and visibly in my worship community, I don't receive Communion anymore because I am not in communion with my church on several matters, and I would be a hypocrite myself if I didn't follow the rules about that. I'll stick around until I'm booted out, though.

Likewise, I will continue to submit certain poems to venues with whose viewpoints I strongly disagree, because that is the only way to reach the audiences whose minds and hearts I would like to change. Anyone who reads the actual poems I've published there can see that I am not endorsing the wider editorial stance of those venues. I realize that my repeatedly saying so probably makes my publication in those venues less likely, but if so I don't begrudge the editors their right to factor that into their decision about whether to publish my stuff.

I offer the above thoughts in case anyone sees useful parallels with their own stances or situations, whether religious or political.
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  #27  
Old 10-30-2018, 03:45 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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I think it's time to boycott The New Criterion. I'm with Walter, btw, though Walter probably thinks otherwise. I did publish in TNC once; the editor asked me if he could take "Cleante to Elmire" after he heard me read it, then decided it was "too long." He took, instead, a couple of epigrams; I later published a review of Dorothy Parker's selected poems.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...VJeqXs-f2XmIO5

https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/...wclassmatescom

https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2006/10/layed-out


(The latter is about Ken Lay, late CEO of Enron.)

Last edited by R. S. Gwynn; 10-30-2018 at 03:56 PM.
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  #28  
Old 10-30-2018, 04:03 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Quote:
You see the double standard, yes?
Not really Aaron, it seems a tenuous connection to make. You expressed 'disgust' at 'centrists' writing anything critical of the left and linked this by implication to tacit acceptance of Trump, if not actual far right terrorism. I thought this was a bit of a stretch and that people should be able to criticise certain aspects of a political ideology without this being seen as approval for its opposite. One of the main criticisms directed at the so-called 'regressive left' from what I understand is its squeamishness and double standards in criticising some of the more illiberal attitudes of Islam, particularly its homophobia and misogyny. The story I linked to is a case in point. The police authorities in that case admitted they were slow in investigating those particular crimes for fear of being seen as 'racist' by local authorities and communities. This doesn't seem a 'non issue' to me, given that it resulted in the systematic rape and abuse of fifteen vulnerable girls.
I'm not 'upset' much less 'disgusted' by people expressing themselves here. It was an edit of an edit: an afterthought to my post. The main thrust of which was that I tire of everything having to be filtered through left/right tribalism. Even poetry. Even poetry. As it happens, I generally agree with the principle that Quincy seems to hold and am glad of the heads up regarding the right wing political affiliations of certain magazines that I might want to avoid submitting to. But I also think one's decision about where they submit is a matter for their own judgement and conscience.

But who knows — 'I am large, I contain multitudes' as the man said (always useful that one).

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 10-30-2018 at 05:32 PM. Reason: spell Quincy's name correctly/get Whitman's quote right
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  #29  
Old 10-30-2018, 04:19 PM
Roger Slater Roger Slater is offline
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There are so many places to submit to without having to hold one's nose that I really don't understand why those who find the journal offensive wouldn't simply take them off their list.

Counting TNC, there are now two journals I don't submit to (though it never occurred to me before to submit to TNC, so I can't claim it to be entirely a matter of principle). I have met and continue to respect both their poetry editors.
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  #30  
Old 10-30-2018, 04:33 PM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Mark, well, if that's what you thought I was saying (it wasn't, at all), I guess it makes more sense of why you reacted as you did.
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