Thursday, December 07, 2017

MadHat Poets Shmailo and Kostos Read Jan 6!


Nora at 13 from Patient Women in Unbearables Anthology

Delighted that an excerpt from Patient Women, "Nora at 13," appears in the new Unbearables anthology, From Somewhere to Nowhere: The Death of the American Dream. Thanks to editors Ron Kolm, Jim Feast, and Shalom Neuman!

Saturday, December 02, 2017

This Is Different

The lip service to democratic values is gone, the judiciary is a tool of the executive, the media as watchdog is vastly undermined, propaganda is rife (Sinclair with the merger will reach 72 percent of TV households), the government is a white supremacist one, fascist governments are our models, right wing evangelicals are successfully taking evolution out of our schools and now, with the tax bill, can wage political campaigns without losing nonprofit status, climatology and other sciences are under attack, so much more. This is not business as usual; this is fascism and we have to fight with all our might now, literally all our might all the time, or else.

Monday, November 20, 2017

"Soon" Is Now

In every political campaign, every hustings, when we bring up women's rights, we are told, "Let's just win this district, this election, get this candidate in, and we promise, you are next, soon, soon." Well, thanks to the courage of the women who have confronted their sexual abusers, "soon" is now. The battle to secure our persons against battery and rape and demeaning harassment has been joined. Equal pay and full reproductive rights have to follow.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Elephants, Sexual Predation, The Mob

Donald Trump, Jr. killed a rare bull elephant just to cut off its tail and hold it in his filthy, guilty hands. Trump senior is a sexual predator and a white supremacist. Ivanka exploits slave labor and fronts for the crime-filled dirty money of Trump Panama. And they are all guilty of treason. What a disgusting mob the Trumps are!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Banality of Evil

One meaning of the phrase, "the banality of evil," coined by Hannah Arendt reporting for the New Yorker on Adolf Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem for war crimes, is that the evil do not always give the appearance of monsters. Arendt saw no satanic genius in Eichmann, just an ordinary man, perhaps even a clown. And now we see our clownish, banal, very ordinary president and his banal, ordinary cabinet and banal, ordinary Republican henchmen rapidly erode our freedoms and democracy. Time to fight vigorously now, as Trump et.al. most heinous actions are normalized for a very ordinary and banal third of the electorate.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hitler's Cookies

Hitler's followers baked cookies, played sports, loved movies. Most, I'm sure, loved their families and were kind to their pets. None of that remains. We feel only contempt and loathing for these fascists. Trump supporters, nothing of your legacy will remain except your support of an evil leader. Absolutely nothing else.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review of MEDUSA'S COUNTRY by Meredith Sue Willis in Books for Readers

Medusa's Country is more stunning poems from Larissa Shmailo. She is endlessly surprising, riffing off other literature-- an erasure poem using lines from "The Lotus Eaters" section in Joyce's Ulysses; one called "My Vronsky" with reference to Nabokov's failure to understand Anna Karenina-- but also about a relationship destructive to the narrator. There is also a poem called "Daddy's Elusive Love" with short lines and hard-hitting rhymes like 's Sylvia Plath's famous "Daddy." Shmailo's Daddy,. though seems to have hidden his love.

I looked for it in boxers;
In the dumps of ten detoxes;
In the roll of rundown rockers;
In anal & banal boys.

There is, of course, a lot more Here, as in her previous books, we have passages of her personal story of living on the edge and in the lower depths as in the "The Trick Wants to Go to Plato's," the old Plato's Retreat sex club where single men aren't. The narrator, who is indeed in the sex business, says " I sign a document attesting that I am not a prostitute; my whore name is Nora."
These poems alternate with ones using myth and rhyming patterns and parody (See "Fragment from the Ilatease of Homey, from a Recently Discovered Mycenaean Test." The final poem of the book, the title poem, about Medusa, ends

But once a man stood like a statue
Before my cave of trees
His eyes transfixed by my serpents
That hardened, froze, and pleased.

You will never be bored by Larissa Shmailo's poetry. I don't suppose that sounds like much of a recommendation to read it, but what I want to say is that her inventiveness and wit are only matched by her searing life experiences and her observation of death.
She surprises over and over.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Honey Badger Don't Care

This vid is a favorite among the Alt Right. The tough, crazy, unstoppable animal totem, the honey badger, "doesn't care," "doesn't give a shit." These are the values of the alt right, not to care, to be tough, never to be sensitive or kind, values embodied by Donald Trump.
Breitbart declared "The Age of the Honey Badger Has Dawned" shortly after Trump's election; all concerned are working hard to make it a reality, and promise never to quit. I also promise not to quit until this nation expresses caring and kindness in all its affairs. But the Alt Right has to go back to the badger hole it came from.

There is no such thing as nonviolent Nazis

Or Klan. 
They want to kill you. If you are disabled, mentally ill, black, brown, Muslim, feminist, Jewish, LGBT, or leftist, they want you dead or enslaved. Don't be confused about that. And their affiliates want the same. They are much more extreme than you can imagine. I spend time on their websites for a book I am writing, and almost pass out from the murderous rage of these monsters. Almost. 
They are lifting weights, stockpiling arms, get ready as we speak. The president of the United States loves them. Do not think Trump will not use them for violent ends.
.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

White Nasties

White nasties believe the white race is under attack. The marchers Friday night chanted "you will not replace us." They believe POCs will "replace them," that they will be a minority, and imagine they will be treated as they have treated minorities. And terrorism is "an act of love for the white race." See the Nazi video, "Neo-Nazi Skinhead has a point" for an example of one of their Aryan role models
For every one marcher, there are thousands of people who believe in the white nasty stuff; I would estimate 25 million racists, racist enough to cast their vote for an extremely racist president. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Nazi Signs and Symbols

As evidenced by yesterday's march at the University of Virginia, Nazi and white supremacist groups are forging alliances, uniting, and proselytizing. Be on the lookout for their signs and symbols, which include the versatile Pepe the Frog meme. This meme appears as racial caricature, Hitler, concentration camp "humor," and even as alt-right hero Donald Trump; per Joshua Green, Trump has sent this meme to his fans on reddit, and alt-right leader Richard Spenser wears a Pepe pin). 
More classic signs are tats with the numbers 14, 18, 88, which refer numerologically to Hitler's name and Nazi slogans; the Nazi SS sig and other runes; and even AC/DC logos (these refer to Nazi vids set to this music). Of course, the true messaging of the Alt Right (who are not all Nazis; they just don't mind hanging out with Nazis) is in Trump's attacks on immigrants, Latinos, LGBT persons, African Americans, women, and people with disabilities - yes, Trump's mocking of the disabled NYT reporter was red meat to this base and their ableism beliefs. 
Do not for a moment think that Donald Trump is not completely aligned with these movements. His chief strategist may not be a Nazi, but Bannon's reading list shows he is willing to use Nazi philosophy. White supremacists and their fans are Trump's best hope for an 8-year presidency, and the years beyond.

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