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Summertime and the Censorship is Easy

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June 14, 2017


Hello, from Chicago, the land of three-seasons-in-one-day.


This past week, I’ve been dealing with what is now the usual back discomfort bordering on pain, but Ibuprofen is my friend, so we carry forth.  I’m enmeshed in a project I love, one of the most exciting and challenging in a while.  I encountered a worrying distraction recently, though, when my Dodo piece, “The Dangerous Academic Is An Extinct Species,” was blocked on Facebook by lefties (the same people who were angry with me for having, according to them, contributed to the censorship of George Ciccariello-Maher).  It’s a slightly complicated matter, and I wrote about it all here, in a piece titled: “When Academics Attack: My Piece Critiquing Academia Is Blocked by Lefties Complaining about Censorship.”


Please, if you would, read the Dodo piece if you haven’t already, post it publicly and inform Facebook that it is certainly not spam. And also post the “When Academics Attack” piece, if you could. And, as always, my deep and profound gratitude to all of you who've been supporting me, either through subscriptions or donations or by supporting and disseminating my work. You keep me going.


If you'd like to receive this newsletter directly in your inbox, you can register on my site -- and this is free; you're not required to buy a subscription in order to do so. To register, go to any page on this site and you'll see, on the upper right hand side, the option to log in or register. From there on, the steps are fairly self-explanatory. Again, to be clear: registering does not required a paid subscription (although that is always welcome!). You can also register by sending me a message via email (nairyasmin at gmail dot com) or by messaging me via this site through the contact tab. The recent problem with Facebook and my non-comrades on the purported left having blocked me confirms that maintaining direct connections to people through a newsletter is a much better way to go. I'm not going to give up social media, which I find fun and useful, but it's much too unstable and the fact that platforms like Facebook deal with millions every hour means that frustrated attempts to fix the problem remain...frustrating.

Here’s what I’ve been up to, along with news and links.

I published this, “When Academics Attack: My Piece Critiquing Academia Is Blocked by Lefties Complaining about Censorship.”


I went to see Godfather, on the big screen, and it was an incredible experience.  I’m a fan of the movies — though not the third one, natch. I’d love to write about the films someday, once I’m done being intimidated by the sheer volume of work that’s already been produced.  For now, here are some very brief thoughts I posted on FB.  


This is how your cat rates your home.


I don’t usually care for those “If only” theories, and I’m not quite sure I buy the argument in this piece, about dinosaurs and the ice age, but it makes for interesting reading.


The Metropolitan Correctional Center’s inmates get a strip show, apparently.

An Indian court rules that two rivers are legal entities.


Gay Shame has a new DIY zine out, on direct action.


I generally think the New York Times is crap because of its focus on Trump as Voldemort, and its terrible roster of standing op-ed columnists, nearly all of whom need to be put out to pasture in the rolling hills of suburbia.  But every now and then, it yields an interesting piece, and Sarah Jaffe’s “The Unexpected Afterlife of American Communism” is an interesting history of American communism in relation to race.


Speaking of African Americans, especially women, whose lives and work are largely forgotten, here’s a haunting New Yorker piece about “The Many Lives of Pauli Murray.”


Current Affairs, where I write often and where I’m an editor at large, has moved its operations to New Orleans.  As with so much else, the magazine — an actual, beautiful magazine you can hold in your hands — is going against the grain (most publishing entities look to Brooklyn as a home base).  It’s still a fledgling operation, and the move has meant a drop in money as editor Nathan J. Robinson explains in this post. CA has given me the freedom to write some of my favourite pieces, ever  — this coming issue will be the only one in which I don’t have a piece — and a place where I feel I’ve found an intellectual home.  If you’d like to support a publication that isn’t afraid to really provide space for provocative, interesting work, please support Current Affairs, either with a donation or by subscribing.

 The south side trauma center is finally set to open.


Maximillian Alvarez writes about the repression of journalists, calling for support of the J20 protestors. Please read and support them.


Who knew? The WHO spends more on travel costs than it does in fighting AIDS.


Oh, hey, look, a student is upset about having to read non-white queer poets and such.  Still think trigger warnings and such are a good idea?


Are Disability Rights and Animal Rights Connected?”, asks the New Yorker.


Adam West, who gave so much camp and joy to so many, is dead.


We recently saw the anniversary of the Pulse shooting.  Here, from last year, is a roundup of my interviews on the event.


Never say I don’t give you photos of dogs.


The goat who played Black Philip in Witches?  He’s totally a goat celebrity.

This is probably my most widely-read piece, “Your Sex Is Not Radical.

An older favourite, on pit bulls and racism.


In case you missed the last update, here’s “On My Back: Age, Death, and Angry Birds.”


Summer Is Icumen In.

Image: "Edward Hopper, Second Story Sunlight," 1960

Writing is my primary source of income.  If you've liked this piece and my work in general and would like to support me, please donate or subscribe.  Subscriptions will help support my writing on a steady basis. You can find out more about me here.

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