Art Imitates Artifice

A visual essay on Stereotype & Society.

The “Iron Grip” of Guaranteed Universal Health Care Revealed

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Ronald Reagan was a prominent participant in a massive American Medical Association PR campaign against a broadly supported single-payer universal health care system that was about to be approved in the United States in 1949, a final brick in the New Deal’s social insurance program. The AMA campaign, orchestrated by Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter in league with the National Association of Manufacturers, effectively killed off a proposal that was earlier considered a shoe-in. Putting on an anti-communist horror show about America drowning in a whirlpool of socialistic robotization, their “success” insured that health care would not be an inalienable right for people in the United States. Like today, fear of a demonic enemy served as a cloak for assaults on the rights of ordinary Americans. Today, we live with the disastrous aftereffects of their success.

In the new Stereotype & Society, read what happened when an American woman, in response to a loss-of-sight emergency, found herself in the “iron grip” of a socialistic single-payer program in the Czech Republic. Her story will simply amaze.

“The Other” Revisited, Part 2

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“So, at the heart of normalcy, lies a form of erotic desire that is inflamed by the prospect of interspecies pleasures.”

Read more in Part 2 at Stereotype & Society

To Read or Not to Read?

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In recent weeks a brouhaha has been boiling up over the publication, for the first time in English (Little, Brown Young Readers; Reprint edition in the United States), of one of Hergé’s famous comic strip Tintin books, Tintin in the Congo (Tintin au Congo).

Read more about it at Stereotype & Society

The Tintin Controversy Unpacked

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Tune in Wednesday to: Stereotype & Society.

The Commodification of Otherness

Heterosexuality is the official carnal arrangement of Major League Baseball, the World Wrestling Federation, the Catholic Church and countless other organizations. But recent studies of male-female coitus maintain that heterosexuality—despite its proclaimed normalcy—may be the kinkiest, most transgressive sexual activity of all.

Read more at: http://stereotypeandsociety.typepad.com

Important News: Interactivity and Democracy (Duh!)

Fellow Flockers:

The newest issue of Rejected Letters to the Editor has just gone up. This issue we added an interactive feature will enhance the site as a meeting ground for continual discussion and debate over issues raised by the letters and op-eds we publish. This development and its genesis is explained in the editorial. Please have a look and a read and add comments that you think will edify people’s understanding of important issues and will promote public engagement.

Materials in this issue range from the endless war, our corrupt leaders, agribusiness’ building of Confined Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, on desperate family farms (a letter from a small farmer in Iowa), to the Nuremberg medical codes, set sixty years ago after the trial of Nazi doctors, that aren’t being followed by medical researchers today, to the pictorial depiction of grief following the Virginia Tech massacre, and much more. As word is getting out about the site, the range of letter writers is spreading.

Please let us know what you think. Please write letters to the editor and op-eds. If they get published, great! If not, send them on to us. Right now, we’re particularly looking for letters on immigration—hopefully some written by immigrants—and letters from Iraq war soldiers and veterans. We want international letters and perspectives as well. This issue has a letter about Thomas Friedman written by a professor of journalism at Al Quds University in Ramallah. (I don’t know how he found us, but he did.)

I hope you are finding Rejected Letters to the Editor interesting, informative and useful. And that you’re using your network to spread the word.

Best, Stuart

Stuart Ewen, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher
Rejected Letters to the Editor (RLTE)
P.O. Box 231371
Ansonia Station
New York, NY 10023
212-595-9134

Submit Letters: rejectedletterstotheeditor@gmail.com

Rejected Letters to the Editor #3

The third issue of Rejected Letters to the Editor is up and ready to visit. Included are letters on a wide range of topics and a touching rejected obituary recording the passing of T J Brotherman, pictured below.

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A Quick Glimpse

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Kindred Spirits:

The second issue of Rejected Letters to the Editor went up this morning. I think you’ll find interesting material in this one. Be sure to look at the editorial and linked materials. The professional editorial folks are not so hot on what we are trying to do.

This is a publication whose growth and quality is completely dependent on readers/writers. It is a work in progress and will continue to be. The grapevine telegraph needs to spread far and wide. This is beginning to happen. While the first issue was “farmed” from letters that came in via a massive email solicitation, this issue is, almost completely, built out of spontaneous responses from people who hear about the site and have something to submit.

The more that happens the better and more useful RLTE will be. Please visit the site. Have a look, and continue to spread the word, face-to-face and via the web.

Stuart Ewen
Submit: rejectedletterstotheeditor@gmail.com

Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut’s death is a great loss for the human community. Thankfully he left giant footprints behind and his rare voice will remain among us. We loved reading his books when we first discovered them in the sixties and continued to admire his mind and his uncommon commitment to human justice and the importance of speaking out, even in the culture of fear that has gripped us for too long.

It was an enormous honor to have a number of Kurt Vonnegut’s departing written words dedicated to praising our new book, Typecasting. We, like the millions of others who felt like his kindred spirits, will miss his wry smile.

Elizabeth Ewen and Stuart Ewen

Strange Bedfellows: Margaret Sanger and Luther Burbank

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Margaret Sanger is widely heralded as the founder of the modern birth control movement, a major figure in the rise of women’s liberation. While this is true, Sanger’s contribution was not simply a blow for women’s freedom. In some of its inconvenient details it was more ambiguous than that. For more, visit Stereotype & Society

Long Awaited Publication Appears: Dancing in the Streets

Rejected Letters to the Editor, the new fortnightly online periodical, is up. Visit the site, submit past rejected letters, write new letters to be rejected. Keep thinking. Keep writing.

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www.rejectedletterstotheeditor.com

Book Recommendation

I’ve just read an amazing book by Stephen Duncombe. It is called Dream: The Reimagining of Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy. Duncombe offers a thoughtful contribution to a discussion of artistic responses to the culture of fear.
The book’s website is http://www.dreampolitik.com, which is definitely worth a look-see and the book is an enlightening read.

REJECTED LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Expanding the visible spectrum of ideas

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February 18, 2007

Dear Clusterflockers:

I’m writing to ask you to send us a “letter to the editor” you have written which has been rejected by a newspaper, or other publication, but which you believe will enhance the quality of public awareness and discussion. We are soliciting letters to include in the first edition of a new publication, to be launched on or about March 15th. We want letters that transcend the systemic amnesia of the daily news, and have ongoing relevance for our readers and potential authors. The letter need not be current, but should still be pertinent.

In the press, “Letters to the Editor” pages silently assert that journalism includes a place for the voice of the public. But inconvenient truths are too often absent. Visionary thoughts are rarely heard. This new online publication, Rejected Letters to the Editor, will soon provide an important, if only partial, corrective.

Our goal at Rejected Letters to the Editor is to expand the visible spectrum of ideas. To publish letters that will responsibly broaden public discussion beyond the boundaries set by the gatekeepers of our mental environment. We hold to the democratic conviction that public opinion must be educated by, and conversant with, the course of human events, and we will seek to publish letters that allow essential perspectives, presently unacknowledged by respected newspapers, to see the light of day.

Our purpose is not to provide a dumping ground for every letter sent to a “letters page,” but to publish letters that editors knowledgeable in a variety of fields believe will add to public understanding of the pressing—and not so pressing—issues of our time. We are uninterested in contributing to the widespread notion of “information overload.”

Through our editorial choices, we hope to add clarity and knowledge that is too often fugitive. Rather than adhering to the mind-numbing news cycle, we will be publishing fortnightly and maintaining an archive of all letters that appear in the publication.

Once the first issue appears, we will be spreading the word about RLTE, and the site will invite submissions via our email box: rejectedletterstotheeditor@gmail.com. As a beginning, though, we wish to plant some seeds that will help grow this publication. I hope you are willing to send us something. Your voice should inspire others. Please let us know which publication you sent the letter to, the item (with date) you were responding to, and the best way to contact you if necessary.

I hope you will participate in the debut of www.rejectedletterstotheeditor.com (not yet active) I’m hoping you’ll also help spread the word about this project. The RLTE Statement of Purpose is found below.

Yours Fellow Clusterflocker,
Stuart Ewen
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

Statement of Purpose

Our goal at Rejected Letters to the Editor is to expand the visible spectrum of ideas. To publish letters that will responsibly broaden public discussion beyond the boundaries set by the gatekeepers of our mental environment. We hold to the democratic conviction that public opinion must be educated by, and conversant with, the course of human events, and we will seek to publish letters that allow essential perspectives, presently unacknowledged by respected newspapers, to see the light of day.

Our purpose is not to provide a dumping ground for every letter sent to a “letters page,” but to publish letters that editors knowledgeable in a variety of fields believe will add to public understanding of the pressing—and not so pressing—issues of our time. We are uninterested in contributing to the widespread notion of “information overload.” Through our editorial choices, we hope to add clarity and knowledge that is too often fugitive.

Re: ‘Inherit the Wind’ Meets ‘Dr. Strangelove’

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Archie Bishop 2007

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Shredded Values (Archie Bishop 2005)

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‘Inherit the Wind’ Meets ‘Dr. Strangelove’

This is my first post here, though I’ve been hanging around for a while. I’m Stuart Ewen. I’m a swimmer in the morning, an artist in the afternoon and a critical critic at night. Mary Jeys and Deron Bauman invited me to join up. Mary thought some of you might be interested in looking at my blog,
http://stereotypeandsociety.typepad.com,

And she also encouraged me to post some stuff here. So…..

Read more