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Monday, January 26, 2015

Some responses to my "Escape from America"

at Burning Platform:

T4C says:

My son’s been in the UK since a little over 10 years. He’s never felt at home in the US but once arriving in England via Europe he felt like he opened the door to his own home after a long journey. Of course it helped that he had a network of friends already established when traveling through Europe.

2004. Arrived in Munich as the World Cup was taking off. Was smoking a doobie whilst walking down the street. Cops tapped him on the shoulder and said “Wir möchten, dass Sie zur Polizeistation zu kommen.”

Once in the police car he asked if he could have picture taken with them. They obliged. He was let go after an hour or so and told not to smoke weed out in public again.

Son: “Ich werde nicht. Danke.”


If only our cops were so good-humored.

25th January 2015 at 6:59 pm

  Steve Hogan says:

Having visited countless shanty towns and barrios throughout Latin America and Asia, I can vouch for the author’s view. Poor people in the Third World are far happier than Americans and seem to have a richer appreciation for the things that really matter.

I suspect that the economic collapse on the horizon will test America’s resolve. Americans have convinced themselves that they’re somehow exceptional and indispensable. We’re going to find out soon enough whether this is true.

25th January 2015 at 8:52 pm

Bea Lever says:

If you left this country, where would you go?? This time will be different as the shit will hit the fan globally. The EU, ME, SA, US and Canada etc will all be in the shitter at the same time.

On the other hand, the LAST place I would want to be is New York or New Jersey when it all comes down, so I agree with your consideration of relocation. Do you have the skills to make it in a remote area? When I say remote, I mean remote.

25th January 2015 at 9:20 pm


Billy says:

I actually sat and waded through this tirade…

Long Duck Dong or whatever his name is, can go suck a bag of hot dicks…. he makes a couple good points, but then just goes off his fucking axle…

I’m tired, it’s late… I might tear old Long Duck Dong a new ass tomorrow… might not… we’ll see.

25th January 2015 at 10:35 pm



x larry said...

i couldn't help responding to billy on the burning platform website. i'm long duck larry there.

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

Faced with any disagreement, many people unleash insults immediately, thus illuminate nothing but their character.

Though there's no way to quantify this, I see this happening quite a lot now, and I suspect many others do too. There is an increase in belligerence and a quickening erosion of composure, patience, attentiveness and civility.

Jeffrey St. Clair, supposedly civilized, responded to a reader's complaint by immediately calling this man a "motherfucker." Another is branded a "minion."


Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

Here's another telling response, and this is at Information Clearing House:

"I dont actually know what a "naif" is but if Linh Dinh hasn't woken up to the fact that some form of Eco Socialism is the only possible hope for happiness and survival he should just stay permanently drunk."

To start out by saying one doesn't know what "naif" is shows that one's a "naif," which is no big sin, but why didn't he look it up? Though a naif, he immediately lectured me about eco socialism, and ended up calling me a drunk.

First of, he had no idea if I might agree with him about eco socialism, but this didn't prevent him from sounding belligerent and condescending. What's most telling, however, is his proclamation that eco socialism "is the only possible hope for happiness and survival."

This is consistent with the Western tradition of militant evangelism, stemming from an outraged conviction that whatever you supremely believe in should be the guiding light for the rest of the world, so if it's not eco socialism, then it's catholicism, capitalism, communism, neo-liberalism and so on, all Western belief systems.

You don't find an Asian intellectual saying confucianism, shintoism or cao daism should be adopted worldwide, do you? Yes, you have buddhist teachers, but you'd never hear one say, "This is mankind's only salvation, and if you haven't woken up to this fact, you will end up in hell for eternity!"


Anonymous said...

Linh, perhaps I could ask you a personal question. How do you feel, personally, when you see responses like these? I mean, it's basically hurtful and I recall Jeffery St. Clair calling your writing tedious (which it isn't).

Does it affect you personally? Or are you able to brush it off? Or is it a mix of reactions?

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Anonymous,

I've heard it all, many, many times and I'd say I hear much more than I'm supposed to since I'm always out and in places where I'm the only Asian. That said, most people I ecounter are exceedingly decent, open and beautiful, so I don't get bent out of shape by the rare asshole. What they say behind my back, I'd never know, but the people I can talk to and look in the eyes are mostly very sweet.

What's interesting to me is the ready condescension that's too often deployed, and here I'm thinking of St. Clair also. I mean, how insecure and immature do you have to be to act like that? When he and Josh Frank was called out for this sentence in a promotional email, "Ruth Fowler unsnaps Angelina Jolie's bra and exposes privilege, health care and tits," St. Clair reacted with rage in an article liberally sprinkled with "tit." A lovely liberal we have here, eh?

Here's Sharon Smith's two accounts of that episode.

What does it say about a society where grown and educated men act like grosteque jerks without the least shame? I can only conclude that the juvenile high they get from this overrides every other consideration.


x larry said...

hi linh and others,
very interesting comments. i have published a couple of things on counterpunch (3 exactly--i won't bore you with them), but have had around 3 or 4 articles rejected by them. i think they were a bit too raw, as well as being real no no's--ie questioning 911. before i ever wrote anything for them, i used to write sometimes to alexander cockburn, mainly about 911, as in, would you mind just answering these three questions (about building 7 or buildings 1 and 2 dropping at free fall speed, or the tiny hole in pentagon, etc). he was very condescending, of course. i do remember he did answer one letter, very briefly, but that was about the insanely bad copyediting they USED to have--till i wrote, i must say--and he finished by saying, 'and NO, i don't need a copy editor'. the most i've heard from jeffrey st clair has been, literally, thank you, or thanks--nothing else. and this after accepting an article to be published. i was actually shocked at first, not only that they were publishing me, but that no money was involved. i didn't know anything about the bid niz at that point, and still really don't. my most recent submission to them was last week(after about a year's hiatus). i thought it was worthy of publication, but was maybe too edgy, or maybe i'm now blacklisted, who knows. but with anything i've sent that they didn't publish, they have never once written to say thanks but no thanks, or anything at all.
on to other matters, i have sent the odd letter to them, usually of complaint about something, again with no response. funny ruth fowler should come up, as she is the person i remember the most complaining about. i said something like, i am sick to death of english people getting so high and mighty about americans, especially regarding slavery and blacks. don't forget it was the english who had the slaves in the first place. and, ruth fowler has read some james baldwin and is now an expert on all things american. but the reality is, it seems to me, she doesn't know anything at all and should just shut her mouth.
i thought they actually pulled her from the website (so silly was i)as i didn't see her articles about important subjects like anjelina jolie and broken nails for some time. anyway, she's back.
but that is so shocking about what st clair has said. i always had the feeling he was cockburn's sidekick, and wondered how that would pan out after cockburn died. obviously the power and the perceived prestige (he did, mainly it seems, just ride cockburn's coattails) seem to have fully gone to his head.
finally, i wrote them once to literally say 'congratulations'--i was feeling sarcastic--for having the courage to finally publish ANYTHING that was remotely pro-911 'conspiracy theory'. by linh dinh, of course.
big j

Linh Dinh said...

Yo x larry,

I'd say that any editor can reject any article for any reason, without explanation, and he doesn't have to pay anyone anything, if that's how his website operates. What he has no right to do, however, is to sneeringly dismiss or ridicule a writer whose articles he has already published. It’s disgusting that some editors have to flex their muscles this way, and when an editor of a political website does this, it shows that it's not really about establishing a common cause (between editor and writers, for some greater good) but about power.

After Cockburn died, St. Clair finally had a chance to show his true color, all right, and so did Josh Frank.


x larry said...

hi linh,
yes, i agree they don't 'owe' me anything. my point was more their rudeness, or what seemed to me to be rudeness--especially as i had been published there three times, and they didn't bother to tell me, 'no, this isn't our cup of tea'--just nothing at all. cheers,
x larry

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry,

You didn't share with us the 3 articles you posted in an act of self-deprecation. How about sharing them with us? You don't have to, especially if you don't want to give away your identity. But it'll be nice to see them :)

x larry said...

hi anonymous,
sorr, i'd rather not as i don't want to give my real identity--not that it would matter to anyone, really, but to me it does. sorry, but thanks for the interest anyway.
x l

x larry said...

on second thought--i don't know how linh feels about this--i could show a recent reject. i can see why it was rejected, as, among aforementioned points, it's not an article at all, but just notes, mainly on that day's 'independent' newspaper. i could, and just may, do this each and every day, and for any newspaper at all, but the guardian and independent irk me the most for being such really 'nice', 'liberal' war mongers. so linh, i won't make any other posts like this, but hope to start a blog soon myself just for this daily purpose if nothing else. cheers....

x larry said...


Item! Today's Independent
Guardian/Independent Watch – a fragment
by x larry

Stuff we're supposed to care about. Very ugly people in very ugly clothes (suits, often with a sheen), doing very important things like managing football (soccer) teams, hosting some nasty 'celebrity' 'talent' contest...

Celebrity: celebrated by banks and big business. And by Da Gub Mint.

I urge all to get out and make either pins or t-shirts with the following:
Charlie. How convenient!
Another convenient Terrorist attack!
Free speech can ONLY equal Pro War
Beware the Guardian and Independent
'Radical Islam'--an Anglo-American Invention

x larry said...

From today's 'Independent':
1. French children to learn 'republican values' in the wake of terrorist attacks. From this article: ' train children from six to 18 in “republican values”--and especially the separation of religion and state, which has been a jealously defended principle of French society for more than a century. Pupils will be given new courses in the importance of democratic institutions and symbols...They will be taught how to differentiate between objective news gathering and propaganda or conspiracy -theorizing. Each school will be expected to start its own newspaper, radio station or news website... Most of all, intensive new civics lessons will try to explain why the principle of 'secularity'--or separation of church and state enshrined in French law since 1905—should not be seen as an attack on religion but a guarantee of equal rights for all religions.' Schools, schools, schools! Those little (or quite huge) factories! Free speech! Democracy! Freedom! Over and over and over and over and over and over----do you ever feel like someone's trying to pound something, some thought, into your head? To the point where you believe what they're saying so much that a 'Humanitarian War' seems perfectly plausible and natural to you?
2. Former Ukip youth leader dies in Thailand. About a 23 year old woman who looks like one of those Japanese cartoons with the huge eyes who was a hateful little bitch. A quote or two: 'She described herself in Total Politics magazine in March 2013 as a “libertarian anarcho-capitalist” and argued that young right-wingers could match left-wing rivals for radicalism.' And 'Her outspokenness included blogging in defence of The Sun's Page 3 last November, arguing that women had the right to express their sexuality as they wished.' All as usual very convenient. Why, I ask, is this person in the national news? (With full article and large color photo) Oh yes, she, though right-wing (but We can settle our differences in a Civilized manner), was some kind of defender of 'free speech'--in this case, the kind of free speech spoken by big bare pert titties and ass cracks flossed by thongs. I like the subtle touches to her 'thought'--the 'anarcho' bit, very clever, and the 'radicalism' possible in right-wing haters. (And why not? You can surely hate radically? You can be very, very mean, nasty, hurtful etc. and perhaps still consider yourself sorta radical—I think of Ann Coulter, Ayn Rand (why women??), people who 'radically' harken back to more orderly times, when certain races for example knew their place, when one's property, i.e .birthright, was not in any way questioned.)
3. Flogging case raised with Saudi ambassador. Case of Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger 'sentenced to 1,000 lashes...As the global outcry against the public flogging continued to grow....The UK condemns the use of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment in all circumstances...' Raif was 'using his liberal internet blog to criticise Saudi Arabian clerics and for “insulting Islam”.' Funny, no mention of the vast support and backing consistently given Saudi Arabia by 'Great' Britain and the USA. A friend who worked there for three years told me how either once a week or once a month (I can't remember which) there were public beheadings in Jeddah. Shocking, yes. (Of course this was common in 'the west' not at all long ago, but now our tortures and murders are quite well hidden—till the possibly very near day when that sort of thing is very much approved of again by the general public.) Why no mention of this in the article? Why no mention of the cruel and unusual Saudi dictatorship at all? But it's that old game, Good Dictator, Bad Dictator. 'We' decide ('we' being your masters).

x larry said...

sorry, wouldn't fit in one, so it's the above two--random thoughts and charlie hebdo buttons, and independent criticism. i should note that i NEVER read the paper, but was in the library and it was sitting there on a chair, and what i read so appalled me that i made some notes on it, just for myself, but got home and thought i'd share them with counterpunch and/or someone else.
x larry


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.