Jesus Christ, everybody’s so politically correct nowadays! All I did was publish a fascist pamphlet in my online art and literary magazine, explicitly threatening and intimidating several individuals and entire groups of people in a clean, eye-catching PDF, and now everyone has a problem. Readers have emailed to complain, writers and artists have emailed to withdraw their work, and the White County prosecutor has emailed to let me know that I’m the subject of a cyber-harassment investigation.
Fortunately, once the prosecutor realized that I, too, am an angry, ideologically motivated white man, he closed the investigation and, instead of going after me, helped me fabricate charges against many of the women and minorities I’ve harassed online over the years. Whew!
But none of that changes the fact that I’m the victim here.
You see, this is about censorship. Apparently it’s now acceptable to support women’s rights and foster multicultural dialogue through the literary arts. But let a neo-fascist publish a tract on the internet propagating radical authoritarian nationalism, and suddenly all bets are off!
Over the past few days, I’ve been called just about every name in the book, some of which, incidentally, are half correct: While I don’t really like to think of myself as a “fascist jackass,” for example, I am most certainly a fascist. At any rate, since an email torrent has temporarily disabled access to my AOL account, I feel I should take a moment to explain myself here since I can no longer antagonistically respond to each email currently being fired my way.
First, let me acknowledge that I’m conflating censorship and criticism. Criticism can be valid and in fact is a function of the very same freedom of speech that enables me to circulate racist, imperialistic ideology in a crisp online format. But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend I don’t know the difference and make this about censorship rather than the sensible critique of the fascist flyer that appears in the current issue of my online rag. Because if there’s anything I can’t stand more than the concept of liberal democracy, it’s censorship.
Sure, my unbridled promotion of fascism is going to make some readers of my literary journal uncomfortable. I get that. But to me, fascism, like poetry, is a form of Art. And Art answers to no one. Say what you will, but I refuse to let a bunch of anti-fascist whiners stand in the way of my militaristic treatise published in an exquisite serif font alongside a mix of colorful, abstract paintings and digitally manipulated photographs of birds, sunsets, and flowers.
Fascist propaganda, by the way, isn’t the only writing I publish in my art and literary magazine. Everyone is so fixated on the xenophobic, millenarian tome highlighted in the winter issue that they’re overlooking all the wonderful pieces of formalist poetry, flash fiction, and creative nonfiction that share the same space. There’s even an avant-garde comic strip about Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco baking cookies with an anthropomorphic squirrel named Proletariat, who wears a chef’s hat and green apron printed with tiny lavender bundles of sticks and axes, and squeaks to Benito and Francisco that it hopes they’ll make peanut butter cookies — a request the two autocratic demagogues gleefully indulge.
It’s such a nice, lighthearted piece that perfectly complements my editorial from the same issue disseminating jingoism, unprincipled opportunism, and the urgent need to organize paramilitary forces at the local level to overthrow our duly elected democratic government.
I’m also proud that work I’ve published over the years has gone on to bigger and better things. One of my great joys as the editor of a small, obscure, fascist online journal is in encouraging and providing a platform for writers and artists who might never get a shot in the thousands of other small, obscure, non-fascist online journals out there. Work I’ve had the honor of publishing has gone on to appear in such anthologies as An Oxford Companion of Misogynistic Verse, The Norton Guide to Problematic Poetry, Best American Racist Poetry, Best of the Comment Sections, Rusted, Lusted, Busted: Contemporary Southern Fiction (for which I served as a co-editor, alongside my good buddy A.W. Peterson), and The Troll Scroll: A Compendium of Online Literary Harassment, coming out early next year with Lily White Press.
I’m also gratified that my online magazine has been cited multiple times in Wikipedia’s entry for “hate speech,” and that contributors to the journal are reaping the benefit of additional exposure thanks to recent profiles by the Southern Poverty Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union.
But publish a leaflet espousing neo-Machiavellian imperialism and all of a sudden none of that matters! Before you can say “personality cult,” all these people you thought were friends have turned their backs on you and barraged you with sanctimonious, censorial emails, like the one I got this morning, before my AOL account froze, from a contributor expressing that she did not wish her sestinas to be associated with what she accurately called the “tyrannical undergirding of my fascist rant.” Well, good luck finding another place to publish your sestinas, then!
But fine. Because I’d like to be able to access my email account again, and because the provost is investigating possible ways of eradicating my tenure, I’ll let the figurative fascists prevail for now and take down my actual fascist manifesto.
You win, non-literal fascists! I hope you’re happy!
To my dedicated readers who appreciate the art of fascism, please know that this, in reality, is a good thing. Now that I won’t have to worry about defending self-published fascist propaganda, I’ll have more time on my hands to get back to my first love: publishing bewilderingly problematic, racist, misogynistic poetry to inspire other fascists. That, and mobilizing a violent coup.
You see, in politically correct times such as these, it’s fashionable to be anything other than an actual fascist who hopes to foment an uprising that will transform this country into a repressive, single-party nation state. And that’s what I’m creatively striving for, metaphorical fascists who aren’t open-minded enough to accept actual fascists be damned.
But for now, I’ve got to run. I’ve been on hold with an AOL representative this whole time and finally got through. So if you emailed to complain about my fascist pamphlet and haven’t heard back yet, I should be in touch with an abusive retort presently.
And if you sent something for publication in my online magazine, as you can imagine, I’ve fallen a bit behind in responding to submissions. I look forward to reading your work and appreciate your patience! From here, please allow a response time of 2 – 4 months, possibly a bit longer if my pamphlet proves successful and the insurgency commences.
Until then, I hope you’re enjoying the current issue!