My paternal grandfather Mordecai Goldkind (Morris) was a Polish Jewish immigrant from outside Lodz. He came to the US via Ellis Island fleeing the Czar’s Cossacks first working on the New Jersey shipyards and then opening a successful shoe-maker’s shop in ’30s Brooklyn.
My father grew up listening to Hitler’s speeches on the radio as every other Jew living in America at the time did. When he turned 17, he enlisted.
There was no choice in the matter.
My grandmother’s heart broke packing her son away to boot camp but even she knew that there was no choice. The Nazis were coming after us and we had to stop them or die trying.
The war crippled my father.
I know now that he had to kill other men, German men at close hand.
I knew that speaking fluent German he loved the German people and their culture. I know that killing another man killed part of himself.
He told me that he survived by giving up the idea that he would.
The story of what happened after his return includes the story of his son, my life. My father was broken by that war fighting the fascists in Europe so that we would not have to fight them here in America.
There was no choice.
When I was a boy and my grandparents came to visit or we visited them, my grandfather Mordechai would talk about Israel but he and my father would sometimes talk about the Nazis. I remember my grandfather pointing his finger at me in the middle of my silent witness of their conversation:
“Igor, don’t you ever fool yourself into thinking that we beat the Nazis and they all went away. They never go away. They wait for the right time and then they just change their uniforms.”
Was I 6, 7?
I don’t know.
All I recall was the deep bootprint of my father and his father warning me down the generational ladder to be vigilante. To watch for the signs. That the Nazis do not go away. That oppression, power, cruelty and inhumanity does not evaporate. That they linger waiting patiently for the right time to put their new uniforms on.
Now is that time.
I can see the MAGA uniforms.
I can see the detention camps, the forced hysterectomies, the torture by negligence of thousands of children.
I can see the exploitation of a pandemic for deliberate eugenic population control under the mask of ‘herd immunity’.
I can see dissidents and protestors being criminalized and imprisoned for 10 years for defacing a statue.
I see our civil rights being teargassed into the ground.
I can see the violent racism on the streets, the white power fanatic infiltrating lawful protests to vandalize, destroy and cast blame on the citizen protestors.
I can see the police getting more and more aggressive, shooting more and more unarmed citizens, jailing more and more dissidents like in Russia or China.
I can see America’s future as a giant, fat man’s golf shoe stomping on the face of freedom and justice forever.
Can’t you do something?
Vote Biden/Harris 2020
There’s really no choice.
She said Hii!
I said hello
She said let’s go for a drink.
I said sure.
She asked ‘what are you having’?
I said, whatever you want.
She said, thank you for thinking of me first.
I said your pleasure is all mine.
Later she sent me a text.
‘Have you ever tried phone sex’?
I said ‘Sure’.
She said how about now?
I said I need to go home.
She said she did too,
She sends me a naked picture of herself.
“Are you hard”? She asks
‘Sure’, I said.
“I want you to fuck me”, She said.
‘Shall I come over’? I say.
“No”, she said.
“Let’s meet and fuck tomorrow.
But for right now, just this moment
Can you just talk to me”?
‘Sure, ‘I said.
“Right now I just want you to tell me how you’d like to fuck me.
‘Do you want me to come over,’ I said again.
“No,” she said,
“Don’t come over
Just talk to me and make me cum.
I just love the sound of your voice”.
‘Sure’, I said. And she did.
‘Are we still getting together tomorrow by the fountain in the park’?
I asked, after a while.
‘Of course’, she said.
‘Great’, I said.
The next morning she sent me a message:
“I’m sorry but your age is something
I just can’t get past,
I’m not meeting you next to the fountain, I’m sorry.
You’re just too old and I shouldn’t have let things go so far
I just can’t get past that; your age”
‘Sure’, I said. ‘Neither can I without fatal results’.
She did not laugh
“I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel” She said.
‘That’s how you feel’, I said.
Later that morning I died my hair black
and left dark stains in the sink.
Once again the ghostly powers of Facebook have judged me and found me wanting.
Or wanting of the veneer of non threatening, amiable posts. Nothing that would offend a Humming Bird of nerve endings. A Calvinist shaking in their boots. I’m not a Facebook post, you don’t have to like me!
My grave offence was to post a photograph of the great American poet Allen Ginsberg standing naked on a Moroccan beach. The original naked poet; metaphor and literal combined into one. His words, not his images were deemed obscene way back in the last century. There was a public trial and unlike Socrates, Ginsberg (and City Lights, the publisher) were both found not guilty of obscenity. Howl was deemed a work of art and protected under the first amendment. Why doesn’t Facebook abide by the first amendment instead of hiding like a coward behind their Emerald City curtain of Community Standards?
And why don’t Americans know their own history?
I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Allen Ginsberg during my Freshman year, when he had come to do a reading and lead a group meditation paying his dreadful table accordion. Was I 17 or 18? I was studying Heidegger and Charles Olsen, the Action Poet; Kandinsky’s New York roommate right round 1959 thereabouts, when the photo of Ginsberg on the Beach was taken. But I knew all of his work, inside and out. I was never gay but Ginsberg made me want to be!
I had stopped Allen in an outdoor corridor lined by lawn between two campus buildings. I was armed with my copy of the first edition City Lights Kaddish epic that I had found by blissful chance in the long gone used intelligentia bookstore at the corner of College and El Cajon Blvd, in San Diego, over a lifetime ago.
Allen looked at my book and gladly signed it. “I haven’t seen a first edition of these in years!” I told Allen about the used book store in San Diego where I had gone through all of his poetry and Kerouac and Cassidy’s First Third and Dylan’s Tarantula, Alan Watts, D.T. Suzuki’s 3 volume Essays on Zen, all bought and consumed at this temple to beatitude at the cross roads of the world. I didn’t tell him how in high school we used to climb to the top of Cowell Mountain and howl the words to Howl at the valley unfolding beneath us. We didn’t know what hungry junkies were quite yet, but it sounded good and it was real. As real as the suburbs of San Diego can ever be.
In the past present, Allen handed me my book, more of a pamphlet, back and looked me up and down and smiled. It was a genuine smile and not the least bit lecherous considering what he said next.
“Would you like to come up to my room, it’s just over graduate housing? I can show you some poem books you haven’t seen. I knew what he meant but I was so stunned dumb by the proposition (Allen Ginsberg!). I stuttered something still trying to make up my mind before I spoke. But alas, fear of the unknown vanquished my curiousity or perhaps it was my vanity to be loved by a star that was defeated.
Nonetheless I must of said something because we went on our merry ways, my thanking him a little too profusely and the back of his bald head bobbing down the corridor.
So when I posted the photo a young Allen standing nude on a Morrocan beach, I kind of felt like I had earned the right to share his image, naked and vulnerable for the sake of a poetry reading which it was more than certain that someone would recite a Ginsberg-eque poem.
The Philistines may have conquered the machines but not me as of yet.
Facebook is Anti-Culture
I’ve started this post after returning from a 60-day ban from Posting, Liking, Communicating, Joining, or Connecting with anyone else in the Facebook Community.
Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. ~ The ACLU
What Was My Crime?
My posting one of my own published poems from my book Is She Available? that had been posted in Facebook at least thrice before without repercussion. and is currently available in dozens of libraries and bookstores throughout California and soon to be released in the UK. The visual interpretation of a love poem by the Designer/photographer and internationally renown artist/typographer Rian Hughes entitled:
I Missed Your Scent in Paris
Although his image was a black and white stylized photograph of a woman where if you squinted and looked real close you could make out the shadow of half a nipple showing, (which is exactly what a Facebook employee would have had to have done in order to render judgement that Tian and my work contravened Facebook’s community standards.
The Poem and Rian’s photo interpretation of the poem were not obscene, disgusting nor gratuitously offensive in any way. Unless of course, you consider the human body in itself to be obscene, in which case I strongly suggest you seek therapeutic help as you clearly entertain unhealthy, self-hating, anti-social thoughts.
Instead, if not the poem, then certainly the photograph of the semi-nude woman is a work of art. It is obvious to anyone who reads and looks that it had no other intention. Not being able to distinguish between pornography and erotic art is one of the great threats Facebook’s dumbed down lack of discernment poses to the thriving of a culture.
Art is the science of culture. Both are experiment–driven.
~ Igor Goldkind
As community-oriented and community-sounding Facebook professes to be (in its language and self-justifications of its censorship), Facebook is the enemy of culture. As well as the enemy of the community of humanity that shares the values that a free society comes hand in hand with expression free from censorship; as long as the expression poses no harm. Otherwise, it is not a free community.
“To destroy a people, first destroy their culture.
~ Mario Torero
What is it exactly about the half shadow image of a woman’s left nipples poses a threat to anyone? The last time I checked, a woman’s nipple is the source of nourishment for all of us, male and female at one time or another.
To censor the image of a human nipple is to censor the truth of what it means to be human. How can I prove this? Look for yourself! Apart from a minority of our fellow hairless apes who have lost them in accidents or horrific burns, we ALL OF US HAVE NIPPLES! It is the truth of who we are and as an artist, as a poet, I am only interested in the truth of who we are. Not the twisted Calvinist attempt at reversioning a reality where angels never fart and genies have no belly-buttons.
I know for a fact that genies do have belly-buttons, I’ve seen them with my own eyes! And as far as angel farts go, they smell better than your own.
Article 10 of the United Nations Human Rights Act protects our right to hold our own opinions and to express them freely without government or private interference.
This includes the right to express our views aloud (for example through public protest and demonstrations) or through:
• published articles, books or leaflets
• television or radio broadcasting
• the internet and social media
• AND WORKS OF ART
• The law also protects our freedom to freely receive
information from other people.
The US The Supreme Court has interpreted the First Amendment’s protection of artistic expression very broadly. It extends not only to books, theatrical works and paintings but also to posters, television, music videos and comic books and personal social media pages including FACEBOOK — whatever the human creative impulse produces.
The right not to be censored by an arbitrarily superimposed moral hypocrisy of a minority…. is articulated in the Human Rights Act signed by the US as treaty and thus bound by US federal law in 1964. In the late 1960s and 1970s, the United States renewed its commitment to the international human rights system by signing, though not yet ratifying, several major human rights treaties.
Including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS (ICESCR).
These are the laws of the land that FACEBOOK has violated in unceremoniously and without warning censoring my work. Judgement without respite and only the cosmetics of appeal.
Facebook is not a community in any shape or form as long as its private owners impose their narrow, petty, puerile, and juvenile morals on us without listening to everyone, not just the complainers, who make up that community. That includes us good for nothing, when-are-you-going-to-get-a-real-job? artists.
There is no one to talk to at Facebook. No one to appeal to; no one to reason with and no one that takes responsibility for its actions. Human beings wrote the algorithms, built the servers and the browsers to increase the human bandwidth, not to distance us from ourselves!
There is no reason to fear the takeover of robots, algorithmic judgements and machines, for we have already surrendered.
Please repost this in part or in full on your wall and please share with your friends across all social media. Maybe Facebook will recall what it means to be a human with nipples one day and stop emulating the machines (who have no nipples).
Still Human & Nippled
PS You think that I’m overreacting? Just another crazy, good for nothing artist making pointless noise? The Modigliani nude, the Picasso, the Rubens and all fell foul of Facebook and are all pictured as depicted after being defaced by Facebook in the name of their hypothetical Community Standards.
Being Banned From Facebook for No Bloody Good Reason: The Moral Failings of a Computational Society.
I write this mainly for my regular readers who may be concerned about my apparent absence from FB. I’ve always used FB as a fencing ground and now I’ve been fenced out, temporarily, for 3 days.
My account has been public for the last 5 years because I always fully intended to provoke, and attract engagement particularly from those that find offence or challenge here or just take exception to my posts.
But mainly, I use this platform to hone my writing skills in real time.
It’s a form of art activism, Artivism.
Bringing the origins of my work; the emotions, the outrages, the political anger and the moral dismay I feel directly to confront on their walls, in their replies and in their faces, those who are morally failing.
Who do I mean are morally failing?
Well, anyone who still says they support the treasonous weasel in the White House, is a start. But more generally Americans who should be more French than they’re English but unfortunately share more with the English propensity for worshipping dogs and traumatising their children.
The present generation of “youf”; be they white, black, Chicano, Native, Vietnamese, Gay, Chinese, Transitioning, Korean, Japanese, Indian, African, Middle Eastern (and every combination of the above), have more in common with each other than they will ever have with any of their previous generations.
Revolution needn’t be violent they just need to turn things around.
But to the point in question, I have not been in touch because I have been barred from both Facebook and Messenger for not following community guidelines, poor dears. Except that I am as much a part of that community as anyone. Not of an algorithm that flags random posts to FB ‘s appointed moral custodians.
My crime against the community?
Reposting the profile photo of a woman’s breast dripping with red wine into a crystal goblet. In fact, her nipple is obscured as it is drenched in wine.
You can see it for yourself here below.
What is the algorithm’s crime? Well nothing, it just follows and acts on long lists of tedious commands; executed in the blink of time
No mind, I’ve been a naughty, naughty boy and my shrilling mother will not allow me to save the human race from amnesia.
I can’t stop the algorithm from making a moral judgement that supersedes mine, or any human’s. I can’t have a quick word with the algorithm or anyone at FB to teach them what a juxtaposition of symbols that create an allusion to the truth.
Such as the sweet wine depicted being the mirror of the sweet mother’s milk as is symbolically conveyed by the nude breast. You cannot make that visual allusion with a bra.
It doesn’t work.
The breast must appear as nude as it is to the baby that seeks its nourishment. Sweet breast milk, sweet primal nourishment, sweet wine that I sip in the middle of my night to remind myself that I was once a child, protected and loved by my mother.
As were you.
Algorithms have no mothers. And those who are the masters of those algorithms long ago put their mothers out of their eye’s way, in homes.
My Alley Cat
I didn’t get her name.
It was a hot and wet Saturday night;
So I left the screen door wide open
Hoping for a change in the weather.
Her inspection was on schedule.
She allowed me to imagine that it was my company she was after.
Earnestly engaging my eyes with her face.
Which she put close to mine and stared into my eyes.
As if she were the only soul left on earth who still loved me.
All the while she scanned the kitchen floor out of the corner of her feline eye,
I became fascinated by her calm, steady gaze.
Once having assessed my meagre, modest, means
She walked straight back out the door she had walked through.
And out of my life again.
Leaving me to gaze at the space she had deliberately left behind.