Blase Reviews Vagabond’s “EXTREME: An Anthology for Social and Environmental Justice”/ MARK LIPMAN

We live in a time of EXTREME and most of the extreme is negative. This negativity is a dark reflection on wrong answers. To ignore this raging truth is to live in a state of denial. Fear and hate are the long standing blanket over the aching truth. Artists and risk walk together. Dante could have been executed for his “comoedia” (Latin). Ecclesiastical mores did not permit games to be played with heaven, hell or purgatory. He made his point with great risk, Michelangelo could have been eliminated for his painting of eminent church people in hell.

What mass media primarily offers is not “fake news”, but rather an absence of critically important news. News editors have the power to ignore the rape of Yemen or thirty million mostly non-combatants who have died in unnecessary, illegal and morally repugnant wars since the end of World War II. I have actually heard “expert pundits” refer to this as a long period of peace since the greatest of all wars.

The artists are still with us. Their risk taking is still with us. Thanks to Mark Lipman for pulling together such people. As political psychotics play with biocide to maintain a failed economic system together with 19th century nationalism, we can be grateful for the poetry of truth tellers. War is the ugliest sin on earth.

Watching the planet rot out as if we can do nothing to save it will not be solved by, “have a nice day.”

Thanks to Henry Howard for SEA OF OIL, SHIP OF FOOLS. Ignoring a million people sleeping on the streets of the richest nation in history makes Aristotle turn many times in his grave. Distributive justice has been in the plans of intelligent minds for centuries and our pathetic Ivy League Universities still speak of maximizing profit rather than maximizing humanity. No, the Bantustans of Israel will not be ignored by anyone whose mind is in gear. Immigrants are roving the earth looking for a home. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights offers help for these people. International law is ignored by the world’s greatest war machine.

And in this bouquet of truth-telling we do not find cynicism or despair, we find what Antonio Gramsci did as he lived in the hell of Italian Fascism. His intellect made it clear that he was living in such a time and he had “a pessimism of the intellect” which was honesty. HOWEVER, both Gramsci and Mark Lipman are entirely hopeful. As Gramsci, Lipman pulls together those who admit the negativity in observing the world with their intellects AND they are comforted by an optimism of the will. Together we can change it.

I highly recommend, EXTREME; an anthology for social and environmental justice.

We shall overcome!

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