When Carlos Flores invited me to be on a literary panel with him in July, I was also asked to write a short essay about my experiences in the self-publishing world.
Ever since I was about six years old, I was pretty sure I was going to be a writer. Snoopy was my model back then – so if you don’t like my stuff, blame Charles Schultz. Later, when I was about fifteen, I started sending short stories to the Paris Review – mostly so I could type the words ‘Dear Mr. Plimpton,’ with the fantasy he might read them. The rejections were polite.
That was my welcome to the world of publishing, and it didn’t get any easier. I couldn’t find an agent. I didn’t go to Yale. And, perhaps more to the point, the audience for complex fiction – fiction that isn’t an airport novel – became a niche in the culture. Although there were vastly more people in the world in the year 2000 compared to fifty years prior, the demand for literary fiction declined.
Then, another thing happened. I became a conspiracy theorist.
Now, mind you, I wasn’t writing about Bigfoot. I was writing material about what Professor Peter Dale Scott has termed the ‘deep state,’ the internal workings of the savage machine called the U.S. government. Writing honestly about such matters is the fastest way to torpedo your credibility and, in some cases, your career. You want to write a serious article about the Kennedy assassination or some other aspect of our hidden history, good luck getting into the New Yorker.
Most recently, however, the Internet revolution happened. This democratized the playing field a little bit, especially for people with alternative points of view. The explosion also meant that self-publishing became a viable option – cheap, with access points all over the world.
My two books – Dissenting Views and Dissenting Views II – are both collections of essays, critical pieces, and interviews. About half of each book consists of material that has appeared in other outlets, most of them online magazines. For a large publisher – because I’m not a household name – this isn’t the sort of thing they can publish. The economics don’t work out. It so happens I am friendly with some independent publishers, but it in the end it made more sense, both for myself and them, for me to put things out on my own. And I have enough recognition in my chosen field to sell a few books. Might someday go through a commercial publisher, if somebody offers me a good advance and can offer promotion. Until then, my wife and I just started our own LLC, Say Something Real publishing, and we are working on putting out our first anthology.
Incidentally, speaking of commercial publishers, the largest in the world is Bertelsmann AG. They own Random House. They were also, during WWII, the most important propaganda arm of the Third Reich. So yeah, one could draw the conclusion that the commercial publishing world is dominated by Nazis, and I wouldn’t argue with you. So there’s that. But then I’m a "conspiracy theorist."
Election fraud has been confirmed in New York. I know most sane people realize this already, but the statistics bear out this conclusion.
Go ahead and read this article over at Counterpunch by Doug Johnson Hatlem. It's short. I'll wait.
120,000+ voters purged off the rolls in Brooklyn. Hilary Clinton hilariously claiming she won in her "home state." And obvious monkeying with the final tallies anyway - the Clinton campaign leaves nothing to chance.
On April 19, 2016, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio decided an investigation was necessary:
...de Blasio also called on the city Board of Elections to reverse a voter purge that removed voters from voting lists and announced his support for the audit to be completed this summer ahead of New York’s June 28 federal primary “so corrective action can be taken.”
Four days later, Bill de Blasio is suddenly hit with corruption charges stemming from fundraising that happened in 2014.
The Board of Elections report states that "evidence demonstrates that the de Blasio team coordinated its fundraising activities" with the committees and delivered donations to them "in order to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors," the Times reports.
Now I'm not defending Mayor de Blasio here. I have no inside information about whether he did anything illegal or not, except that he's the Mayor of New York so I have to assume some criminal intent. I just think the timing is interesting. He speaks up in favor of democratic processes and against the Board of Elections, and the Board of Elections suddenly says, 'oh gee, now that you mention it, we just happen to have this evidence of your own malfeasance.'
How about that.
One thing that has been disappointing - not surprising, but disappointing - has been the number of people who are supposed to be on our side defending Hilary Clinton. From Rep Barney Frank to Rep John Lewis, to people who should theoretically know better, like Jeffrey St. Clair and Sheldon Rampton, who coauthored Toxic Sludge is Good for You and Trust Us, We're Experts, both terrific books. They are all supporting HRC and referring to Sanders advocates (I'm paraphrasing) as essentially pie-in-the-sky fools.
The argument is that it's our duty to stop Cruz or Trump from going to the White House.
I think that is false. I think it's our duty to follow our conscience and vote for the person we believe in. So no, I will never flip my vote to HRC under any circumstances. And this isn't an issue of "privilege" - i.e., only wealthy people can be so cavalier as to vote their conscience. A vote for Hilary is as much a vote for Empire just as a vote for Trump or Cruz would be. What the fuck is the difference? Ask an Iraqi woman if Hilary Clinton gives a shit about her rights.
It's Bernie or bust.
This is Joe Green's blog.