KPFK SENIOR PRODUCER ALAN MINSKY JOINS THE FRAY
Robert et al,
Alan Minsky here, KPFK Senior Producer, Indymedia's organizer. I've
taken my time to chime in on this because I've been swamped preparing
for NYC -- and I also wanted to take the time try to sort out my
thinking on this matter.
I am not too familiar with Hustler or Larry Flynt's career (I've seen
the film, recall his intervention in the Clinton-era scandals/idiocies,
have a sense of what style of pornography can be found in the magazine,
and I read the Sherman Austin article).
But I am aware enough to know that if NION practiced the type of
consensus decision making process that is practiced by Indymedia and
other groups from the Global Justice Movement / Zapatista-inspired mold,
I would expect that any affiliation with Hustler would not successfully
pass through the process. In other words, I do believe that Aura's
argument would hold sway in a democratic, highly respectful process (in
which both (all) sides would get a fair chance to express their
position) amongst rank-and-file NION members. In fact, I doubt the
outcome of such a process would even be close.
And, I do not believe for one second that the Global Justice movement is
filled with Stalinists, or people blinded by politically-correct
orthodoxy. Instead, I think the very committed rank-and-file activist
community is still populated by well-thought-out, conscientious people
who seek a better society than the fucked-up, imbalanced, unjust one we
presently abide in. I doubt many people in that movement want to see
Hustler outlawed (I certainly would not support that -- I'm for free
speech all the way). But I firmly believe that resistance to any overt
endorsement or affiliation w/ Hustler would hold sway amongst such
activists because the relationship between patriarchy, popular
pornography, and economic exploitation remains transparently obvious to
this large body of politically conscious everyday folk (just as
pro-feminist, non-dollar-driven erotica would be embraced).
If I were present at such a meeting, I would certainly support an effort
to block an affiliation with Hustler.
I believe that in the 1990s and into this decade there has been a great
"normalization" (i.e. wide-spread acceptance) of pornography and the
sex-industry, with Howard Stern and HBO both virtually promoting woman
strippers and lap-dancers as veritable role models for young women. Of
course, people will make the decisions they make and it's up to them.
But the explosion of these industries the past decade and a half strikes
me as thoroughly related to the tougher, more brutal economy facing the
middle and working classes.
And, to my mind, damned if there isn't also a correlation between the
wider-acceptance of these industries and a parallel de-emphasizing of
education (the development of young people's minds) in this society. In
contrast to the ethics of feminism, this overt social trend is sending
the message to young women that their primary their value lies in their
body's appeal to men (and their money) and not in the development of
their minds. (And, old school, anti-Stalinist that I am, I do believe
that widespead feminist pedegogy would facilitate the development of a
post-patriarchal sexuality (which, to me, as a straight, hopefully
intelligent and sentient, man, would, be a million times more sexy and
attractive than a society made-up of the lost, vacant souls that I see
when I encounter popular pornography).
To reiterate my main point, I earnestly believe that the millions of
rank-and-file folks in the Peace and Global Justice movements share
similar, common sense (old-school, non-totalitarian, anti-censorship,
liberatory) positions as those expressed in the previous two paragraphs
and, as such, would not embrace endorsing Hustler in the way that NION
Maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt it.
CORSINI CALLS FOR CALM
To All Concerned:
This particular e-mail debate over LarryFlynt.com's supporting NION's call for
NYC protest is clearly unfortunate given what 'we' as progressives are facing.
I say 'we' because a progressive political future for our country and world is
necesarily dependent on our ability to be inclusive and cultivate dialogue between
constituencies and political and social points of view -- all directed toward unseating
the heinouos power structures that are dismantling what's left of our democracy
and threatening our very existence on this miraculous planet we inhabit. I ask all
who have been drawn into this minefield of progressive 'ego' and identity politics
to let it go and allow for us all to focus on NYC. I myself am preparing to leave tonight.
this is a debate that demands some form of resolution but it cannot happen here and
now and with this kind of rancor. I remain hopeful that we can all reflect on this and
perhaps re-engage in a more reasoned fashion devoid of any and all personal attacks
after -- the RNC.
Good luck and safety to all traveling to NY. Yes we can make a difference. We will
change the course of history -- there is no choice.
HUSTLER’S BRUCE DAVID DECLARES WAR
We at Hustler can accept being rejected by certain elements of the progressive
community. Sure, we are disappointed; we would like as much support as
possible for the positions we are taking in print, especially since these progressive
views have cost us at least some loss of readership. (You are right to point to the
survival of our democracy and the survival of the planet itself as the real issues.)
But, as Rick Nelson said, "You can't please everyone, so you gotta please yourself."
We are pleased to have presented the views of Dr. Helen Caldicott, Janine Jackson
(FAIR), Greg Palast, Karl Grossman (nukes in space), Howard Lyman
(mad cow disease), George Monbiot, Peter Coyote, Carol Picou (Gulf War illness),
Craig Unger, Christian Parenti, David Cay Johnston and others to the very people who
most need to be reached.
What we will not abide, however, is being called rapists and being accused of fostering
assaults on women and children, even by implication. People like Aura Bogado make
these accusations so freely because the voices of reason remain silent in the face of
such nonsense. Hustler's editors will not remain silent when attacked in this fashion.
You can all expect to see a rather forceful series of responses in print, starting with
Hustler's February issue. This, of course, will distract us from our attacks on Bush, Cheney,
et. al., but then, that's of no concern to Bogado, is it?
Robert, if you ever want us to post something in the future, don't hesitate to ask.
KPFK'S JAMIE LEE COVERS FOR BOGADO
I wanted to respond to the flurry of e-mails that have generated over the NION LA
announcement that Larry Flynt supports the campaign to obtain a permit for Central
Park and the call for 1 million people to NYC for the RNC to say no to bush & all he
I believe that some of the e-mails generated off of Aura Bogada’s initial e-mail have
taken a very ugly turn and is quite divisive for the kind of resistance movement that
is needed to stop the course our government is taking and beyond that. The personal
and unprincipled attacks which have been aimed at Aura in particular are
unacceptable. The Not In Our Name Project absolutely condemns the disgusting,
misogynistic attack on Aura by Mark Cromer of Hustler. We will not participate in and will
actively oppose any further attacks on Aura if any appear in the pages of Hustler. We
sincerely and deeply apologize for any role anyone in NION played in opening Aura up to
these attacks by forwarding her private email response. After this e-mail, we will not be
responding or sending out e-mails through LA NION with all the cc's on this subject. Aura's
criticism of forwarding her private e-mail to LA NION is absolutely correct and it was
inappropriate to forward any response to and from Aura to others without her permission.
Aura has played a very important role in promoting and supporting the Not In Our Name
project through her work and efforts at KPFK and Free Speech Radio News and it is very
much appreciated and continues to be needed so. I hope that we will be able to discuss
and debate the issues raised in her initial e-mail with her and to continue to find the ways
to work together to change the direction Bush & Co. are hell bent on taking the planet!
It is in that spirit that I want to address the question posed by Aura - which is very legitimate
and important question and concern (for many of us! that's why I am writing this to everyone
pulled into this discussion).
Who is the `our' in Not In Our Name? Who does it need to be to stop this endless war and
repression? Who can and needs to be united with to do just that? To answer this, I want to
go back to what NION is about (and isn't), why it was initiated and the fact that it has been
able to connect and give so much heart and courage to so many is a testament to the void
that it is filling. This seems to be has gotten lost or shoved aside especially in latter e-mails
generated off of Aura’s first email.
In the wake of 9/11 and the response from Bush & Co., many of us could see the course our
government was taking things, it was ominous, dangerous and deadly. But the challenge
was how to bring together all those who were not "with Bush" and how to contribute to
building a resistance movement that would have a flag - the globe - to rally around and
to gather others, that could inspire and give courage to many who felt alone and isolated
because they were `with the people of the world' as well as others beginning to question
the direction this country was being taken and to stand with those under attack in the name
of the so-called `war on terrorism' - be it the people of Afghanistan, Iraq or people living in
the U.S. and this list grows daily - to stop the Bush & Co.! To accomplish this will take millions,
tens of millions of people in this country. Those who have come together in this resistance
movement are quite diverse - in our politics and beliefs, languages, cultures - but we have
something greater in common. The "our" in Not In Our Name is for everyone "living in the United
States who believes that it is our responsibility to resist the injustices done by our government,
in our names." (from the NION Pledge of Resistance). " When President Bush declared: ‘you're
either with us or against us.’ Here is our answer: We refuse to allow you to speak for all the
American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences
in return for a hollow promise of safety. We say NOT IN OUR NAME. We refuse to be party to
these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our
welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies; we will
show our solidarity in word and deed." (from the NION Statement of Conscience).
As the anti-war movement in this country grew in the wake of 9/11, the US war against
Afghanistan, Arabs, Muslims, South Asians, Iraq and growing attacks on civil
liberties -we saw an amazing diversity of people on the same side - opposing the injustices
being done by our government in our name - to speak with one voice albeit in many different
ways. It should not be surprisingly that within this resistance movement there has been
and is a lot to debate and struggle over, what are the cause, source of these injustices and
horrors we oppose, what is the solution(s), - and case in point, who can we unite with, who
should we unite with, on what basis, and related to that how to change the course of
history - what is the content of the last line of the NION Pledge "Another world is possible
and we pledge to make it real." We also find that we have some serious disagreements with
people that who we are standing with in this struggle, including on some very crucial
questions - and we must find the ways to have principled dialogue and debate over these
questions. Someone described the 60's as a time when people were demonstrating all day
and debating strategies for change all night. We definitely need more of both right now!
NION as a project is united to resisting the injustices being done by our govt in our
name... right now the whole world is watching and looking to hear the most powerful
message coming from the streets of NYC from the people living in the US will be
NO TO BUSH & ALL HE REPRESENTS! NO TO ENDLESS WAR & REPRESSION!
Some of the issues raised in the e-mails are life and death questions for humanity and
the kind of world we want to live in. We as people living in the U.S. also have an
important responsibility to the people of the world to debate and find the solutions to
those questions. Check out the response to the ad that NION published recently in Iraq
"U.S. torture and occupation, not in our name" http://www.notinournaine.net/war/baghdad-ad-
7jul04.htm. One of the responses to the ad was challenging us, what are you going to do
about this? And the very important issue raised by Aura in her e-mail, the oppression
and exploitation of women! Again, I say that the last couple of e-mails from the Editors of
Hustler magazine are particularly vicious, offensive and very dangerous. To discuss this
further I think goes beyond the scope of the Not In Our Nameproject but I personally welcome
the opportunity to find the forms to have this debate and discussion.
-Jamie Lee, organizer, Los Angeles Not In Our Name Project
JAMIE LEE REQUESTS REMOVAL OF POSTINGS
You do not have my permission to post or publish the e-mail I just sent to you nor do you have
the permission of Los Angeles Not In Our Name to print, publish or post on any site any of the
e-mails that you have received with regard to this issue. Please immediately remove all
e-mails that you received from and through LA NION from the larryflynt.com website.
Jamie Lee, organizer, L.A. Not In Our Name
MARK CROMER SAYS 'NO DICE'
To the contrary, we have every right to engage in this debate and to do so as others have,
via new media postings. Not only are we personally subjects of this debate, but Aura Bogado
has made this anything but a 'private' discussion. To that end, we intend to continue posting
these emails and viewpoints on our associated websites and you can be sure we will be covering
this debate in upcoming issues of Hustler magazine.It appears you are uncomfortable with public
scrutiny. Given your stated positions, that's understandable.