News and Notes
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*** And then there’s the business of my bank account. Last week the account was down to $178. I was going to be in real trouble. I have all kinds of business expenses that come in and are paid automatically. If they start to bounce it will be one thing after another. I decided to make an internet appeal to online subscribers. There was no time to horse around. No time to wait and hope. I just said it. It had to happen quick. This is what I wrote:
I NEED SOME HELP HERE.
Today if possible. If not today, the earliest you can.
What’s going on? This morning the balance in my Bank Account stands at $178.00. That’s One Hundred Seventy-Eight. Clearly not your fault, but my own. The reasons? Donations have been off the last two, three months. Nevertheless, I could have managed those funds more carefully. I was obligated to manage them in a way that would work. But I didn’t. And now the situation is what it is.
I’ve been working since 1984—some thirty years—to help create an open debate on the Holocaust Question. I’m not disappointed by having $178 balance in the Bank. I didn’t get into this line of work for the money. But today I find that I have allowed myself to get into a situation with funding that is impossible.
I have never done anything like this before. I won’t go on about it. I think these few words make clear what the situation is today. If you find the work I do has value, please take a moment to contribute online.
I sent the above on Wednesday with the account balance at $178.
Yesterday, Thursday, the account was at $118.
Friday morning it’s at $930! The crisis is over. More donations will come in. I am getting messages telling me that checks are being sent. In short, I am okay again. Thank You to Everyone. Maybe the brain-swirl I have been living these last ten days will slow down.
*** My play, The Man Who Stopped Paying, was self-produced in Los Angeles in 1985 (my wife, who always saved money she earned from cleaning houses, helped with the funding), and was published by Nine-Banded Books in 2007 as a novella titled The Man Who Saw His Own Liver. Now it has been reviewed online. Out of the blue. This would not be anything special in ordinary circumstances, particularly at this late date, but the review is a singular piece of work. Nothing I have ever written, outside revisionist circles, has ever been treated as literature worthy of such generous attention until this moment.
The play itself got good reviews in the Los Angeles press, but it failed commercially from lack of imaginative promotion on my part. So why now? I don’t know, but I was taken aback by the generosity, the attention to detail, and the sensibilities of the reviewer, a Texas lady named Anita Dalton who runs the Blog she calls I Read Odd Books (http://tinyurl.com/mluy8am). In this review I am treated to a banquet of observation and thought that I had no expectation of ever receiving. What follows are a few excerpts taken from this close-to-3,000-word review.
The Man Who Saw His Own Liver
Bradley R. Smith is a living intersection of ideas that, on their surface, may seem mutually exclusive. But people and ideas are never wholly black or white. This played out vividly for me in terms of Smith’s personal politics because I generally have little patience for most libertarian ideas yet could see at times where Smith was coming from and could sympathize with his point of view. I think that was because Smith didn’t cloak himself in Randian-superiority.
[…] Smith discusses his life and his ideas in a manner that is confessional, almost Beat-like in style. He is a sort of holy outsider, a man who has dwelt on the fringes and remained true to his search for truth, no matter the personal and social costs.
Smith’s personal life is just one portion of this slim volume. Smith discusses politics and religion in a very simple, straightforward manner. He detests the idea of paying taxes into a bureaucratic system he considers wicked, and Smith’s ideas about bureaucracy are not anything new.
“[…] here in America it is the bureaucrats who manage the great welfare programs that protect the old and the poor and it’s the bureaucrats who run the programs that produce thermonuclear weapons that hold hostage the poor and old in other lands. Who hold hostage the children …. What do you say to these bureaucrats when you know they are your friends and neighbors, when you know how decent they are?”
Smith can be amusing when he wants to be. One night, he fell asleep while in a Mexican jail holding cell and woke up to find someone had taken a dump on his foot.
“Squatting over some guy’s foot when he’s asleep, that’s what men think is funny. It’s one of those male characteristics that all over the planet testify to our universal brotherhood.”
For me, I tend to think this is Smith showing us not only the man who saw his own liver, but he is also showing us his heart. There is a vulnerability to this book, as Smith reveals his weaknesses, his disgust and an almost innocent revulsion for the modern world.
The above cuts give off a full sense of Dalton’s review. Again, as a whole, it is the most generous review that has ever been done on my work. Take a look at it: http://tinyurl.com/mluy8am
*** The VA is still in the news. The growing scandal over the poor organization and criminal misbehavior of VA bureaucrats around the nation. What Eric Shinseki, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, resigning, describes as a “systemic, totally unacceptable lack of integrity.” My own experience these last several weeks is that each appointment was followed through exactly on schedule, and that a new issue was followed up on immediately with the lab and the pharmacy. In short, my sense of things is that the San Diego VA is generally well organized. That the scandal has to do with individual, not all, VA facilities and their dishonest administrators.
Nine-Books: Where did it come from?
By Chip Smith
In 2008 I launched Nine-Banded Books by publishing a slender novella by Bradley R. Smith. It was called The Man Who Saw His Own Liver. I didn't know what I was doing at the time and I still am not sure what I'm doing. I know I priced the book too high and printed too many copies. It never sold well, but that didn't matter to me. All that mattered was that I liked the manuscript and I wanted very much for it to exist so that some few readers might discover it and perhaps treasure it in the way that people sometimes do with books. It's heartening to see that Liver is getting some attention these years later. It really is a good read. It's one of those books that sets a spell.
Chip Smith (To your right)
The backstory I might have mentioned before is that Liver wasn't my first choice. When I initially approached Bradley it was with the idea of publishing a different manuscript—a sprawling and never quite complete collection of autobiographical stories he had assembled over the years called A Personal History of Moral Decay. Bradley's concern was that the manuscript needed work, so we agreed, for the time being, to do Liver instead. It was a good place to start. The right place to start, I suppose.
As the years passed I would occasionally approach Bradley to ask if he wanted to go forward with Moral Decay and he would invariably respond in the same way by saying "it needs work." The last time this happened I was moved to go back and read the thing a bit more carefully with my best editorial instincts. It was true enough that it needed work, but only in the sense that all manuscripts require a bit of gingerly attention and investment. But the words rolled smooth as milk and honey on oats, and the stories had a strange and distinctive thematic resonance that only deepened on repeat.
What happened was, there came a point when I was moved to reflect on what I was reading and what I will say is that I knew it was a great book. Not a good book. A great one. I imagine I'll stand by that statement until I die. A thousand bad reviews couldn't dissuade me of this conviction. A Personal History of Moral Decay is a great book. I consider it a rare privilege to bring it into print.
But back to Bradley, the author. It was with a greater sense of urgency that I approached him this time. I told him we needed to do the book—that it was important to do it now. I meant while he was still alive but I didn't say that. I told him it was good—I don't think I said it was "great" but that is also what I meant—and I tried to explain the reasons why. I dropped names like James Salter and John Cheever and Richard Brautigan and I said that the book was a throwback to what such men once did on instinct, before MFAs and writing workshops and Oprah-branded book clubs and sentence-obsessed literary memoirs and feminist sensibilities descended to have their ruinous way with a world of letters that once teemed with immediacy and life. I said, or I might as well have said, that it was the sort of book that some few readers might discover and perhaps treasure in the way that people still sometimes do with books.
And Bradley, perhaps he sensed the urgency in my words. Because this time he said, “What the hell. It'll never be perfect. Let's do it, kid.”
I love A Personal History of Moral Decay. It's one of my favorite books. You can order a copy through Amazon here:
or directly through Nine-Banded Books. http://tinyurl.com/nc2ove8
The cover design is by Kevin Slaughter and it is based on the old Obelisk editions of Henry Miller for reasons you may come to understand. I hope you'll buy a copy for yourself and I hope you'll buy another one for your dad. Here's a fine write-up from over at Taki's that artfully touches on the unavoidable subject that I am now avoiding for reasons you're wrong to suspect.
*** This is a note I made a couple years ago and it just popped up from the bowels of the computer.
Sally is an old, fat, mixed German shepherd. Tiffany is our long-hair grey and white cat. Turns out that Sally prefers bagged cat food to bagged dog food. This morning I watched the routine. When I put out the cat food for Tiffany, who was bawling for it, both she and Sally approach the bowl. Tiffany begins to eat a little and Sally, who weighs about 15 times what the cat weighs and towers over her, waits patiently behind Tiffany to finish. When Tiffany turns away from the bowl, Sally takes her turn, a demonstration of sensibility that I have to take to heart.
The update is that Sally is buried in a plastic bag in the dirt beneath a tree beside Irene’s old house. Tiffany is still here and still howls for her food.
*** Reading Dalton’s review of Liver is an event that made me wonder at its generosity, but it appeared at an odd time. My new book, A Personal History of Moral Decay, is to be published by Nine-Banded Books in a couple three weeks. On the one hand I want to send the review of Liver via the internet far and wide simply to get it in front of people so they can see that Smith is human in at least some of the ways other writers are. The problem is that if I circulate the Liver review as widely as it should be circulated, it will distract from our promotion of Moral Decay. Moral Decay is the primary book to work with, not Liver. Moral Decay is promotable, and this time I am disposed to promote it. What to do? Go with Liver now, and do Moral Decay later? I don’t know. I have to make a decision.
*** Back to the VA to find out what’s what. They did a biopsy on a growth in the right groin. It is cancer, again, as we all understood. Now, after the biopsy, we know that it is still 80% follicular lymphoma, but now 20% B-Cell, a more aggressive strain of lymphoma. In this case it is associated somehow with the spleen. It took three trips to the other side and various appointments to reach this stage of info. With each trip to the VA in La Jolla I lose a full day from the work. On top of that I’m tired in a way that I have not been before and I lose time from the work lying on our bed.
Anyhow, I will begin chemotherapy, for the third time, the first week in July. I remember a couple years ago, the last time I learned that the cancer was cooking and that I would have to begin chemo for the second time. Walking out of the hospital I was elated, almost euphoric. I was about to begin a new adventure. I looked forward to it.
That sense of things lasted about four days; then I was left with the simple understanding that I was to get back into the grind. This time there is no euphoria, no sense of adventure even for a few days. Only the fact that the chemo will begin again in a couple weeks.
*** I asked Chip Smith where he came up with the name Hoover Hog, which is the name of his blog.
“The name? Just a nod to our friend the nine-banded armadillo. The story is that they were referred to as ‘Hoover hogs’ during the depression when people in dire straits were reduced to dine on dillo-meat in lieu of pork. ‘Nine-Banded Books’ just gilds the lily. There’s no deeper meaning, though I know that some readers have assumed that ‘Banded’ is meant as a near-homonym for ‘Banned.’
“The background is that when I was in college I wrote a paper about the use of armadillos in leprosy research and I found that I kept thinking about the little suckers—to the point where armadillo imagery sort of melded with whatever I was reading. So, I don’t know, maybe I was trying to cure a neuro-quirk. They’re really interesting animals. They have litters of identical quadruplets.”
*** Allan C. Brownfeld is the editor of Issues, a 12-page newsletter published by The American Council for Judaism. Issues focuses largely on the damage that Zionism is doing to Judaism in the U.S. I have been on the mailing list for Issues for some time now and find Brownfeld to be very perceptive. Today I went to the AJC website for the first time. There I found an article titled “The Political Use of the Holocaust.” It is a review by Brownfeld of Antony Lerman’s The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist.
An excerpt: “Referring to the Holocaust and how politicians and ideologues feel free to make political use of this ‘tragedy of tragedies,’" he wrote: ‘The perceived threat of another attempt to annihilate Jewry is too rapidly invoked for the purpose of stifling genuine and crucial differences of opinion. Jewish life is not only about survival. The real crises (for the Jewish people) are in Zionism, in the nature of the Jewish state and in relations between what should be an independently-minded and assertive Diaspora and Israel. It is because these issues are so troubling and so difficult to confront that the source of anxiety is sought in the age-old common enemy: anti-Semitism. In Israel, the debate on these issues goes on daily in the newspapers. Here (in the U.S.), the debate is avoided. Rather than concede that the Arabs have an ideological case, we treat their anti-Zionism as prejudice. Rather than admit that Israel’s mistakes fuel anti-Semitism, we prefer to brand critics as anti-Semites.’” Read it all:
*** Yesterday I tweeted: “#Taki’s Magazine reviews The #EvilMuseofBradleySmith http://tinyurl.com/kzvbjd2 One simple writer who comes to doubt the Great Horror.”
I have 167 followers on Twitter now. A tiny presence compared to what is possible, but I’m there. Nevertheless. . . .
*** FrontPage Magazine: in the 29 May issue Daniel Greenfield writes that Temple University’s Marxist Adjunct Professor Alessio Lerro endorsed an MLA resolution
targeting the Jewish State by claiming that the Jews have too much power. And Lerro added that with regard to the Six Million, “we all know (or should know) that the counting of Jews is a bit controversial.”
The FrontPage headline reads: College Refuses to Condemn Marxist Anti-Semitic Holocaust Denying BDS Professor Alessio Lerro. But Temple University is standing behind him.
The BDS movement is the result of a Palestinian civil society issuing a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call.
Professor Alessio Lerro
Lerro accused “Jewish scholars” of having “humongous influence” over academia. “It is time that Zionists are asked to finally account for their support to the illegal occupation of Palestine since 1967.”
Temple University spokesman Brandon Lausch told the Washington Free Beacon that the university welcomed his controversial views on campus. “Temple University promotes open discussion and expression among its diverse community of scholars. The exercise of academic freedom necessarily results in a vigorous exchange of ideas.”
Greenfield’s Lerro uses Marx’s picture as his Facebook header. Good grief! He is also a “fan of a number of Marx’s books” and is “currently reading Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism.” Greenfield notes that Lerro refers to “the contemporary relevance of Marx’s model of circulation and reproduction.”
Greenfield and FrontPage are agreed: silence revisionists, silence Marxists. And who else?
Summer 2014 issue of
Vol. 6, No. 2.
Richard A. Widmann, Editor
Holocaust History: The Sound of One Hand Clapping,
by Jett Rucker
The Jewish Hand in the World Wars, Part 2,
by Thomas Dalton
by Joseph P. Bellinger
The Denial of “Holocaust Denial” – The Feast of Misnaming,
by Nigel Jackson
Woodrow Wilson's “Second Personality”,
by Ralph Raico
Review: The Holocaust in American Life,
by Ezra MacVie
The “Ministry of Truth”: The Attempt to Discredit Martin Allen,
by Nicholas Kollerstrom
Profile: H. Keith Thompson Jr.
by K.R. Bolton
Inconvenient History Homepage
*** Zan Overall is still doing his Truth Tuesdays on the library steps at UCLA. Sometimes he misses a day due to his acting assignments at one studio or another. A new placard he is working with will read:
Jews Are The Real Holocaust Deniers. They Change Their Holocaust Story Over and Over.
Remember the Auschwitz Four Million Claim?
I was surprised by this one. I had never thought of it. It’s so obvious. Jews might not do the original revisionism, but they are among the first to sign up for it.
But there they are, Jewish professors denying that Germans murdered Jews in gas chambers at Dachau, denying that Germans skinned murdered Jews to make lampshades and riding breeches from their hides. And so on and so on. It’s a good, simple idea, fit to go along with these simple ideas
Can you show me a drawing or a photograph of a German gas chamber?
Can you provide the name, with proof, of one person murdered in a gas chamber at Auschwitz?
Simple stuff. My kind of stuff.
*** My The Man Who Saw His Own Liver has been reviewed a second time. What’s going on here?
Matt Forny, The Good Looking Loser, has a very professional Web site at: http://tinyurl.com/parmbc7
He writes: “Bradley Smith is yet another talented writer who has been consigned to the dustbin of irrelevancy for purely political reasons. If The Man Who Saw His Own Liver is any indication, Smith deserves a place alongside Burroughs, Kerouac and other like-minded anti-establishment writers, but Smith’s crime is that he was just a little too anti-establishment. Specifically, Smith’s status as a Holocaust revisionist will forever overshadow his skills as a novelist. Mention his name in polite company and the pious lefties will chant in unison: “How can you say anything NICE about Bradley Smith? He’s a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews ZOMG!!!!!!!1111″
I know I’m going on about Liver and Moral Decay being reviewed, and reviewed favorably. I didn’t expect it. I have been willing to be ignored on the one hand and excoriated on the other for decades now. Didn’t really think it would ever change. Maybe it will. No guarantees, but. . .
Until next month then!
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Bradley R. Smith|
|Title:||News and Notes|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, No. 207, July 2014, pp. 5-8, 9f., 12; book review by Anita Dalton from "I read odd books"; http://ireadoddbooks.com/the-man-who-saw-his-own-liver-by-bradley-r-smith/|
|First posted on CODOH:||July 13, 2014, 7 p.m.|