Shame On Them All

The recent scandal at Guernica magazine was deeply embarrassing to me despite not having any involvement in or even awareness of the magazine.  This is because I know that if I had been aware of the magazine I would have been inclined to support and endorse it on the basis of its description alone and so the dishonourable behaviour of its entire editorial team reflects on my judgement even though I never had the “opportunity” to make that error. And when I say “entire” I do mean to include both those who quit rather than make a coherent objection to the article as well as those who remained and caved to the pressure to unpost it.

Source: Bring Back The Culture of Debate! – by Ross Barkan

This entry was posted in uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shame On Them All

  1. bob worcester says:

    I had to Google “Guernica magazine controversy” and see that it is an example of what seems to have become common – the cancelling of ‘thoughtful’ expression of opinions due to the ‘offence’ it has (or may) cause. The PuSh Festival decision to cancel “The Runner” is a similar local example. For those passionately committed to a cause the question, “does this advance or diminish the ’cause’,” is paramount. It takes a certain amount of courage to say, “I am willing to see (hear) something I may disagree with.” The key question here may be how ‘thoughtful” the expressions are. It may not always be easy to distinguish art from propaganda but it may be critically important that we do.

  2. alan says:

    Thanks Bob. I should amend the article to better identify the context and make it clearer what I was objecting to. ‘Guernica’ is an avowedly progressive literary magazine and the article in question was by an Israeli woman struggling with her response to the current situation – with the objection being that by showing her to be ‘thoughtful’ it would decrease sympathy for the ’cause’ of ending the Zionist state. I wouldn’t object to such a publication choosing not to publish an article which failed to advance a cause to which it was committed, and it’s just the lack of open internal and external debate as to the level of that commitment that struck me. But at least they weren’t denying her right to publish elsewhere.

    Your example of the PuSh festival is actually much more extreme, as the festival is supposed to be quite eclectic with no commitment to such a particular ’cause’, and what happened seems to have been just a matter of caving in to blackmail from those who wanted to actually silence a voice (as opposed to just not wanting to amplify it).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *