Unlikely 2.0

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Editors' Notes

Maria Damon and Michelle Greenblatt
Jim Leftwich and Michelle Greenblatt
Sheila E. Murphy and Michelle Greenblatt

A Visual Conversation on Michelle Greenblatt's ASHES AND SEEDS with Stephen Harrison, Monika Mori | MOO, Jonathan Penton and Michelle Greenblatt

Letters for Michelle: with work by Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Jeffrey Side, Larry Goodell, mark hartenbach, Charles J. Butler, Alexandria Bryan and Brian Kovich

Visual Poetry by Reed Altemus
Poetry by Glen Armstrong
Poetry by Lana Bella
A Eulogic Poem by John M. Bennett
Elegic Poetry by John M. Bennett
Poetry by Wendy Taylor Carlisle
A Eulogy by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Vincent A. Cellucci
Poetry by Joel Chace
A Spoken Word Poem and Visual Art by K.R. Copeland
A Eulogy by Alan Fyfe
Poetry by Win Harms
Poetry by Carolyn Hembree
Poetry by Cindy Hochman
A Eulogy by Steffen Horstmann
A Eulogic Poem by Dylan Krieger
An Elegic Poem by Dylan Krieger
Visual Art by Donna Kuhn
Poetry by Louise Landes Levi
Poetry by Jim Lineberger
Poetry by Dennis Mahagin
Poetry by Peter Marra
A Eulogy by Frankie Metro
A Song by Alexis Moon and Jonathan Penton
Poetry by Jay Passer
A Eulogy by Jonathan Penton
Visual Poetry by Anne Elezabeth Pluto and Bryson Dean-Gauthier
Visual Art by Marthe Reed
A Eulogy by Gabriel Ricard
Poetry by Alison Ross
A Short Movie by Bernd Sauermann
Poetry by Christopher Shipman
A Spoken Word Poem by Larissa Shmailo
A Eulogic Poem by Jay Sizemore
Elegic Poetry by Jay Sizemore
Poetry by Felino A. Soriano
Visual Art by Jamie Stoneman
Poetry by Ray Succre
Poetry by Yuriy Tarnawsky
A Song by Marc Vincenz

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an excerpt from The Professional Donor
by Frankie Metro

Since its induction, the new immigration bill, SB1070, has been a sophomoric source for blatant bigotry, as well as unofficial scare and interrogation tactics which are carried out in a subversive manner and perpetrated by state and citizen alike. Everyone from crooked half-cocked policeman to borderline journalists are blaming the federal government for its "lack of attention" to the matter of illegals entering the country—facilitating many "would-be Arizona employees" to turn into insurgents out to protect their native soil from invasion.

Of course the primary argument for pundits and politicians in honor of SB1070 is its necessity in order to combat the amount of illegal activity perpetrated by immigrants; specifically citing the drug cartel wars in Mexico as justification for the act. During the signing of the immigration bill, Governor Jan Brewer was quoted as saying:

"Border violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state...There is no higher priority than protecting the citizens of Arizona. We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of the drug cartels. We cannot stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life."
              —"Crime Stats Test Rationale Behind Arizona Immigration Law," Mariano Castillo, CNN News

Meanwhile, Arizonans have only seen a .9% decrease in unemployment rates since March 2009 (Dept. of Numbers) and Phoenix's job growth has dropped into the negative, unless you count the burgeoning enterprise of tele[scam]marketing, and the state legislature has since passed a new proposal allowing concealed firearms to be carried "through state university and community college campuses." (CBS News)

In fact, new amendments to SB1070 actually bar illegals from driving in the state, enrolling in Arizona schools and even issuing special birth certificates stating non-citzenship. This serves as a metaphorical placebo for the one insatiable thirst of American society—which is to project their own inconsistencies and discord into an outside source, while the "state" engages in selective protection and alienation. Let's not dress it up...Simply put, there must be a place for the blame of our current economic situation, and whether it be white, red or green...it's an expendable energy in the eyes of the state and so it is the idea of the people.

"This American government—what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity?...It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this, for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have...It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet, this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way..."
              —Henry David Thoreau

Much of the Southwest's population could easily misconstrue this as a call for individual duty in upholding Arizona's latest border policy. They could highlight the last sentence in particular. Yes, this is an overwhelming outlook in the Valley and is not without its numerous media champions for the cause. Sam Weaver, for instance, is a native Texan whose:

"Lively discussions back in 1984—first with his very liberal girlfriend, and then with several college instructors—made him question his beliefs and his belief system..."

As a result of these small epiphanies, Weaver is now a columnist for RenewAmerica.com, where he expounds on such viewpoints. He recently wrote a lengthy article entitled "Arizona's SB1070: Facts, Myths and The Big Picture," in which he points to those supposed fallacies concerning the less-than-adequate reaction to the matter on behalf of the government.

  1. "The vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent, law abiding, hard working people who just want to provide for their families."
  2. "Undocumented immigrants do essential work that Americans just won't do."
  3. "Undocumented aliens contribute to American society more than they take."

The broodish Texan, his hazel-colored hair parted in the middle...his Charlie Chaplin mustache greased and combed...his vacant eyes a shudder...goes onto to dispel these "rumors" with such convincing counterpoints as:

  1. "...may be widely true; however the very first act of any illegal immigrant upon reaching American soil is a criminal act.—a violation of the law."
  2. e.t.c.
  3. e.t.c.

Weaver writes these words in an abandoned bomb shelter on the very tip of the gun-toting world, dressed in his brown polyester suit and baby blue tie. There is a camo vest draped across his shoulders. The buoy knife lies next to the mouse pad. A signed laminate from an anonymous TSA agent is framed and sits at the edge of his iron desk. On the wall...overhead the monitor...are Thoreau's words in bold, unforgiving print.

"The character inherent of the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more if the government had not sometimes got in its way..."

Weaver digests these words some more as he slides his Desert Eagle from one of the cabinets. He polishes the barrel with a dimestore American flag. In the light of one incandescent bulb shines an inscription:

"God please reveal yourself to me and show me truth!"

A futile prayer ...at the end of a shiny barrel. A dedication to truth held by none other than God-fearing citizens of this great and old nation...just like yourself.

As for myself, I find Thoreau's statement to be something resembling foresight, grounded in none other than basic truth—his truth, which sprung from observing American industrialist society and is easily translatable for the contemporary agenda. In Thoreau's prose, you will find that in the relationship between history and change, in the relationship between government and individual freedom, time is irrelevant because of universal repetition. This is personified in the constant pace of destructuring, reemergence, and vantage-point conceptualization on part of those we elect to public office. Though we may recant the old adage 'history is that which repeats itself' a thousand generations over, we are not fully aware of the ramifications that accompany such a phenomenon. We do not realize how detrimental or how important this small philosophy is; that our attainment of knowledge through regulated, marginized trial-and-error situations will only lead to a new spin on "setbacks" and failures, more "success" and "even-keel"...

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