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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Politics and Culture

The End of Unlikely 2.0
by Jonathan Penton, November 2011
"Now, in November 2011, one year after the publication of our print anthology Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind, it is time to "close" Unlikely 2.0. I put close in quotes because the next incarnation of UnlikelyStories.org is already being sketched out, and will have much more in common with Unlikely 2.0 than Unlikely 2.0 had with Unlikely Stories."

Proving God
by Robert Levin, November 2011
"And, again, none of this has been, at bottom, to the purpose of spreading a vision (which could maybe have claimed some level of legitimacy), but rather to, in their own minds, ratify by numbers, law or custom, the presence of a deity."

The Protest and the Revolution
by Yacov Ben Efrat, November 2011
"Suddenly, up jumped Daphni Leef and placed her sofa on Tel Aviv's chic Rothschild Boulevard, and thus changed public discourse and political reality. The tent protest she ignited is the most political protest Israel has ever seen. It is not a response to some unsuccessful military operation, but stems from profound social failure—the result of years of economic and social policies that have brought the middle classes to the point of collapse."

Dissident Voicing
by Linh Dinh, November 2011
"In a country of walls and locked doors, where even infants have private domains, there are no barriers here. With everyone exposed, and no TV to distract, conversation comes more readily. Here, no canned music slops over each dialogue or interior monologue. Here, all crazy, percussive rhythms and melodies must be generated by living muscles and breaths. Here, all faces are real all the time, with none beamed from uptown or across the land mass."

Punching A Hole In Bubbles Of Denial And Addiction: Late capitalism and its discontents of the American Autumn
by Phil Rockstroh, November 2011
"A ground-level, global-wide movement is afoot and has announced to the economic, media and political elite that they are on to their schemes. Accordingly, the plundering class and their protectors will no longer be afforded the luxury of insulating themselves (almost absent confrontation) within bubbles of privilege, bubbles of denial, bubbles of insularity."

Living Two Wars
by Rita Bozi, November 2011
"The 'savage Serb' was a term I learned from my parents and relatives. When I heard 'Serb' I heard the word 'saber'. My relatives had nothing good to say about the race they once overtook. As a child I believed what I heard, albeit with confusion, because I instinctively felt I wasn't getting all the information. What made the Serbs savage? Were they born that way? Or did they become that way?"

Two Down (Europe, USA), One to Go (China): The Chinese Ponzi Scheme and the Oncoming Global Depression
by Sam Vaknin, November 2011
"In an effort to sanitize humungous export proceeds, China amassed trillions of dollars worth of foreign exchange reserves, mostly invested in American treasury bonds, creating a dangerous exposure to the vicissitudes of the increasingly-more decrepit US dollar and to America's downgraded sovereign credit rating."

Arab Spring, Israeli Winter
by Sam Vaknin, October 2011
'...in the long-run, Muslims are the natural allies of the United States in its role as a budding Asian power, largely supplanting the former Soviet Union. Thus, the threat of militant—and even nuclear—Islam is unlikely to cement a long term American-Israeli confluence of interests. Moreover, with the prospect of representative regimes in several Arab states more tangible, Israel is losing its long-held title as the "Middle East's only democracy."'

Crocodile Tears on a Cash Register Patriotism
by Walter Brasch, October 2011
'"In view of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, this is the time for Corporate America and all government agencies to enhance the safety and security of the nation's high profile buildings." Not exactly a revelation. It didn't take another sentence to underline the company's intent. "Windows and doors are normally the weakest static construction elements in a building..."'

A Labor Day Tale of Three Cities: Pittsburgh, Birmingham and New Orleans
by Phil Rockstroh, October 2011
"...while in Pittsburgh, because I was born in a steel and coal town, Birmingham, Alabama, I shuffled among familiar shades. Deep in my being, I know the social setup—once manifested in forged steel, living flesh and human longing—now lost to the ravages of time (more accurately, the consequences of neo-liberal economic doctrine)."

One Dog Smells Another
by Kurt Remington, October 2011
"I see them trek along the hopeful asphalt sculpture of a parking lot...always empty and even if it were to be filled, the place would be jammed with all of them squirming and bellowing and out of air...a real fire hazard. The thought wouldn't have occurred to the surveyors, or to those who paid for it. They are drunk on hope, all of them. It's why they bring their children here. Their sanctuary. It's why they want us out."

European Debt Crisis and Sustainability
by Gail Tverberg, October 2011
"The current situation is brittle. If there are severe financial dislocations, they could feed back and disrupt other systems, such as international trade and industrial agriculture. We could see political upheavals and reduced oil production, and because of all of these issues, reduced human food supply. The changes that may happen could be quite sudden, much faster than one might expect, if the Hubbert Curve were the only factor influencing the amount of oil available to society."

'Step Right Up!' Snake Oil for Sale
by Walter Brasch, September 2011
"The establishment media generally avoided Ron Paul, the second place winner, who "only" got 4,671 votes, 152 less than Bachmann, and 27.7 percent. Paul is a pariah in the Republican party, and something the media can't figure out, because he actually has a core set of principles, which sometimes leads him to ally with liberals, but for different reasons."

Life In An Age Of Looting: 'Some will rob you with a sixgun and some with a fountain pen'
by Phil Rockstroh, September 2011
"Concurrently, corporate mass media types fret over the reversal of fortune and trumpet the triumphs of the self-serving agendas of Wall Street and corporate swindlers...even as they term a feller, in ill-gotten possession of a flat screen television, fleeing through the streets of North London, a mindless thug."

A Mother's Art Brings Attention to Wrongly Convicted Young Men: Her son was a rapper and sentenced to 30 years, her art proclaims his innocence
by Jordan Flaherty, September 2011
"Now, Phipps is unveiling a series of ten works, for a show called the Injustice Exhibition. Her use of color and framing varies with the inspiration, ranging from muted portraits to bright explosions of color, often capturing small details like focusing on a subject's feet or hands. In the portrait of her son she highlights the gentle features of his face."

Print Books (p-books) and Electronic Books (e-books): Different Packaging or Revolution?
by Sam Vaknin, September 2011
"The first-ever print runs were tiny by our standards and costly by any standard. Gutenberg produced fewer than 200 copies of his eponymous and awe-inspiring Bible and died a broken and insolvent man. Other printers followed suit when they failed to predict demand (by readers) and supply (by authors who acted as their own publishers, pirates, underground printers, and compilers of unauthorized, wild editions of works)."

Arab youth and social protest in Israel
by Asma Agbarieh-Zahalka, September 2011
"After the first demonstration, which went on late into the night, I talked with one of the protest leaders, Regev Contes, who told me in slightly halting Egyptian-accented Arabic that they drew inspiration from Cairo's Tahrir Square. He said the Middle East is his home, not Europe or the US. The new protest movement undoubtedly reflects a deep change in the consciousness of Israeli Jews who have lost faith in this fake democracy and in their corrupt politicians."

From Heroes to Villains: NOPD Verdict Reveals Post-Katrina History
by Jordan Flaherty, August 2011
"Officers had heard a radio call about shootings in the area, and according to prosecutors, they were seeking revenge. James Brisette, a 17-year-old called studious and nerdy by his friends, was shot nearly a dozen times and died at the scene. Many of the bullets hit him as he lay on the ground bleeding. Four other people were wounded, including Susan Bartholomew, a 38-year-old mother who had her arm shot off of her body, and her 17-year old daughter Lesha, who was shot while crawling on top of her mother's body, trying to shield her from bullets."

A Future Without Coal: In New Mexico Supreme Court, Again
by Mariel Nanasi, August 2011
"While we draw strength from each other, our movement to end coal and save our planet from climate change also honors the millions of people viciously poisoned and ruthlessly exploited by the relentless, destructive impact of coal. From infants and children to adults and our beloved elders, the litany of coal's negative effects is brutal and it's growing."

from The Professional Donor
by Frankie Metro, August 2011
"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..."

The European Union as a Fear-Driven, Defensive, and Phobic Project
by Sam Vaknin, August 2011
"Its founders, in the mid-fifties, sought to prevent future waves of virulent and aggressive nationalisms. Later, in successive rounds, the framework was reluctantly and grudgingly enlarged to encompass the poorer countries of south Europe and Greece in an attempt to forestall uncontrollable tides of destitute economic immigrants."

Massacre in Norway
by David Rovics, August 2011
"Of course, the big news is that society was never more moral, only more divided and stratified, before unions and multiculturalism. And Europe has never been white nor Christian. Jews got there way before Christ did, and the pagans long predated the Jews. Muslims have been there since the days of Mohammed."

If Bush or Guiliani Had Been Stoltenberg
by David Swanson, August 2011
"Now take a 60-second tour of an alternative universe by substituting 'the United States' for 'Norway' in Stoltenberg's remarks:"

The Limits to Growth and the Growth of Despair
by Nicholas C. Arguimbau, July 2011
"Despair is both self-centered and self-defeating. At a certain point it is psychotic. Why? Take a deep breath. It is springtime, time of quiet renewal. This is really simple. We can't give up because these beautiful critters we live with didn't do anything wrong. And we are composed of the visions in our minds, and if all we have is ugly visions, we are deluding ourselves."

On "The Issue of Character" and Empire
by Phil Rockstroh, July 2011
"By finger wagging and sneering, carnal desires can be lived out vicariously in the Puritan/Calvinist imagination. In this way, petty moralists can ogle what they claim to condemn."

The Economic and Social Losses on the Way
by Emily Spence, July 2011
"Especially if they are fond of vacation travel or have seen their home energy use spike due to lots of appliances running at once, they don't want to picture that they possibly could be implicated in anything having to do with the downside of their lifestyles. They don't want to link their habits to the fact that over seventy percent of electricity in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels."

The Pursuit For Truth In The Death, And Life, Of Two Iconic Chileans
by Brian McAfee, July 2011
'Judge Mario Carroza ordered investigations into both deaths. While most appear to support the investigations, some say they will "open up old wounds." While Pinochet continues to have supporters in the Chilean right, most Chileans want to see the truth, and perhaps justice.'

Murder Kills Death
by Robert Levin, July 2011
"In this sequence Spielberg is showing how chillingly casual a man can be in the performance of the most heinous deeds. And he makes this statement nicely. To go deeper, however, to create a juxtaposition of events that actually pointed to what it is that turns a man into a homicidal sociopath, all Spielberg needed to do (what David Lynch might have done) was have Goeth, in place of urinating, sit down and move his bowels."

The Draft: The Disconnect between the U.S. Military, Its Wars, and the American Public
by Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken, May 2011
'Indeed times have changed and the "grunts" are not the decision-makers or powerbrokers in this volunteer, mercenary army and neither would they be in a drafted military; rather, it is the centralized ever-extending command in the Pentagon—those who make the decisions and create the policies: it is the commanders working along side the contractors and defense industry opportunists.'

What's the Harm in Hunting?
by Alyssa B. Johnson, May 2011
"In 2002, Oregon State University professor Steven Davis calculated that, per acre, vegan agriculture kills more animals than raising livestock, because field animals such as mice and bunnies are regularly killed by harvesting equipment. Of course, this equates one rat to one cow. Also, it is per acre—and vegan agriculture could feed the world with far fewer acres."

Why Do People Pay Taxes?
by Sam Vaknin, May 2011
'To be a taxpayer is akin to sporting a badge of honour: it is a proof of personal integrity and industriousness, and, depending on the tax bill, a hallmark of success and prosperity. The payment of taxes bestows civil rights upon the payee: the cries "I am an honest tax-paying citizen" or "no taxation without representation" resonate in many a film and book.'

FOXy Ladies
by Michael Wolman, May 2011
"How do I know this? Well, I have first-hand evidence, if you catch my drift... my drift being that I have personally fucked each of them. I'm not bragging; I'm simply stating a fact, like they do on FOX News."

Interstates and States of Grief
a video-kvetch by Phil Rockstroh and Angela Tyler-Rockstroh, May 2011
"I swam in it, collected jewel-like shells on its beaches of bleached sand, and went deep sea fishing with my father in its azure waters ... Wherein, I was in awe of its (seemingly endless) bounty and abundance. Its winds and waves intimated to me the nature of eternity and the Gulf's living things drew me into the beauty and terrors of the living moment."

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?
Rady Ananda considers the film, May 2011
"The UNEP report lists eight reasons for colony collapse disorder: Habitat destruction, invasive species (like the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor), air pollution, electromagnetic pollution, pesticides and other chemical pollution, industrial transport (where a million bees die each year), colony splitting, and diet. The report does not mention genetically engineered crops as a contributing factor to bee decline..."

Heart Warming Massacres
by Linh Dinh, May 2011
"To Francophobes, France's stance on Iraq proved that it had no backbone, as suspected, that it would fight with its feet and, ahem, make love with its face, as the saying goes, that it wouldn't stand up to terrorists... To Francophiles, however, France was to be applauded for refusing to be cowed by America, but the truth is much simpler. France didn't want to lose the billions Hussein already owed it, and the billions it would make if he stayed in power.

The United Nations (UN), Total Fertility Rate (TFR), and China
by Jason G. Brent, April 2011
"If the UN assumed that the TFR would not go below replacement level, then the only method by which population growth could be reduced to zero, or made negative, would be by coercive population control. Coercive population control would require a re-evaluation of every aspect of society and most probably an overhaul of every feature of society."

Race and Politics in a Rural Louisiana Town Attract National Attention
by Jordan Flaherty, April 2011
"...when Higginbotham—forced to act as his own lawyer—tried to strike one juror who had relationships with several of the witnesses, he was told he could not, even though he had challenges remaining. There was also a problem with a sound recorder that the court reporter was using, and as a result there is no transcript at all for at least two witness' testimony."

Is Israel Ready for the New Middle East?
by Yacov Ben Efrat, April 2011
"It so happens that the week of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia was also a week of internal Israeli shenanigans. Defense Minister Ehud Barak resigned from the Labor Party and established a faction called "Independence," into which he drew four other Laborites. The move, coordinated with PM Binyamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu, enabled Barak to avoid being overthrown in upcoming Labor elections."

The Mark Inside: Joseph Beuys and Coyote Meet "Humanitarian" Bombing Campaigns

by Phil Rockstroh, April 2011
"Beuys did not shirk from his vision as an artist by avoiding what is painful (thus, the ambulance deployed as symbol) and ugly about the world and about himself; instead, he delivered himself directly to its carrion-reeking maw, but refused to have his soul devoured by it."

The Second Middle Ages
by Sam Vaknin, April 2011
"The art of the Middle Ages was concerned with religious messages. It subjected and sacrificed form, proportion, perspective, and colour to this over-riding constraint. It paid no heed to nature. This castigation of naturalism also characterizes modern art (starting with the Post-Impressionists). Modern artists are as preoccupied with messages, abstract and cerebral, as much as their medieval predecessors were besotted with epiphanic revelations."

Union Busting in America
by Stephen Lendman, March 2011
"It dates from America's 19th Century industrial expansion when workers moved away from farms to factories, mines, and other urban environments, with harsh working conditions, low pay, and other exploitive abuses. As a result, labor movements emerged, organizing workers to lobby for better rights and safer conditions, pitting them against corporate bosses yielding nothing without a fight."