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New Fiction: Dos & Hem in Spain’s Civil War, Part 2

And then war opened in Spain…

I went there, Hemingway went there, Gellhorn went there. All we Commies flocked there to be part of it. Gramsci was daring to call out Stalin and say that his Socialist genocide in Russia was not the method Communists should use for conquest in the future because the genocide wasn’t working. Communism was failing, Gramsci said, because of Christianity. Communists needed to take over the Means of Education in countries to supplant the Christian values with Communist values and, as I said, grow our crops in their fields. Gramsci showed the way to make elementary schools and entertainment our beachheads as we hid ourselves here to pivot to total psychological war. This peaceful approach gave me hope, because we were saying more that we could win by schooling rather than our usual promotion of hatred and murder for anyone who stood up to us.

Stalin talked about murdering Gramsci. But Gramsci was only talking these ideas at the time and his thinking mirrored the concerns of many who were afraid to speak out. And all of us in Spain waited on pins and needles. Remember, Stalin had called to Moscow the Swedish experts on race differences and Stalin listened intently to their findings. He asked them to stay in Moscow three days while he weighed their research. On the fourth day, Stalin announced his decision that Soviet-style Global Socialism would reject the race theories and that Global Socialists were superior to other people not by virtue of our race, but by virtue of our Marxist views. Acceptance of Marxism should determine who wins or loses, lives or dies, not race differences. All of us breathed a huge sigh of relief, because now we still had this clear distinction between us and Hitler’s Nazi Socialists. And Stalin, with his usual flourish, finalized his decision on race by executing all the Swedish experts whom he had invited to Moscow.

Click here for part 1 of this story.

On Conservative Theatre: ‘Something from Nothing’

Ironically, for a man that loves theatre, I am not a huge fan of the Broadway Channel on Sirius XM.  Part of it is that I cannot stand most contemporary musicals (it’s only selections from musicals featured on the Broadway Channel) and so I cringe whenever I hear the vapid, pop-culture noise that makes up the score of many of today’s musical theatre offerings.  I find myself quickly switching channels to talk radio or a ball game whenever something dumb like the score of Next to Normal comes on. I do find myself, however, listening to any of the wonderful offerings of Frank Loesser, Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb, the Gershwins, Sondheim, and so on. What, I wonder, has happened to our musical theatre heritage that we have gone from “Some enchanted evening/You may see a stranger” to “I’m alive, I’m alive, I am so alive”? I think a lot of it has to do with the cheapening and lack of intellectual rigor in American culture, brought about in no small part by lousy television writing and the desire to keep from thinking critically and for instant gratification.

PreTeena: December 3 – December 9, 2018

Sunday Comics!

You won’t want to miss these hilarious cartoons depicting the ups and downs of adolescence. Now each week’s strips will debut on Sundays as the lead strip of Liberty Island’s Sunday Comics feature. If you draw a comic and would like to have your work featured on Sundays, please contact us: [email protected] Check out Allison Barrows’ new PreTeena blog here.

3 More Nature Photos: Turtles in Love and Iguanas in a Pile on the Galápagos Islands

*Submit your photographs of nature and the outdoor life to [email protected] to participate in this weekly feature exploring the natural world.*

A Clone Movie Competition: Anna to the Infinite Power Vs. Boys from Brazil

Anna to the Infinite Power” is a 1982 movie about a young woman who learns that she is the clone of a scientist in the hope of recreating that genius. It isn’t as well known as the movie “Boys from Brazil” that tapped into Mengele’s real-life horror show and fear that the Nazis were trying to make a literal comeback. Yet the two movies share a number of similarities.

The Greatest Conservative Films: The Enforcer (1976)

BONUS: Why not Sudden Impact (1983) OR The Dead Pool (1988)

Editor’s Note: In April of 2017 writer Eric M. Blake began a series at Western Free Press naming the “Greatest Conservative Films.” The introduction explaining the rules and indexing all films included in the series can be found here. Liberty Island will feature cross-posts of select essays from the series with the aim of encouraging discussion at this cross-roads of cinematic art with political ideology. (Click here to see the original essay. Check out the previously cross-posted entries on Jackie Brown, Captain America: The First AvengerCaptain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil WarUnforgivenHail, Caesar!, Apocalypse Now, Fight Club, Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice ULTIMATE EDITION, Wonder Woman, Kill BillGran Torino The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesBlazing Saddles, The Magnificent Seven, Shaft, Dirty Harry, and Magnum Force.) If you would like join this dialogue please contact us at submissions [@] libertyislandmag.com.

This Year Give the Gift of Liberty Island’s Series

Give someone you care about a set of some Liberty Island novel series. We currently have five available!

New Fiction: Dos & Hem in Spain’s Civil War, Part 1

Hemingway and I first crossed paths in 1918 as ambulance drivers in the Great War. I was an ambulance driver on the French side, and he was on his way to drive for the Italians fighting the Austrians. It took six weeks of training to learn how to operate all the levers and cranks in those old jalopies. I graduated Harvard cum Laude in 1916, and it was there that my politics became radicalized. I was the bastard son of a distant, rich New York corporate lawyer, and I felt then that the world could only be made fair for the poor through Communism.

Hem and I met again when we were both expats in Paris. He arrived in the Latin Quarter with his bride, Hadley, eight years his senior, with a small pension from her family that would help a struggling writer. Hem was a strapping matinee-idol with unbelievably straight white teeth and confidence that would make life just too easy. His lack of appreciation for others was going to be hard for the rest of us. I was medium sized with owlish eyes and e.e. always said no one looked more “foreign” at Harvard than did I.

The Long Shadow Of Stephen Leacock

Deconstructing Canadian Culture, Part 8: Mark Twain of the North?

Stephen Butler Leacock usually gets the credit for being the Canadian culture-maker. Whether he deserves all the credit is a matter for the next two entries in our series, but he is definitely an excellent place to start.

First, however, a few key details about the man and his life are in order. Because Leacock is often compared to Mark Twain, some assume he was a self-made man from humble origins like Twain. He was decidedly not. For one thing, he was born into old English money and he wasn’t even born in Canada. He attended Upper Canada College, which was and still is the premier prep school for Canada’s first families. He spent time teaching and learning at the University of Toronto and McGill University, the two most prestigious universities in English Canada, and studied under socialist academic Thorstein Veblen at the University of Chicago. He was a lifelong Canadian Tory, advocating for the monarchy, for tradition, and for the presence of whatever passed for religion in public life.

PreTeena: November 26 – December 2, 2018

Sunday Comics!

You won’t want to miss these hilarious cartoons depicting the ups and downs of adolescence. Now each week’s strips will debut on Sundays as the lead strip of Liberty Island’s Sunday Comics feature. If you draw a comic and would like to have your work featured on Sundays, please contact us: [email protected] Check out Allison Barrows’ new PreTeena blog here.

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