Kelly Fordon’s chapbook, The Witness, is getting a lot of press. Here’s Kelly in Minerva Rising, talking about writing on the difficult subject of the pedophilia scandals in the Catholic church. She’s also interviewed in Speaking of Marvels, offering thoughts on other chapbooks that influenced her, the writing and publishing process, and her new work. Like the Oscar nominated movie on this subject, Spotlight, Kelly takes us down the rabbit hole of betrayals and denial, unmasking the damage done, honoring the courage of those who eventually came forward to expose their suffering in hope that others would be spared.

I’m not one of those people who dress up, gather with friends and special snacks, and write down Oscar predictions before the awards show, but I do like movies. The white-out of the Oscars has become a bad joke, with Hollywood luminaries like Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the show this year. The SAGs were a relief, and the other positive effect is more conversation about fairness and race in this culture.

Speaking of fairness, Oxfam released a study on extreme poverty, which they assert cannot be remedied without addressing the absurd degree of economic disparity in a world where the 62 wealthiest individuals possess the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population. That’s 62, versus 3.6 billion. You read that right. Wealth Inequality Rising Fast, Oxfam Says, Faulting Tax Havens.

If I told you the Koch brothers were raised by a Nazi nanny–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of the origins of their family wealth, now funding some of the most unsavory right wing-nut causes–would you think I was dreaming up a dystopian novel?

Speaking of which, a wonderful discussion of Infinite Jest by Tom Russel.

Michael Moore calls for the arrest of Michigan governor Rick Snyder for his handling of lead poisoning in the city of Flint’s water supply, one of the many unfolding stories that leaves me speechless.

I was having a conversation the other day about the insane state of American politics. We started reminiscing. Not just Bill saying “it depends on what ‘is’ is.” Back further. Can you name the 20th century U.S. president who went on network TV to proclaim “I am not a crook,” or better yet, the one whose costar, as an actor before he entered politics, was a chimpanzee? In the inimitable words of Firesign Theater, we’re all bozos on this bus… and as crazy as things are, maybe it’s not crazier than it ever was, but maybe the stakes get higher. What do you think?

with love, sammy

thanks to Anna Katrina Olsen, 13 year old artist of the Faroe Islands stamp, and thanks to Caron Andregg for getting our website back up and running in good order.