Welcome

January-February 2017 | Volume 13 Number 1

Editor’s Note

 

Already Lucky in 2017

 

It is with great pleasure to witness that you and we are still around to welcome 2017! Considering the alternative, and the surprising number of luminaries who passed this way in 2016, we are fortunate to be able to continue the struggle, so to speak, for an humanity deserving of the moniker.

We’ve got a great issue to start the New Year, including three new columns from three new and experienced voices in their respective fields: Henry A. Giroux (Commentary), Nancy Barno Reynolds (Education), and Matt Kennedy (Art). We’re most grateful for their contributions, and after reading their articles, we believe you will appreciate their critical insights and thoughtful candor as much as we do.

Politics editor Jim Palombo remarks on the maybe-not-so-strange turn of events in the election of Donald Trump; in an extensive, must-read interview with world-wise poet-translator Marc Vincenz by Tom Bradley, Vincenz remarks: “On the surface, few believe that change can occur through rhetoric or wordplay and yet, a critical mass appears to be as easily swayable today as they were during the rise of the Communist parties of China or the Soviet Union or the National Socialist Party of Germany—or even more recent brain-scrubbers like Sun Myung Moon and L. Ron Hubbard. Public figures and media addicts somehow manage to float on even the flimsiest of logic. In the end it appears that it is emotion that sways a populace. How else could millions follow the obvious maniacal rants of a rug-headed, ineloquent narcissist whose family rechristened themselves after a deceptive playing card?”

Rock photographer Bob Minkin shares what it was like for a boy from Brooklyn to find himself behind the scenes with rock legends from The Grateful Dead to Jethro Tull to Bruce Springsteen and more. And why you can find him today as comfortable taking photos from the air as he was in front of the stage.

Haiming Chan (aka, Martin Chan), is featured twice here, once in an interview with Isabella Alexander, of “Fresh Off the Boat” fame, and a short story “Mid-Autumn Moon,” a modern fable that turns naivete on its head.  Steve Poleskie recaps his start as a self-trained stunt pilot; Julieanna Blackwell puts herself in the mind of  a burn victim encountering her arsonist. Reflect on the poetry of Catherine Lucas and Carl Auerbach,  travel to Mexico with Jennifer Love, and contemplate the importance of preserving and protecting wildlife with Tim Walker’s “Plover Honey.”

Shortly after the November 8 election results were in, staff members were asked if they cared to share their thoughts in a combined column, which appears as “Another Gathering Storm: Comments on the Trump Era.”  My thoughts on the Arts and how they evidence history are expressed in a short essay, “Harmony or Dissonance.”

Finally, in the next few weeks we will be launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for a “Ragazine Expansion Project.” We’ve managed to continue growing thanks to the financial support of a number of dedicated donors, and the work of our contributors. We’re at the point now, though, where the elephant has grown too large for us to juggle without bigger hands. So, stay tuned. We’ll be sharing more information as we can, but it’s never too soon to spread the word.

As always, thanks for reading. And all the best to you and yours in the New Year.

— Mike Foldes, Founder, Managing Editor

"Reviewed

Thomas Klikauer/Commentary

he goal of Trump propaganda on this is to engineer a public perception so that the perspectives of such groups are invisible to everyone else, their interests are not weighted. This is designed to assure the following: if the members of the excluded group are without property, they will remain so; if they are without political power, they will remain so as well. In other words, Trump’s policies will favor those in his immediate orbit and those he perceives as relevant for re-election – everyone else will be excluded. At times, it appears as if Trump’s conception of liberal democracy only extends…to whites.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Echoes of neo-Fascism are not only visible in Trump’s rhetoric but also in his policies. For example, his white supremacist ideology and racist contempt for Muslims was on full display in his issuance of an executive order banning all Syrians and people from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. In doing so, Trump has not only made visible, and without apology, his embrace of the frenzied lawlessness of authoritarianism, he has also put into place an additional series of repressive policies for the creation of what might be called a democracy in exile.

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Matt Kennedy/Art

In the years that have passed since the first Pop Sequentialism show opened at La Luz de Jesus Gallery back in May 2011, respect for modern comic book art has reached a level of respect…

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Fred Roberts / Dispatches

he EurNoVision project which began in 2015 released a new edition late December 2016, curated by Paul Mangan. The compilation registers a strong political statement at a time when the veneer on Europe is showing serious cracks. Waves of refugees. Brexit. Terrorist attacks. While Europe veers towards disintegration, the cycle of songs shows a cohesive spiritual unity with many stand-out entries.

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Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

When I mentioned that I was writing an article about teaching myself to fly, my friend asked: “Who do you think you are, Leonardo da Vinci?” So I know a clever person, who must have read Leonardo’s notebooks. In case you haven’t read these texts, when he wasn’t working on paintings, murals, or designing war machines, Leonard often made drawings for devices to get himself into the sky.

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Jennifer Love/Travel

I haven’t been in a church since my grandfather’s funeral over a year ago, but now that I’m traveling in Mexico, I’m checking out churches like a regular Catholic pilgrim. I’m addicted to the fraudulent feelings I get each time I…

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Isabella Alexander: Actress Interview

Ragazine: What are the projects that you are currently working on?

Isabella Alexander: I have recently been working on ‘’Fresh Off The Boat’’ for season 3 and, of course, several under-development projects, but now I can’t tell you more information about them.

Q) Please tell us what do you feel is your biggest achievement?

A) Well, I think that being a part of

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Nancy Barno Reynolds/Education

As an inclusive educator, I position myself as a person who possesses a mixture of knowledge, talents, and beliefs, as well as Black Holes of ignorance, experience, and ability. This evaluation of self is crucial to good teaching, as it invites reflection and demands brutal truth, and finally, concrete action. I must, in other words, commit to a pedagogy that serves all students and first recognize – and change – those things about myself which hinder students’ access to excellent education at my own hands.

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Henry A. Giroux/Commentary

Trump’s presence in American politics has made visible a plague of deep seated civic illiteracy, a corrupt political system, and a contempt for reason; it also points to the withering of civic attachments, the collapse of politics into the spectacle of celebrity culture, the decline of public life, the use of violence and fear to numb people into shock, and a willingness to transform politics into a pathology.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

Well, I was wrong. Donald Trump made it to center stage. The people have spoken. But in receiving phone calls and emails as to reactions to what transpired, I decided I needed to clarify a few things…

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Marc Vincenz/Interview

On the surface, few believe that change can occur through rhetoric or wordplay and yet, a critical mass appears to be as easily swayable today as they were during the rise of the Communist parties of China or the Soviet Union or the National Socialist Party of Germany—or even more recent brain-scrubbers like Sun Myung Moon and L. Ron Hubbard. Public figures and media addicts somehow manage to float on even the flimsiest of logic. In the end it appears that it is emotion that sways a populace. How else could millions follow the obvious maniacal rants of a rug-headed, ineloquent narcissist whose family rechristened themselves after a deceptive playing card?

read more

Tim Walker/Creative Nonfiction

Dana enters the aviary carefully, closing the door behind him. The plover chicks, alert but unafraid, watch him with eyes like obsidian beads. He strews a handful of hoppers on the floor for the chicks to chase down. A few hoppers escape through the aviary’s mesh, and Cris’s free-range chickens snap them up. Like the snowies, the chickens have been watching us and waiting for our bounty of juicy arthropods.

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Carl Auerbach/Poetry

  EXILE The word bird does not itself take flight from ..........off .................the ........................page. nor do the letters robin insert their beak deep into the field of white between the text to impale a small wet worm. We are torn from being by...

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Haiming Chan/Fiction

It was time. The foxes draped their front legs around the dolls’ shoulders. “Look at the silver toad in the moon,” they said. “Look at the Weaving Maid Star. At the Cowherd.” The dolls lifted their little heads to look at the night sky and the foxes, with great delicacy, tore out their throats.

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Julieanna Blackwell/Fiction

She did not fumble with a card and a detached machine. Instead, she handed him a five, establishing a degree of contact, even if only through a piece of paper. He took the bill, tapped the keys on his register, forcing open the drawer. She held out her palm, spreading long fingers wrinkled and scarred by the echoing shapes of flames that once danced across her skin.

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Catherine Lucas/Poetry

AFTERMATH Big Sur, California, May 2009   Phosphorescent green flickers against wet dark, .............fire in another tongue Memorials of trees, stripped bare, black as ............mummies, stand witness Leaf-laden alders, parchment ghosts, testify...

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Mike Foldes/Commentary

The process of natural selection where human populations were winnowed by extreme weather conditions, lack of suitable housing and ineffective medications, is fast disappearing as technology pushes us forward into a future where people just refuse to die, and the hard work of survival takes priority over the wonders of daily life. How many of us, for example, have seen a hummingbird hovering over the faces of echinacea in a backyard garden? Or had the time to hike the Appalachian Trail, or climb one of the High Peaks in the Adirondacks? Or explore coral reefs that still exhibit the radiant colors and house the panoply of wildlife for which they are known?

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Henry Giroux/Analysis

With Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, the scourge of authoritarianism has returned not only in the toxic language of hate, humiliation and bigotry, but also in the emergence of a culture of war and violence that looms over society like a plague.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

“… we have an education system that seems most focused on verifying its own worth, making it ‘too busy’ to be concerned with developing ongoing, civic dialogue. (Especially in these turbulent political times, this should be a top priority, at least on par with developing technological skills.)”

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Pierre-Jean Amar / Photography Interview

My photography work recently published in L’Oeil de la Photographie is part of an older series, which I once created on the theme of “Sheet” (as in bed linens) and the body. Similar to many of my images, I show only details, not a whole body. In hindsight, I notice today that quite often I focused on the bottoms of my models!!!

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LOCAL HEROES, 2015, Hamburg

Axid Rain was my highlight of the 4th semi-final night. They call their genre flatrock, which I attempted to google but finally gave up. They’re a hard rock band, in the classic vein of MTV or Huey Lewis and the News, with a fantastic live show. Frontman Yannick Mense, in his leather hat and seaman’s jacket was all over the stage. Pure charisma and wild guitar riffs. All in all an electrifying performance.

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The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as ragazine.cc, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.