A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“The main ingredient in hand sanitizer is paranoia” (3/1)
Entry in progress—BP (3/1)
Entry in progress—BP (3/1)
Entry in progress—BP (3/1)
“If Texas saw many, many more tornadoes, it would be called “Vortexas‘“ (3/1)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from June 20, 2020
“If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant”

"If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant” is a saying by Douglas Valentine, described on his website as “Author, Investigator, Journalist, Poet.”

“‘If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant.’ // ‘Wenn du nicht subversiv bist, bist du irrelevant.’ Douglas Valentine” was posted on Twitter by Lars Schall on March 26, 2018.

In an email from Doug Valentine (June 22, 2020, see below), he explained that the aphorism was created in 2017.


Twitter
Lars Schall
@LarsSchall
“If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant.” // “Wenn du nicht subversiv bist, bist du irrelevant.” Douglas Valentine
1:17 PM · Mar 26, 2018·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Lars Jorgensen
@LarsDenmar
“If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant.”—Doug Valentine
8:07 AM · Mar 27, 2018·Twitter for Windows

Twitter
‘Read JFK and the Unspeakable’ – Daniel Ellsberg
@_jrvansant
‘If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant.’
http://Douglasvalentine.com
7:48 PM · Oct 31, 2018·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Douglas Valentine
@dougvalentine77
If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant.
8:05 PM · Apr 9, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Whitney Webb
@_whitneywebb
“If you’re not subversive, you’re not relevant”
- Doug Valentine
@dougvalentine77
10:36 PM · Jun 19, 2020·Twitter Web App

(Email from Doug Valentine, June 22, 2020)
Hi Barry,

Thanks. I think I first used the aphorism on my AG profile, https://go.authorsguild.org/members/2394 which I believe was created in the summer of 2017.  I think that’s when John Kirby took that photo of me - while interviewing me for a documentary film he was making with Libby Handros.

I’ve been thinking about a writer’s obligation to be subversive since I started reading Robert Graves fifty years ago. Graves believed that the patriarchal ruling class has, since its inception, hired hacks to create myths - and thus all the religious, political, and social systems which in turn generate all the war, racism, sexism and “fake news” that keeps them in power and everyone else in chains and ignorance. Graves felt that true poetry subverts the patriarchal myths and systems by re-awakening the reader’s connection to the “goddess,” which is another way of saying the divine, occult, collective self.

How does a writer get a racist to stop being racist? By awakening the racist to the truth of his humanity. By subverting the myth of racial superiority.

I have long believed that writers need to bring this poetic sensibility to politics in order to change how people think about themselves. That positive political and social change will occur only if writers can subvert the false assumptions upon which so many treasured beliefs are based.

Martin Espada’s poem “Blasphemy” is an example of a writer be relevant through subversion:

Let the blasphemy be spoken: poetry can save us,
not the way a fisherman pulls the drowning swimmer
into his boat, not the way Jesus, between screams,
promised life everlasting to the thief crucified beside him
on the hill, but salvation nevertheless.

Somewhere a convict sobs into a book of poems
from the prison library, and I know why
his hands are careful not to break the brittle pages.


For more examples, see With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century (West End Press 2014) https://www.amazon.com/Our-Eyes-Wide-Open-American/dp/0991074203

Thanks again
Doug

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military/ Religion • Saturday, June 20, 2020 • Permalink