A year end round up to spread some "Holiday Cheer." Although the religious right in America would have you believe that there's a war on Christmas, you need just walk into a store -- any store -- and you'll be blasted with annoying Christmas songs. (My worst this year was someone singing Jingle Bell Rock at double the speed, which made it doubly annoying!) So if the right is in need of a reason to knicker-knot, there's enough gender-bending-stereotype-ending on the cultural landscape to make a Pope blush, a cowgirl cringe and a homophobe hysterical.

Aside from an out-of-control Administration that is spying on Americans (as well as everyone else) in violation of the Constitution, things are going swimmingly swell. The "elections" in Iraq went as smoothly as if it were taking place in Zimbabwe, and America has a new "Plan for Victory," which is simply that. A meaningless plan that will make the empty promise of "Mission Accomplished," look as realistically based as the "last throes" of the insurgency, as Dick Cheney put it. (Maybe he meant last throws of their grenades before moving on to bigger, more powerful weapons.) Terrorism is alive and well and breeding in Iraq. Er...Plan for there not just a Plan B?

Happy New Year. (Soon to be renamed "Happy January," so as not to offend Jews, Chinese and the many others for whom the New Year begins on a different day.)


Yes, yes, I know I'm about a month late on my update. Profound and profuse apologies. From Larry Flynt to Tom Delay's tint, I hope the wait proves worthwhile.

The fourth anniversary of September 11th came and went with little fanfare. As I predicted on the first anniversary, America is too attention deficit disordered to focus on the same tragedy with the same intensity for longer than a year without resorting to kitsch sentimentality wrapped in consumerism.

This year, the morphing of the twin towers into two pink triangles, titled Agenda, was aimed to explore how, for some, the notion of appropriating iconography of the modern gay movement (which in turn, appropriated the icons from the artistic whimsy of the Third Reich - used as an execution filtering device to designate homosexuals) conjured the same visceral reaction that morphing the towers in swastikas had, which I had done on the second anniversary. (Analysis notwithstanding, the series makes for a damn pretty triptic.)


What a difference a week makes!

I know it was quite recent since I sent my last email, so this one will be relatively short and unfortunately not so sweet.

Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed dealt a devastating blow to the Gulf Coast, but not as deadly, disastrous and catastrophic as the blow dealt by inefficiency, mismangement and extraordinary lack of compassion of America's leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike. America failed and the world watched.

My first response, in an open letter to President Bush, Hero Fiddles: Mass Destruction for Real, reflects the horror and anger I felt as I watched people pleading for their lives while nothing was being done to help. I have received a lot of email from it, all of which has been favorable, despite my heavy-handed tone. Seems like a lot of people feel this way. It's not about blame and finger pointing. It's about accountability.

The second editorial, Execution and Evacuation written September 5th, is less raw with emotion, but no more forgiving of those that should have been accountable, but failed. Among other things, it compares the pride Israelis felt after the hostage rescue at Entebbe in 1976 with the shame Americans are feeling in the manner in which our government responded to the devastation wrought by Katrina

And then of course, the cover, Race Against Time which reminds us exactly how urgently things are prioritized when political expediency and family connections color the equation.

I know most Americans feel hideous about how this has all played out, but these are the leaders we elected to serve us, and therefore, the blame lies with us.

The writing was on the levee.


I am editing a web log for the First Amendment Project over whose Board I preside, as well as working on a couple of projects that are not ready for human consumption just yet.

We have been getting an enormous amount of media attention thanks to one of our Advisory Board members, Pulitzer Prize winning author, Michael Chabon, who orchestrated an incredible campaign that has 16 top authors auctioning off the name of a character in their upcoming books to raise funds for First Amendment Project. Visit the auction and possibly immortalize yourself in a fabulous novel. The poster I designed for the event will be auctioned too.

My editorial, Reality Blows, looks at why Tom Cruise is becoming about as popular as Donald Rumsfeld, and my most recent, It Takes a Prick, explores how America finally seems to be second guessing the spin that's being fed to them by an Administration that seems to be losing control by the hour.

And then there are women's rights in Iraq, which inspires my most recent cover. Iraqi women must be delighted that liberation of Iraq meant the subjugation of women, where the only common thread uniting Iraq's armed Islamists, be they Sunni or Shia, is an intense hatred of women that rivals their hatred for the United States, Britain and their "allies."

If this is how America spreads democracy, the clap would have been more appreciated. Till next time.

© Copyright 2005 Clinton Fein. All rights reserved. Contact: clinton [AT] xq [DOT] com