Socialists in the Ivory Tower

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SOCIALISTS IN THE IVORY TOWER My recent experiences with The South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) By TERRANCE LINDALL

FROM WIKIPEDIA: According to Campbell and Manning, victimhood culture engenders “competitive victimhood,” incentivizing even privileged people to claim that they are victims of, for example reverse discrimination. According to Claire Lehmann, Manning and Campbell's culture of victimhood sees moral worth as largely defined by skin color and membership in a fixed identity group, such as LGBTIQ, Muslims, or indigenous peoples. “

Manning and Campbell also argue that victimhood culture dominates university campuses where academic freedom is endangered by paramount concerns about “safety” and “sensitivity.”

Copyright Terrance Lindall 2020


That Standard Bearer of our Liberty, John Milton

Milton is the philosopher poet of Truth and Freedom. We know that both issues are highly relevant today as opposing sides in the world claim that they alone are right and the opposing side wrong. Both extremes seem to want to suppress the thoughts and expression of those with whom they disagree. Righteousness on both sides is rampant. But as Milton said: “Let her [Truth] and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing.” ― John Milton, Areopagitica “They are the troublers, they are the dividers of unity, who neglect and don't permit others to unite those dissevered pieces which are yet wanting to the body of Truth.” ― John Milton, Areopagitica

YUP! There I was in grade three, trying very hard to please! Lacked confidence! What happened to me anyway?

THE BACK STORY I think it was in January 2020 when I learned that SAMLA was having its annual conference: Theme, MILTON AND SCANDAL at the SAMLA Coference MILTON “Milton is surrounded by scandal from religious heresy to political dissent to aesthetic iconoclasm. In Early Modern Studies, contemporary criticism, or the classroom, Milton remains a pointed example of SAMLA’s theme, Scandal! Literature and Provocation: Breaking Rules, Making Texts. In both his prose and poetry, Milton fashions texts by bending and breaking both form and matter across religion, politics, science, and literature. The Milton session invites abstracts on any aspect of Milton Studies, but scandalous and provocative proposal are particularly welcome. Please submit abstracts by May 15, 2020, to D. Geoffrey Emerson at”

In a prior year they really seemed to want me to participate. So, I did not think that I was especially persona non grata. So I paid for a prominent ad in the back cover for my Milton in Outer Space book and I intended to have a table at the conference with the book, postcards and “propaganda.”

Visit to hear original musical composition and access to the complete project!

ABOUT LINDALL’S MILTON IN OUTER SPACE The light and the dark, God and Satan, percolate in the subconscious and in their excess ejaculate irrational desires and fears -­‐ the fountain of surrealism. The Christian Whites had enslaved the black race and sent them to work in plantations in the new world. Slavery is not new. The Pharos enslaved the Jews. The Greeks enslaved the Persians, and the Romans enslaved the Greeks. We whites not longer enslave the blacks, but black people still feel the bondage and oppression. Blacks are still struggling to be accepted and equal. Midway through the Civil Rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ... But I've come to believe we're integrating into a burning house.”. Bienvenido Bones Banez said in his recent verses, “build your own house and then you are truly free.” I agree with him! Today on college campuses Social Justice Warriors fight against what they call “institutional racism.” For many SJW’s all whites are racist and cannot be otherwise. So the fight is against white people or whiteness itself not just an unequal system of justice. That belief or attitude can only lead to racial conflict and no good outcome. Milton in Outer Space explores this.

Because of the theme of scandal I emailed SAMLA:

From: Terrance Lindall <>
Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 3:00 PM
To: English Department Samla <>
Subject: Re: SAMLA 92 CFPs

Dear Dan, I love the theme "SCANDAL!" That is actually what I did on the Milton Lists a year ago with my "Milton in Outer Space" The left wing professors were outraged. I expect all that will clear up when cancel culture is canceled. 
A month ago I created a Paradise Lost online board game. Maybe you know a way to promote it: Best, Terrance Lindall

Play free here:

After a few months I was surprised by the following email:

---------- Forwarded message --------From: English Department Samla <> Date: Mon, May 4, 2020 at 2:59 PM Subject: Re: SAMLA 92 CFPs To: Terrance Lindall <>

Good afternoon,

It came to my attention that you had purchased a prominent ad in our conference’s program. After reviewing in January the materials you sent along in this email, I have refunded your ad payment. “Milton in Outer Space” is not in keeping with the nature of this organization.

As such, you can consider SAMLA a den of outraged left wing professors and any further business between us impossible.

Regards, Dan Abitz, Associate Director

So I replied: To: Dan Abitz and the Committee of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) Dear Dan: Thank you very much for informing me that SAMLA has refused my prominent ad in their 2020 program and admitting that SAMLA is a “den of outraged left wing professors.” I realized some time ago that universities were becoming that “den,” not only in English literature, but in departments of philosophy, psychology, social studies, etc., etc. Remarkably they now even have course called "math for social justice." I began to wonder about that imbalance and realized that when a department leans left, the hiring committees vet candidates for their left wing credentials. Thus the major universities have become communist/socialist hotbeds whose mission is not to offer scholarship to students, but to brainwash and proselytize them, religious conversion, if you will, in the ways of their god Karl Marx…”for the good of the people…and by ANY MEANS NECESSARY.” I wonder what kind of concentration camp you have in mind for me, or will you dispose of me as an unwanted appendage on the body politic?

---------- Forwarded message --------From: English Department Samla <> Date: Mon, May 4, 2020 at 2:59 PM Subject: Re: SAMLA 92 CFPs To: Terrance Lindall <>

Good afternoon,

It came to my attention that you had purchased a prominent ad in our conference’s program. After reviewing in January the materials you sent along in this email, I have refunded your ad payment. “Milton in Outer Space” is not in keeping with the nature of this organization.

I further emailed Dan Abitz of SAMLA:

Dear Dan:

Since Milton is my specialty, I was much chagrined that the professors who teach Milton expound upon his work such as Areopagitica without admitting and even promoting the worthiness of the idea about truth, if the left wing Social Justice Warriors have “Truth,” that “Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?” ― John Milton, Areopagitica Obviously, you and your cohorts fear the open encounter by denying my voice! Thus, ostensively, you do not champion TRUTH! In the 1960’s the left was all for free speech in opposing the Vietnam war. Now, with the left having cooped the universities, they have done a full 180 degrees and will not countenance any dissenting voices such as mine. Thus, for all the above, SAMLA is disingenuous and a shame in the arena of higher education. It is an example, though, of what is wrong in the field of education! I will use that example! Of course you can make amends for your transgression and offer an open apology to me. The apology must be read by you personally at the opening ceremony of SAMLA 2020 before the assembled guests. I will graciously accept that apology. I humbly await your reply. Sincerely,

Terrance Lindall

Of course I never got a reply!

I further sent Dan and the Governance of SAMLA and many others this: From: Terrance Lindall Subject: Never been so delighted by being rejected! Date: From Terrance Lindall: My recent exchange with SAMLA 92 has been a real boost. I am now working on a book about my scandalous exploits with publishers, art communities, and scholarly organizations! Most wanted to squash me like a bug. I am still here, bigger than ever. They all provided the meat for my gristmill. Now understand that I do think the organizations with whom I have had these interesting exchanges are exemplary in their own fashion and are worthy, but they are composed of timid and narrow minded folks who do to want to rock the boat or shake the tree lest they, like tall poppies, get "cut down." I fully understand! In this instance SAMLA had a call for their 2020 conference was stated as follows: The theme of SAMLA 92—Scandal! Literature and Provocation: Breaking Rules, Making Texts— invites us to think through the optics of scandal, transgression, and rebellion, as these themes apply to literary, historical, political, and interdisciplinary inquiries, reading practices, and pedagogical innovation. What defines scandal? In what ways do texts (literary, theoretical, and linguistic) break with canonical codes and traditions to challenge societal norms and to offer alternate readings of experience? In what ways and to what ends have scandals served as the springboard for creation? How

do scandals elevate the visibility of individuals and communities? To what degree does creation depend on getting out of one’s comfort zone—as an artist, as a reader, as a spectator, or as an educator or student. MY PROPOSAL WAS NOT IN THEIR SOCIALIST COMFORT ZONE...THEIR "SAFE PLACE." In my art community an art critic wrote: "Under the direction of “eccentric anarchist” Terrance Lindall, the WAH Center presents Brave Destiny in the fall of 2003. Bombastically billed as the largest Surrealist exhibition in history, Brave Destiny includes nearly 400 artists, with big names like H. R. Geiger and Ernst Fuchs taking part. Though originally skeptical of the gamy tang of this “outmoded” genre, I’m now thinking that Brave Destiny could, in part, be credited with many local artists’ current infatuation with Pop Surrealism." Earlier than that, Richard Snyder, president of the largest publishing house and called "the most powerful man in publishing" at the time wrote a letter to me saying " are not qualified to enter our industry or any other." He was fired a year later. After I suggested to submit my very scandalous Milton in Outer Space to SAMLA 92 and purchased their premier ad spot in their program, they disinvited me, just as Milton Lists did the same a couple years ago. This works out better since my project will get a lot more publicity than that ad. My book is humorous and treats the players gently (life has been good to me and I am not vindictive). Info: May 8, 2020 4:37:14 PM EDT

MILTON AND SCANDAL MILTON Back in 2017 I painted a special portrait of Milton, THE WATERMELON PORTRAIT. I sent a picture of it to Milton lists a scholarly online membership: Terrance Lindall tlindall at Thu Aug 31 15:20:34 EDT 2017 • •

Previous message: [Milton-­‐L] more on eclipses (useful website) Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

The Watermelon Milton portrait. See it and read the explanation here: uced The portrait ( not finished yet) is the cover to my Grand 17 x 32 inch Paradise Lost folio. It had a bejeweled border. Weighs about 30 pounds...a bit of light reading! I am interested in pro and con opinions. I would like to quote some of them in my publicity, if you are willing. Also, I am doing a poster that I offer to send to any Milton scholar who is currently teaching Milton free of charge (USA only) in December. It comes folded with a history of my Milton projects. If interested: milton at Terrance Milton in Outer Space: ------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <>

Terrance Lindall tlindall at Sat Aug 12 14:50:35 EDT 2017 • •

Next message: [Milton-­‐L] Reminded me of some of the chatter here on the list: Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ] 17, 2017 we celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the printing of Paradise Lost with an outrageous and revolutionary program. We are probably goring every sacred cow in humanism. Stay tuned! I have updated the online book today. It has Go Milton Go! Burn Baby Burn! THE ARGUMENT for JOHN MILTON IN OUTER SPACE, An excursion into the dialectic. Also see in the foreword the detail of unfinished painting of Satan in a watermelon patch. The book near his feet reads "UP THE REVOLUTION, What's the use of Paradise is you can't fish and can't eat the apples." Watermelon and the Dark Lord seemed appropriate. "It may seem silly to attribute so much meaning to a fruit. And the truth is that there is nothing inherently racist about watermelons. But cultural symbols have the power to shape how we see our world and the people in it, such as when police officer Darren Wilson saw Michael Brown as a superhuman “demon.” These symbols have roots in real historical struggles—specifically, in the case of the watermelon, white people’s fear of the emancipated black body." Satan is the ultimate revolutionary, like the "emancipated Black body." As Blacks rebel against the tyranny of their White Oppressor, so Satan rebels against the tyranny of a God who reduces him to a secondary spirit. In Eden one cannot eat certain fruits...knowledge is forbidden...kind of like white people denying an education to Blacks. ow-watermelons-became-a-racist-trope/383529/ ------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <>

Terrance Lindall tlindall at Wed Aug 16 11:36:52 EDT 2017 • • •

Previous message: [Milton-­‐L] Milton in Outer Space -­‐ The update...many new pages Next message: [Milton-­‐L] Reminded me of some of the chatter here on the list: Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

This article uses John Milton to argue very persuasively for shutting down free speech on the right: This one is really funny considering how many Progessives argue for rewriting Mark Twain, Shakespeare, to remove racism and antisemitism: This is very current since Progressives want to take down all Confederate monuments. Reminds me of Isis and the Taliban blowing up Buddhist Statues* and * three ancient funeral towers in the ancient city of Palmyra. Eventually Progressives will CERTAINLY want to blow up Mount Rushmore: I have no feelings one way or the other. I am merely watching the show through Milton's eyes. I expect everything to right itself after a lot of bloodshed. We can then rebuild historical monuments or recreate a whole new world of peace, harmony and unity ala MILTON IN OUTER SPACE! -------------- next part -------------- An HTML attachment was scrubbed... URL: <>

So, I was called stupid and self-­‐promoting by one acerbic scholar Brendan P. and many other scholars threatened to resign from the Milton lists:

From Brendan: Wed Aug 16 13:29:25 EDT 2017 • • •

Previous message: [Milton-­‐L] My apologies Next message: [Milton-­‐L] My apologies Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Hi David, I do apologize for my ad hominem remarks. David and Terrance, I'm pretty sure that you know that "stupid speech" does not equate to "stupid person." At the same time, I find it unfortunate that, so frequently, this conversation has been punctuated (sometimes with no space in between exclamation marks) by repeated self-promotion and antagonism against many on this list. Of course, I am guilty of impoverishing the discourse with ad hominem remarks; I can say that I caught this from Milton, but then again, the polemical Milton's not-uncommon adherence to ad hominem attack shows, in my mind, the worst of him. I joined this list to be enlightened, not to be inured into ignoring. Sorry for any ugliness that I added to this thread. Brendan

On Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 1:07 PM, David wrote: > No, Terrance, you're not stupid. As Louis reminds us, please, no insults, > regardless of disagreement. Brendan, I hope you can find it in your heart > to apologize. > > > Gratefully, > > > David > ----------------------------- > *From:* milton-l-bounces at <milton-l-bounces at> on > behalf of Terrance Lindall <tlindall at> > *Sent:* Wednesday, August 16, 2017 12:56:24 PM > *To:* milton-l at > *Subject:* [Milton-L] My apologies > > Yes indeed! I am stupid. So you must forgive my being disabled. As the > Greek said "Against stupidity the god's themselves contend in vain." Best > Regards and I will not bother the list any more. With admiration to all! > Terrance

And thus I resigned from the list because I had caused enough consternation among those fine progressive scholars. Some of the scholars were sympathetic to me, which I appreciated. But I finally got to know what was meant by “humorless liberal.”

The Watermelon Portrait of John Milton that caused all the fuss on Milton lists. Satan is relaxing in a watermelon patch.

OTHER TIMES I ARROUSED IRE Back in 1981 I was hot property as an illustrator. I noticed an article in the New York Times on Richard Snyder, President of the world’s largest publishing company. I had painted the cover for Simon & Schuster’s Nebula Award winner Pamela Sargent’s WATCHSTAR. She was a feminist and worked on Star Trek material too. Richard was called “the most powerful man in the publishing industry.” I wrote him a letter congratulating him on the article and noted that it was too bad that some of the editors did it realize that Milton’s work was not copyrighted.

He kindly replied!

Richard was fired a year later and eventually bankrupted another major book company.

My Watchstar painting was also used for Rod Serling’s magazine.

David Hartwell had commissioned my art for Simon & Schuster. The above memo was a kindness he offered to help promote my career. From Wikipedia: David Geddes Hartwell (July 10, 1941 – January 20, 2016) was an American critic, publisher, and editor of thousands of science fiction and fantasy novels. He was best known for work with Signet, Pocket, and Tor Books publishers. He was also noted as an award-­‐winning editor of anthologies. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes him as "perhaps the single most influential book editor of the past forty years in the American [science fiction] publishing world".[1]

LURID DISRESPECTFUL AND DISLOYAL! Years later, I was working for the Horticultural Society of New York. Here is a listing in the NY Times 1992: "DISCOVERY '92: 500 YEARS OF FLOWER AND GARDEN EXPLORATION," the annual flower show sponsored by the Horticultural Society of New York, Pier 92, 51st Street at the Hudson River. To finance the launch of the show they borrowed from the endowment created from sale of the book collection. The show lost money. For a couple of years more the show lost money. Only one year do I remember where it did very well. I produced a spreadsheet projecting that the HSNY would be bankrupt in a few years with no endowment. I think they took me seriously. I advised them to buy their own building with the endowment and rent out part of it to support programs. They did not do it. I do not think they were good managers, but they were old moneyed and privileged WASP eastern high society and did not seem to think it important. They probably thought they could always raise money. I am sure they were right. Being the person I am, I wrote a little horror story about the New York Flower show called “The NIGHT PRUNNER.” It told the strange goings-­‐ on in Central Park after a board member devised a park beautification project. It involved kidnappings, gigantic flowers created by a strange scientist, Dr. Liverwort, for the flower show and a monster like “The Blob” that devastated the park until the army was called in. It did not go over well with the board. I got a letter one day from an irate board member saying it was “…lurid, disrespectful; and disloyal!"

My Painting for the Horticultural story.


When we first opened the WAH Center I had assumed that the artists were an open minded lot. It turned out that many of the one's in Williamsburg were an arrogant and downright mean bunch who ragged anyone outside of their 'gang.' The attitude of these people was written across heir brows: "I'm important, you're NOT!!!" They did not like the fact that the BIG ROCK of the WAH Center was dropped into their little pond making some of the "big frogs" mad because we were stealing their thunder. They spread vicious rumors about us. Joe A., their defacto leader, told one artist who eventually became part of our Salon, "Don't go to the WAH Center, you'll ruin your reputation." So I took them on, never afraid of a good fight...just me alone against the many. It was an uneven fight. They had more in numbers (80) but they were not too intelligent. In the end the fox prevails..most of the time. Cleverness trumps numbers. I remember coming to Williamsburg one night from my job as business manager of the American Numismatic Society, America's oldest museum. The community had been gathered together to help brainstorm on what programs the WAH Center should have. Since I was the president, I presided over the meeting. I was dressed in my pin stripe suit and vest. It was obvious that I was a bit out of place in a meeting of working artists. At the end of the meeting one of them turned to me and said "I do not believe in you!" I told her "that's ok, you do not have to come to any more meetings." She was stunned. One person, famous for being on the Johnny Carson show wanted to be president. He talked to Yuko behind my back saying "who is that guy...he will ruin you. Make me the president." The fellow looked like a used car salesman and his hands had grease under the fingernails because he worked on cars.

A year passed. The art cum gallery owners, including Joe A., gathered one night at the Williamsburg Gallery Association with Yuko, our art center’s founder present. They all surrounded her with sheaves of printouts of the emails I had sent to them over the past couple of years demanding that she "do something" about me. I was ruining them! Yes I was! Most of them are gone or gone under. They now have time to repent at leisure. I never suffered one bit from anything they said about me or tried to do to me. I just kept working to help Yuko's WAH Center and to help good artists promote their careers. That established us as a credible venue.

My cover art and some text for the story about my exploits with the Williamsburg Galleries. Read it here:­‐Fall-­‐Williamsburg-­‐Convent-­‐Klan-­‐

My final letter to them: July 31, 2003 Williamsburg Gallery Association Dear Ed and Becky, This letter is in way of an apology for any disturbances I may have caused the members of your fine organization over the past year in my freewheeling e-­‐ mails. I had not realized that artists and gallery owners were of such delicate sensibilities. I thought straight talk was the best talk. Since I have always freely spoken my mind, it always comes as a surprise to me that people might not want to hear what I have to say. I do disagree with people most often because my philosopher’s nature is to engage in a dialectic that is supposed to result in truth. I forget that this might not be of interest to gallery owners. In any case I do humbly ask forgiveness of you and your members. And further, I will not send any e-­‐mails to any of your members except from Yuko or on very specify business related matters. And I personally will not attend any of your meetings. Only Yuko or other designated WAH Center representatives will attend. As for any material regarding the WGA on 11211 Magazines web-­‐site, It has nothing to do with me. I suggest that you begin to engage in a positive dialogue with Breuk about any matters that concern you in that regard. You may show this to all members of the WGA, if you so wish. Attached is my statement for the record on the WGA and the new “Alliance.” Have a pleasant summer, all! Terrance Sincerely, Terrance Lindall

Reminiscences of Life in the Fine Arts

In New York City, as a young artist/scholar one is adrift in a sea of individuals who have shaped our culture. Two such were Margaret Scolari Barr and Leo Steinberg. Leo was my professor at Hunter College. He was already a renowned art historian. He was part of a group of art critics that Tom Wolfe called “Cultureburg” in his famous satire entitled “The Painted Word.” The kings of "Cultureburg" were : Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg and Leo Steinberg. Wolfe argued that these three men were dominating the world of art with their theories and that, unlike the world of literature in which anyone can buy a book, the art world was controlled by an insular circle of rich collectors, museums and critics with out-­‐sized influence. This is not true today. The role of the critic has been diminished in the deluge of on-­‐line criticism. Leo was indeed a brilliant scholar, more a scholar and art historian than a mass media writer. I would debate issues with him in class and maybe later go into the professor’s lounge to discuss the issue further with him. Leo arranged for me the special privilege of using the New York University Art Library at 1 E 78th on Manhattan, The Duke House. The library contains over 100,000 volumes, subscribes to 485 periodicals, and houses a distinguished rare book collection. It was gorgeous. The Director of the library showed me around personally at Leo's request. One day I was home at night and got a phone call from a woman whom I did not know. My wife answered the phone and was a bit nonplussed by the call. When I finally picked up the phone the woman said, “your lady friend is out of focus.” The woman on the phone was Margaret Scolari Barr, wife of the founder of the Museum of Modern Art! It seems that Leo Steinberg had talked with her about me. She was on a search committee for a new art teacher for Choate Rosemary Hall Prep school in Wallingford Connecticut. They were a very upper class school with many famous graduates. Margaret made arrangements for me to visit.

A kind note from Leo about a book I published and one story called “Esox Horrendus” about avaricious intellectualism. I liked his comment about my passion for language!

Up at Choate, nicknamed “Hotchkiss,” I was met by a teacher who took me on a tour of the facilities. The dean, who was supposed to meet me for an interview, had the flu and could not make it. The art department was in a new building by I.M. Pei. I was walking through the corridors of the offices and the halls were narrow and the ceilings low. I said to my guide, ”it’s like a rat warren.” After the tour we went to the student lunch room for lunch. They served a small overcooked burger on dry buns. I commented that this was inedible. But the young girls were quite becoming in their short-­‐skirted uniforms. After lunch we went to their chapel. The guide was very proud of a small painting by Peter Paul Rubens of Christ descending from the cross. I said that I did not think it was by Rubens. I also commented on the fact that it was hanging in a dim unprotected area open to the public. “It can easily be stolen,” I said. Back home I got a note from Margaret asking. “How did your interview with Hotchkiss go?" I had already received a note from the dean saying only “Thank you very much for your animadversions.” I never heard another word.

“Your animadversions are interesting…”

Terence Netter was a most interesting person. He was a Jesuit Priest and an artist: In 1968 he petitioned for and received Papal Permission from his religious vows to leave the Jesuit Order. Shortly thereafter he married Therese Franzese who at the time was Assistant to Sir Rudolf Bing, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera. This event was written up in Life Magazine in an October 1968 issue in an article entitled “A Priest who chose to marry.” In 1969 he was appointed Chairperson of the Department of Fine Arts at Santa Clara University. While there he had a one man show at the Bolles Gallery in San Francisco and another one man show of new work at the Rehn Gallery in New York. He was tenured in the rank of Associate Professor in 1972. In 1973 his Son, Dylan was born. Then, in 1974 he was recruited to be the founding Director of the Paul Mellon Art Center at Choate-­‐Rosemary Hall in Connecticut which Paul Mellon, an alumnus of Choate, had commissioned I.M. Pei to design.

A letter from Margaret

Above: Terrance Lindall in his office with his secretary. Major article in the NY Times:

BOOKS FOR SALE: The Terrance Lindall Retrospective, signed hardcover $250 The Paradise Lost Gold Folio, signed softcover, $150

My art for the cover of the Paradise lost Companion.