I just contributed $50 to Counterpunch’s fund-drive and strongly urge you to do so as well.
As many of you might have noticed, I began writing for Counterpunch recently and am thrilled to do so. The circumstances are fairly typical of my complex (to say the least) relationship to the magazine and the towering presence most identified with it, Alexander Cockburn.
A day or so after it appeared I made some rude remark on Marxmail about Mike Whitney’s CP hatchet job on Pussy Riot. Jeff St. Clair (who I was pleased to discover is a lurker) then dropped me a line inviting me to weigh in with my disagreements. He actually corrected me on one important point. I had complained about how the coverage was one-sided but he pointed out that Chris Randolph had already answered Whitney there.
That’s the thing about Counterpunch. It gets your juices flowing. This week people on Marxmail have got themselves all worked up over Israel Shamir’s love poem to Pol Pot, as if there was any great danger of his article actually winning people over to the Khmer Rouge’s cause. The consensus was that CP was wrong to give Shamir a platform.
I get a chuckle out of that because in some circles I am considered more of a reprobate than Shamir, given my supposedly Hitchenesque embrace of the Libyan and Syrian revolutionaries. Jeff shared an email he got over my maiden voyage on CP:
Why does Counterpunch keep running the thoughts of Chairman Louis Proyect on your site, since he is a guy who is a total discredit to all that marxism should stand for? Why not republish works by Gus Hall instead, for at least he is no longer alive still censoring comrades for not being supposedly ‘marxist’ enough … OH! so politically correct as Proyect does on HIS so-called marxism list? And Gus Hall at least is not currently working to promote NATO-Pentagon bombing of Syria over on Proyect’s new ‘Northstar’ blog either, which also censors off all contrary viewpoints being allowed there online same as on ‘marxism list’.
One of the things I have learned over the years is that it is better for people to talk about you even if they have nothing good to say than to be ignored. In fact the last $50 contribution I made to Counterpunch was out of gratitude for Alexander Cockburn’s diss:
Who says these days that in the last analysis, the only way to change the status quo and challenge the Money Power of Wall St is to overthrow the government by force? That isn’t some old Trotskyist lag like Louis Proyect, dozing on the dungheap of history like Odysseus’ lice-ridden old hound Argos, woofing with alarm as the shadow of a new idea darkens the threshold.
Who cares if I am lice-ridden as long as I get my name out there?
On a more serious note, the best indication of the value of Counterpunch is the amount of articles I crosspost to the Marxism list. I doubt that a week goes by without me forwarding something (just by coincidence the last one is on “The Pussy Riot of Vietnam” by Linh Dinh that is just the sort of thing that more than makes up for Israel Shamir).
It is also important to underline Counterpunch’s utility as a research database for the left. On countless occasions when I have written something for my blog, I go to the search field on Counterpunch first to find articles that I can cite. For example, I will be preparing something on the nature of the jobs that have been created under Obama’s “recovery” and particularly the recent spike that cut the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent. I just entered “low-wage jobs” and “recovery” there and came up with an article by Eileen Appelbaum titled “Low-Wage Jobs and the Stalled Recovery” that I am sure I will consult. For the left to have such information at its fingertips is an incalculable asset.
It is surely worth a dollar a week, isn’t it? Go to Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org) and read Jeff’s appeal. Then, without wasting any time, click this link (http://www.easycartsecure.com/CounterPunch/Donations.html) and support the voice of those struggling for a better world.