* The Next Big Thing, "The Cost of Freedom": http://costoffreedombook.blogspot.com
Endorsed by Ramsey Clark, Thom Hartmann, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Harry Belfonte. No sh*t.
Published by Howling Dog Press. This is an anthology of peace activists and groups around the country fighting the good fight during these dark Bush years.
You can also go here to learn more: www.howlingdogpress.com
COF is now going out to reviewers. You can write to publisher Michael Annis to request a review copy: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Palecek interviews and links:
Radio Active Lunch, Vassar College:
WORT radio, Madison, Wisc.:
SHANE LACHANCE, short film based on "The American Dream"
Is This Heaven?
by Mike Palecek
Hey. How's it goin'?
Yes. I am the scarecrow. You didn't see me? Really?
I am on Double Secret Terrorist Duty. Securing the Homeland.
Actually to secure my homeland I would have to split myself into fourths and go back to Europe.
I think this is somebody else's homeland. Oh, well, always willing to chip in and do my part. I'm also a member of Sertoma, Kiwanis and Noon Rotary. I love meetings. I'm a people person.
Anywho ... hot enough for ya?
Well, what do you think?
Is this the end of our American Fascism Period - or just the beginning?
You think we will have elections in 2008? You think Bush and Cheney and Rove will walk out voluntarily?
Or do you think like Wingnut Willie or Wacko Wanda, that they might do another 911 and put us on Super Secret Double Probation for our own good?
That's the question of the day, the week, the year, right?
I don't know.
I am just here to do my duty. To protect and to serve and to eat pizza. That would be my motto, I have decided, if anyone ever asks what my motto is. I swear that's what it is.
I was in the Hospers post office yesterday.
Rush Limbaugh is always on in there, loud.
I wonder if anyone listens, or if it's just on for noise, like having Paul Harvey on over noon in the cafe so nobody has to really talk to each other.
I heard, though.
Limbaugh was talking about illegals and how they were dangerous and they were terror-type individuals.
That's why I'm wearing this white hood and sheet out here in the garden.
I want us to be free.
I want it so bad. My dreams are all about baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.
I want our kids to be free to grow up and join the national guard and go kill who needs to be killed and then have the freedom to come back and worship in the church of their choice and work at Pizza World.
I'll stand here all day, or until my arms get tired, to make sure that happens.
I love the ol' Fatherland, Motherland, Disneyland, I really do.
Shhh. Here comes those g.d. aliens.
They just stare. That bugs me. I think they know it does.
They've got a round ship and blinking lights and I think I've seen 'em around here before. They all look about the same to me.
Shoo! Shoo! Go on .... scat!
Okay, well. I might be here awhile. They don't seem to speak English. Like I'm surprised.
Go about your day.
I got this.
This following is from "Looking For Bigfoot."
Bigfoot was published in 2005 by Howling Dog Press, Colorado.
It tells the story of Jack Robert King, an Iowan on the road, in search of the truth about America.
What is the truth about America?
What is fact? What is totally made up? Is America any more real than Disneyland?
Does Bigfoot exist? Who killed the Kennedy's? Who really did 9/11?
Think it doesn't matter?
How do you think Vietnam happened? The Iraq War? The next war?
Who runs your life? You or some guy you will never meet who has puppet strings attached to Dick Cheney and George Bush?
How will your children spend their lives? The way they see fit, or the way puppet dude wants them to?
They killed Pat Tillman because he was going to come home and be an anti-war hero. And they faked Jessica Lynch's heroic escape because they needed propaganda.
They don't care about you. They don't care about me.
Those words have replaced "by the people and for the people."
If we do not need a second American Revolution to get back our country I will say yippee three times.
But I just wonder.
This is Jack Robert King, on his radio show, broadcast from the farm house on The Field of Dreams movie set just outside Dyersville, Iowa.
They killed Paul Wellstone.
I can feel it all around me, like ninety-eight percent humidity, like the feeling there is someone in the house who shouldn't be there.
They attacked the World Trade Center.
I suddenly realize it and reach behind me into the back seat to snatch the bad guy who I know is there, but all I grab is air. I can still hear it breathing, catch a shadow in the rearview mirror.
They really, truly stole a presidential election in the United States and our response was to wave at the limousines as they passed by on the TV atop the kitchen counter, next to the toaster.
They shot down or lasered down Wellstone's plane and they really did attack their own Pentagon. I see this and I have zero documentation. I don't care. I have all the proof I need from the glazed look in your eye as you struggle to attach the American flag to your car antenna.
... The robins are tweet-tweeting on the front lawn. Puffing their red chests into the sun. Their song: "kill the niggers."
On the days we bombed Iraq the Farmers Coop elevator dryers hummed a happy tune; the coffee-goers smiled across Formica tables and asked for cream.
And for the ten years in between, while children died from the sanctions, from no food or medicine or light or heat or love or prayers or Hardee's, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Smith went to work each day, drove on the right side of the road, smiled, kept their desks in order, and were not considered suspects.
I understand America by watching you.
I know it from growing up in the Midwest of America, from playing baseball and football and riding down the middle of the street with no hands eating an ice cream cone. The strawberry drips on my T-shirt and I don't care. Mom will wash it, clean it up, just as she rinses the blood of a thousand Chileans from her hands. A lemony spray makes everything smell fresh.
I see more than I want in the referee's face as he prepares the jump-ball toss and the smile of the drive-up teller as she helps another customer.
Would evil men and women kill in order to gain absolute power?
Pretty darn near impossible to believe when they look just like us and sound like us, tell the same tired jokes and watch the same TV shows.
I do know, because I saw it myself over the top of my SuperSize Diet Pepsi, that while children are being bombed to gooey bits, the mail still arrives at our house at ten and the garbage is picked up at one and school dismisses at three-thirty and Raymond comes on at seven.
I see the banality of evil old Mrs. Schwartz using her tongs to set another fish square into a slot on a lunch tray at St. Mark's elementary as a child in Baghdad has his nose blown off by a small bomb he thought was a toy.
I do not have a leaked file or a tidbit of information or an inside source.
I know all I need to know from seeing your guilty face staring out into the night while you wash dishes, or leaning out the car window to order an A&W root beer, or chasing your children into the school house with one last admonition.
I don't need to know George Bush or Karl Rove.
I know you.
To see book covers, more information: www.mikepalecek.com
Killing George Bush: I like KGB because it tells the forgotten story of prisoners and conspiracy theorists and people slaughtered by Bush Sr. in Panama and women and children in jail visiting rooms and other stuff.
"Well-written and imaginative."
- Danny Schechter, one of the first CNN producers
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Publish America (December 2001)
Joe Coffee's Revolution: I like Joe Coffee because it tells the truth about the Democratic Party and about farmer revolutionaries and farm kitchen tables.
"Palecek's greatest talent lies in his ability to depict the ordinariness of life. After a few chapters of Palecek's tender attention to the characters' small lives, readers will feel the same itch for revolution that the characters give into."
- Meta Hogan, Voice Of Olympia [Olympia, WA]
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Badger Books LLC (April 2003)
Twins: I like Twins because it talks about a prison burning and about the Twin Cities, which I love, and about robbing Twin Cities banks to give the money to the poor on Hennepin Ave.
*Review by Michael Wilt, Nimble Spirit Review: http://www.nimblespirit.com/html/twins_review.html
Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Badger Books LLC (October 2003)
The Last Liberal Outlaw: I like Outlaw because it talks about a reporter in a small town doing what a reporter in a small town should do, pay attention to the commas and oppose the construction of the prison near town.
"Palecek is at his best when writing about small-town America ... We haven't had a writer like this since Kurt Vonnegut was at his peak."
- Chuck Gregory, All Books and Records, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Books (September 15, 2004)
The Truth: I like The Truth because it was written in the run-up to the current war and was written in a rage against pre-war stupidity in Iowa. I tried to stop the war with this book. I tried to expose the lies, stuff a dish towel in Tom Brokaw's mouth to keep him from lying.
"As a professional writer and editor I want to strongly second all the positive comments for this book. In addition to its fine message, its layout and Mike's real deftness with plotting make it a great reading experience, like few books I know."
- Phil Hey, Professor of English & Writing, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa
Publisher: New Hampshire Writers Collective
Looking For Bigfoot: I like Bigfoot because I think there is a Bigfoot and I think Bush did 9/11 and I think the CIA killed the Kennedy's, and I like baseball, a lot.
Publisher: Howling Dog Pr (November 30, 2005)
"Mike Palecek poses powerful questions. He has constructed a masterpiece in this novel. It deserves to be read. It's exhilarating and terrifying. It's realer than real."
- January Magazine
Terror Nation: I like Terror Nation because I think it would be cool to be a small town sports reporter who was put into the local mental institution for writing anti-Bush letters to the editor. And a dream of mine would be to cover Iowa sports or coach baseball and have that be good enough.
"If you haven't heard of Mike Palecek, you should have."
- Karris Golden, Waterloo-Cedar Falls [IA] Courier
"Palecek is ... a natural - or highly practiced - writer. With his rolling rhythms, everything he writes, even Charlie Johnson's brutal confinement, goes down easy."
- Russ Wellen, Intervention Magazine
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Mainstay Press (April 4, 2006)
The American Dream: I like The American Dream because it's like punching America in the nose, it's like punching George W. Bush in the nose and Karl Rove in the nose. And I think those two pussies need to be punched in the nose. And it punches those ministers with American flags and dead children on their altar, and it punches my neighbor right square in the kisser for mowing his lawn and worrying about his damn lawn while we are killing children in Iraq.
Publisher: CWG Press
"Palecek is fearless, skewering religious extremism, political right wing fundamentalism, gung-ho patriotism and the use of fear to play upon the innocent...and ignorant. And it works. I finished the book in one night...but it's been in my brain ever since, like a song that won't go away...haunting."
- Marie Jones, Book Ideas