What Then Should This Title Be? [Flash Fiction]

A Printed Copy of a Download from a Website

by an Editor-in-Chief of another Web Journal

Dedicated to Being a High Literary Review


I came across this from a friend who was present at the cafe meeting called by his Editor-in-Chief. My friend has for some time now been considering leaving the web journal he has been working for and coming to work for me. After I publish this, I do not think he could continue to work where he is working for very long.

“Why we allow heinous diatribes such as this to be published, is beyond me,” my friend has said he said to his friends and  colleagues gathered at the table at their favorite cafe, passing copies of what he printed from a download online from a website dedicated, as he says, to an “Anti-Semitic agenda,” which some of his friends at the table did not–could not–agree with, although at least two of them did, however, one of them only reluctantly, and neither of the two in agreement was my friend, although she did address the fact that there was nothing overtly Anti-Semitic, about the piece and that any response as such by them would only feed into what this piece was trying to do if it were in fact trying to assert an Anti-semitic agenda.

The Editor-Chief gathered them in this cafe to sit together and read together what he was certain something they should read together and decide together how they must respond to this in their own website. He is the Editor-in-Chief and has great pull with the others on staff at this privately funded website, including with my friend, who was not at all easy about showing it, only that the Editor had become a bit overbearing in how he wanted the editorial policy of the web review to be handled, addressed, asserted, written. It is an old fashioned literary review that contains political and social commentary, as well as fiction and poetry and literary criticism and book and film reviews.

Here then is the text of the download that he printed and distributed to his friends at the table as they all had coffee or tea or wine or beer and a sandwich or a salad or a croissant.

The text:

What Then Should

This Title Be?

I could extend questions–any question followed by yet a string of other questions followed by yet other questions–nearly perpetually, Could I extend any of the questions that might be asked about what we intend in our pages beyond the limits of one of the essays I write for the section entitled Essays, Essays, Essays? Of course I could. I have written many in a variety of styles for a variety of purposes for a variety of audiences–know your audience. I could continue any questioning far beyond where I take my inquiries in the essays I publish in the pages section. Style shifts for need, of course. What more should I ask?

Could I apply this approach to subjects as diverse as from language and linguistics to epistemology and ethics? Yes. From history to law to then again historiography? For certain. Or to reading and writing in the most general application? I imagine so. From painting and sculpting to the state of theater in America? Why hesitate with a reply?  From blogging, to Orthodox Jewish landlords in my building diminishing maintenance services correlative with the rise in Muslim tenants in the compound where these Orthodox Jewish landlords are allowed, by the City that governs the housing they own, to act as they wish, or do not wish, and with impunity? Yes. And I address all of these and then so much more, but how is always ever present. What is the rhetorical edge I am going to use and will it cut appropriately? Rhetoric must cut. I need to wield a scalpel’s blade. Surgery in satire is better than butchery.

Could I also address in tones more sober that Mayor Bloomburg was a large Orwellian pig–in direct contrast to his diminutive staure and mousy nature before the media? Of course I could–but I would still need to tread gently. Did Bllomburg let landlords off thier leashes? I could say that he did, but to what effect when most of what we have in the media has c0nditioned us to be hyper-polite to the extent that we are psychopathically polite?  Blimpburg’s City policies did let them off their leashes to sink their teeth into tenants. Blimpburg did do for the rich and powerful in direct proportion to how he tried desperately to cut services and do less for The People. Blimpburg, without irony, was Statist pig of monstrously grotesque proportions. This was undeniable from where I stood, a perception not to be lessened in its veracity or valency by my subjectivity.

Yes, of course we–that means I–could address all of these things, and I do understand that some might say that these conclusions are not matters of course; but I insist that there are self-evident necessities that must be phrased as we do, as I do–this review is not mine–it is me; I am the review. Thus, whatever it is that we will do, I will do; whatever we do, I do; whatever is done has been done by me. So, when I ask what I can do in this review, I am of course posing the question as we like to say rhetorically. I do not have faith–or is it that I do not have the correct faith–to believe that the media will address the City’s Mayor or the twenty-five worst landlords in New York City appropriately. But as I have said before in other essays and herein, rhetoric is an edge that cuts. Is it though, the meat cleaver, or the surgeon’s scalpel, I use.

What then must anyone say to this is what I am asking? Is there an agenda as the editor has said. Could this have been misconstrued? What do you think the the appropriate response should be if you did believe it sprang from an Anti-Semitic agenda, or if in fact it did so and was so? This then would be your turn to insert a conclusive narrative or exposition to this story. My friend has left the  web journal that the Editor-in-Chief herein discussed is the chief editor of; he did have a hard time dealing with the fact that my friend did give me a copy of the text the Editor haad downloaded, and that she also gave me information to write this as I have written this here.

What then must anyone do? I ask. What then must we do?


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