We are pleased to announce Cutbank Online is now taking Visual Media

Gather and spread the word, ye faithful of the acrylic, ye gelatin silver processors, ye marble chippers and woodcutters, ye stippled ink stained printers of pulp art!

We’re calling all visual media artists to start a new initiative here at Cutbank Online where we’d like to feature your art on our website and beyond!

Click the Image to Find out More


'What Does Democracy Look Like?' - by James Miller

A Contemplation on the 2011 and 2017 Occupy Movements, the political theory that led to it, and observations about political theory post-hoc.

 Image Links to Article

Image Links to Article

“‘This is what democracy looks like!’—for some of us protesting Trump in New York on January 21, 2017, this was a familiar chant. We’d heard it before, earlier in the decade, during the Occupy Wall Street movement. That movement had been inspired, in part, by the staggering growth of inequality in the United States and around the world, as a result of the partial dismantling of social insurance policies that, earlier in the twentieth century, had been the chief egalitarian achievement of labor, liberal, and social democratic political parties worldwide. “

“When faced with a decision, the normal response of two people with differing opinions tends to be confrontational. They each defend their opinions with the aim of convincing their opponent, until their opinion has won or, at most, a compromise has been reached. The aim of Collective Thinking, on the other hand, is to construct. That is to say, two people with differing ideas work together to build something new. The onus is therefore not on my idea or yours; rather it is the notion that two ideas together will produce something new, something that neither of us had envisaged beforehand. This focus requires of us that we actively listen. “


Stunning: 'Today I Told Donald Trump' New Poetry by Erica Dawson on Lit Hub

“Today I Told Donald Trump
the story of a woman. How the skies
came out of her wherever. Spacious skies.
Dark skies. Grown woman skies. Coalsack at this time of the month spreads deep. That kind of K
you see in Crux, that’s her. The bloody new
moon, her. Yessir, you’re going to have to swing
a huge dick if you’re going to hit it.

  Trump
came out of triumph. Trump (verb): play a trump
on; win a trick.”


John Bonazzo: Montana Alt-Weekly Shutdown Mirrors Demise of NYC Media Outlets

It seems an under-appreciation of the news is a condition common to billionaires beyond just the Pennsylvania Avenue one. This piece in the Observer came out a few days ago, but it’s worth a read for the story of Lee Enterprises’ Wikipedia page:

Soon after the shutdown news broke, the company’s Wikipedia page became a wailing wall.

“Lee Enterprises is a publicly traded American media company that specializes in buying well known local papers for the purposes of gutting them for everything they were once worth,” the page briefly read. “It currently is in the process of destroying 46 daily newspapers in 21 states.”

In addition, one of the page’s subject headings was changed to “Newspapers They Are Dismantling.” All of these edits were eventually replaced with more sedate language.”

It’s a shame that Wikipedia page was sanitized, but again, it appears billionaires have little tolerance for competing viewpoints, especially if it means less change for their canyon-deep pockets.


Daniel Walters: How Missoula lost Its Independent

Daniel Walters gives a rundown of how fears by Indy staffers at the alt-weekly’s sale to a corporate overlord a year ago were realized, and sooner than anyone expected.


We, The People

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Hey Folks! Cutbank’s new Online Team coming at you loud and live(-ish).

Since this is our first Burn Pile post in a while, and a defining moment for us greenhorns, I’d like to take a moment to thank our dear friend Barry Maxwell for his success with the Second Wind Reading and for all his hard work on Cutbank’s Online source. I know it was it was hard work because now I’m doing half of his old job, and some forms of media are just Not. User. Friendly.

AND NOW, an Editorial

When regarding Freedom of the Press, no law may be passed that interferes with the people’s right to assemble, to print the press, or that causes the abridgement of free speech. But here’s the problem with the constitution: it is vague. In this instance, it’s the carefully worded language that “No Law May Be Passed” which leaves wiggle room for all other interested parties. There is nothing to say that a pitched battle cannot be waged over what the “Truth” is, only that our elected officials cannot infringe upon our right to debate and question it. I’m not a legal scholar, and it would take one to navigate the byzantine workings of modern governments. I will say this though: We Need the Press.

Let me back up and bring something into context here, it just came to my attention that the local alternative/Indy Newspaper here in Missoula was just shut down, as in is no longer printing the press. Well it can be hand waved as another arbitrary tide of the Free Market, or I can take this opportunity to state that the Newspaper is a dying industry. I’m a newcomer here to Missoula, so I don’t feel it’s my place to jump right into local Politics, yet if diversity of the press dies—if we, on a national level, lose the option of options, then that does not bode well for the foundational elements of a Democracy.

Plainly put, if our only options were to turn the television and choose between MSNBC, Fox, and CNN (as it is right now), we’re going to trick ourselves into thinking that the world is much smaller than it is. Problem A is that national level news outlets only care about national and international level news, servicing a ratings-based agenda. Problem B? Severe Conflict of interest. Over a year ago, it became a point of water cooler discussion, back where I’m from, about Sinclair Broadcasting Group buying up state and local level television news media. Don’t believe me? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khbihkeOISc. It’s not quite the Orwellian nightmare of the novel 1984, but I find it alarming, and I hope you do as well. Is that all the problems I see? No, but they are the two-most relevant topics to this flash opinion piece.

What I’m getting at, folks, is that journalists take it upon themselves to go out into the world and question the ethics of the society we are living in. Do they have their own self-interest? Yes, and I would not trust anyone that did not operate in their self-interest. As they protect us from infringement upon our rights, safety, and morality as citizens, so too does a diverse range of reporting protect us from the private interests and agendas of journalists. To perform their functions as moderators and truth seekers, they need our support as consumers of their newspapers, and no, the truth is not something concerned with output we find agreeable to our tastes and philosophies.

The “truth” is about taking a skeptical look around us and asking earnest questions: is what is happening in our best interests as individuals? As a society? Hell, what even is our best interest? That answer comes from having thoughtful discussion, and to do that we need to be an educated and informed population. Do I have a plan to save a fading yet critical industry? No not entirely. But I hope these words get you started thinking about your own local news industry.

We’d love to hear back from the community. If you know of some local writers or journalists who worked with The Indy, send them our way.

 Click the Caption for the Original Article on the Missoulian.

Click the Caption for the Original Article on the Missoulian.