Friends of Aesthetic Realism
       Countering the Lies
“It’s a lie, and not a well told one at that.
  It grins out like a copper dollar.”

                  —Abraham Lincoln

Statement by Alice Bernstein, Journalist

This is to comment on the lies about Aesthetic Realism told by my nephew, Michael Bluejay. He is the son of my sister Gerri-Ellen whose maiden name, like mine, was Musicant, and who is now married to Richard Harmon and is Gerri-Ellen Harmon.

Michael has had nothing to do with Aesthetic Realism for 29 years!—since he was eleven years old. He was 5 years old, when my sister married her second husband and moved to Texas. It is utterly ridiculous that Michael puts himself forth as an authority not only on Aesthetic Realism, but also on the way the Aesthetic Realism Foundation supposedly operates, since he was there once or twice, when he visited New York at age 11.

Aesthetic Realism is not a cult, is not against education, does not stop people from having friends or seeing their families or going on vacations or fulfilling their ambitions or making money or living where they please! The person who asserts these lies was a self-proclaimed nudist and nudist-cyclist, who lists among his proudest accomplishments moving several times entirely by bicycle.

It’s clear from Michael Bluejay’s website that he’s after importance, and that he’s using Aesthetic Realism to try to make himself important—both by presenting himself as having a relation to Aesthetic Realism and by attacking it.

This cult business is baloney. As to Aesthetic Realism’s supposedly discouraging higher education and achievements: Michael’s mother, Gerri-Ellen, graduated from college while she was studying Aesthetic Realism and went on to teach at Long Island University, also while studying Aesthetic Realism. Gerri-Ellen was married to Michael’s biological father, who received a graduate degree. And since I’m on this subject, I myself majored in English at Brooklyn College. Gerri gave performances of the dance and also choreographed works performed by other dancers, and was encouraged to do so. She also wrote a scholarly and lively paper based on Aesthetic Realism about the aesthetics of dance. In several Aesthetic Realism classes Eli Siegel discussed this paper and showed its value in relation to the history of dance criticism.

Far from his being “shunned,” when Michael visited New York at age 11, he stayed with my sister Judy Rappaport and her family, all of whom were studying Aesthetic Realism. I took him on a tour of many sights in the city and we had dinner at a popular restaurant for young people, the Auto Pub. Many photographs show him having a good time.

I resent his denigrating, by presenting as “cultists,” my parents, Jack and May Musicant (both deceased); my husband, photographer David Bernstein; and daughter Rachel Jane Bernstein, who is now taking college courses in preparation for teaching. He knows nothing about our lives. And I also resent his similarly casting a shadow on the life of the noted photographer Nancy Starrels, who was a beloved friend and colleague, and who died in 1984.

I am a journalist whose writing is based on Aesthetic Realism. The book Aesthetic Realism and the Answer to Racism by Alice Bernstein & Others, was published in 2004 by Orange Angle Press. My ambition to be the best writer I can be and as widely published as possible has always been encouraged by friends and colleagues, who cheer my accomplishments. See my website:

  • Read statements by many individual men and women
  • Reviews from the NY Times Book Review, Saturday Review, Library Journal, Harlem Times, Popular Photography, and more
  • A letter by Ralph Hattersley, noted critic of photography ...not only counters the lies, but is a means of showing something of their history and motivation.
  • The poetry by Eli Siegel so greatly respected by William Carlos Williams and many others
  • Read lectures by Eli Siegel on subjects as diverse as literature, love, & economics
  • What is learned in classes taught by Ellen Reiss
  • Poetic criticism by Eli Siegel and Ellen Reiss
  • Scribner's Magazine book reviews written by Eli Siegel

  • A Little Anthology of Comments (Some Funny We Hope) on Further Misrepresentations.

    >> Continue

    "On the Pleasures and Advantages of Anonymity: An Ode"—
    >> Continue

    A Dramatic and Cautionary Tale about an Unknown and Very Unimportant Person

    There once was a young man of ancient Greece named Milos. And Milos knew Socrates. He did not like Socrates because the great man asked far too many questions.... >> Continue

    Statements by Friends of Aesthetic Realism
    Barbara Allen
    Frances Amello
    Jerry Amello
    Christopher Balchin
    Mara Bennici
    David Berger
    Alice Bernstein
    Rachel J. Bernstein
    Barbara Buehler
    Gina Buffone
    Beverly Sue Burk
    Maureen Butler
    Jeffrey Carduner
    Margot Carpenter
    Lori & Robert Colavito
    Albert Corvino
    Nicholas Corvino
    Henry D'Amico
    Matthew D’Amico
    Ernest DeFilippis
    Vincent DiPietro
    Carol Driscoll
    Donita Ellison
    Anne Fielding
    Lorraine Galkowski, RN
    Pamela Goren
    Edward Green
    Avi Gvili
    Ames Huntting
    Mark Lale
    Dale Laurin
    Rose Levy
    Timothy Lynch
    Lorraine Mahoney, RN
    Derek Mali
    Glenn Mariano
    Haroldo Mauro Jr.
    Joseph Meglino
    Pauline Meglino
    Allan Michael
    Marvin Mondlin
    Robert Murphy
    Michael J. Nadeau
    Meryl Nietsch-Cooperman
    Ruth Oron
    Arnold Perey, PhD
    Lauren Phillips
    Jack Plumstead
    Maria Plumstead
    Rosemary Plumstead
    Rev. Wayne Plumstead
    Marcia Rackow
    Zvia Ratz
    Ann Richards
    Anthony C. Romeo
    Leila Rosen
    Rhonda Rosenthal
    Sally Ross
    Claudia Senatore
    Sheldon Silverman
    Jeffrey Sosinsky, MD
    Barbara Spetly McClung
    Joseph Spetly
    Faith K. Stern
    John Stern
    Arlene Sulkis
    Devorah Tarrow
    Jaime R. Torres, DPM
    Dennis L. Tucker
    Francine Weber
    Steve Weiner
    Miriam Weiss
    Carrie Wilson

    Also see the Aesthetic Realism Online Library  the Aesthetic Realism Foundation  Terrain Gallery  What scholars, writers, artists & teachers are saying  the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company  & Links

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