International Writers Magazine:
I think we have pretty
much astonished the establishment so far. We've been out there fighting
battles, and the more they call us names and the more they say this and
that it just tells me that we're in this thing for the long haul.
the End of the World as you know it...
Campion feels fine
Reflections On Ten Years Of Reality Check Part 111
"Know this, if you know anything about what is slowly happening
to the social landscape of this country, as long as this nation
is at war the truth can no longer be considered an absolute, it
is a concept to be manipulated and raped and put on display for
those with agendas to dance around like savages soliciting rain."
- Post Mortem On War Coverage 4/9/03
Political Commentator, two-time presidential candidate, speechwriter for
Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan
One question to the editor of the Aquarian: Did you ever actually check
Jim's references ten years ago? Apparently not. The good thing is, through
on the job training and a naturally poisonous keyboard, Jim has managed
to make even this rock-ribbed Republican occasionally laugh at my own
party. That's talent. There aren't many writers with the wit and sarcasm
of Jim Campion. In fact, I can only think of one. And you're lucky enough
to have him.
Former Westchester County Legislator, Executive Producer of the Michael
Kay Show /ESPN, and current program director of The Catholic Channel on
"So how does it feel to be Clinton's butt buddy? How can someone
be so wrong so often and still be able to live with themselves?"
The response of "if you don't like it write your own fucking
column" began my three-year journey of sharing the political page
of the Aquarian with one, James Campion.
James' writing style is pure genius. It is a wicked combination
of intellect and street smarts that says he can kick your ass while simultaneously
spouting the works of Aristotle and the combined ERA of the '78 Yankees
starting rotation. His biting wit and satire on all things sports, political
or pop culture makes waiting out the week all that more fun.
He ain't lib and he ain't conservative...he's James Campion,
and I believe he hates everyone equally.
Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration. May you have
many more 10-year anniversaries. The thinking public needs you around.
"What level of brain-dead mannequins are we enduring with this vat
of bilge? We need gory caged ferret fights to the death. That is how democracy
works, not some number-crunching pinheads with interchangeable personalities.
Likeable sods with wet feet and dapper ties leave us with grinning charlatans
from the South pampered by daddy's oil and tobacco money. This is what
we deserve now. We don't want any nasty commentary on the way things are,
just force-feed us the Pollyanna pabulum and send us to bed with no dinner."
- Notes From The Campaign Fringe 10/18/00
During my 11 years as an owner of an independent record label, I've come
across only a small handful of writers who go beyond great writing talent.
Having integrity and the resolution to act upon it is not a choice; it's
in their DNA. James is one of those few. He is militantly honest and passionate,
and he seeks and exposes the truth wherever he can find it. James is among
the best of the good guys.
CAMPION... the name itself brings pimples to my geese! First time I saw
him I thought he was one of the dwarves from the castle, turns out he's
a glorious midget with a knack for the written word. GENIUS... that's
what he is... I've not seen such unrestrained rambling since I spoke at
that Meth convention in Prague. Say what you want about Meth heads...
at least they DO!! And Campion... Do's... yes.... the man is BRILLIANT!!
I love his writing so much I HATE IT! Kaptain Von Karl, my Minister of
Propaganda idolizes the freak! Especially for his infamously twisted plan
to make his Jesus book so big... no one would be inclined to move, let
alone lift and carry it back to a book shelf, thereby forcing the poor
sap who purchased it to create a permanent advertisement for Campion on
their coffee table. The "child" in Campion is strong... the
"imp" and "brat" powerful... He is quite assuredly...
a shaman, a prophet... an Asshole! Long live the Midget Asshole!
The Mighty Chief Wonka
BLAZO!! (Publisher of "Fear No Art")
Colonel Campion has illustrated a consistent objectivity in the dispensing
of ire. No one is sacred, no punches are pulled. One week he'll piss off
the conservatives, the next the liberals, and the next both. But hey,
fair is fair, and if you're going to lift up that rock, you'd better expose
all the slugs.
AQ Managing Ed. 1998-2002
"The manifestation of violence from hatred is delicate. It is nurtured
as much as the trip from love to philanthropy. What happens on a dim Tuesday
just outside of Denver should not be looked at as an aberration as much
as a culmination. We are lucky more children don't take to the streets
with savage vengeance for the abuse, distrust, and pain we substitute
for understanding, and the garbled misinformation we trade for teaching."
- Cyclical Pain: Child Abuse In The 90s 4/21/99
James Campion, a More Handsome Michael Moore?
I first met Mr. Campion when he was shaking his finger at the universe
along with my friend Al Quagliata, they spoke at length with a scathing
vocabulary which seemed to police the very stars into alignment. They
were at a bar and I coerced Al to introduce me to his handsome pontificating
partner. James was friendly for a moment, then asked me what project I
was working on and how I knew Al. I confess I was worried that he might
criticize me along with the corrupt politicians and racist movie stars.
I briefed him on "Putnam," a one-act musical about superstars
(Billie Holiday, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, etc.) staging early deaths to
get out of the fame ring. Quagliata (excellent comic actor/impressionist)
was portraying John Lennon at the time. Lucky for me, James softened to
the concept that a talent agency might just enact a celebrity's demise
if for no other reason than to get the paparazzi off their backs, giving
some validity to the notorious Elvis sightings. Then like a rodeo cowboy,
he immediately jumped back on the journalistic beast, holding on tight
to the beliefs he's been riding now for ten years. I've been a fan ever
since we met and highly recommend Trailing Jesus before the Middle East
Playwright (The Overdevlopment of Scott, Putnam, Portrait of the Artist
as a Dumb Blonde, which is now showing: www.theatresource.org.)
I love James' writing, and not just because he usually speaks highly of
me in it. He displays a sincere, thoughtful touch while still managing
to sound jaded and pissed off at just about everything. His rantings are
the stuff Dennis Miller wishes he had the mental capacity to pull off.
James is the moral compass of Northern New Jersey. Now THAT'S scary.
Singer/Songwriter (...Before I Sold Out, and available 8/28: Sounds Like
"It has never been particularly important for me to have anything
resembling a strong philosophy or belief. Those things are transient,
like standing at a railway station and hoping to get to Detroit by taking
the nonstop to Philadelphia. I want the next train that pulls in to head
in my desired direction, but no matter what I believe, the damn thing
is going to Philly. It's a train all right, but not the one I hope it
- What Is Belief? 8/8/01
"A national election being decided by one state, controlled by partisan
judges and attorney generals presiding over clairvoyant hand counts, where
hired drones spin electronic ballots into lamplight to guess at voter
intent: It is entirely possible that a Zippy the Chimp funzo dance on
a Twister mat would be a more legally binding and fair-minded attempt
at choosing the leader of the free world."
- Surviving The Great "System" Anal Probe 11/29/00
I thank you, James, for your continuous support of my independent message
and your reasoned good will in the face of political hysteria, and most
of all keeping the hope for a progressive agenda alive in this country.
I've tried to give voice to tens of millions of people as the underdog
candidate for Americans who get pushed around and defrauded and harmed
and disrespected and excluded and underpaid and laid off and denied health
care. The American people need to know they can have anything they want,
the problem is they don't seem to want anything at all, or at least it
appears that way on Election Day.
We're all prisoners of an exclusive two-party monopoly with
a barrier called an electoral college and we've got to break out of prison.
We have to liberate our minds, begin voting our conscience, and stop voting
for politicians who go to Washington and month after month vote against
their supporters. They've turned over the U.S. government to an increasingly
smaller number of giant multi-nationals, who've turned Washington into
corporate occupied territory, and have no allegiance to our country or
communities other than to control or abandon them to China or elsewhere
as they see fit.
Keep up the good fight.
Historic consumer advocate, three time independent presidential candidate,
author, and tireless activist
Your piece on my book, "The Trials Of Lenny Bruce" was really
terrific. You've done Lenny and me a great honor. I'm even more grateful
for your enthusiastic endorsement of and efforts on behalf of work. Also,
having perused your book, "Fear No Art", I can honestly say
it is a please to experience the range of emotions expected from the works
of a fine essayist.
Dean's Distinguished Research Scholar & Professor of Law at Seattle
Keep giving them hell, James.
Author, Film Producer, Activist
"The abuse of LSD at the New York Times has reached epidemic proportions.
I happen to know it isn't just at the print level anymore, but management
and editorial staff have now imbibed beyond any definition of recreational
consumption. This is why the Times has never understood George W. Bush.
The president is a cokehead. He has all the tendencies: paranoia, overt
machismo, a painful inability to construct coherent thoughts verbally,
and a penchant to scratch his groin incessantly without shame. Only a
serious speed freak would continue to describe what is happening in Iraq
as progress. And only acid junkies would comment so blindly that there
is some kind of insidious U.S. plan for a bloodless coup in that mess."
- Manifest Destiny Made Easier Through Modern Chemistry 12/29/05
While I've yet to meet the man, James Campion is on a short list of people
I wouldn't mind sharing a bunker with. Bravely holding ground, wisely
weighing when to flank and attack, and keenly aware of his enemies' weak
points, he pens Reality Check, the longest currently-running column The
Aquarian Weekly is proud to publish, based on an entirely unscientific,
dusty once-over of our archives. It's that breed of brazen, unemotional
analysis of the world's organized evil that we hold dear here, and there's
no better soldier than James.
Aquairan Weekly Managing Editor
James Campion keeps amazing me. He is one of the few demented souls our
industry has produced. As fast as I could, I've tried to think of new
and exciting editorial ideas to throw his way and every time I did he
came through with flying colors. I'm proud to call him friend, but I have
warned him more than once if I get one more call in the middle of the
night begging for plane fare to D.C. in order to find kidnapped journalists
I will shoot him.
Magna Publishing Group
Jim Campion is pure gold. There is not an ounce of bullshit in his commentary.
The man is straight up, and what more can you ask from a politically charged,
passionate scribe. His battles are selfless, righteous and to the point.
In recent defense of my plight, Jim Campion went above and beyond the
call of duty in a piece entitled; "Hooligans in the Press Room"
(almost one year ago to the day). The piece was vintage Campion; pure
and seething, as he attacked a pack of clueless piranhas (a new publisher
and managing editor) at the North County News who dismantled the best
weekly sports section in the nation in one fell swoop.
When he worked freelance for me back in the wee '90s covering
the sports beat in Westchester and Putnam County, I looked forward to
Campion's fiery piece each week, just as I looked forward to our weekly
beers at the End Zone Sports Bar in Putnam Valley, NY. The readers of
Reality Check are now prone to his prose, hooked to his interpretation,
and fortunate for his views. A decade of excellence has captured their
eyes and minds... may his venomous spew continue.
NYSPA Award--Winning Editor, Writer & Photographer
(North County News, Bedford Record, Lewisboro Ledger, Putnam Co. News
& Recorder, P'Ville/Mt. Kisco Examiner & the Hastings Enterprise)
"I think if people actually read the Bible, there could be trouble.
But people don't read. They watch television and snowboard and make money
and plot getting laid. And when it comes time to do whatever they feel
like doing or hating or co-opting, they interpret things like the Bible
in their own interesting way. Worse still, they rely on crooked hacks
to do it for them, which gets us all in trouble."
- Gay Bishops & Other Modern Illusions 8/13/03
I have had the most delicious time conspiring with James. He is inspiring,
truthful, audacious, and a TOTAL muse. He's liberated and free and inspires
others to be themselves. UNAFRAID. He mused me into creating a slew of
art for his book, Midnight For Cinderella, which was out of the ordinary
for me and totally rad. I have never had so much fun working with anyone
in my life. Creatively he just says... GO...DO...BE.
I enjoy our conversations. I really do. But I do not use e-mail and I
get all my news from the Nation and Ms. Magazine. I live on a bus most
of the time, and I steer pretty clear of the TV. I can't watch TV. It
depresses me or enrages me. CNN is an impossible place to tap into anything
real since all of the information is completely co-opted and controlled
by corporate forces. I really don't have a mind for the hyper details
of foreign policy, or of what the stupid white men are doing, but I do
have some basic ideas and feelings and impressions. I would make a very
bad columnist like yourself, because if you believe in objectivity, then
your reading of any kind of media is going to be misguided.
But I do enjoy our conversations.
"Just know that authors inspire young writers, but scribes like Thompson,
Twain or Mencken do not inspire, they abduct. Taken hostage, bound and
gagged and beaten mercilessly from the first sentence. It is violent and
disturbing, like all of life's greatest gifts, not unlike an actual birth,
with pain and screaming and blood everywhere."
- Hunter Stockton Thompson 1937-2005 3/2/05
© James Campion September 1st 2007
CELEBRATE REALITY CHECK'S TEN YEARS
(by buying a book)
If not for your loyal readership and support Reality Check would be the
ramblings of a sad and pathetic solitary figure hunched over a desk in
quiet desperation. Instead, that sad and pathetic solitary figure's rants
have bellowed loudly for a decade, infecting a growing worldwide audience.
Your enthusiastic responses, hard-line rebuttals and occasional praise
deserve proper salutation.
This is why we're offering the complete Reality Check experience in two
volumes for one low price! Yippee! They're selling us something. Don't
be so cynical. Buy into our fabricated sincerity. It takes two to tango.
You get both "Midnight For Cinderella" and "Fear
No Art", the first eight years of bone-jarring, nausea-inducing
columns, essays, letters, personal e-mails, and interviews from The Desk
for one low price of $15! You save $20! You might say you'd save $15 by
not purchasing the books at all. True. But then how could you live without
adorning your shelves with subversive, mind-bending goodness to brag to
friends and aggravate the rest. And think of the hours of laughter and
anger all rolled up in two volumes of pure Reality Check.
And that's not all. Each book will be personally signed to you by jc,
not some guy packing the material. And he will inscribe anything you want.
Last but not least, the two books will be whisked your way for free! Free
No sense waiting. Drop everything and hit this link to order: www.jamescampion.com/check_group.html
Soon you will be one of the many who say, "I own the Reality Check
collection, do you?" And they will say, "No." And you will
mock them verily.
And if you already own these two pillars of abusive journalism, don't
be selfish; spread the wealth. Gift giving imbues the soul with blah blah
For more information on "Midnight For Cinderella" please peruse:
So, for everyone here at The Desk, we sincerely thank you for an improbable
decade of Reality Check, for your being there each week at the end of
this process, and for contributing to our quest to annoy as many people
as humanly possible.
Here's to more of the same,
at the Desk
James Campion -10 years On
'As long as he's painting everything dark
you no longer feel so bad about your place in it'.
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