Saturday 156

Excoriator, killing 99 per cent of all known hypocrisies

Filed under: Mind, Poetry, Society — Tags: — zundel @ pm

I always start the weekend FT at the back to read Harry Eyres.

Is there a corner for poetry?” by Harry Eyres in The Financial Times 2009-06-06

“I hate poetry,” said this young man and, to make matters clearer: “I don’t believe in free expression.” For all the rebarbativeness of his remarks, I felt afterwards he was being more helpful and honest than all the bland promoters of poetry, or purveyors of a product called poetry that is not the real thing.

“Poetry, above all, is an approach to the truth of feeling,” says Rukeyser with admirable simplicity.

Poetry is up against it in all sorts of ways. Unlike video games, reality television, amateur dance troupes, it is not a cultural phenomenon that is generally welcomed into people’s lives.

I should read Harry more often. He refreshes me. And he reminds me what I value. I’d like to be him.



Thursday 310

Tortuous prose

Filed under: Obama, Politics — Tags: — zundel @ pm

Obama’s Triumph Is America’s Too” by Elizabeth Wurtzel in The Wall Street Journal 2008-11-06

biracial man who identifies as African-American

Mmm…let’s resuscitate black.

When the winner was declared last night, I was deeply moved by the images of the Luo tribesmen in Kogelo, Kenya, dancing in the streets because one of their descendants is to become leader of the Free World. It would have been similarly appropriate for the CNN cameras to show the thrilled faces at the offices of the Harvard Law Review or in the dormitory lounges at Columbia University, or to look into living rooms in Honolulu or dens in Wichita as folks watched their hometown boy head to triumph.

CNN did not show the many colors of Harvard Law, Columbia, or Honolulu.

I am mystified by what happened instead. All the news networks showed scenes in the streets of Harlem and Compton, on the campus of Spelman College, and in the pews of Ebenezer Baptist Church — all of which have nothing to do with Barack Obama. It seems that his win was mistaken for a black triumph, when actually it was a Democratic and human victory.

The Guardian had images of celebration from all over the world—none white.

Of course, Mr. Obama’s election to the highest office in the nation is a particular party for the African-American community — only a moron would miss that point — but why leave the rest of us out? Anyone still thinking straight after this heady occasion knows that Mr. Obama is to be our next president in spite of race, not because of it.

Obama at Punahou, Honolulu

Obama at Punahou, Honolulu

Saturday 305

Studs Terkel

Filed under: Society — Tags: , — zundel @ pm

So far, the best article about Studs Terkel comes from 2006: “Saint Studs” by David Murray in The Week Behind.

Or I could just turn to my bookshelf. I consider much of his work essential. I have his The Good War on the shelf. I think the US experience of WW2 incomprehensible without it.
We have a moment not to memorialize the man’s mortal character and words, often presented in many past years, but to re-present his profound work.

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