Monday, January 19, 2009

Pre-Inauguration Assy McGee Award®: Harrogate's Favorite Muckraker Manages to Attack Obama and the Academic Humanities in One Fell Swoop

Brent Bozell's column on Friday made a strident case
that there ought to be controversy over Barack Obama's choice of Yale
African-American Studies professor Elizabeth Alexander, to recite an original poem at his inauguration.

This is a doozy of a read, Situationers. He manages to attack not only Obama and Alexander, but Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou, aspiring poets, English professors and PhD candidates, and of course the far left mainstream media alll in one hysterical rant.

A snippet:

Many remember Maya Angelou in 1993, proclaiming in grandiloquent tones some nonsense about a river, a rock and a tree. It was a flop. If the poem is too opaque, it will suggest to the millions watching on television that poetry is a high-faluting art best saved for gatherings of tenured professors and Ph.D. candidates sipping their lattes.

In today's America, poetry is either high art or lowbrow commerce. It comes either from avant-garde poets, writing only for a snobbish elite and ignored by the broad public; or from commercial sources, assembly-line verses crammed into a Hallmark card, written for the masses and spurned by the tastemakers. In today's culture, the most popular poems are usually song lyrics, from rock anthems to rat-a-tat rap songs about the thug life. They're not the kind of poetry you read on marble platforms for presidents and Supreme Court justices.

What a deserving recipient of the Award. Banality trebeled. Yet another believer in the Before Time. When Men were Men, Women were Women, and Furry Little Creatures from Alpha Centauri were Furry Little Creatures from Alpha Centauri.


The Roof Almighty said...

What exactly does he keep drinking that, at every mention of the female genital, he has a mouthful of something to "spit take"? Pea soup? Hot ham water? What ever the opposite of a latte is?

When I look for commentary on the state of the arts, I like Bozell, go straight to Investor's Business Daily. Sometimes, their critical eye on mainstream poetry for the people is so apt, I spray pea soup all over.

They, like I, like Bozell, know that if it ever mentions the crotches of slaves, all you can do is open your mouth wide and let the hot pea soup roll run down your chin and drip, like hot candle wax down your tie to puddle on your lap.

How dare slaves have had pudendas? That makes Bozell want to drink pickle water and spit it back out.

Amy Reads said...

Oh for Heaven's sake.
It seems that anyone is in a tizzy when
1) poetry speaks too plainly about reality such as the exploitation of an entire race and an entire gender of people,
2) poetry speaks too obliquely about reality such as the exploitation of an entire race and an entire gender of people.

Perhaps, then, it is best that we leave the poetry to the poets, no?
It is indeed no wonder that she won an NEH. I know that my interest in Elizabeth Alexander is peaked thanks to the beautiful and moving poem she shared with us on this momentous occasion, reminding us of America's sometimes bloody, sometimes painful, sometimes exclusive past, as we look forward to the next chapter in our nation. As we remember the past to avoid repeating it in the future.
But what do I know? I'm a PhD that sips lattes while reading avant-garde art...
Amy (Dr. Reads)