THE CLOAK ‘N DAGGER PENTAMETER: a review of Paul Beatty’s THE SELLOUT and a look at several other shitty books and why they’re Hyped

The well of culture has been poisoned with propaganda. It may not be as lethal as a literal well-poisoning but it is as sickening. Culture is now, essentially, the liquid that happens to be flowing through the pipes of The Media. It is no longer grounded in, or determined by, local conditions (via community gatherings, bands, local art movements, word of mouth, samizdat and any other low-budget repositories or propagators of Culture). The Media are global tools of their various powerful owners, obviously, and though these many powerful owners each have agendas of their own, and are probably more often … Continue reading THE CLOAK ‘N DAGGER PENTAMETER: a review of Paul Beatty’s THE SELLOUT and a look at several other shitty books and why they’re Hyped

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ELEVATOR #2: “TALENT” AS A CIVIL RIGHT

Uh oh: there’s somebody who can’t write making the usual rounds as a writer. There are videos of her being interviewed about pressing social matters, there are blurbs from known writers on her books. Her just-published book of essays is a New York Times Bestseller. Ignoring the date on which I write this, I could be talking about any one of a thousand writers from the past twenty years, of course, so I’ll get specific by quoting Wikipedia to the effect that the not-writer writer in question “…holds a doctoral degree in rhetoric and technical communication from┬áMichigan Technological University.“ If … Continue reading THE ELEPHANT IN THE ELEVATOR #2: “TALENT” AS A CIVIL RIGHT

CITIZEN-EDITOR

Quite some time ago, I decided to improve a Billy Collins pome, in order to illustrate the complacency and torpor afflicting the current practice of this degraded craft; or perhaps it was for the fun of it. Not that I’m not also making a serious point about the supreme requirement of word-choice re: pooetree. Billy Collins is beloved for his mediocrity (mediocre in the way of an old man’s favorite slippers); his work’s a treat for people who may or may not be excellent in realms other than those of the reading or writing of pooetree. I was considering making … Continue reading CITIZEN-EDITOR