baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Is it possible to be a republican and a poet?

Is it possible to be a republican and a poet?

I went to Naropa, a place of inclusion, yet on every panel we had people as left as left goes, but never, not once when I was there, did we have a speaker who said anything in support of the administration. I find this amazing. We are all aware that the Bush team, in 2004, proposed the largest increase in funding for the National endowment for the arts since 1984. Now, who knows what will happen, and from what I hear congress is giving/gave it some problems, but none the less, that (the increase in funding) is a good thing. Right?

I am in no way supporting the administration, just that, well, it is possible for them to do the right (correct. good. etc) thing. Today I received an e-mail from a friend. It was from some very left media. It dealt with the Downing Memo. I read. I enjoyed. I learned. I sent him an e-mail from an equally right wing publication. The response. “yeah yeah yeah, I know all that.” Not sure exactly what this means, but it does not sound positive.

I always want to hear both sides. Not that I learn much from either. often times feel that both are just pushing their agenda. But when I hear people that believe so strongly in one political group or another it makes me wonder. In all seriousness, are there any Republicans out there? Have you ever voted Republican on the state or national level? In general, my ballots are usually filled with independents. However, if McCain ran, I’d vote for him.

And about the media. Do you really believe it is skewed right? If so, do you have any evidence, or is it just your feeling? And if it is just yr feeling, should the claim still be made?

And one more question. I keep hearing how the USA should pull its troops out of Iraq. End the war. Now, I have no problem with the argument that the war should not have been fought. It seems a very valid and just argument. But the war was/is fought. So what now? what happens if the troops are removed? Does Iraq benefit? Is that what the country needs to settle down? My thought is, if the US troops are gone, Iraq has no chance. However, with the US presence, there is still the possibility of an outcome from which the average Iraqi might benefit (and that is who i am most concerned about. Though i am not sure exactly what average means). What do you guys think? Should the troops be withdrawn?


Anonymous Sean MacInnes said...

You see, here I am suddenly inundated with what I don't necessarily (from a personal standpoint) want to call leftist politics, and certainly progressive can be used as well, but suddenly I am in the middle of every politic and I have to find ways to report on them and when I said yeah yeah yeah, I meant I had read all that already, the importance of the web pages I sent you, was simply to show the importance of this issue, the possible consideration, no no, the actuality that people are speaking, and have good cause to speak, of high crime.
and to act!

to reflect on the allocation of funds to the national endowment for the arts, on which I will have to do some personal research, I urge everyone to visit to see where our money has been going.

so, as far as republican poets, we should ask our national poet laureate Ted Kooser what he thinks. we should think about the occasion of the reading with dozens of international poets a year ago scheduled by one of the bush daughters, which was cancelled when it was discovered people would be reading poems speaking out against the war, see or poemsnotfitforthewhitehouse

where is the right to Free Speech there!?
more so, and better stated, and less of a promo, where is the respect for that right, where is the patient and compassionate ear? how does this relate to the idealism of a president whom during his first term refused to speak with the ACLU, where in his second term he is refusing to speak to North Korea, but no no no, it is not a refusal, it's a respect for the job China, Russia, etc. can do. Should China speak to the ACLU for mr bush as well?

Bias? Yes what is it! Who the hell knows! The gov. and private corp. is coming down on PBS, on city rights to provide wireless for its citizens, etc.
Bias! I suddenly think fulcrum. I suddenly think sewing. Unbiased is the accessibility the public have to various opinion so that they may form their own educated opinion. and education is not mediocrity.

then suddenly

-sitting at the bar I overheard the bartender, and two other regulars, me being the third regular overhearing, yes it's all newsweek's fault, how dare they, they should know better. -ah yes, poor old newsweek, what were they thinking, everything was going so well.

in the infamous words of sir dylan hock:
but we digress...

1:49 PM

Anonymous sean said...

this just in, has disappeared!

3:23 PM

Blogger JWG said...

I don’t doubt any of that. But you mentioned that many poets were going to be speaking against the war. Of course these people should have been given the chance to speak (though I do find overtly politically charged poetry less than interesting. That’s just me. I also wonder how appropriate it was to accept an invitation from a man’s daughter only to plan to trash him. Was that the right place to do it?). I wonder though, were any of those poets going to read pro-war (is there such a thing?) poetry? If not, why? Obviously someone out there is happy with what bush is doing. It just seems like a given, least amongst the poetry crowd, that we are sympathetic with the left (progressive). I’ve read about Bush on numerous “poetry” blogs, and have yet to see anything positive about him. Maybe there is not much positive to say. I certainly don’t spend my days thanking my lucky star he is in the white house. I am also not living in the States, so I don’t have to see first hand what is going on. Am not inundated at all hours by fox or MSNBC. Ted Kooser… not much time for his poetry. Don’t know his politics, though I do suspect he may be one of the Republican poets I was wondering about. But I guess I am more interested in my community, in the blog readers, in the up and comers the movers and shakers. Where are the Republicans? Are there any out there? Do you feel like a pariah? Do you feel welcome?

4:04 PM

Anonymous sean said...

yes, tact is important.


4:52 PM

Blogger JWG said...

I appreciate sarcasm as much as the next. Checked out the site. Good stuff.

5:37 PM

Blogger artifact reading series said...

if there are gay republicans then there must be republican poets. (republican gay poets????)

"I also wonder how appropriate it was to accept an invitation from a man’s daughter only to plan to trash him. Was that the right place to do it?" this reminds me of anne waldman being asked to read at west point & reading anti-war, anti-military work the only way anne could--with total bravado. I think she might have scared them...

11:25 PM

Blogger Sean Mac said...

it takes me a while to get here.

i think ted and his gang are the republican poets. silliman's site occasioanlly goes into how conservative verse in our country has devolved into retro-formalism, while in other nations (in Canada and England), there are still feisty and aesthetically lively conservatives with a high level of attention to whatthey are doing.

i don't think reading an anti-war poem is the same as trashing the prez, anymore than breaking up a fight is trashing the fighters, mr. superhero.

and media bias? isnt it a class and status issue? the salries those folks pay in the highly bureaucratic and institutionalized public AND private sector media result in a very bourgeois diet. then the spinmeisters guarrantee some condescending human interest bait, scandal, etc. the bias, i would argue, is, eventually, away from compassion, understading, difference, discussion. it is a formal bias towards nsippets and headlines, an identity news, as fox has it, filled with characters - instantly recognizable - superheroes and supervillains. most left sources i've seen just repeat this back from (surprise) the left. betwen the "safe" economic reality of a suburban news host reporting on the city news (in a place he doesnt even live in) drawn together by a large staff of equally (if not so magnificiently) suburban staff, i mean what the fuck?

its like in gansta rap - by the time they have enough visibility to report on their culture, they have enough money and fame to exit it, to become a reporter - not participant on it. i admire the bittersweetness and fidelity of someone like springsteen for keeping in touch with hs roots, but the dude lives in a mansion somewhere, and his daily experience is definitely getting heavily filterd through a persona lens before it comes out in song.

thats a ramble. maybe i overstate this - but the bias i see is in the unacknowledged gaps, the differences between what news pretends to be and what it is. both left (corproate patronage/control) and right (liberal, blue state college ed bias) point to some of those gaps, but who is willing to admitthem all?

this i would/could call repression.

3:55 PM

Blogger Sean Mac said...

as to the nea grant increases: poetry is not one but several community. if the money goes entirely or largely to conservative artists and groups - projects i am not interested in, then how can i celebrate that?

i am partisian. so is poetry. if its not, its dead, some nice little hobby where we can all chill out and sip tennyson daiquiris and "get away from it all".

fuck that. i'd rather be in it, scrawny and desperate as i may be.

can i get a witness?

3:57 PM


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