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Three Proposals

By Thom Donovan

1. Not let this story dry

For the past year I have been periodically watching Glenn Beck. I am fascinated by Beck for many reasons that also repulse me. Beck, like any number of right-wing pundits, codifies ideology via certain reading strategies and codes of rhetoric. A large part of the rhetorical code of the Glenn Beck show stems not just from what Beck says, and the many images and sound tracks which the pundit ‘spins’, but also from his use of gesture—gestures deriving from his training in the theater. Since Reagan we have been living with a series of actor presidents and politicians. Our imploded democracy (an oligarchic and representative form of it) has been shaped by a media machinery which privileges affective composure over reasonable discourse, and noble lies over social justice.

There is so much to be said about what Beck says, and how he says it. About the Beck code, if you will, and of the paranoid and perverse ways that Beck reads everything from Mexican immigrants, to John D. Rockerfeller, to 9/11, to global warming, to the health care bill currently being debated in Washington. Beck’s rhetoric is conspiratorial. In it one discerns someone connecting the dots to suit their own purposes and the purposes of Rupert Murdoch, who continues to broadcast Beck at his own expense (Beck’s advertisers having withdrawn their support of the program). To read Beck would reveal Beck’s political ideology, but also crucial ways that the media is currently mobilized for the noble lies of the rich and invested. One need not watch Beck for long before they realize that Beck’s program, while it claims to be a watchdog for democratic values, is a vehicle for the most traditionalist social values, values which go back to right-wing thinkers the likes of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and post-Goldwater Republicanism. Following William Carlos Williams, Beck also reveals to us the insanity of America’s “pure products.” What would it mean to take-up the insane and hateful affects of Beck, to process them somatically, to create something possibly beautiful out of them? What would it mean not just to recodify Beck’s gestures, making them available for analysis, but to undergo those gestures in order to transmute or expel them? A kind of exorcism or cleansing through sympathetic magic?

“Not let this story dry” (aka “The Dolors of Glenn Beck” or “Instant Tears”), will take up a proposition from Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics: “The more an affect is known to us, then, the more it is in our power, and the less the Mind is acted on by it.” I would like to re-present Beck as a series of affects in order that the Mind (consciousness, cognition) may become less reactive, more prepared for action and reflection. Participants in the performance will be provided with a few basic instructions: the first, to watch Beck videos on YouTube and to memorize three or more of his gestures; the second, to select footage of Beck’s speech and gestures at their most pathetic/histrionic; the third, to practice these gestures and speeches together and separately (as if to separate language-track and image-track) until they feel like the gestures/speech become more of less involuntary, something they can perform without having to think about them, that their muscle memories have assimilated.

I will also like to provide participants with some kind of basic score for performing their gestures with a certain frequency and intensity (like music). Their gestures and speech will be accompanied by projected video of Beck (sans sound), and myself reading selections from Spinoza’s Ethics, Political Treatise, and related texts on affect and politics such as Brian Massumi’s Parables for the Virtual and Sianne Ngai’s Ugly Feelings.

2. The Hole

While at _______, I aim to complete a manuscript-in-progress entitled “The Hole.” One dimension of the manuscript that I would make use of the _______ to extend involves the manuscript’s use of documents and research materials about land use. Specifically, I would like to focus my research around the Frederick Law Olmstead archive, located in Boston. Olmstead designed America’s first urban parks, including Central and Prospect parks in New York City, and he was an inspiration to Robert Smithson and other Land artists of the 60s and 70s. I also intend to write an essay to be included in the manuscript that will think through histories of land use in relation to cultural politics in the later half of the 20th century and early 21st century. This essay, for which I have already gathered extensive notes, will sustain a meditation on two uncanny images. The first is a photo-document of Claes Oldenburg at the site of his 1967 work, “The Hole.” In this photograph, one sees Oldenburg’s ‘sculpture’ amid New York City’s Central Park. Oldenburg stands in “The Hole”—roughly a 7×4 cubic foot excavation intended to resemble a grave—beside a group of adolescent boys. One can’t help but think about “The Hole” in relation to the Vietnam War, no doubt the most significant event of the era—socially, politically, and culturally. By way of the signature Land Art form of the earthwork (sculpture made from dirt and other natural materials), Oldenburg alludes to American imperialist violence. Insofar as it resembles a grave, Oldenburg’s sculpture enacts a perverse memorial for the young men dying in Vietnam, but perhaps also a memorial for sculpture itself insofar as sculpture, as it had been known, was being eclipsed by “performance art” and other emergent art forms born of real social conflicts in the 1960s. By correlating sculpture and the grave, Oldenburg produces a “non-site” (to use Robert Smithson’s terminology) whereby artworks can mediate the artist’s complicity with the imperialist violence their work contests. In the spring of 2007, I was similarly struck by an image of a “nail house” in downtown Chongqing. A “nail house” is a house whose owners refuse to sell their property to developers and offers an emblem for the advance of Neoliberal markets in the Far East, as well as the continuation of land expropriation practices begun by Europeans in the 16th century. Somewhere between the images of Oldenburg’s “The Hole” and Chongqing’s nail house—two images of collective mourning across periods and cultures—The Hole will contribute to an ongoing conversation among artists, poets, scholars, and public intellectuals around the simultaneous erosion of common spaces and democratic institutions, and the ways in which aesthetic practice might potentialize the revitalization of both.

3. Archive for the Future Anterior
with Sreshta Rit Premnath

The tense of the future anterior is one of potentiality. In the face of the present it imagines “what could have been” thereby positing “what still could be.”

We will begin our project by gathering an online video archive in which artists, writers, activists, scientists and colleagues from various disciplines discuss unrealized social and/or personal projects. The video interviews will present futures that never came to pass, but which may still hold the potential to be realized in the present. We hope that by producing an archive of future anteriors we may be able to alter the course of the future, as well as radicalize the way we narrate and remember the past.

Through our collaboration, we also wish to destabilize the simple dichotomies of personal and social, interior and exterior, memory and history by triggering the tense of the future anterior, wherein the stimulation of memory produces action. Likewise, we would like participants to draw upon their somatic experiences as catalysts for potential futures. To what extent can our bodily memory (sensory-motor memories, and also genetic code) germinate possible futures?

We wish to extend an already ubiquitous mode of self-publication, the online video, to include a (self-) reflective form of address. Like Augusto Boal’s “spect-actors” we envision that the contributor’s dual role of spectators and performers will not only encourage a reconsideration of private knowledge, but also suggest this possibility to other spectators – a possible public.

Besides establishing a continuous online archive for the future anterior, we also intend to host an ongoing events series featuring the archive’s contributors. This will include exhibitions in which contributors are invited to produce objects, time-based media, and live performances based on their accounts of the future anterior. We will also host readings and symposia by creative writers engaging the future anterior through fiction, poetry, essay, and hybrid literary forms. Putting artists in dialogue with writers, historians, scientists and other culture workers will be a crucial aspect of this project inasmuch as we believe that in our present epoch fields of knowledge should communicate and synthesize to invent a future we would want.

Comments (46)

  • On February 24, 2010 at 4:07 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    >Beck, like any number of right-wing pundits, codifies ideology via certain reading strategies and codes of rhetoric.

    Funny, that sentence seems a symptom of all those things, too!

    >Our imploded democracy (an oligarchic and representative form of it) has been shaped by a media machinery which privileges affective composure over reasonable discourse, and noble lies over social justice.

    Ahem, yes, let us practice *reasonable discourse*, then… (comrades of Academia)

    >Beck’s rhetoric is conspiratorial. In it one discerns someone connecting the dots to suit their own purposes and the purposes of Rupert Murdoch, who continues to broadcast Beck at his own expense (Beck’s advertisers having withdrawn their support of the program). To read Beck would reveal Beck’s political ideology, but also crucial ways that the media is currently mobilized for the noble lies of the rich and invested.

    Ur, run that by me again about “conspiratorial rhetoric”?

    :~)

  • On February 24, 2010 at 5:59 pm Wendy Babiak wrote:

    I don’t know about all that, but I do know his smug mug above the Nazi uniform on his book cover sure makes me feel uncharacteristically violent.

  • On February 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm Mabool wrote:

    Arc Beck Sarah Joan Barracuda Glenn!

  • On February 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    Sure, but that’s what the proto-fascists want, right?

    What could be more predictable, safe, and self-serving than leftist poets theorizing Fox News?

    Time to start theorizing the Obama Administration, I’d say…

  • On February 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    I’d meant to hit the Reply button under Wendy’s comment, on that last one.

  • On February 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    Poor choice of terms, there:

    Self-congratulatory, not self-serving.

  • On February 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm Wendy Babiak wrote:

    I try not to notice them (Fox News et al) at all (we don’t even have a TV hooked up in the house), but the other day at Staples his book was displayed face-out at the check-out counter…it catches the eye like a pile of dog poop on the sidewalk.

  • On February 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm Matt wrote:

    weird how some liberals (i assume you’re liberal kent) seem to think certain moderate left presidents are more dangerous than certain rightwing fucking psycho assbags.

  • On February 24, 2010 at 9:17 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    Well, we could talk about the Obama/Left issue, certainly, and whether it makes more sense for progressives to focus critical fire on “right wing [followed by your modifiers]” than on the actual Executive Committee of the ruling class” (to quote a phrase), though this probably isn’t the forum.

    Mainly I wanted to apologize for the misplaced facetiousness. Bad day and sour mood, I guess. I’ve been unnecessarily ornery under Thom’s post here.

  • On February 25, 2010 at 1:08 am Vivek N wrote:

    Interesting, Thom! Good stuff. This reminds me of an artist website–perhaps you know it, I can’t remember the name–where a number of different proposals are presented and visitors can “vote” for the one(s) they prefer by pledging a certain amount of funds towards that project. If and when the threshold of funding for a particular project has been reached, then the group collects the funds and acts on it.

    That model would perhaps present all kinds of problems when applied to poetry projects, but it is interesting, and I bring it up partly to raise the importance of funding, and budget transparency in all such initiatives. (I hope that’s not too much deviation from the spirit of your post here–funding is implicit in your idea of the proposal, no?)

    For instance, one of the most moving of “common space” initiatives in India recently is the Samuha artist’s initiative in Bangalore — http://samuha.wikidot.com/start . This is imagined as a research artwork in of itself: a bunch of artists collectively contribute a fixed monthly subscription towards the costs of running a space for a year, in exchange for control of that space for a set number of days in that year. The participants include very established Bangalore based artists as well as very young, and people from all kinds of backgrounds, the latter important given Bangalore’s troubled, split social landscape. The most moving aspect of this for me is that the budget and financial model is made completely transparent/public, with every paisa including salaries posted in the space as well as on the web: http://samuha.wikidot.com/financial-model . I love that!

  • On February 25, 2010 at 11:19 am Thom Donovan wrote:

    I don’t know the site you are talking about Vivek, but thanks for kind words here. I often find myself proposing things, most of which are never followed thru with, so I thot it would be fun to propose some of those here. Only one of them was actually for funding, but I am definitely for transparency whenever possible, especially in an art context where lots of money is at stake. The Beck material I’ve found an interesting teaching tool, contrasted, say, with the parodic strategies of a Colbert/Jon Stewart. But what intersts me more in terms of the project is the idea of assuming affects–processing them as it were. Because I feel like a big problem we have on our hands right now is a bubbling white working/lower-middle class resent coupled with bad politics, and folks like Glenn Beck are obviously channeling this. So what does it mean to channel him otherwise? To, a la Jung, perform a kind of shadow integration via somatic exercise/movement research…
    Thanks, too, Vivek for the links!

  • On February 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm CJ Martin wrote:

    I’m sure I’m taking one for the team here (the Thom team), but honestly, Kent, what’s *more predictable* is your performance in a comments stream (apology notwithstanding).

  • On February 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm Kent Johnson wrote:

    I hope I’m not overly predictable, of course.

    I have my contrarian habits, to be sure, but I do try (not always successfully, I know!) to contribute in productive ways.

  • On February 25, 2010 at 11:22 pm Rodrigo Toscano wrote:

    The guy who crashed that plane into the IRS building in Austin, that’s one of the cultural expressions of the Tea Party Movement (arguing this in most public media forums would brand me – and especially “the poetry community” – as kookdom)

    But this is a definition of “culture” in and of itself, a place where agents & their agencies are answerable mainly to that (self-referential – snake-outcoiled) “culture.”

    *

    Mussolini’s blackshirts were in the main putschist in orientation – fast-filling in a paramilitary vacuum.

    The Nazi’s abandoned putchism in favor of the crooked road towards “legitimacy”, but along the way there were these signals – bonfires – martyrs – manifestos – a crazy quilt work of seemingly disparate reactionary statements.

    Right now, the far right, here (now), they’re creating a paper storm of seemingly disparate manifestoes n’ shit – their very decentralization – is what’s dangerous.

    They’ve openly said they’re looking for their leader – to bind all these loose fascicles into one – well, tube-like politic.

    In mein kampf, Hitler said that the “massification” culture of the SPD – that it laid the necessary groundwork – for the NSDAP. Once that mainly “unified” bloc [think of Obama’s surging rallies – and on-the-ground winning electoral networks] – slowed – gelled – froze – that it provided the rhetorical stone-work – path – from which the NSDAP could advance their whacko weltanschauung.

    The most dangerous little jingle to arise out of November 2007’s election culture – was/is – “we are one”.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:04 am Henry Gould wrote:

    It’s Friday, it’s snowing, & today at Harrit I’m going to play my usual very predictable spoiler self.

    Here’s a thought : at least 90% of the discourse on this blog is not about poetry.

    In my view poetry is something COMPLETELY OTHER than :

    politics
    ethnicity
    gender
    representation
    autobiography
    biography
    history
    government
    academia
    jobs
    money
    gossip
    who you met where
    who you know
    your daily life
    what you ate/drank/saw/did today
    movies
    conceptualism
    performance
    readings
    readings you attended
    conferences
    the self
    the not-self
    experiment
    avant-garde
    tradition
    formalism
    non-formalism
    translation
    the establishment
    the margins
    anarchy
    tyranny
    war
    biology
    neurobiology
    brain science
    current music you like
    technology
    video
    performance art
    hybridity
    the teaching profession
    community organizing
    red state/blue state
    where you came from
    information science
    computers
    new media
    old media
    librarianship
    engineering
    architecture
    whale blubber
    garnishes
    nouveau cuisine
    twenty-somethings
    aging
    the medical industry
    Congress
    treatment of animals
    vegetarianism
    Americanism
    jet lag
    jokes
    humor
    comedy
    water rights
    meltdowns of various kinds
    social conflict
    budgetary woes
    the fate of newspapers
    summer vacation
    college students
    youth culture
    burial customs
    edginess
    cool
    hipness
    drug use
    medical marijuana
    the fiscal crisis of the state
    blogging vs. journalism
    lost wax process
    mugwumps
    moles

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:23 am Matt wrote:

    and that leaves what exactly?

    i’m pretty sure poetry involves potentially everything.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am Don Share wrote:

    Henry, poetry discourse is about, among other things:

    grammar slippage institutions tropes bourgeois hegemony valorization kitsch dominant dynamics manifestos authority conventions othering confessionalism schools Badiou Bourdieu Barthes Deleuze Zizek hybrid authentic essentiality subsumes margins soverignty appropriation normative singular production decoupled delimit polyvalent deixis powerlessness deictic constructiveness proximity interiority exteriority occupying generative dialogical void recursive non-participatory parataxis spectacle discourse arrangement/affinement coterminous diacritical consciousness recourse cleave site exigencies syntaxes absolution domination resistance subjugator subjugated border-jumping rupture transgression topographies frontiers melanges cognition expropriation virtuosic praxis statization pressure saturated homonym privation gaze collective reproduction interests potentializes discrete utterance assemblage dissonance authentic phatic defection commodified common vacuole theorizes neoliberal openness disparity privilege status space canonization re-canonization categorical exclusions legitimated sensibility frame-of-reference borders convergence shifts porous relational paradigm explorative decadence stakes terrain prolepsis contingency positionality solidarity decentered torqued soritical exteriority rupture synonimes endgame and money

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:43 am Henry Gould wrote:

    Is that your final answer?

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:46 am Don Share wrote:

    I can add to the list, if you’re through studying that one!

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:58 am Henry Gould wrote:

    Poetry is something COMPLETELY OTHER than : lists!

  • On February 26, 2010 at 11:08 am Thom Donovan wrote:

    thanks Rodrigo for these very useful reminders of how history is rhyming nowadays. is someone arguing for unification/oneness? somehow I missed it if they were. Obama is a centrist and the whole discourse needs to be steered much much further left to get a non-centrist into power. clearly, leftist culture is not presenting a scary enough option (whereas scary rightist options are proliferating at an alarming rate). MLK used the threat of a bloodbath/race war to his advantage in Letter From a Birmingham Jail. where are the militants when we need them? who can make the Kings of the world look centrist and legitimate his radicality? not oneness but better organizing, more effective synthesis and use of resources….

  • On February 26, 2010 at 11:18 am Don Share wrote:

    Click here. Me, I love list poems…

  • On February 26, 2010 at 11:40 am Kent Johnson wrote:

    Thom Donovan wrote:

    >not oneness but better organizing, more effective synthesis and use of resources….

    OK, good. For example of some of these things in relation to poetry and its potential interventions, one might start with the multifarious work of Rodrigo Toscano!

    On the Obama administration, Left delusions, and the latter’s reflex, misdirected confrontations, this new article by Chris Hedges is pretty interesting. (Not saying I agree with all its quasi-Fourierist conclusions and prescriptions, but Hedges is an important voice in the reignited debate on future courses for the Left).
    https://www.adbusters.org/magazine/88/chris-hedges.html

  • On February 26, 2010 at 11:43 am Kent Johnson wrote:

    Oops, I misposted something to Thom Donovan’s reply to Toscano right above– it’s under Thom’s reply to Vivek Narayanan a bit further up.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am Henry Gould wrote:

    To paraphrase Ecclesiastes : there is never an end to the making of lists.

    Poetry is something completely other than :

    lists
    tropes
    lists of tropes
    references to lists of tropes
    debates about references to lists of tropes

    debates about references to lists of tropes dealing with “The House That Jack Built.”

  • On February 26, 2010 at 12:05 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    But seriously…

    with no offense intended toward anyone, & with complere respect for all participants on the Harriet blog, which, it should be plain to see, I enjoy a great deal –

    the fact is, I sense a logical problem with Eclecticism as the organizing principle of one’s modus operandi. What is this problem? Well, Eclecticism seems to crowd out Poetry itself.

    It will inevitably be argued that in the realm of *Harriet*, a synthesis of topical eclecticism & poetry – of a variety of voices – is the noble aim. & it is both a noble & a practical aim. Yet eclecticism is a powerful force – & it tends, it seems to me, to gain the upper hand : especially when the most exacting contemporary definition of poetry is : “whatever anybody says it is.”. See estimated discourse percentage noted in my post above.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 12:06 pm Mabool wrote:

    Hey,hey,hey!
    Now, now, now…
    Tut, tut, tut.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm Mabool wrote:

    I basically agree with you. I began my rant on Don Share’s blog a couple of months ago, saying approximately the same thing, that you can’t put poetry on the web, especially now that that the web has become television, but you never could, not really.

    Still, life is full of surprises. Sarah Palin has written a poem which does work on the web.

    How’s that
    hopey changey
    thang workin
    out for ya?

  • On February 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm Zac Goodall wrote:

    I’m pretty sure poetry is mugwumps.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm Joshua wrote:

    So you’re saying you want the plant without having to see the soil it grows in?

  • On February 26, 2010 at 6:28 pm Mabool wrote:

    I am just being realistic. The web is basically Hollywood. Television, the movies, the web, all for one money. How many poems have you sold to Hollywood recently?

  • On February 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm Wendy Babiak wrote:

    How is the web Hollywood? Hollywood is exclusive. You’re in or you’re out. Anyone can post on the web. It’s like anti-Hollywood. Plus, you’ve got to be pretty good looking to make it in Hollywood, and here, nobody has to see your face at all. And the web is interactive, whereas the products of Hollywood, or what’s on television, for that matter, are to be consumed passively.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm Mabool wrote:

    Poetry bloggers blog the web for free. I certainly don’t pay. If I had to pay I wouldn’t be here. But there is major capital intensive money behind all this. The business model of the screen, its economics, is much more like Hollywood and show business than it is like book publishing. How much poetry does show business do? Poetry is not economical so show business doesn’t do it. Poetry basically doesn’t belong on the screen. Eventually, blogspot and wordpress and other hosting services will probably tell the poetry guys to take a hike.

    Have you ever been to a poetry reading at a bar? Nobody buys a drink.

    Secondly, the sensory experience, the gestalt, of the screen is all wrong for poetry. The screen goes into the visual cortex and shuts down the higher faculties needed to read Dickinson, cummings, Dylan the Thomas. All those groovy things, inference, hypothesis, and so on, disabled. A piece of paper lets the brain do its thing.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 8:45 pm John Oliver Simon wrote:

    It’s all gone downhill since literacy. Nobody memorizes 40,000 line epics any more.

  • On February 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm Henry Gould wrote:

    Google does. & Google will even fight the likes of CHINA for the right to create screened-in soapboxes where the masses can blow off steam. Information is to Google as Harriet is to the Poetry Foundation. Figure that one out, & get back to me.

    – Sheik Iffucan of Al-Azcan, on the Liminal Peninsula

  • On February 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm Michael Theune wrote:

    My collaborator, Chip Corwin, and I recently tried “to recodify Beck’s gestures, making them available for analysis,” and “to undergo those gestures in order to transmute or expel them.” Our satire did feel a bit like “a kind of exorcism or cleansing,” though the magic created wasn’t *that* successful: Beck IS, after all, still broadcasting. Here’s our send-up of Beck’s 9/12 Project (available at http://www.the912project.com/the-912-2/): The 12/9 Project:

    The 12/9 Project (after Glenn Beck)

    On December 9, 1958, the John Birch Society was founded in the United States.

    12 Principles

    1. Amerika ist güt!
    2. I believe in Shaq, and He is the center of the Suns.
    3. The government is not responsible for scratching my itches—even in the hard-too-reach places.
    4. The road of success leads to the McMansion of wisdom.
    5. No one says shit about his own buttermilk.
    6. Thursday nite is sushi nite!
    7. That which does not kill me is merely aggressive interrogation.
    8. Blood cannot be washed out with blood, but we sure as hell can try.
    9. So wait…Hannah Montana is Miley Cyrus, or what?
    10. Is that my velvet papoose? Or yours?
    11. I think we just had a tea party.
    12. Frodo lost a finger but saved a nation. You must change your life.

    9 Values

    1. Insolvency
    2. Non-non-violence
    3. Dexterity
    4. Corn Syrup
    5. Neo-Mercantilism
    6. Repossession
    7. Numerology
    8. Yahtzee!
    9. Soap

  • On February 27, 2010 at 1:10 am Matt wrote:

    “Have you ever been to a poetry reading at a bar? Nobody buys a drink.”

    um, yes they do.

  • On February 27, 2010 at 11:14 am thom donovan wrote:

    thanks for this Michael, I like the (list?) poem you’ve posted here. re: Beck. I think the way to go abt this proposal wld be to work with some actual performers, and try to get their motions/gestures to a point where Beck is somewhat unrecognizable as source material. this could take a while, I realize. one inspiration for the project is Catherine Sullivan, a visual artist whose work I admire and have written about who uses procedural elements to score movement/dialogue. she addresses the problem of kitsch (which is what I think you may be getting at here a little?) in her writings about her work, saying something like there is a flirtation with kitsch or the specter of kitsch that never quite materializes. how, at once, to transform these materials and allow them to bear on concepts? how to let these materials become something else? always a problem of art (the little I’ve practiced it). I wld argue it is close to the problem of appropriation in poetics too. how not to overdetermine? how to let in/let be/let the work transmute into something one didn’t expect before they started making it…

  • On February 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm Wendy Babiak wrote:

    When I lived in New Orleans I read at the Maple Leaf. They had a 30-year tradition of readings there, which they were able to continue because yes, folks bought drinks. And books & chapbooks, too.

    My sense is that there’s a community built up around a mutual love of poetry that transcends economic factors. The idea that there’s a nefarious behind-the-scenes scheme going on seems pretty laughable.

  • On February 27, 2010 at 11:04 pm Mabool wrote:

    Your community of poets is fine but to meet on the web takes great big money and poetry is not paying its own way. Blogspot probably has Google a hundred million out of pocket. From whom does Google get the payback for this, if as CE Chaffin says, everybody is going to Facebook? Not from poets. Silliman’s blog is already having trouble

  • On February 28, 2010 at 10:43 am Michael Theune wrote:

    Great points, Thom–much to think about here. Cheers!

  • On March 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm Rit Premnath wrote:

    Vivek,

    I think the site you’re talking about is kickstarter.com
    A very interesting initiative quite different from the project grant model. Here the initiators of the project often offers the funder something in exchange for their contribution: a signed copy of a book, credit, perhaps even their money back if the project generates income. Its not that far from the corporate model of buying shares I suppose.

    I think the transparency of Samuha’s model is quite effective as well.

    -Rit

  • On March 1, 2010 at 12:34 pm Jill wrote:

    Do you think your condescension plays right into Beck’s hands? You’re acting exactly like he would expect you to.

  • On March 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm thom donovan wrote:

    not sure I follow you Jill. or to whom you refer here.

    could you elaborate?

  • On March 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm Jill wrote:

    Well, I was more referring to Michael, but I just think this type of thing–your proposal included–doesn’t have any political significance. And it could actually be a detriment to any progress against someone like Beck. Why? Because if someone wanted to imagine a parody of a leftist academic response to Glenn Beck, it would look pretty much like what you guys are doing here.

  • On March 2, 2010 at 8:02 am Mabool wrote:

    1. Worst case scenarios
    2. Unprecedented challenges
    3. Insurmountable obstacles
    4. Ruinous difficulties
    5. Legitimate grievances
    6. Dwindling resources
    7. Deepseated problems
    8. Disastrous consequences
    9. Widespread abuses
    10. Epidemic proportions
    11. Crippling disparitie
    12. Rampant inequalities
    13. Wild gyrations
    14. Sudden reversals
    15. Serious repercussions
    16. Irreconcilable differences
    17. Unreasonable demands
    18. Sweeping generalizations
    19. Kneejerk reactions
    20. Abject apologies
    21. Conflicting signals
    22. Blanket denials
    23. Hidden agendas
    24. Unanswered questions
    25. Sobering reminders
    26. Lengthy explanations
    27. Indefinite delays
    28. Significant inroads
    29. Root causes
    30. Herculean efforts
    31. Tough decisions
    32. Prurient interests
    33. Mixed emotions
    34. Loathsome necessities
    35. Various enormities
    36. Bewildering varieties
    37. Core anxieties
    38. Certain individuals
    39. No uncertain terms

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Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 by Thom Donovan.