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What’s In & What’s Out -2008 (Part I)

By Major Jackson

I love year-ending “What’s In & What’s Out” lists for the upcoming year. They are authoritative, self-generating, biased, and goofy. I thought I’d get a head-start on the pundits. The list kept going, so I’ll post over a few days. I hope you enjoy. With consultation from some friends, here is the start of a provocative list, sure to test the province of good taste, augury, and judgment.
If this is not entertaining, check out the Luther Vandross Estate Auction.

Major Jackson’s
What’s In and What’s Out
For 2008

Dog sweaters
Tell Me You Love Me
American Gangsta
Slouchy Boots
Mary J. Blige
Terrence Howard
Amy Winehouse
Chem-lab cuisine
The Grinch
Bubble Tea Dessert
Trent Lott
Called to Duty
Robert De Niro
Bob Hairstyle
Lounge bars
EPC at SUNY-Buffalo
Bunny Grahams
Ziggy Stardust
Fake intimacy
Celebrity misdemeanors/felonies
Baby doll dresses
Hot tubs
Frank Gehry
New Formalists
Staking Claims
Lawrence Summers
Procedural Art
Cate Blanchett
Ron Silliman’s Blog
Vodka Gimlets
Cesaria Evora
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Gypsy Kings
Dating Tips
Rosie Jetson
Ottava Rima
Jim Behrle cartoons
Light up reindeer
Skin Crème
Reese Witherspoon
Modest Mouse
Bachelor Party
Ordinary Shares
Organ Theft
Martin Luther
Billy Graham
Having your fingers on the pulse of a dead man
George W. Bush
Philosophy for Dummies
SMS M300 cellphone watch
“Love after Love”
Camden, NJ
Hank Aaron
Gertrude Stein
Ice skating
Kobe Bryant
“Hedwig & The Angry Inch”
Selected Poems
Reginald Shepherd’s Blog
Miami Dolphins
Wigs for Dogs
The Wire
The Great Debaters
Flat boots
Upgrade You
Alicia Keys
Terrance Hayes
Corinne Bailey Rae
Fresh pasta, fruit, fish & vegetables
Annie Finch
Honey-dew Dessert
Barack Obama
Peace Centers
Bringing troops home
Robert Hass
Pob Hairstyle
Neighborhood bars
PennSound at Univ. of Pennsylvania
Smart Diners
Jorie Graham
Slavoj Zizek
Long-term celebrity causes/charities
Diane von Furstenberg wrap-around dresses
Space Pools
Frank Bidart
New Athenians
Drew Gilpin Faust
Communal Art
Cate Marvin
Boy briefs
Reginald Shepherd’s Blog
Chocolate Martinis
Virginia Rodrigues
Mahmoud Darwish
Pink Martini
Rime royal
Linh Dinh mini-movies
Inflatable Santa
Skin Caviar
Spencer Reese
The National
Leather-bound Calendar/Planner
Audemars Piguet
Wedding Day
Don Share
Deep, Molten Kisses
Embracing Imperfections
Organ Watch
Martin Buber
T.D. Jakes
Borderline personality disorder
Democratic Presidential candidates
The Simpsons and Philosophy
Hyundai W-100 Watch Phone
“you who never arrived”
Duluth, MN
Barry Bonds
Gjertrud Schnackenberg
Ice kiting
Fire Island
Being totally unrelatable
personal shrines
Lebron James
Collected Poems
Tayari Jones’s Blog
New England Patriots

Comments (32)

  • On December 5, 2007 at 7:12 pm Ange wrote:

    Major, how can Laphroaig be in but WInehouse be out? Surely Keys is the Balvenie here.

  • On December 5, 2007 at 8:04 pm Pipaluk Pearl wrote:

    Good list. Though Major, as a Vermont resident surely you have witnessed junk-food-deprived youngsters SWARM over Bunny Grahams. Face it, both Jorie and those tasty “cookies” are in.

  • On December 5, 2007 at 8:09 pm Steve wrote:

    I refuse to believe that either Gertrude Stein as a whole or Bubble Tea Desserts in general will ever go out of style.
    On the other hand, I love reading lists like this and hate making them myself, so maybe I should just quiet down and enjoy the binary sort.

  • On December 5, 2007 at 8:31 pm lillian wrote:

    slouchy boots are out?!? shit, and i havent even gotten a pair!
    if manhattan and brookyln are out, does this mean queens and bronx get in?
    if you mean shortbus the movie, then ok, thats in. but hedwig has to be out? le sigh.
    and wrap around dresses-yes yes yes!
    but what the hell is a rusticsexual?
    i’m waiting anxiously for your prediction on designer t’s….

  • On December 6, 2007 at 1:39 am behrlle wrote:

    Look, ma! I’m OUT!!

  • On December 6, 2007 at 7:23 am Aseem Kaul wrote:

    Robert Di Nero? I can see it now – the ultimate sociopath – the man snarling at his audience while Rome burns.

  • On December 6, 2007 at 11:09 am J. Gennari wrote:

    You poets have too much time on your hands, too many words on your minds.
    Robert De Niro out? Never!

  • On December 6, 2007 at 11:37 am Aaron Fagan wrote:

    Astoria in Queens is over with. Brooklyn, particularly Williamsburg, has been over with for awhile. Reporting from the Bronx… real estate people have begun to call the boogie down such things as SoBro since Harlem has been, and continues to be, largely erased. I live in Woodlawn, categorically uncool, which might be considered NoBro or WoBro or SoYo being that we are just south of Yonkers.
    As for rusticsexuals … I imagine might be a deeper extension of John Deere tomfoolery. Adirondack or Buffalo plaid being the new black or safety orange or whatever is faux current.

  • On December 6, 2007 at 11:53 am Aaron Fagan wrote:

    I imagine Absinthe will be a topic of some discussion in the coming years:
    It ripped Europe to it knees, why should they get to have all the historical fun!

  • On December 6, 2007 at 12:24 pm Major wrote:

    Winehouse is debatable. Laphroaig is not.
    Keys is debatable, as is most of the list. Laphroaig is not. (smiles)
    I adore that troubled angst-filled petulant souful Brit., but find her surface a little fabricated, familiar and mildly disquieting. No doubt, the girl can sing. For real.

  • On December 6, 2007 at 12:29 pm Major wrote:

    I’ve also seen the EROSION of their teeth, up here in the North Country, and THE ERRANCY of their vegetarian parents. You’re right! Those Bunny Grahams are so IN.
    or said in another way Snow: Bunny:: Graham: Jorie.

  • On December 6, 2007 at 2:56 pm Major wrote:

    You’re vindicated; NYTIMES headline reads:
    Amy Winehouse Draws 6 Grammy Nominations

  • On December 6, 2007 at 4:02 pm Shannon Reilly wrote:

    Is Zizek really just “in” now? Hasn’t he been kind of timeless? I mean at least since his time:)

  • On December 6, 2007 at 4:29 pm Rich Villar wrote:

    I agree with Fagan:
    OUT: Dumbo and Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    IN: Mott Haven, South Boogie (SoBro? Not while I draw breath.)
    And my slight prediction…
    OUT: Brooklyn Heights
    IN: Newark! (Dig that PATH train, y’all.)
    Mr. Jackson, I was with you at the Great Debaters, but I’m officially mad at you for rhyming Finch and Grinch.
    But I needed the laugh. To the end of the semester, onward!

  • On December 6, 2007 at 4:34 pm Seth Abramson wrote:

    Hi Major,
    Thanks for this. It was fun! On my blog I added– IN: DIY & small presses; The Bronx. OUT: Irish Poetry (though I’m sure it’ll come back ’round again), and Fifty Cent.

  • On December 7, 2007 at 5:16 am poetryman69 wrote:

    wigs for dogs.
    Written on the Wind

  • On December 7, 2007 at 11:42 am Alicia (AE) wrote:

    If ghazals are in, and Annie Finch is in, and Gjertrud Schnackenberg is in, can New Formalism be far behind? Watch out, New Athenians!

  • On December 7, 2007 at 11:54 am Major wrote:

    I love my contradictions. Viva La Neo-Athenians!

  • On December 7, 2007 at 11:55 am Major wrote:

    Irish Poetry: Long live Michael Longley

  • On December 7, 2007 at 11:56 am Major wrote:

    Rich “South Boogie” Villar,
    Newark is definitely rolling through, has been for awhile now, if we consider their importance to American Poetry. I hear ya!

  • On December 7, 2007 at 12:00 pm Major wrote:

    You got it! Every rusticsexual should have some Washington State plaid in his closet and eau de cologne that smells like cow manure.

  • On December 7, 2007 at 12:32 pm Simon DeDeo wrote:

    Can we not think of a better way to amuse ourselves than laughing at the joke of treating “high culture” as low? Up next, Morton Feldman and Brittany Spears! I mean, perhaps a hundred years ago this kind of thing would be considered condescending, and the fact that it no longer seems that way is a testament to how we’ve allowed our notion of the artist to be completely levelled.
    Instead of thinking of the artist as somehow beyond the “culture” of Blackberries and high-end “early adopters” — we see her as just another functionary. While Spears is CocaCola, Jorie Graham is seen as that shapely Pomegranite juice marketed towards 20-something PR women.
    The joke here is not that we think poets and poetry should be better than this, but that we ever thought that. Instead of laughing at consumer culture, we are laughing at, mocking poets for being so marginal to it.
    It is kind of sad — poetry with “tired/wired” lists — it sort of feels like a beacon of our failure.

  • On December 7, 2007 at 12:43 pm Jeannine Hall Gailey wrote:

    Au contraire, Major! Robots will always be in! See: Astro-Boy live-action re-make, Robo-Boy poems by Matthea Harvey, and new Futurama episodes with Bender, the loveable robot! Also: solar-powered robots, helper robots, Toyota robots, robot vacuum cleaners.

  • On December 7, 2007 at 1:01 pm Aaron Fagan wrote:

    One could say that these plaids will lay to rest the Burberry plaid.
    Lest we forget Spaceball One–able to break the speed of light and go into plaid, a completely different dimension of light travel.

  • On December 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm Aaron Fagan wrote:

    Poets as beacons of failure is completely in right now!

  • On December 7, 2007 at 10:22 pm Seth Abramson wrote:

    Sorry, typo, I meant “50 Cent”–the rapper. Who, last we heard from him, was bragging about how his tunes were more amenable to being sold as ring-tones in Europe than other rappers!
    Now *that’s* street cred!

  • On December 8, 2007 at 1:01 am D.L. wrote:

    In Out
    Cleveland Manhattan
    Detroit Brooklyn
    Pittsburg Queens
    Austin Bronx
    Bayonne, NJ Staten Island
    texts poetry
    books blogs
    UBU WEB Poetry Foundation
    Rachel Blau DuPlessis Jorie Graham
    post-quietude flarf
    rack of lamb tapas
    jamón serrano prosciutto
    Gertrude Stein’s hat Ezra Pound’s beard
    flat-coated retrievers American Staffordshire Terriers
    effing press Ugly Duckling Presse
    Eric Dolphy Arcade Fire
    Matthew Ship Bad Plus
    Canada France
    anarchism Socialism
    blueberry smoothies vitamin water
    commas periods
    bookshelves celebrities
    Fanny Howe Gjertrud Schnackenberg
    Kevin Davies Robert Hass
    touch-and-feel board books iPods
    Atelos Norton
    Lisa Robertson Anne Carson
    Buck Owens Merle Haggard
    avant-agrarian New York School
    napping poetry readings
    free jazz musicals
    repetition rhyme
    neo-fragmentation New Sentence

  • On December 10, 2007 at 9:58 am Major wrote:

    I get your point, but, um . . . this is so tongue-in-cheek. And if Showtime’s L-word show can appropriate Anne Carson’s Eros the Bittersweet to firm up its sophistication factor, as do many a Hollywood screenwriter over the course of cinematic history, then a little reversal of intentions seems okay. Don’t you think? It’s about tickling the whole funny bone, especially if we have one. Why not?

  • On December 10, 2007 at 12:36 pm Jennifer Bartlett wrote:

    Hey Major,
    You should come hear Andrea Baker and I read to Robin’s tonight. We’re both kind-of in.
    I thought Jorie Graham was out? Where is Duluth, NM? I vote for Las Cruces!

  • On December 10, 2007 at 1:06 pm Simon DeDeo wrote:

    Hey Major —
    I’m quite aware — I say this in the opening line of my comment — that you’re presenting this as humor.
    What really struck me about the piece is how it shows our notion of the poet has changed — how she’s been absorbed into a unit of commercial culture. As I said, back fifty or a hundred years ago, the joke would have been a condescending one — now it seems nastier and self-directed.
    PS: I totally love the L-word. It’s interesting how Anne Carson was used there — in a very “old school” fashion, with Marina playing a kind of tormentor-muse to Jenny, the poet is given a kind of elite and etherial status. The way it’s played is that the poet is an interruption and not, as in a tired/wired list, a continuation of consumption by other means.

  • On December 13, 2007 at 9:45 am Sam Amadon wrote:

    I’m pretty sure the only way the Pats are in anything is with an Asterisk.

  • On December 14, 2007 at 8:54 pm Tony wrote:

    Out: Eugene, Oregon; In: the Old Sincerity

Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 by Major Jackson.