Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Friday, March 16, 2007

GLIB is an anagram of BLIG which is almost BLOG

The equation of abstraction with bodilessness with Plato with the academy with dusty dead museumology in my most recent post -- it’s more clever, if it’s that, than true. Motivated by peevishness at Ron Silliman’s polemics -- and the funny thing is, I like polemics in general. But his are so peevish -- and, what’s odd, what’s strange, here’s this guy, interested in the abstract qualities of language, interested in exploring and critiquing language at systemic and abstract and theoretical levels, in his poetry, who on his blog frequently gets elementary grammatical terms and concepts wrong. Well yeah, so what, so what indeed, how pedantic of me. He’s just a guy -- AND, it’s worth mentioning -- more important than a coherent polemicist -- he’s an interesting poet (if, tonally, a monochromatically quiet one, which does derive from the focus on language-as-system rather than language-as-speech -- not that there's anything with quiet in itself -- but still, and so, I do not retract all of my peevishness).

My poetic goal (by which I mean songs, music, blogging, as I don’t write poems per se, at least not in public, at least not much) -- to bring as much as my life into the stuff -- life -- including sentimentality, politics, and abstract or theoretical questions regarding language, ontology, cosmology, whateverology, however shallow my understanding.

Note, however: The depiction of my family life in this blog tends toward the one-sidedly idealized, as I have a hunch that my relatives have not forfeited an interest in a dignified public life just because they happen to be related to a blabbermouth.

And more on the glibness front:

A friendly correspondent took issue with the glibness of my mentioning my shame at my country’s president.

My correspondent wrote:

Greek tragedy maybe not Euripides but give me Sophocles and Aeschylus consists of the dramatic consequences of the psychology of shame.

. . . [I]t is not a complete response to shame to articulate it and regard it as an example-of-meaning.


I also feel shame at Bush's presidency. I can't let it burn me up. I haven't acted on it though, and get depressed when I consider the available range of responses.

I was glib, thinking of the Dixie Chix. Shame? More like, disgust, anger, impotence, frustration. Shame at my impotence. Which means: I suffer from an inflated self-regard. Who am I to feel responsible for the actions of millions of other people? And yet, isn’t that the definition of citizenship? My country, right AND wrong.

The preposterous ugliness of the conceit: Elevating an unaccomplished, inarticulate, incurious, egomaniacal, short-tempered, thoughtless, visionless, foolish foolish man to the presidency; conning enough people and having enough cronies in positions of power to effect a bloodless coup when the circumstances preposterously convene to facilitate it; which president then goes on to murder tens -- or hundreds -- of thousands of people and ruin the country’s fiscal standing while undermining its internal liberties and laws, and by the way making outright acts of war against the (mostly poor, mostly black) citizens of New Orleans, not allowing them to leave and not allowing supplies in after the disastrous flood (that’s called a siege, my friends, and a siege is an act of war); and the Press nods its collective head and mocks his critics (Howard Dean’s yee-haw), and the political opposition is too wrapped up in what Kenneth Rexroth called the Social Lie to tell much truth about the matter.

Shame? Shame?

I shake my powerless fist at the gods.

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