Monday, January 02, 2006

Attention ad nauseum

Just been travelling around the blog world, listening to some of the bunk. One guy posts a response to someone else's manifesto on poet bloggers, and then the Commenters start in, and on and on it goes, knitting this wide world into the smallest of cliches.

So this "manifesto" which belittles MFA programs and MFA poets and poet bloggers, what is it? It's really nothing more than someone's BS getting spread around like diarrhea. It's not about anything terribly valuable. Just as this post is not the least bit valuable. I could just as well be scribbling in a journal that I hide under my bed. Who is the author of the "manifesto"? Anyone with any depth of experience with MFA programs? with MFA grads and their poetic output? Nah, I'm betting this guy got a sharp critique in some workshop and is devoting his energy to wholesale revenge of the muckraking kind.

But this is the intenet and hyperlinks exist and the fact that there is an audience suddenly creates authority where before it was nothing more than subjective crapola. It's all about is ATTENTION. It's this look-at-me kind of immaturity. I can string together big words with some minimal coherence, and I can spew out specious opinion, and I can belittle someone "important" and I have a corp of admirers - now ain't I something?

bunk bunk and more bunk.


nolapoet said...

Well said. Sounds like so much open-mic bloggerywoggery based on a knowledge vacuum. This sort of stuff is spread by people who would rather hang onto their cherished preconceptions than actually READ something (gasp) different from the (gasp) LIBRARY or (heaven forfend!) someone who actually has read and studied more. Yes, quite openminded, indeed.

We all know there is quite a lot of bullshit in MFA program-land. Most of it has more to do with ancillary drama than with the substance of works under discussion, however.

Do visual artists engage in similar handwringing about their MFA programs, I wonder?

BTW, my link screams out for an update. (When I took down the original nolapoet, some weirdo hijacked the name with one antiabortion declaration, then never returned.)

The new litblog is called "Every Poet Needs A Patio," but the stupid graphic still reads "Travelogue of a Blogger"or somesuch. Having problems with my Photoshop. URL is . And I need to add you and a bunch of others, as you'll see. Please drop by. I love The Red Hibiscus!


nolapoet said...

And I have no idea why I can't type. That first paragraph makes NO sense at all.

I mean:

-People who think devoting time to studying poetry writing at the graduate level is either beneath their vast starpower or will kill their Muse;

--People who don't read poetry other than their friends', and certainly not anyone vaguely canonical;

--People who can't take criticism of their own work and who supplant vast quantities of ego-flatulence for time in the woodshed reading great works across time, space, and languages.

--People who mistake publishing for stardom.

--People who are too young to know that everything old is new again, even in the poetry world, and keep reinventing the avant garde.


Ann said...

Robin, Thanks for stopping by. I pretty much understand your first comment. I think it (the MFA trashing) comes down to having the opportunity and the means to express oneself without having much of anything to say. It can be good practice in general but when it's got a maliciousness to it, then why do it?