Friday, January 31, 2003
So Very Tired: Thanks to the mantra "The personal is political," we have become a terribly uncivil society. I don't usually care about this, since I'm basically a plain-vanilla misanthrope, but I do take issue with what our country's "best" poets (read: chardonnay-sipping hacks with tenure, a radical bent, and a summer house) did to Laura Bush. Here's a quickie wire summary. Here's another one with a typical, huffy-puffy "silencing dissent" quote. The first lady, who, unlike her predecessor, has made it clear that she wants to opt out of the cheesy political "partner" bit, instead focuses on literature and literacy. (Let's get it out of our system: yes, she could begin with her husband.) Anyhoo, Laura schedules a poetry symposium, the poets all start chattering about how they're going to either boycott or show up and read anti-war verse, Laura "postpones." Now the poets bitch that their "voice[s] ha[ve] been silenced"? Give me a day off, for god's sake. Laura announces a tea party; a bunch of ungracious, uncivilized brutes announce their plans to show up and piss in the geraniums. And she gets lashed for calling it off? The arts and letters used to be a home for those with a little class, a little dignity, a little civility (none of which, by the way, have any connection to money or social status). Now all you need is some downtrodden, Mumia-style "friends" (none of whom you'd actually see socially, mind you; since the personal is political, you can think of them as colleagues), a claim of dissent, and a belief that the world owes mindless "artists" like you a living and a megaphone. In other words, it's perpetual adolescence.