Tuesday, December 28, 2004

'04 pity's sake

At the end of a year where fanatical scum thought cutting people's heads off was once again a way to prove a point (whereas all it proved was that they hadn't made their way out of the Dark Ages yet and isn't it time they did so), and the middle class of the Coalition of the Willing [to proceed with an illegal war] thought that it was okay to re-elect liars and failures in the War on Terror, it is sobering to realise that Nature still outstrips us in the scope of its destruction. In centuries past you would have heard the medicine man or village wisewoman inform us that the gods were angry with our conduct.

the second DIB quiz - now the Touched By The Season quiz:

  1. Accused of salting his people's money away in Swiss accounts, the tabloids dubbed the late Yasser Arafat what nickname?
  2. With the slackers being steamrolled in their choice for Pres by the holy rollers, we've missed a potential headline: Kerry and Sharon in talks. Who is Kerry and who is Sharon?
  3. 2004 was dubbed the 'year of the [what kind of film]:
    a)B movie, b)musical, c)documentary, or d)disaster flick?
  4. What was Ray Charles' real name?
  5. "I coulda been a contender. I coulda been someone..." Who, and in which film?
  6. Who released an album called My Prerogative?

That's not ten questions but I'll never post this otherwise. Let's face it, a year as bad as this from both manmade and natural disasters, is hard to get positive and excited about.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Verse still

As if to prove my point about versifiers being discriminated against; I was happily thumbing through the street press, enjoying all the end of year round-up on what was hot for the year (the guy from Mess Hall for one)when I came across this cracker, from a list of who deserved to be shot ahead of Dimebag Daryl from Pantera (!):

5. Poets.
Anyone who has ever introduced himself or herself as a poet should be shot. Point blank. In the face. On a cold day. There's no joke here.

Well what can I say but a very prosaic "Fuck you arsehole". At least you got the last sentence right.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Versed in the World

He began writing poetry when he was twelve and started boarding away (a BIG move when you live out the back of beyond on a property and rarely see anyone)and then largely switched to writing song lyrics when he migrated from Western Australia to New South Wales some twenty three years later.

Being a poet is a funny vocation because any attempt to talk about what you do, and how you go about it, and you're accused of being pretentious. 'Poet' must be in the same class as auteur, philosopher, 'creative talent': almost as if you have to wait for some academic or newspaper critic (or publisher) to come along and validate your status. It can be frustrating.

You can't make a living out of it so if anyone asks you what you do you end up telling them what crummy job it is you're currently holding down to pay the bills. The fact that you are, and know you are, only about the 1,059,231,577th best gas meter reader in the world and one of the best writers in your field just doesn't come into it.

Current literary theory doesn't help one little bit as it keeps telling you - and anyone else who'll care to listen - that there is no objective standard of excellence. No other trade or discipline has to put up with this shit; imagine if you pulled out that piece of woodwork you did in year 10 and used it to demonstrate your skills as a cabinetmaker or carpenter. Yet 'poets' do it regularly and critics bark their praises. Then Joe Punter, stumbling into pub and not realising it's writers' night gets the impression, after some minutes of this toss, that poetry is shite and goes back to whatever dodgy cover band he was dancing to.