Thursday, December 17, 2009



“Like kids at a touch table, we’re delighted to feel language again, to roll in it, to get our hands dirty. With so much available language, does anyone really need to write more? Instead, let’s just process what exists. Language as matter; language as material. How much did you say that paragraph weighed?

“Our immersive digital environment demands new responses from writers. What does it mean to be a poet in the Internet age? These two movements, Flarf and Conceptual Writing, each formed over the past five years, are direct investigations to that end.

“And as different as they are, they have surprisingly come up with a set of similar solutions. Identity, for one, is up for grabs. Why use your own words when you can express yourself just as well by using someone else’s? And if your identity is not your own, then sincerity must be tossed out as well. Materiality, too, comes to the fore: the quantity of words seems to have more bearing on a poem than what they mean. Disposability, fluidity, and recycling: there’s a sense that these words aren’t meant for forever. Today they’re glued to a page but tomorrow they could re-emerge as a Facebook meme. Fusing the avant-garde impulses of the last century with the technologies of the present, these strategies propose an expanded field for twenty-first-century poetry….”

FLARF will, most likely, be watered down in the future, as opposed to being watered down prior to passage. That's awesome; and remember Clinton did his triangulating when he was faced with a Republican majority. The most important thing he did in 8 years passed without a single R-vote. We don't see any reason to think that HRC would have dicked around with self-defeating BS like talking about 70 votes for stimulus or encouraging Hobo CHANG BA's stupid Gang of Six process. Wow. Whereas HRC is still pre-verbal at 17 months. But isn't the FLARF great?. Mr. Crankypants, it's the best he's got.

He's never read anything that made him think that it was not impossible to get the votes (or to get close); mostly, it's how inadequate such a process would be, and that it would be hard (not impossible) to pass. It's really comical that you believe that HCR passed this way is somehow under greater threat from Rs than HCR passed under reconciliation. Either the PHONIES can destroy it after 2012 (Lady BahBah would presumably veto any such efforts in 2010-1), or they can't; they won't scruple for a nano-second about how it became law.

He's absolutely unwilling to re-ënter debates about who attacked whom more awfully. But it's utterly irrelevant to the question at hand, which is whether HRC would have been a more or less effective grave-vulture than BHO. We used to be willing to entertain the idea that smooth-talking, consensus-building Obama might be able to achieve things that Clinton couldn't. That NOTION should be laid to rest (cue Freddie's still-so-sublime Funeral March...).

[Captain Beefheart at Amougies]

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