Monday, April 25, 2005

Itches Collective, Technological and Poetic

I HAVE SPENT FORVER trying to publish this post which Blogger digests and excretes in heaps of HTMeffluent. Again and Again. I'm stubborn as a bulldog, but I'm also really fatigued with that nifty feature. You get what you pay for, I guess.

So, onto the reconstructed post.

1) The WSJ had a concise article on how the required updates to LM-2 filings by unions are revealing the level of rank-and-file disloyalty to their political aims as well as abu$e$ within the union hierarchy. Shocked? You wouldn't be if you were a low-income female grocery worker in California a couple of years ago, forced to strike for months in opposition to your own survival while your failed negotiators earned six figures courtesy of dues which already excised too large a chunk from your meager check. Now that the all-intrusive OSHA is the doyenne of workplace safety, exactly which employees' welfare are the unions protecting while they suffocate vast enterprises for the benfits of their grafting honchos? This article's available by subscription, sorry, but if you can read it, it's here:,,SB111438772677015598,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
If the media has the stomach for the story, I predict there are many more outrages to learn.

2) This next WSJ article is a Freebie. It's about the luscious inventions of the Lawrence Livermore Lab. If we'd apply proper risk-assessment, innovations like these, and rapid deployment to our airline security, we could have the safest and least experientially odious air travel in the world.

3) Today, a Columbia University poetry student can graduate without scanning a line, the poetic equivalent of diagramming a sentence for structure. As in my post of April 16th about how classical forms of architecture resonate with our very humanness, David Yezzi touches on that topic within the structures of poetry. Think about how percussion in music that emulates a mother's heartbeat is universally pleasing. Could the meter in poetry be exempt from such effects?

Discussing the death of formalism in The New Criterion, Yezzi writes: It’s as if our culture gave up study of the violin or artists no longer learned to draw (now too often the case).

Well, I could've confirmed for him that in contemporary visual art, "social content" is king, resulting in a repulsive deevolution of aesthetics and technique. He demonstrates this devaluation within poetry in this anecdote (emphasis his, cropping mine): I was serving on a panel of poetry judges, and as the panel proceeded to deliberate, one judge, a university professor and poet, chimed in to say that I and another of our colleagues seemed to be paying a lot of attention to the language in the poems. It was never entirely clear to me what was meant by this statement, but I suspect that the implication was that, in carefully examining a poet’s deployment of words, I had failed to give proper weight to the poet’s biography...

Woe to those transgressing the modern credo: I AM VICTIM, THEREFORE, MY WORK DOESN'T STINK

In current artistic education, practicum is all, but I believe history and form and criticism should occupy a third if not half of the educational hours. If you don't know the rules you're breaking, in your ignorant meanderings, what you vaunt as revelation may be exposed as merely a regression.

Read the whole juicy thing here:

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