fibitz (fibitz) wrote,


In reference to the fracas anent the poem "The Green Reich," which appeared in the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Star*Line 34.2, THIS IS RIDICULOUS, YOU GUYS. The description of the judge in the poem is deliberately casting its net as wide as possible (ludicrously impossible, really)--specifically, I would think, to avoid being construed as pointing at anyone in particular. It's a silly poem about the not-so-far-fetched concept of a dog facing criminal charges for peeing and pooping--COME ON!

It's especially ironic that the subtext of the poem itself is overreaction, in a zero-tolerance sense. I consider myself far to the left of liberal, but will be the first to admit that the non-Dark Side has its own failings, and can be just as draconian in its zealotry. (QED.) To refuse to read a poet, or a journal, ever again because of an unsupported, reading-between-the-lines interpretation ... make no mistake, this is both close-minded and sick. Save your rage for important issues, for REAL racists, sexists, homophobes, and those who are actively harming humanity, instead of these repeated episodes of delusional fantasies over poetry trivia and calls for elementary-school clique-forming.

I am getting the strong impression that if it were up to some who have commented at and its sequel, publication of Animal Farm would have been blocked (certain individuals would doubtless have seen themselves as mocked, with far more reason), and George Orwell publicly disciplined and prevented from writing ever again. I'm fond of socialism myself (despite sharing Bierce's opinion of it) but I don't see any reason to give it, or any other position, status, or belief protection from satire. All ideologies have their flaws and failings, and deserve to have them pointed out and mocked. Yours, whoever you are, should not be immune.

Certainly poems with flaws and failings deserve to have them pointed out as well, but I am very disappointed at the way any discussion of a poem within the speculative community seems to instantly transform itself into an ad hominem attack on writers or editors, rather than the content of the poem itself. To my mind, there was a far more egregious example of ethnocultural insensitivity and just plain bad writing in a different poem in the last issue of Star*Line, but it would be idiotic of me to attribute these qualities to a deliberate attempt on the poet's part to offend a particular minority group.

Do we want a Star*Line editor whose cautious, safe choices are invariably so bland as to offend no one? Or are some of you hoping to have poets you have targeted as personal enemies permanently blacklisted by a Committee-to-be-formed for Un-Speculative Poetry Activities?

Yes, I'm saying nasty things. However, they are aimed at the unpleasant and unfair manner of discourse that has repeatedly arisen. Unlike some, I do not intend to pick up my marbles and go home. I intend to agitate until these witch-hunts stop happening.

I'm very interested in discussions about poetics and about the quality, content, and even propriety of effect of published poems on the listserv. I am NOT interested in seeing disproportionate and unjustified attacks on poets or editors, or deliberate misinterpretations of work as personal affronts. It's depressing to me that such an egregious set of circumstances is what stimulated me to post in my LJ again.
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