4 July 2003
Somebody blew up Baraka
It couldn't happen to a nicer moonbat.
New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, after coming under fire for a poem which asserted that Jews had advance knowledge of the World Trade Center attacks, had been asked to resign. He refused. In January of this year, the New Jersey Senate considered a bill to abolish the position entirely; it passed 21-0, albeit with 19 abstentions. This week, the Assembly passed that bill on a 69-2 vote, and Governor James McGreevey, one of Baraka's harshest critics, is almost certain to sign it.
I liked the Trenton Times editorial comment:
Somebody blew up the poet laureate's job
Amiri Baraka, as before, remains completely free
To peddle to the gullible his loony history
In characteristic clumsy meter and adolescent rhyme
But no longer in New Jersey's name and on New Jersey's dime.
(Muchas gracias: Timekeeper at Horologium.)
Posted at 11:06 AM to Almost Yogurt
Good riddance to bad poets. And besides - WTF? Why on earth do we use government money to pay for poets, fercryingoutloud?
"Poet Laureate" -- okay, I want to be Georgia's official "Limericker Laureate."
Just as long as nobody Spoonerizes the introduction...
I think a case can be made for some direct payments to poets, using the same logic (or lack thereof) that was once used to justify paying farmers not to grow certain crops.
Speaking as a poet, I'd sure like some money. And the poet laureate tradition has some good ancestors, like Tennyson. Unfortunately, today Tennyson would never, ever be able to get a grant. They'd be all, "Dude, lose the militarism and patriotic fervour, and we'll talk. And what's with the understanding of metre? Metre is for fascists!"
A lot of people seem awfully willing to assume that where there's a dactyl, there's a jackboot.
Still, I figure that most people's free verse is no better than mine, and mine is generally horrid.