Friday, April 20, 2012

NEWS CLIPS AND EGO TRIPS: not a review but an observation.

I will keep my promise not to write a specific review of the G. Murray Thomas/Derrick Brown NEXT magazine compilation NEWS CLIPS AND EGO TRIPS.

But, here's an observation from reading some of its content:
There are articles/letters from several LA/OC community veterans in the book.  And I've either irritated or created extreme fits of pique in some of those vets; some of that has come from questioning the way things get done/people get rewarded in the community, while other times I've been scourged for talking to Poetry Royalty as if they were mere mortals who need to be looked at eye-to-eye instead of from a bowing-peasant perspective. 

It's definitely worth it to be more enlightened as to past history and to know that a lot of today's poetry community issues existed in a seems-like-long-ago time when the Internet was relatively primitive and readings were abundant.

And, unfortunately, it's clear from diving into the book that a lot of the "if we don't like you and/or what you write, we'll smash into you like an atomic-powered ram" ethos of certain community vets was also ever-present fifteen-to-eighteen years ago.  After all, they see themselves as fighting (and also working) hard to get their eminence in the community--and they see it as normal to take up the shield and the sword to beat back professional challenges and notions of dissent from damn-fool younger people who must be made to know that so-and-so is THEE greatest host/poet in the city, etc..

As Woody Allen said in a different context (about mainstream Show Business) in CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, "It's more than dog eat dog.  It's dog doesn't return other dog's phone calls."

Nothing further to add--except to recommend that SoCal poets buy a copy, read the book and form their own opinion(s).

No comments:

Post a Comment