Monday, October 24, 2005
[Yes, darlings, they’re all there: the EZLN, zapatista and Other Campaign translations are tucked into our Library.]
I wanted to let you know, in an attempt to simplify our lives, that we now have a new webpage for the Other Campaign, thanks, as ever, to the nimble fingers and minds of our friends at the Frente.
And once again I’m going to have to beg for the pardon of our non-obsessed readers, but I’m still swimming blissfully in the turgid waters [thinking, perhaps, that if I were to discuss this in the vocabulary of romantica, it might keep some of our other readers engaged] of the plight of the Overlords. If you’ve missed the Comments, penguinrocket has been providing us with a treasure trove of useful and/or wondrous links on this many-splendoured subject.
I found myself seduced this afternoon by wonkette, which I usually reserve for very late on a long Saturday night when I’m down with the Remy. The endless dreamy laterality had me flitting from tidbit to soundbite and back to teensy bit, but still amused. Although I must admit that I believe the wonkettes’ reputation for daring girly-do still rests almost solely on their willingness to use the “p” word rather than, say, “throbbing manliness.”
Or is it supposed to be “manhood”?
But, once I’d had my fill of Hitchen-bashing bonbons and such, I felt that usual frisson of guilt and buried myself back in Primary Sources, a category for which I have abiding fondness. In all arenas. And this fondness has occasionally occasioned the fluttering of lashes and tossing of crockery.
Regarding food, for one pedestrian example. Fusion, to be precise. I remember the day, much too well, when the concept of pan-anything cuisine entered my universe. People who knew absolutely squat about the cuisines they were sampling, or pilfering, or referencing, were “artfully” tossing a hodgepodge of twee ingredients together and then standing back to await the response from the galleries.
Yes, precisely like the “Niger yellow stuff scam”: unmitigated crap.
It should be obvious – anyone who has not learned and practiced the real art of particular parochial cuisines should never be allowed to fuse them, for god’s sake. Not that they require to be fused, or anyone gains anything from their being fused [other than the conglomerates with monopolies on everything from raspberries to cilantro].
The other example actually wends its way back to one of the cornerstones of the Parlour. The reading of words. The number of times I’ve had to plaintively, and rhetorically, enquire: “Have you actually READ that particular communiqué [Declaration, denuncia, carta blanca]?” Let alone, and god forbid, read any of the other historical, philosophical, literary Primary Sources that might have led one to that corner.
And all the usual kneejerk bullshit about the etiology of this, mostly related to changes in media, the educational system and/or the globalization of culture. Television in general, MTV in particular, video games, the web. Permissive schools, idiotic lowest-denominator curricula, bad teachers. The toxic pairing of branding with PC. You know, girls carry their LV knockoff handbags to school whilst studying “gender issues.”
Right, so that’s why no one ever reads Ovid or Hesse or Domingo Faustino Sarmiento or knows how to make a proper daube.
I’ve read two interesting articles very much on the subject lately, both centering, no surprise, on poetry. One, in the Guardian, slamming modern verse as, yes, unmitigated crap and calling for the return of classic verse form [such as triolet, I swear, and sufficient cause unto itself for me to tumble topsy-turvy into love, though I fear he’s already married]. Written by someone who should know - a very well respected gentleman of letters who has sat on one too many poetry prize committees and who has had his fill.
The other, in La Jornada, lamenting that good poetry, and literature, I presume, has become impossible because all necessary references would be unknown by the readership.
Now, of course, every guild has its own tiny subset of icons, unwittingly embracing the irony of their own globalized brands. Every guild, even, or especially, of the left, which, everywhere, whether in Ireland, Italy or Peru, read and reference Landau, Klein, Moore and Petras, with nary a nod to Yeats, Petrarch or Manuel González Prada.
The latter, by the way, being my very first schoolgirl crush, and he has yet to be bested in the arena of smart, fiery polemic. As well as having found time, once upon a time, to pen the odd triolet.