Anyone still remember Elizabeth Alexander’s performance at the Obama inaugural?
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Today, in consequence, everything is undistinguished. How can anyone plow through those thousand volumes a year? The good will be buried beneath the ever-rising snowdrifts from the grant- and tenure-seekers. (Academic philosophy is subject to the same adverse forces, I believe. If there is good philosophy coming out of the academy, as is quite possible, we will be hard pressed to discover it.)
THERE IS ONE SOLUTION: Cut off all the subsidies. Let poetry be restored to the marketplace. Maybe 150 poets would survive, as in 1941. No such cuts will happen, of course, if only because there are so many generous-hearted and wealthy people around who cannot imagine that more money for something good in itself (poetry) will not produce more of the good; and may actually stifle it.
Meanwhile the best of luck to Elizabeth Alexander. Her website assures us that she is “one of the most vital poets of her generation,” and, what’s more, “a pivotal figure in American poetry.” So she will not be needing my blessing. Her pivotal performance showed that she moves with great self-assurance in the mainstream of today’s academic poetry. But I wonder how many of her rivals envy her credentials, and the accidents of birth, which conferred upon her this rare distinction.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?