On Friday, New York Times released an article entitled “American Poets, Refusing to Go Gentle, Rage Against the Right.” I think a more apt name for the article is, American Poets, Refusing To Be Mature, Rage Against What’s Right.” The article is all about self-important poets talking about not just how disappointed they are in Trump’s election in 2016, but the self-righteous rage they feel because “guyyys, we’re on the right side of history and you’re not!”
I’m so sick of hearing about the left throwing fits because they didn’t get their way and I’m even more sick of reading articles praising the left for throwing their tantrums. Let’s go back over what happened, for anyone who missed it. 2016 Election took place. Months before the final count, mainstream media outlets were writing, “If Trump loses, his following will become violent.” Just search “Trump loses supports will become” and you’ll get a whole cacophony of articles about how insane Trump supporters are, civil war, unrest, revolution, crying–what not. However, as it turns out, all of those articles were projections. Since Trump won the election in November 2016, the mainstream media has been nothing but a nonstop machine for propaganda and civil unrest and the left has been nothing but violent, childish babies who scream, cry, throw fits of rage, but don’t actually care about the health of the country.
As a writer, I can’t tell you how many groups on Facebook and presses I’ve witnessed calling for people to send in their best “anti-Trump” and “Trunpocalypse” content. Anthologies created, lit magazines devoted, fantasies written out, maybe some in blood just to be more ‘realistic’ to the plight of these poor, poor democrats and the loser queen. Yes, I’m being a dick about it, but just for this line.
The article reads, “Like virtually everything else in the Trump era, poetry has gotten sharply political these days. Writers are responding to this turbulent moment in the country’s history with a tsunami of poems that address issues like immigration, global warming, the Syrian refugee crisis, institutionalized racism, equal rights for transgender people, Islamophobia, and health care.”
What this tells me is that poets, or the artists they’re referring to in general, were never truly paying attention to the world around them or they became so comfortable in power, they don’t remember what it’s like to have someone disagree with them. Everything was political before Trump was in office. Television shows and movies were filled with leftist propaganda. The television series Homeland had given their universe a female president to represent Hillary Clinton well before she was in office in preparations for her election. Rewatching the Muppet Movie, which came out in 2011, Ricky Gervais talks into his phone and says, “President Clinton.” Considering it’s 2011, he obviously is talking to a future President Hillary Clinton. Looking through movies, television, and pop culture, you see everything is political. A rise in gay characters everywhere, diversity forced everywhere that it could be, the continual insertion of racial divides meant to inflame the BLM ideology and/or mimic and repackage arguments happening in the real world.
Where leftists couldn’t win the arguments in real worlds, they would simply rewrite history through entertainment. They’d take a clash that happened in real life, real personalities, etc, and rewrite them into being the bad guy while showing their side as the good victims. This has been happening for decades but has only been accelerated in the last few years to increase the divide between the populations.
As George Orwell said, when the poor and middle people fight amongst themselves, they’re too busy to see the powerful pulling the strings and breaking the laws.
The “Trump Era” is not any more political than it was before, however, the democrats and far leftists are out of the power seat, IE, Obama being in the king chair for the last 8 years kept everyone at bay. There’s literally no debate that the arts industries (comics, books, magazines, television, movies, theater, music, everything) lean insanely to the left. In fact, the liberalism in entertainment is so vicious to other political ideas that Hollywood libertarians and conservatives have to meet in quiet and say nothing about their opinions at all.
What this means is that the leftist artists who overrun all the entertain and art industries remain ‘quiet’ when their guy is in the house. They have no need to write about the president when the president is on their side. They think they’re holy, they think they’re right, and the title of this article, “Raging against the Right” proves they see nothing of value in anyone who has different political opinions. The left isn’t interested in discussion, negotiation, or understanding someone else. They’re interested in having their will done and if their will isn’t completed, you’re the fucking devil.
That’s literally it.
Read that paragraph from the article again:
“Writers are responding to this turbulent moment in the country’s history with a tsunami of poems that address issues like immigration, global warming, the Syrian refugee crisis, institutionalized racism, equal rights for transgender people, Islamophobia, and health care.”
This translates into: “I didn’t get my way, now I’m going to bitch about it until someone listens or I get my way because we kick this guy out and we get one of our players in.”
There’s no interest in discussion. They don’t want to find middle ground on immigration, science, equality, anything. They want to run a dictatorship. Remember when North Carolina had the big deal with the ‘bathroom bill?’ The argument from the left wasn’t, “how can we meet in the middle?” They didn’t try to form any argument at all, but rather, they just screamed they wanted it their way or fuck you. They wanted to financially punish North Carolina and its citizens for simply holding a different opinion on decency.
How about when Trump reversed Obama’s bathroom bill? President Trump didn’t create laws to restrict people. What he did was remove a law that created overreaching power from DC and returned power to the state. What President Trump effectively did was shrink governmental power. Yet leftists went NUTS. They weren’t grateful for control returned to their local laws, but rather, they demand their rules be on the country-wide books to enforce THEIR desires country-wide, and if you aren’t on their train, you deserve to be attacked. That’s what’s happening here.
The left is nothing more than a power-hungry bunch of cry babies who want to dictate personally-decided morality to the rest of the country. Hollywood elites are more than happy to criticize immigration restrictions, but they also don’t end up in neighborhoods with crimes committed by these people and they never will.
I don’t remember any illegal aliens invited to the Golden Globes. But you know what I do remember? Fences and security. If they believe so much in open borders, why were their borders around the Golden Globes?
But I’m getting off-topic here.
The article reads, “The recent resurgence of protest poems reflects a new strain of contemporary American poetry, one that is deeply engaged with public policy and the latest executive orders coming from the White House.”
This statement just further confirms that the left, and specifically poets in this case, are responding, not because Trump is literally Hitler, but because they want their will to be done or they will scream. Things aren’t happening how they want them, so instead of following through with local politicians and legislation, and electing real change, they’d rather not truly get involved with politics, because then, ew, they might have to negotiate with the other guy, and instead, they’d rather scream for their way until someone concedes. They want to dictate their desires, their morals, and their relative existences to the rest of the world and if anyone disagrees, shame, disarm, destroy.
Then the author, Alexandra Alter, claims that poetry has never been this political before… only to claim it has a long tradition of being used for liberal political activism.
She writes, “There’s a long tradition of liberal political activism in American poetry; early examples include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (moderate) and Walt Whitman’s (constitutionalist) antislavery poems. In later decades, American poets used the medium to oppose the Vietnam War and racial oppression. Many wrote raw, mournful poems after Sept. 11 attacks, and pacifist poems protesting the war in Iraq.”
But poems have somehow never been that political… Right, probably because now they’re advocating for a regime change and removal of the US constitution through poetry. I guess if that were the case, I could agree.
Also, I’d just like to point out before moving on, antislavery activism was not liberal. The liberals defended slavery and fought to expand slavery. Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery. The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed in 1865 with 100% Republican support but only 23% Democrat support in congress.
To claim antislavery poetry as your first example of ‘liberal political activism’ is to claim a lie as your first fact. Everything that follows is discredited, and so is your entire argument. Your head is so up the ass of the left, that you can’t even tell the truth because it’d make your ideology look bad. You can’t even tell the truth because your article is called “Rage against the Right” and if you considered the right as the other part of the population with whom you could negotiate, you’d actually have to practice empathy and try to understand them, and probably forfeit some of your goals in order to meet in the middle, and you don’t want that. You want full control to do whatever the hell you want.
Also, to use Whitman as an example, while also doing something it sounds like he’d vehemently disapprove of seems like an odd combination. Whitman is quoted saying, “There’s nothing grander, after all than a well-contested American national election.” He believes in freedom, personal responsibility, and small government. He believed in a good political run, honesty, and hard working people. He agreed with the ideas of the original American founders; I don’t think any of them would be impressed with this shit show the left is putting on post-election.
But going back to your initial claim, to say that poetry has never been this political… maybe you, Ms. Alter, have never paid attention to poetry until this moment. Maybe you’re just so far on the left, you can’t see that when the left is in control the mobs in entertainment and arts are quiet, and when they aren’t, they try to capsize whatever movement is currently dominated at the time because ‘my way or the highway bitch.’
In an interview with poetry Sean O’ Brien, he’s asked, “Your poems have never been afraid to voice political concerns. Is it the poet’s responsibility to write about politics, or is all writing political?” to which O’ Brien replies, “At a certain point, yes, all writing is political, whether the writer is aware of it or not, because it positions itself at a certain angle. It stands, whether it likes it or not, in relation to its time. It’s about how we are governed, how we exert power, or how we have power exerted over us. No, I don’t think anyone has a duty to write political poetry. Some people are inclined that way. I am, but other people, for perfectly good reasons, are not.”
Let me repeat that in case you missed it. All writing is political, whether the writer is aware of it or not.
Do you know what politics is?
Politics can be summed into, “I have an opinion. You have a different opinion.”
For every writer, this comes down to the simple point of view. The way I create a world in a short story will be based off the way I see the world around me. I’ll watch people act. I’ll listen to what people say, and I’ll approach writing with my cynicism in a way that someone who isn’t me couldn’t. The simple portrayal of people, morality, and human interaction will vary from every single person: the way we see the world is different, this making our writing political.
The interview continues with, “What kind of outcome does a poem have in wider political discourse?” to which O’ Brien responds, “Whether poetry has any effect, politically, well, the jury is still out really. Poets are always saying it doesn’t. I believe poetry is its own effect. Poetry is itself, and not for some other purpose. It’s the complete act in itself as a poem. But we also live in contradictions. I would prefer that people were not living in the depths of misery; or to live in a place where the government would not make it difficult for people, who have nothing in the first place. So yes, I will mention that in a poem. Whether or not it will have an effect or not, I very much doubt. But at least it gets said. Politics in English poetry has got a bad name, because people associate it with preaching and propagandizing. There are other media that think it’s their business to do that, rather than the poet’s business. However, poetry might — by being serious about its subject matter, and about its craft — offer some benefit to those who choose to read it.”
Poetry has never been apolitical and it never will be. Perhaps this is the most political its been in Alexandra Alter’s lifetime, but the “Trump Era” is not the first time poetry has been political and certainly not the last. Stop acting like this is some huge revolution when really, it’s a bunch of brats who don’t like following the law and throw a fit when they don’t get their way.
The article reads, “‘This isn’t just confessional poetry, but poetry that’s meant to stir us into action,’ said Jeff Shotts, executive editor at Graywolf Press.”
So you acknowledge you’re writing propaganda? You’re trying to create foot soldiers for your cause by manipulating emotion, rather than articulating an argument? At least you’re being honest in your deception and attempt to overthrow the US government.
Further down in the article, Alter mentions a poem by Danez Smith that was published by BuzzFeed(the piss dossier publishers and fake news extraordinaires), with samples such as, “on the TV/ is the man from TV/ is gonna be president/ he has no words/ & hair beyond simile/ you’re dead, America.”
Poems by this man have, unsurprisingly, been used for BLM protest signs. Danez makes this comment about his poem, “There’s something beautiful about the poem that is needed right now.”
Omg, so insightful of you to praise your own work. I can do that too, but praising your work doesn’t give it more meaning or more value. You’re just stroking your own freaking ego. How do you not see that? Also, I like how America is dead because it’s not doing what you want. If your child disobeyed you, would you claim your child is dead to you? What is wrong with you that if something doesn’t go your way, your immediate reaction is DISENGAGE. I HATE LIFE. I HATE EVERYTHING. FUCK. YOU. (WHITIE).”
As the author claims to be a BLM supporter, I don’t think I’m reaching too far out that there with swearing and hatred towards whites somewhere in there. I’ve yet to meet a BLM supporter who doesn’t hate whites for one reason or another. Usually ‘privilege’ when privilege means not getting into university because you’re too white, not having your merit recognized because you’re white, and being told your existence, by definition, is racist, so kill yourself.
“There seems to be a growing audience for poetry that speaks to the anxieties of our era,” Alter writes.
I think the answer to that is, no. I think it’s actually just leftist mental patients seeking to have their fears and biases affirmed by other insane leftists so they don’t feel quite as mentally unstable. If the gather themselves to circle jerk on the fear together, working each other up into sob fests, they couldn’t all be wrong, could they?
The patients just went mental the second they lost. The article confirms this by reading, “In November, a few days after the election, the Academy of American Poets and the online Publication Brain Pickings organized an ‘emergency’ pop-up poetry reading in Washington Square Park in New York.”
Right. So, they lose, and the first thing they do is fear-monger. This is no different than them screaming in the months before the election that Trump was going to, “Take back all the rights of people who aren’t white men!” It’s not going to happen, but they were so into making themselves scared, to justify their actions, that they didn’t care about the damage they were causing or the unwarranted fear they were instilling. This ‘emergency pop-up poetry reading’ and everything like it is nothing more than a scare tactic to rile up people’s’ emotions and draw them to the left. People can’t think when they’re full of feelings. Fill them with feelings so they don’t question what you say, so when you tell them to attack, they do.
The article continues talking about all the different “Resistance” anthologies that have popped up over the last few months. Major publishing houses are rushing with tissues and money to pick up the next emotion-filled gimmick.
The article reads, “In May, Knopf will publish “Resistance, Rebellion, Life,” a collection of 50 contemporary poems that includes works by Robert Pinksy, Eileen Myles, Kevin Young, and Solmaz Sharif. The volume, which was edited by the poet Amit Majmudar, came together quickly this winter after Mr. Majmudar put out a call for new political poetry. He got around 150 submissions. Some poets responded with work in 15 minutes.
“Mr. Majmudar said he tried to include a range of perspectives. “I was equally open to an anti-globalization poem as I was to a Trumpocalypse Now Poem,” he said in an email, but poets tend to be liberal, and the submissions skewed heavily to the left.
Could you please explain to me how these paragraphs make any sense? He says he’s looking specifically for resistance,’ poetry. I’d like to see the submission request and see that it doesn’t specifically hint at anti-Trump propaganda. With the number of ‘anti/resistance’ submissions out there for no-Trump zones, do you really think anyone is going to think this collection is open to ‘anti-globalist’ ideas? You’re specifically skewing the submissions with your requests, and I’m sure with the way you worded your request. Of course, you’re not going to get other points of view.
This reads to me like Majmudar trying to score ‘open-minded points’ while giving two shits about what his political opponents think.
The final few paragraph of the article mention a couple specific poets, all with ridiculous lines, and ridiculous subjects (of no substance), but the one I’d like to address is Frederick Seidel who wrote, “Now a dictatorship of vicious spineless slimes/ We the people voted in has taken over.”
What dictatorship is he talking about? Trump has, so far, shrunk the governmental overreach of power. You know what they do in dictatorships? Arrest and murder voices of dissent. You know who I see doing that right now? The left, who are in support of ANTIFA, who are going around literally attacking people for their different opinions.
You’ve got leftists in black attacking people with M80s, broken bottles, pepper spray, punches, BIKE LOCKS to the face. During the campaign season we didn’t see Trump supporters assaulting Clinton supporters, but at so many, if not all, Trump rallies, there were protesters, there were ethologies, and at some, there was violence.
And while people at Berkeley are literally fighting for and defending free speech, with their lives (because being hit over the head with a bike lock CAN murder you), while Trump supporters have been assaulted for months, but showing mercy by not responding, while freedom of free speech supporters have done nothing but advocate for your freedom to say what you want and their freedom to say what they want, media and the left have been advocating that “Violence Against Trump Supporters should be tolerated.”
With all this violence against those literally fighting for free speech, I don’t’ see any conversation from all you, “Great American Poets fighting against dictatorships!” Where are you defending free speech? Where are you standing with these people who are completely different in social and political ideology than you, but would want you to continue with your ability to speak? They fight, so you have the right to write poorly of Trump, and yet, you talk about America being dead because stuff’s not going your way.
You are nothing but dictators in nice shoes. You’re nothing but authoritarians with a pinkie in the air, sniffing your own asses for approval. This article, “Refusing to go Gentle, Raging against the Right,” shows that you don’t care about problem-solving, you care only about the annihilation of those you disagree with. You couldn’t come to a middle-of-the-road agreement and you despise anyone who has a different ideology.
If this was soviet Russia, you’d be the soviets executing those who are powerless and different, and you do so while claiming you’re virtuous.
If you’re really interested in defending American and her values, then join the fight with fellow Americans. Stop dividing between left and right. Trump is your president, he’s leading your ship. If he fails, you fail. Stop throwing a tantrum because you lost and thinking that if you scream loud enough, you will win. Daddy is in the seat now, and he doesn’t put up with a screaming child. He puts you in your room, closes the door, and gets to work.
When you start acting like an adult, feel free to join us in respectable society. Until then, I have no respect for you. Your hatred for the subject and lack of desire to understand shows your hatred for individuals by their preferences.
The more you write, the more you demonize, the more you vilify, the more you show yourself as a slave to ideology; you care nothing for the people in your life who think differently.
They aren’t real people, and what good are fake people?
Just kill them.