Thursday, June 02, 2005

More Lame Snark: The Chronicle's Hit Piece on Foetry

OK, it's not really snark--it's trying to be serious criticism--but it is lame. Two people who I've never heard of have taken it upon themselves to make this pronouncement about Foetry in the Chronicle of Higher Education: "we need to carefully consider how we arrived, as a culture of creative people, at a moment in which a Web site as reprehensible as Foetry would find an audience at all."

Give me a fucking break. Oh, we're such a "culture of creative people," let's feel really superior now as we contemplate how reprehensible Foetry is. Oh that foul beast! I sniff upon Foetry and their recommendation that poetry contests do the same thing we are recommending they do! The careers they've ruined! The sterling reputations they've cast into utter disarray! How will these contest judges survive such ignominy? A pox upon Foetry! The Chronicle of Higher Education hath uttered its decree.

And I thought Foetry took itself too seriously. Foetry is guilty of some things: occasional self-pity and whinyness are two that come to mind. But at least Foetry doesn't ponder a question as stupid as why a site exposing fraudulent contests has gained an audience. Let me give "Casteen the Fourth" (that's his real name!) and Genoways a clue about why Foetry became popular: because cheating people out of their money sucks ass! Asking why Foetry found an audience is either staggeringly naive or snivelingly pompous, depending on whether these two really believe in what they're saying. A far better question than why Foetry is widely read is why officially-sanctioned academic outlets like the Chronicle are only now acknowledging the stench that's been under their noses. Maybe if organizations like A.W.P. and the Chronicle of Higher Education had been doing their jobs in the first place, Foetry wouldn't have gained the audience that so astonishes these two writers.

7 Comments:

Blogger R.C. Bald said...

Here, here, I find the Chronicle a rather boresome bundle of tripe engorged with its own authorial tumidity. I wonder, at what point does writing stories about academic head hunters garner one the right to employ such an egregious air of pomposity? A pox upon the publication indeed!

7:30 AM, June 03, 2005  
Anonymous fabian trunkhatch said...

I like the fact that promptly upon admonishing the goal of foetry.com (to illuminate & mend the practice of fixed contests) as absurd, unverifiable, & ineffectual, the Chronicle turns around & suggests the formation of what amount to contest ethics committees. But it has nothign to do with foetry.com, of course.

9:56 AM, June 03, 2005  
Blogger steve barron said...

We wouldn't expect the Dons of the academic mafioso to be any less hypocritical than than their little blogging footmen have been.

FYI, despite the many false claims to the contrary, there was actually very little whining on Foetry. It was more like a bawdy carnival where we mercilessly parodied and defrocked the poetry status quo.

Good work, Snark.

2:45 PM, June 05, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good people,

Foetry.com, no doubt, unveiled a whole world of academic hanky-panky. But, that's not going to do much to revive an ailing art form (poetry) that was long ago subsumed by prose, popular music and film.

Give up on poetry.... There's no future in it!

Ever and anon.

11:27 AM, June 07, 2005  
Blogger Agent Trochee said...

dear Ignoranonymous,

poetry is not an ailing art form, far from it and if you are measuring it according to market value, then you are speaking of commodity instead of art.

most prose published in the USA is nonfiction, mostly how-to manuals and other bullshit. literary (as opposed to mass-produced) fiction is faring no better under the umbrella you placed in the sand there. the fact is that poetry enjoys more publication in small formats than ever before and sales go up every year despite its fading from newspapers and its absence from best seller lists.

furthermore, an argument may be made that much music possesses a poetic aspect its lyrical content. but to keep with what you set forth, "serious" music is also at odds with pop(ular) music but this is a false claim as well.

ever since the 70s with the blockbuster success of Blind Faith in music and Spielberg's Jaws, Americans of all kinds have taken to judging art in any form by its monetary success. such a faulty busted-ass measuring device as this make suffice if one does not care for exactness but let it be made clear that your claims are inexact and generalist, revealing a preconceived and uninformed point of view. may you come back into the shadow so that the glint of money & lights do not blind the grace of vision you were born with.

1:15 PM, June 07, 2005  
Blogger R.C. Bald said...

Here, here, Trochee, an empassioned & exacting defense! Yes, to anonymous, we must impart the contents not of our accounts & ledgers, friends, nay, but the very surplus of our hearts, yes, those arenas of pride & Beauty tumid with passion! Anonymous, what is dead in you is dead by your own hand.

10:33 AM, June 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I shall wake it up with my jar of vaseline, my blow up doll and my tear-stained copy of "Leaves of Grass."

But, seriously.... Who said anything about money. The audience for poetry is teeny tiny and the only reason that all of those books of verse are published is because of the MFA machine. I regret that I spent a few years of my youth taking modern American poetry seriously at all...although I do still have a place in my heart for the pre-20th century lyric.
80% of what's of value in modern American poetry is the pure snark and hoaxy weirdness of it, which is why this Website hits a chord.

2:30 PM, June 15, 2005  

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