Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ka-Boom! Joshua Clover Implodes in a Fury of Theoretical Jargon!

During the 2000 election cycle, I was once accosted by a Republican who, knowing a little about my politics, said to me something along these lines:

"So, I once heard you say that your politics are 'somewhere to the left of Castro.' I assume that you aren't selling out by voting for Al Gore, are you? I'm a conservative," he told me, "but I have respect for people on the left who really follow their ideals and support Ralph Nader."

I told him where he could stuff his "respect."

I later heard he had been saying similar things to others on campus who had been outspoken at one point or another with their political leanings. His intention was obvious: he was trying to elect George Bush by encouraging people with politics to the left of Bill Clinton to "follow their ideals" and not support Al Gore.

Joshua Clover, who judging from his blog knows nothing about either politics or Walter Benjamin, operates from the same playbook. From his blog:

"It is with mounting nausea that we watch poets race to cast their liberal votes for candidates more conservative than the Republicans they found beyond revulsion twenty years ago - and indeed race not just to feed at this trough but serve the slop." He goes on to chastise people for voting, which he likes to do, and equate Nancy Pelosi with Condoleezza Rice.

What a tool.

Clover has been chugging the po mo Kool Aid for so long that his brain has atrophied into a crispy little device that spouts phrases like "the endless circulation of used signs" in refence to political appointees and "open signifying chains" when discussing changes in administration. I'm not kidding. Get a load of this...

"To suggest that the staffing habits of the current administration are postmodern in their open signifying chains, unable to mean much while spastically invoking the hollowed-out quasi-meanings of past years, is only to say that we find ourselves not simply within 'postmodernism,' or 'late capitalism,' but the decline of empire."

You can't make that kind of shit up. In fact, I tried to write some snark in parody of this, but nothing I could produce came out as facile, pretentious, and intellectually bankrupt as that little nugget. With this statement, Clover epitomizes the "New Academicism" I posted about earlier--someone "whose idea of resistance to middle class values is reading Deleuze and turning over in their minds the idea that they are 'nomads.'" I've teased Cole Swenson a fair amount at this web site, including in the post I just mentioned, but Swenson, I'm told, worked her ass off knocking on doors and getting out the vote in 2004. Respect.

Clover goes on to sniff:

"If our disgust seems magnified, it's because we cherish the possibility that poetry allows forms of thought, of consciousness, which might imagine some retort other than celebrating the chance to eat shit as long as it's only the second-worst shit available."

I guess it never occurred to Clover that one can be politically active and still hold poetry to a higher standard than politics.

I don't have a lot of patience for lefties blind enough to believe that Democrats and Republicans really are interchangeable--or theory-addled enough to feel content to watch the "decline of empire" from their academic perch. But I'll give Clover his due. He has produced something I've found amusing. No, not his poetry, silly. I'm talking about this jacket photo from his first book.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So very sexy. Is running for office? Openendedsignifier shirtrepeatedlysignifyingOPenendedsignifiershirtrepeatedlysignifyingrepetend.

4:38 AM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The haze over the one-time cowtown of Davis, CA contains this question: who
is the manliest poet in the UC Davis English Dept? I mean does Joe Wenderoth feed it to Clover or vice versa? Or do they take turns??

9:43 AM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Josh Clover: rock star!

4:44 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Mongoose said...

Joshua Clover!
He's my best friend.

5:46 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous jimby said...

She's my best friend. Joshua too is my best friend.


5:49 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Jorie said...

Hmm...Mongoose and Clever!

They're my best students!

5:52 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous jorie said...

dumb dumb dumb is jimbo.

6:12 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, if we can get back to some actual comments - Nancy Pelosi equates with Condoleeza Rice? That's just too fucking ridiculous to even respond to. Are you sure this guy's a poet? And his pic - post-punk po-mo toolbelt homo-erotica - Robert Mapplethorpe would cream in his fucking jeans - along with the other freshmen grad-students he shows this old pic to.

Fuck, how did this happen? We need a new "Howl".

btw - you're almost out there on your own, Mr. Snark - smarts and snarls, sans the bitter loser syndrome - and you don't post way often enough - long may you snark!

Alex Grant.

8:15 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want my Crispy Little Devices
Breakfast of Decline of Empire Champions Open-Ended Encoder Ring
Blogger Blogger Dot Com Dot Dot
Slash Dot Bot Boom Boom Room Service, with a lime thank you repetend repetend you thank a lime with service

7:40 AM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This web-site is so bogus! I wish Josh would lay some proper snark on your sorry asses over at his (worthwhile) blog Jane Dark's sugar high. Even just taking a look at his blog--without even reading his poetry or film theory!-- it's apparent that this man, in spite of his silly dust jackets (so ok I agree but more on that later), is a thinker! Check it out. Here is the evidence.
First of all, the "masthead" of his website is emblazoned with some righteous graphics,the words of which I can't recall at the moment but is a beautifully Jamesonian critique of late-capitalist culture rendered in the fuckin' anti-corporate zine font of that like labeler gun. You know? It's a gun it looks like a blackhead gun and you can make plastic labels with it? Anyway, they're fucking dirt cheap and you can get them anywhere--and this is how he is serving us our pomo theory--by the people for the people--on plastic--ie, the malleable jettisoned appurtenances of the way-laid empire! Meanwhile, go is it even worth comparing!? snark has a picture of a like aqua colored dong on wheels that must've been made in macpaint! Does Snark even know how to use a computer? And that's the rub dude. If you're going to be a good radical poet, ie--not a soldier stepping in line (check out jane dark for allusion) then you gotta learn how to roll with the post-technological punches--you need to at least be able to manipulate your goddamn fonts! What a joke-- you're still runnning on the Blogger supplied template designed by Gary Davis, a total fucking joker from Stanford's D school. Need I say more? Maybe not. Will I? maybe. If the rest of this post could be imagined to proceed under an erasure, please let your minds do that for me because that's what I want it to be like for you reading it.
Begin imagining you erasure now. Well, I mean, you should've begun at the moment I wrote "Begin". So go back, start over, and begin applying the cross out--that lifejacket I saved from Jack's boat (see "Material Girl") (see "The DominMATRIX")...
getting ahead of myself.

Ok then you go to click on the things Josh has to the left on his site-- not "pithy" garbage criticism of ur-volkspoets (see jane dark's riff on that goofer kooser!) from the 70s but honest to goodness hard thinking je ne sei qua-- To start with, let's look at what is listed for consideration--ie. succour for the militants stoma-- LITERATURE (mind you all these capital letter topics are awesomely rendered LOWER CASE (notice what I just did)) ok so LITERATURE (this is in no particular order) BENJAMIN, ARCHITECTURE, GLITTER, SHIMMER, and other stuff to. Also-- and this is in all caps b/c that is what best helps me to expressess indignation: DON'T YOU KNOW ANY FUCKING FRENCH POETRY SNARK!!!!???????

Because josh really loves giving it to the MATRIX (ie USA) by peppering his thinking with frenchisms-- like je and ne cais pa and other stuff--it remindds me of I don't know what, but it's like Freedom Fries WTF is THAT!? I eat god damned FRENCH FRIES-- but yet again he is obviously being ironic because, as we know YOU CAN'T SPELL MARXIST WITHOUT MATRIX and so why does he sound like a czarist sympathizer trying to look all smart and french? And then you think: WHITE ARMY-- no shit-- army of darkness-- JANE DARK!!!
Which rhymes with poetry snark.
So in secret ie--DARKNESS, he is actually cxommenting--before he even gets SNARKED on POETRY SNARK!!!
I haven't read a single word on all of this web-site that rhymes with either CLOVER or JOSHUA thereby foregoing preemptive strikification b/c of idiocy! CLEARLY!
I notice, in fact, the total lack of words like "over" and "mover" and "mashua" and"tashua"-- EXPLAIN THAT POETRY SNARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And ok, have you seen more recent pictures of clover-- to get back to my earlier "agreement" (continue to imagine erasure--erasure on quotes equals IT IS STILL THERE-- you fucking fools"!!) and so yes, agreement-- deerasured you-- he looks SERIOUS he is looking down at a light which his friend PHOTGRPAHER Sacha green has put beneath him to in some way provide a SIMULACRA of light because A. it is a phot-- it is not light-- (see jane dark-- ceci ne ces pa un light) and there he is, his GLASSES (DE-DARKED-- IE seeing clearly, ie. reading the light of his former daylight setting) are on. Can it make more sense?
I could go on for days but go for days yourself b/c that is the length of time you'll need to enjoy his BLOG you can access it through his UNIVERSITY'S website
WEBSITE and it is UC DAVIS there are more PHOTOS of him there and links LINKS to his AWESOME book on the MATRIX which is AWESOME


7:35 PM, November 16, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

Welcome home, Bill.

8:21 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


check out poet jim behrle's blog for some decent author photo snarking--particularly relevant is his dish on JC's latest author photo-- the one on his new book--where he apes a Benjamin pose-- behrle has the benjamin and clover side by side-- fucking hilarious.
What a douche.
the blog is:

worth the wading

10:47 PM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Lukecubed said...

Is it even snarking, when they make it so easy for you? I mean, it's funny and all that, and if nobody else is doing it somebody has to, but in Clover's case it feels a little like picking on the retarded.

12:21 PM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger R.C. Bald said...

I say, chaps, how striking the absence of those clarion cornerstones that once sounded o'erhead as the nightingale upon dear Keats' oak-branch that fatedul day, yes, yes, friends, I speak of Beauty, of Truth! Such rich designs we've built to cloak them, as if they were leftover scones, let's say, & we wrapped them first in wax paper & then in some aluminum foil & placed them then in a tupperware brand container so that upon first & second & even third perusal, a bystander might still have cause to query, by Job, what have we here of substance, what have we here of taste, what have we that can feed us? Dear me, friends, are run so far amiss that our home is become something ofuscated, rarified, blurred into oblivion? Like a fine double gloucester without herbs this "modern verse." Good grief!

10:02 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger Snark said...

And welcome back to you to Mr. Bald. I was a little worried about you, old chum.

9:08 PM, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that old Josh boy has been denied ten-year at Davis, primarily, I hear because of his own arrogant behavior, I wonder where he'll turn up next? Iowa perhaps? I also hear that he lied about having his second book under contract to get the Davis job in the first place. Here's a sad tool who can't write a poem to save his life and manages his 'career' through a series of 'favors.' I believe he might soon eclipse Mark Levine as the most ungifted, most rewarded, most brown nosing poet around.

4:22 PM, May 28, 2007  

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