May 31, 2014

Saturday Open Thread: Death and Civility [Y-not]
— Open Blogger

Cable car conductor at aged 14

Single mother at aged 17 who supported herself and her son by working as a waitress and a cook

Grandmother (interesting story about the kidnapping of one of her grandchildren here)

Performing artist who toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess in the '50s

Editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer in Cairo, Egypt

Three-time Grammy Award winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient

All from a person who started out life under extremely difficult circumstances:
She was raped when she was 7 years old, an incident she described in her first book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:"

Described from the child’s viewpoint, it somehow manages to depict something that has rarely been conveyed so well: how the child’s starvation for paternal affection can set up the neediness that makes him/her vulnerable, how wily and then how brutal the rapist can be, and how a sensitive child might react. In Angelou’s case, when her uncles took revenge and murdered the rapist, she felt that her talking about the rape had caused his death, and so she decided to stop talking entirely:

“I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone …”

It took a long time for Angelou to find her voice again—five years of silence. Initially she was sent back to Stamps, Arkansas to live with her grandmother in a more stable environment, and that helped a bit. But it was literature and a wonderful teacher that convinced her to return to the world and its people.

Make sure to go to Neoneocon's blog to read the whole thing.

These are some of the life experiences and achievements of a woman who died this week, Maya Angelou.

I walked several miles up hill in the snow (literally) to attend one of her readings when I was in college in Vermont. The poetry reading she gave inspired me. Not just for her poems, many of which speak about inner strength and optimism in the face of adversity, but also because her delivery was sublime.

My favorite poem of hers is "Phenomenal Woman." Here's a excerpt:

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

(When I was a DJ, I played a lot of blues. This poem should be set to blues music. I love it.)

So to me, I have a fond remembrance of her as a poet. But as with many accomplished people, she was many things to different people.

As with any notable person these days, Ms. Angelou's death has stirred up a lot of strong feelings, even though she died at a ripe old age of what appears to be natural causes. Angelou was the country's Poet Laureate and traveled in powerful circles, including apparently being friends with the Clintons. She also was an activist.

So this week, before her body was cold, people took to Twitter to say their piece about her. Much of it was praise; some of it was criticism. (Most of the latter came from conservatives.) And, apparently, some of it was criticism about the people who were criticizing her or, as Sonny Bunch points out, not praising her enough:

Twitter was especially fun* yesterday following the death of Maya Angelou. For instance, I learned that if you didn’t really, really love Angelou’s work, you are probably a racist. (No, really, that was the super serial argument Joshua Foust was making at one point yesterday.) Meanwhile, a number of people were quite angry that NRO’s Tim Cavanaugh and Jonah Goldberg highlighted Angelou’s support for gun rights and The Simpsons‘ gentle mockery of her, respectively.

He makes some good points, but the best one is this:

As someone who simply doesn’t care for poetry and therefore had little to say about Angelou’s death

Or as our grandmothers taught many of us, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Reading the snark about this accomplished woman on the day of her death, I wish more people followed that rule.


Open thread.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:55 AM | Comments (97)
Post contains 761 words, total size 5 kb.

1 srsly?

Posted by: Dr. Varno at May 31, 2014 06:55 AM (V4CBV)

2 I know the name Maya Angelou and I know she's "important". But I honestly have no idea what poetry she wrote. And I would wager a good sum of worthless American dollars, that 95% of the public couldn't name a single one of her poems either.

Posted by: Mr. Moo Moo at May 31, 2014 06:57 AM (0LHZx)

3 Yo..

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 06:58 AM (dG+q8)

4 >>Posted by: Mr. Moo Moo at May 31, 2014 11:57 AM

That's fine. That does not matter. You don't have to like her or her poetry or her politics.

I simply do not understand the compulsion to shit on someone's memory when they die. On the day they die.

I mean, we're not talking Saddam Hussein here.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 06:59 AM (zDsvJ)

5 I knew who Maya Angelou was. Couldn't quote a syllable. Racist, right?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:00 AM (dG+q8)

6 Sorry, Nancy.

Posted by: nip at May 31, 2014 07:00 AM (jI23+)

7 I thought that the front-page coverage (really, our local Post-Disgrace gave her huge above-the-fold photo) was way overblown for someone very few people have even heard of.

Posted by: --- at May 31, 2014 07:00 AM (MMC8r)

8 She was the invention of the MFM.  If she had been white you would have never heard of her at all.

Posted by: Vic[/i] at May 31, 2014 07:00 AM (T2V/1)

9 I've never read her poetry. I never knew all of that about her life. I just associate her with Bill Clinton (pandering to blacks at his inauguration) and that later in life, she hung out with a lot of Lefty race-baitors.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 31, 2014 07:01 AM (yCMP5)

10 That's fine. That does not matter. You don't have to like her or her poetry or her politics. I simply do not understand the compulsion to shit on someone's memory when they die. On the day they die. I mean, we're not talking Saddam Hussein here. Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 11:59 AM (zDsvJ) ________ I'm not shitting on her memory. I'm simply saying I have no idea what the fuck she did to deserve the non-stop 2-3 day hysteria about her death. And neither do 95% of the people who are tweeting about how sad they are she'd dead.

Posted by: Mr. Moo Moo at May 31, 2014 07:02 AM (0LHZx)

11 Reading the snark about this accomplished woman on the day of her death, I wish more people followed that rule. ___ everyone is "accomplished." Everyone has a story equally compelling. Honestly, I just don't care.

Posted by: tangonine at May 31, 2014 07:05 AM (x3YFz)

12 This thread seems estrogen-heavy.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at May 31, 2014 07:05 AM (V4CBV)

13 And I felt the same way when Princess Diana died. I guess I must hate WASP women.

Posted by: Mr. Moo Moo at May 31, 2014 07:05 AM (0LHZx)

14 If I could borrow that time machine I'd go about an hour into the future and kill this thread, because I don't foresee it going anywhere good. Later taters.

Posted by: S. Muldoon at May 31, 2014 07:05 AM (NeFrd)

15 I'm not saying you shat on her memory, Moo. Others did.

As I've gotten older and have experienced the loss of loved ones, either directly or indirectly, that old advice from my grandmother seems better and better. That's my only point.

I don't follow many liberals on Twitter, so I did not observe the stuff Sonny Bunch was talking about in his column. Obviously, that sort of reaction to people not praising someone enough is silly and wrong.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 07:06 AM (zDsvJ)

16 Posted by: S. Muldoon at May 31, 2014 12:05 PM (NeFrd) Yeah. same. Outies.

Posted by: tangonine at May 31, 2014 07:06 AM (x3YFz)

17 On the other hand, if the thread turns into a moving tapestry of the rich cultural diversity that makes up the melting pot of American life, I'll leave it well enough alone. Y'all can catch up in an hour.

Posted by: S. Muldoon at May 31, 2014 07:07 AM (NeFrd)

18 I did like the poem she did about Butterfingers.

Posted by: Dr. Varno at May 31, 2014 07:08 AM (V4CBV)

19 Single mother at aged 17 who supported herself and her son by working as a waitress and a cook

And like Congresswoman Julia Carson, who had a similar youth, worked very hard to make sure other women in their situation could spend their whole lives sitting around living off the work of you and me instead of getting an education, caring for themselves, and helping other people.

Posted by: HR at May 31, 2014 07:08 AM (hO8IJ)

20 Satire?

Posted by: Marc at May 31, 2014 07:08 AM (+k9zt)

21 When you take on the role of activist, you get the bitter with the sweet. Especially at death. Did you have to be a direct relation of Mary Jo Kopechne to have a grin ear to ear upon hearing of the demise of The Swimmer?
 
Sorry, but it just doesn't work that way.

Posted by: GnuBreed at May 31, 2014 07:08 AM (cHZB7)

22 "I'm simply saying I have no idea what the fuck she did" She lays it out in her autobiographical poem, "What the Fuck I Did."

Posted by: Gabby Johnson at May 31, 2014 07:09 AM (rNCEP)

23 Um......

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:09 AM (dG+q8)

24 The self-congratulation committee was all over my wife's Facebook with properly public lamentations over her death. Then my wife posted this: When I say... "I am a Christian" by Maya Angelou "When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'." I'm whispering "I was lost, Now I'm found and forgiven." When I say... "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide. When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak And need His strength to carry on. When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed And need God to clean my mess. When I say... "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect, My flaws are far too visible But, God believes I am worth it." This got very little response from the usual suspects.

Posted by: --- at May 31, 2014 07:09 AM (MMC8r)

25 She was a public figure. She put herself out there. No one forced her to. And she made a darn good living from it. Standards are different for public figures and slander, even in a court of law Therefore, you are being ridiculous.

Posted by: secretary of state at May 31, 2014 07:09 AM (hL5ax)

26 Thanks, Gabby.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:09 AM (dG+q8)

27 I am indifferent.

Posted by: toby928(C) Lord of the run on sentence at May 31, 2014 07:10 AM (QupBk)

28 This is one of the reasons why I hate weekends.

Posted by: Pug O'Mine at May 31, 2014 07:10 AM (27cle)

29 When you take on the role of activist, you get the bitter with the sweet. Especially at death. I will be effusive at the death of Harry Bellefonte. And probably Danny Glover, too.

Posted by: --- at May 31, 2014 07:10 AM (MMC8r)

30 Though I agree that her Ode to the Man from Nantucket was priceless.

Posted by: toby928(C) Lord of the run on sentence at May 31, 2014 07:11 AM (QupBk)

31 Must say, kinda like that piece, --.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:11 AM (dG+q8)

32 >>This got very little response from the usual suspects Well-played! And I like that poem.

Posted by: Lizzy at May 31, 2014 07:12 AM (yCMP5)

33

Wasn't she some kind of commie, fraud and liar (redundancy alert)?

Posted by: Marc at May 31, 2014 07:12 AM (+k9zt)

34 Maya Angelou sucked.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at May 31, 2014 07:12 AM (ZPrif)

35 I live in her adopted town of Winston-Salem and she's the biggest non-athlete celebrity in town, or was. She drank really good Scotch, that's all I know. Oh, and she once volunteered her yard for a garden party, but it started pouring rain so she sent all the staff, food, booze to the Arts Center that was to benefit from the event and a grand time was had by all.

Posted by: Lincolntf at May 31, 2014 07:13 AM (ZshNr)

36
When you take on the role of activist, you get the bitter with the sweet. Especially at death.
Posted by: GnuBreed




But -- but -- no tag backs!

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at May 31, 2014 07:14 AM (kdS6q)

37 A thread more to your liking above.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 07:16 AM (zDsvJ)

38 When someone we admire dies, the Left goes into full demonization mode. But we are supposed to be uber-respectful when a hard-core lefty dies? The result -- when a conservative dies the media is filled with demonizing condemnation. When a liberal fascist dies the media is filled with glorifying lionization. I'm not into unilateral disarmament. And I don't buy into the argument that we should "be better than they are". Angelou was a political actor who viciously attacked people like me. I refuse to be respectful to people like that.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at May 31, 2014 07:17 AM (ZPrif)

39 Not a huge fan of her poetry, although she really nailed it more often than not. Her surprising honesty in spoken language captured my admiration. Angelou's spoken poetry was with a gentle southern accent and when she was interviewed by poseurs (in my opinion) who donned the ebonics, raps and mush-mouth urban accents she kept her speech clear and simple. Angelou's clarity of speech in the face of degradation of speech is a good memorial.

Posted by: Mustbequantum at May 31, 2014 07:17 AM (MIKMs)

40 So...this is the long awaited weekend flame war thread?

Posted by: That guy that's always looking for a flame war thread at May 31, 2014 07:20 AM (hO9ad)

41 10 I'm simply saying I have no idea what the fuck she did to deserve the non-stop 2-3 day hysteria about her death. Posted by: Mr. Moo Moo at May 31, 2014 12:02 PM (0LHZx) I think it's because she read a poem at Clinton's inauguration. That's it. You know, just like Robert Frost at JFK's inauguration. I had certainly never heard of her before then.

Posted by: rickl at May 31, 2014 07:21 AM (sdi6R)

42 40 So...this is the long awaited weekend flame war thread? Posted by: That guy that's always looking for a flame war thread at May 31, 2014 12:20 PM (hO9ad) Hey, if it gets me out of mowing the lawn...

Posted by: rickl at May 31, 2014 07:22 AM (sdi6R)

43 I'm not an expert on her life by any means. Really not at all. I just enjoyed her poetry back in the day. But from what I can glean, it looks like she did some of the "right" things, in addition to doing many of the "wrong" things. For example, she kept her child. She rose through hard work. Apparently, focusing on her academics as a kid really turned her life around.

I didn't find any evidence that she was on welfare, but perhaps she was at one point.

So to me her legacy is no worse than most peoples'. Whatever her political beliefs, I'm not sure it's fair to say she was the Straw That Broke the Camel's Back in the cultural or political conflicts our country faces. So I can't really hold those against her. She seems to have had less of a damaging affect -- and done more positive things -- than George Soros or even George Clooney.

She was a complicated person.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 07:23 AM (zDsvJ)

44 8 She was the invention of the MFM. If she had been white you would have never heard of her at all. Posted by: Vic at May 31, 2014 12:00 PM (T2V/1) Exactly right.

Posted by: 1sttofight at May 31, 2014 07:28 AM (93Fm4)

45 So to me her legacy is no worse than most peoples'. Whatever her political beliefs, I'm not sure it's fair to say she was the Straw That Broke the Camel's Back in the cultural or political conflicts our country faces. So I can't really hold those against her. She seems to have had less of a damaging affect -- and done more positive things -- than George Soros or even George Clooney. She was a complicated person. Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 12:23 PM (zDsvJ) I see where you're coming from. I've admired people's actions or creations or efforts in various things, but yet still had little regard for their overall character. It's not black and white. Have had people who do excellent things, passionate things, and do them extremely well, yet outside that scope, I found them offputting. Ya gotta kinda be able to adjust your way of thinking to appreciate the good and not hate the bad too much. Shit, we're all imperfect. Well. Except me, of course.

Posted by: tangonine at May 31, 2014 07:29 AM (x3YFz)

46 Likewise I have great friends who take actions that are unacceptable to me. It's just freaking life.

Posted by: tangonine at May 31, 2014 07:30 AM (x3YFz)

47 As far as I know Maya didn't kill anyone or take anyone's food out of their mouth so I'm good with that. She had her opinions, lots of people do. She wrote, apparently, some half-way sorta decent stuff every once in a while. Okay. No reason to shit on her grave while the body's still warm. Flame. On.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:32 AM (dG+q8)

48 >>Posted by: tangonine at May 31, 2014 12:29 PM

Yeah, that's all I'm saying.

As I've gotten older, I've seen the value in being a little less B&W about these things. There's something to be said about dealing in shades of grey.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 07:33 AM (zDsvJ)

49 Society has devolved. Everyone faces the uncertainty and threat of these new conditions. Civility is the main casualty since those who you blame become the threatening Other.I find my actions conforming to these new norms. Get off my lawn!

Posted by: Cryptocon at May 31, 2014 07:36 AM (cgWjy)

50 Totally OT, Bud's Gun Shop is offering a variety of AR platforms for under $700.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:39 AM (dG+q8)

51 It may have been mentioned but Mark Steyn did a nice obituary at Steynonline dot com.
"Heed The Naked Man Who Remembers His Axe"

Posted by: Shannow at May 31, 2014 07:43 AM (SuF6A)

52
Some find Angelou's poetry inspiring. I find it of Hallmark quality. To each his/her own.

To my mind, lauding her doggerel as if she were the second coming of T. S. Eliot or Robert Frost is absurd. But again, YMMV.



Posted by: Brown Line at May 31, 2014 07:43 AM (a5bF3)

53 Thanks for that tip, Shannow.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 07:47 AM (zDsvJ)

54 Prisoner swap...?

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at May 31, 2014 07:48 AM (dG+q8)

55 I Know Why the Cages Bird Sings is a very well-written book and a good read. Angelou was a fine prose stylist. She was NOT a particularly good poet, however. Those who remarked on the contrast between Robert Frost (JFK inauguration) and Angelou (Clinton inauguration,) seeing a dramatic decline in elite taste over the decades, were dead right. I do like some of her poetry though. I also love the BeeGees --- but I don't confuse "Staying Alive" with Mozart's 40th. She was clear. She did not confuse obscurity with profundity. For that I give her high marks. She also was no nihilist. She was humane and down-to-earth. I liked that about her.

Posted by: Margarita DeVille at May 31, 2014 07:51 AM (dfYL9)

56
   No prisoner swap--just go GET him, killing people and breaking things as you go.

   Keeps it simple.

Posted by: irongrampa at May 31, 2014 07:55 AM (SAMxH)

57 >>Posted by: Margarita DeVille at May 31, 2014 12:51 PM

Good points.

The poems of hers I like remind me of songs, which probably speaks to what you're saying in terms of their technical quality.

That said, I love T.S. Eliot, but I've always thought that Frost is largely over-rated... although I do love The Road Less Traveled.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 08:00 AM (zDsvJ)

58 I for one appreciate this post. Was no fan of her poetry but she was an accomplished woman who lived through devastating molestation as a child. As she died at 86, this was done when black women really did lack opportunity in the wider world, and when the rape of children was a shame to be "hushed up." Good job, Y-Not.

Posted by: LadyS at May 31, 2014 08:01 AM (5dip8)

59 Thanks, LadyS.

I think it's easy to forget that a person her age experienced things that a loser like Toure never did (and never will). So I cut her some slack if her politics were wrong-headed.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 08:04 AM (zDsvJ)

60 That's how I see it too, Y-not.

Posted by: LadyS at May 31, 2014 08:08 AM (5dip8)

61 Meh. Mediocre poet. Sort of like the "Trio" of poetry- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNYcviXK4rg Okay, if you're in the right mood but I've never been motivated by what I've heard of her poetry to seek out more. Glad she climbed the ladder to success... Too bad she fully and publicly supported awful people who's awful policies make it harder if not impossible for other children to climb that same ladder. In the scorecard of life I'm pretty sure that outweighs any doggerel she might have composed.

Posted by: naturalfake at May 31, 2014 08:11 AM (KBvAm)

62 It's the sanctimony, not the Angelou. If you could have left out the "I'm superior" part things would read different and get a different reaction.

Posted by: nip at May 31, 2014 08:12 AM (jI23+)

63

A devoutly Christian and very conservative friend posted something I never knew about Angelou the day of her death--a quote discussing her pregnancy, in which she discusses going with a boy at 16 because she thought his interest meant something real, and ending up pregnant.  Then, when people urged her to get it "taken care of", she said no, because she "knew there was someone alive in there".

 

As with the humble poem that got very little response from the usual suspects, as the day went on I did not see the progs responding to (or even acknowledging) her pro-life impulses for her unexpected son.

Posted by: barbarausa at May 31, 2014 08:18 AM (WWeoI)

64 Again I don't have a problem with her being a mediocre poet, I have a problem with the worship and adoration this woman received. She became not just beloved but an icon of total worship and groveling for no good reason. Its like having Chef Boyardee treated as the best 5 star chef on earth. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 31, 2014 08:19 AM (zfY+H)

65 Lot of people have overcome hardship and objectively made the world a better place. I don't include artists or entertainers in that category. To each his own . And the sanctimonious scolding of this post is off putting .

Posted by: Alabaster Jones at May 31, 2014 08:21 AM (tMrG8)

66 Its kind of the John McCain effect. He served in the military and paid a horrific price, he stayed with his men when he could have left. Good for him.
Doesn't make him any less an obnoxious old crank who despises everything I believe in. Your accomplishments in other areas don't make you better in all areas. You can be a wonderful person and a hack poet.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 31, 2014 08:23 AM (zfY+H)

67 I have no idea what her personal life was like (I wish I could say the same about more famous people, frankly), and while I'm not looking to poop on her memory, I must say I'm not a fan of her poetry. It does nothing for me. But then again, my poetical preferences lean towards Shakespeare's sonnets and the works of Ben Jonson, so her style is just not quite my cup-o-tea. And according to the twitter warriors that makes me a racist or something. The Borg comes. Resistance is futile.

Posted by: Mandy P., lurking lurker who lurks at May 31, 2014 08:29 AM (qFpRI)

68 I see the chastising continues unabated.

Posted by: Niedermeyer's Dead Horse at May 31, 2014 08:35 AM (DmNpO)

69 The poem you quote is an excellent example of why "Dr." Angelou's work's rubbish: self-indulgent, turgid prose with random line-breaks to give it a counterfeit semblance of meter. She reminds me of Julie Burchill's description of Stephen Fry: "A stupid person's idea of a clever person."

Posted by: Ponydaemmerung at May 31, 2014 08:40 AM (xdJLO)

70 When I was a DJ, I played a lot of blues. This poem should be set to blues music. I love it. _____________________________________ Valerie Stephens does a version.

Posted by: BuckIV at May 31, 2014 08:45 AM (CLfqv)

71 I don't have a clue why the caged bird sings.

Posted by: Harry Reid at May 31, 2014 08:56 AM (HKyCl)

72 Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size But when I start to tell them, They think I'm telling lies. I say, It's in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I'm a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That's me. Have another jelly donut, fatass.

Posted by: Empire of Jeff at May 31, 2014 09:06 AM (JJ4Ii)

73 64 Again I don't have a problem with her being a mediocre poet, I have a problem with the worship and adoration this woman received. She became not just beloved but an icon of total worship and groveling for no good reason. Its like having Chef Boyardee treated as the best 5 star chef on earth. Ridiculous. Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 31, 2014 01:19 PM (zfY+H) WAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhhhh******** **runs out of the room crying**

Posted by: Chef Boy Ar Dee at May 31, 2014 09:06 AM (HKyCl)

74 Other liberal women wonder where my secret lies. I am not completely stupid. I got a gun.

Posted by: Maya Lou at May 31, 2014 09:10 AM (HKyCl)

75 Three-time Grammy Award winner and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient- But no Nobel Peace Prize???

Posted by: Minuteman at May 31, 2014 09:12 AM (HKyCl)

76 73 WAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhhhh******** **runs out of the room crying** Posted by: Chef Boy Ar Dee at May 31, 2014 02:06 PM (HKyCl) Suck it up, buttercup.

Posted by: Chef Excellence at May 31, 2014 09:23 AM (bHnlE)

77 Ms Angelou has described her style of story telling as "autobiographical fiction" Make of that what you wish

Posted by: The Hobo Wears Prada Pancreatic Cancer Pants In 50 Shades Of Doom at May 31, 2014 09:23 AM (GeVLX)

78 You forgot to include "whorehouse madam at 24"

Posted by: kimoloka at May 31, 2014 09:51 AM (ufO49)

79 I never wrote a poem, but I did learn how to rhyme. If offered Robert Frost, pick Ogden Nash each time.

If Angelou was the best, then Ubama must be too.
But hey, I know better than to peddle that to you.
Because if we are all just pantslessly honest,,,,,,?
That's just a load of poo.

Posted by: Erowmero at May 31, 2014 10:11 AM (go5uR)

80 Maya Angelou once said on NPR that she was glad Nixon was dead. I'm not her. RIP.

Posted by: DefendUSA at May 31, 2014 11:16 AM (nAHMK)

81
Things I learned on the internet today:

Artistic merit is not subjective or relative, but is an unquestionable absolute.  Settled science, if you will.

Supporting Castro in Cuba, Aristide in Haiti, Mumia in jail and Obama in the White House are valid political and moral choices that must be respected and not criticized.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at May 31, 2014 11:23 AM (kdS6q)

82 Nood thread about the VA scandal.

Posted by: Y-not at May 31, 2014 11:55 AM (zDsvJ)

83 Artistic merit is absolute, but personal preference is not. There is such a thing as absolute beauty, just as here is absolute truth and good. Its difficult for us as flawed humans to see sometimes, just like with good and truth. That doesn't mean I can't like lousy stuff, too. (wanders off humming "disco inferno")

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 31, 2014 12:49 PM (zfY+H)

84 81: without question, we must admire the "artiste", no matter how despicable his or her worldviews.

Posted by: ejo at May 31, 2014 01:03 PM (oQvpB)

85 If you think their art is the shits, you don't have to admire the artste at all.

Posted by: Pug O'Mine at May 31, 2014 02:10 PM (27cle)

86 Thought-provoking post, Y-Not. Thank you.

Posted by: Jenny Hates A Lot of Stuff Today at May 31, 2014 02:20 PM (GmTxn)

87
without question, we must admire the "artiste", no matter how despicable his or her worldviews.
Posted by: ejo




Unless you pick the wrong side in WWII.  Then, whoo boy!  So much for the artist's right to their opinion.

Posted by: Ezra Pound -- A Rather Less Fortunate Poet

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at May 31, 2014 02:29 PM (kdS6q)

88 Uh, Pound committed treason. He made propaganda broadcasts on behalf of the Axis while we were at war. He's lucky he didn't get "Ha-Ha'd"

Posted by: Pug O'Mine at May 31, 2014 02:59 PM (27cle)

89
He made propaganda broadcasts on behalf of the Axis while we were at war.
Posted by: Pug O'Mine




Angelou and Cuba.  Paul Robeson and Stalin. Sean Penn and everybody.

Draw the line.



Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at May 31, 2014 03:07 PM (kdS6q)

90 We were at war with Italy, Germany and Japan -- that's the line. I have no love lost for leftards but Pound committed treason which is more than just being a lefty asshole. He escaped prosecution because he was found incompetent.

Posted by: Pug O'Mine at May 31, 2014 03:14 PM (27cle)

91 "She was the invention of the MFM. If she had been white you would have never heard of her at all." Actually, it seems she was in large part the invention of Maya Angelou. So, why does the chained dog bark? That's what I'd like to know. What's his problem?

Posted by: Jerome at May 31, 2014 04:18 PM (O4ysR)

92
We were at war with Italy, Germany and Japan -- that's the line.
Posted by: Pug O'Mine




We were not at war with the Soviet Union for almost a half century?

So much for those Cold War Recognition Certificates.  Tear 'em up boys.  That one doesn't count.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at May 31, 2014 04:31 PM (kdS6q)

93 Here's the nicest tribute to Angelou I've seen so far. I love it that she CHOSE LIFE! http://tinyurl.com/ovw7gco

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at May 31, 2014 04:40 PM (lWUwQ)

94 "Actually, it seems she was in large part the invention of Maya Angelou. "
Yeah its hard to know how seriously to take any of her biography.
"We were not at war with the Soviet Union for almost a half century?"
No. Big difference between cold war and actual war. Just ask people who've fought in a real war and wonder how they compare it to spies and proxy fights. Its the difference between having a shouting match with the spouse and beating them with a baseball bat.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at May 31, 2014 07:32 PM (zfY+H)

95 That's a great link, Kathy from Kansas. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: Y-not at June 01, 2014 04:44 AM (zDsvJ)

96 Thank you, Jenny.

Posted by: Y-not at June 01, 2014 04:45 AM (zDsvJ)

97 I did not know how much she had accomplished in her life. Growing through those trials would skew anyone's outlook upon reality against men and society at hand. I will read some of her earlier works and try not to let my knowledge of her later life's views skew my appreciation of her talent.

Posted by: Mekan at June 01, 2014 05:57 AM (zG16+)

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