Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dark Rebel Sparks

        Circling for an hour
after earlier approach
        with no live fire sprayed,

        with faith and guidance
always communicating,
        constantly hoping,

        rebel leaders swirled
over Westminster, poised for
        expected revolt.

--Andrew Bailey

Stricken Japanese jet lands safely
Monty: We are dark horses
Blair faces Trident revolt as minister quits

1 comment:

Lance Newman said...

Email exchange:

Andrew: I found myself a bit disturbed recently using text about a racist beating to make a funny poem; I think doing this is more to do with the tired tropes of the newspapers being re-examined than a reflection on the story underneath, so I convinced myself it was okay to do that, that it has a good side, but is there a sense in which we ought to be careful about the story? I found myself yesterday with a rhyme on Chirac / Iraq and couldn't continue. I guess you're doing this to explore that, though. The funniest are only funny if you know the story underneath, right?

Lance: It's a good question that you ask. It seems to me that almost every news story opens under a little pressure to reveal the landscape of late capitalism, which simultaneously and indivisibly absurd and horrific. I think there's no avoiding the repurposing of nasty materials when the compositional method starts with mucking in the filth of the present.

Andrew: I'm glad you like the question. I'm already on board with the compositional method, I think, as I see a lot of the stories I've been lifting from as being a way of shaping a view of events into journalistic tropes, neither quite clich├ęs nor quite not. That's fine, stretching the play demonstrating the linguistic nature and structural pull of an article etc. Where I was beginning to worry was the taking of heinous things, say that beating, for example, and taking that further into linguistic play, further away from the event. By doing that, am I [a] displaying the nature of play in the original story and its distance from events, or [b] treating the victim as insignificant and her appearance in the paper as a source for my own literary kicks? Am I, in fact, appropriating her experience as a resource for my own (soi-disant) literary production, making me more a part of late-capitalist society? Although clearly not an unquestioning part. Incidentally, I wasn't so troubled by the Afghanistan haynaku one; perhaps it takes the events more seriously, perhaps it's just better.I see I've asked another question above; you don't have to answer if you don't want. (You've probably got more important questions from paying students, anyway.) For me, it's questions like this that make writing worthwhile, as it seems to be the only way to work out the answers. It's an a posteriori thing, right? I'm working out what I think as I type this, in fact. And I think I'm fairly sure that it's silly to only use the happy stories as they're part of the same system as the "nasty materials"; treating someone like the beating victim with a little more respect, though, may have to be part of my repertoire. I guess different people's approaches to this question is one of the things that makes the growing anthology interesting.aps: I did try to find google-news by searching for "wrong" but - karma rules - none of the articles were newsy and recent enough.