Thursday, August 2, 2007

Charles Simic named poet laureate

Charles Simic was named poet laureate of the US today. In interviews, Simic tends to be of the seemingly-naive "poetry is not political" school. But I think his poems are much, much, more complex and radical than he himself comes off as.

I'm a big Simic fan, so this beats the heck out of Robert Pinsky, et al. But I think we're in need of a demographic shift. The LAST EIGHT poets laureate have been white. Only one of the last eight was a woman. Our country is more than half female and almost half not-white. What does this sequence of laureates say about who we think makes 'real culture'?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Walking in the Reign

A NYTimes article today makes it very clear that Barack Obama, like Hillary Clinton , isn't at all against the belligerent, bossy and inevitably murderous sort of foreign policy that has defined the US from the beginning. He's just against the Bush brand of it.

Do people really see this "we're bombing the wrong country -- we should be going after Pakistan/The Taliban/South Korea, etc. " doctrine as an alternative to Bush? Do people believe that this doctrine is so much better because it uses the UN and tosses around the word 'diplomacy'? The Dems talk a lot about diplomacy, but if history is any indication, mostly they mean dictating agreements to propped-up 'friendly' regimes that are barely even friendly.

When you're as big and as dangerous a country as the United States -- the only country to use nuclear weapons on people, and you say "if President Musharraf won't act, we will", you're warmongering. Plain and simple. Now close your mouth, 'cause you're cold busted!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ingmar Bergman's Last Chess Game

So Bored wishes a peaceful journey to Ingmar Bergman, who passed away earlier today at age 89. Damn, The Seventh Seal and Fanny and Alexander are amazing movies! If you haven't seen them, you should.

Public Art = Decades in Prison

KET, an acclaimed graffiti artist, is facing decades in prison. Decades. For spray paint. Seems the semi-retired 80s graff writer's tag has been appearing on subway cars again recently. The police have no evidence that this is not the work of a copycat, but when has circumstantiality ever stopped cops? A legal defense benefit is happening here.

This brings to mind the recent NYC ordinance that allows anyone under 18 to be arrested for carrying a wide-tipped magic marker. I guess this is what we need to keep New York safe for all the sex-in-the-city/Maxim magazine little shits that are moving here. And this (in addition to its being middlebrow twaddle) is why I hate Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point: he gave legitimacy to the theory that you can keep a city safe by arresting artists. I, for one, would rather see pretty colors and bubble letters all over my city than ads for liquor and jeans and slasher movies. But corporations get to force me to look at their offensive nonsense every damn day, while a painter gets ripped away from his family.

This country stinks.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Why NYC Needs Pelicans

Though newly-born, "So Bored" has already been accused of being an all-complaint, no-solution blog. To address this, I'd like to propose a civic improvement project for New York City: hire pelicans. Our pigeon problems are out of control. Let's give this guy a job, and find out if he has friends

Do sports matter?

I generally hate sports. Especially in the US, professional sports is about sheep-think corporate macho bullshit. Hyper-competitiveness over things that don't matter. Americans who can't even find Iraq on a map or name the last ten presidents know absolutely everything about "their" team (which isn't actually *theirs*, but rather some billionaire's).

But sports as national/cultural drama is hard to resist. Cassius Clay becoming Muhammad Ali. Iran's victory over the US in the World Cup. Fun stuff. In that vein, I say mabrouk (congrats) to the Iraqi national futbol team for their inspiring win.