Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Dumbest Things Poets Do - Part I
Put freedom to a vote.
Just let the people choose
and in the end you'll note
that it will always lose.
Ever wonder how I got all these gray hairs? Would you believe that I started life as a red squirrel? This graying is from worrying that my focus on the inane things that some poets say might cause us to overlook the idiotic things that some poets do. We've all heard of versers accosting shoppers outside mall entrances. In "The artist vandalising advertising with poetry" we read of a more egregious example.
"Scottish artist Robert Montgomery goes about at night illegally plastering over advertisements with posters covered in his poetry."
Just as "stupid is as stupid does", imbecilic actions are often supported by imbecilic people. Arguments about illegality will make no impression on the incorrigibly moronic. They'll blather on about "speaking truth to power", "occupying", "sticking it to the man", blah, blah, blah. They present it as a political statement. Needless to say, crosscultural references to Chileans on the right and left plastering over each others' signage until the posts fall down will be a waste of breath. This is the Ido Effect: Part of being a dumbass is not knowing you're a dumbass.
They argue about freedom of expression, unaware that this is, while simple enough for a squirrel to grok, a concept as far beyond their comprehension as Alpha Centauri is beyond their doorsteps. Who wants to try to explain to them that, in covering the ads, Mr. Montgomery is curtailing the free speech of the person who bought and paid for that space? Surely they wouldn't object if, tit-for-tat, the billboard owner were to cover their front windows with ads, would they? They wouldn't complain if someone sent them a computer virus that replaces whatever they post online with "news" of an Erectile Dysfunction cure, would they?
In their perfect world semiliterate wannabes like Mr. Montgomery would have the final word on who gets to say what and where, irrespective of who rented the space or owns the property. If only someone had invented a medium where everyone could post whatever "very pleasing verse" they choose without affecting the rights of those whose speech they find unpalatable.