Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poetry is hard

I've mentioned disappearing blog posts in the past. I was cracking up yesterday at one on Vox Nova which had been here. It was entitled "On Darwin, Fundamentalism and Capitalism" and basically it was an execrable piece of poetry that made very little sense. Here's how it began:

I know a doctor who despises Darwin
He's also a fundamentalist Christian
And a Capitalist

Darwin is wrong because he's against the Bible
“Creationism must be taken seriously” or ...

...and that's all that is available at this point in Google's and Facebook's cache. I'm pretty certain the point was that capitalists are a bunch of "social darwinists", a charge that Jonah Goldberg deals with expertise in Liberal Fascism.

But I'm more interested in the fact of the poem's removal. I imagine when the author who penned it–I'm not sure which one–read it over in the clear light of day and realized how self-parodic it was that the magnitude of his horror was far greater than that of my amusement.

Here's the lesson: when you lack evidence for the charge(s) you'd like to make against the bĂȘtes noires and boogiemen of your liberal imagination, and therefore are unable to form a rational argument against them–although you feel so strongly that you must be right–you might be tempted to write a poem instead.



  1. If you write something simply, it's simple to read.
    If it's simple to read, it's simple to understand.

    But writing isn't just about style.
    It's also about content.
    Sometimes writing isn't just simple.
    Sometimes it's simplistic, too.

    Peter Maurin was a holy man.
    Far holier than I, at least, for what that's worth.
    And abuse doesn't preclude use.

    Still, I wonder sometimes.
    Maybe he should have tried harder on his Easy Essays.

  2. Yeah, that's who I was reminded of, and Maurin might have been the inspiration for the verse. But I didn't want to bring him up because, well, he was a holy man. But his easy essays are *too easy*, as you suggest. He oversimplified. Whenever I read him ,I think something like this:

    You obviously understand what you mean.
    And if everyone were like you, then they would understand also.
    But if everyone were like you, you wouldn't have to write
    Your easy essays
    In the first place.