Tuesday, April 9, 2013
I did not cast a vote for Spraylor
when he ran for department chair 20 years ago.
I did correct papers for him once or twice.
They were terrible, at least a letter grade
below what his students should have been writing
at that point in the semester; by any "standard"
his teaching stunk and he could have done a lot better
in "administration," where he was headed and where
he did even greater damage to students of Academia,
like me, who taught Freshman Composition
like R.S.'s professor at Berkeley Frederick Crews
would have had us teaching "it" and who had begun learning
writing that Mr. Crews would not have had scholars learning,
namely Language Poetry, which Spraylor, who got his Ph.D
at Berkeley, NEVER read. It IS likely that HE was the one
who screened out my application for tenure track there
at the junior college, and that changed just about everything.
At the junior colleges and at most others, "creative writing"
is frequently "administered" by the least creative
and they cannot even write or teach straight,
expository prose writing that would prepare their
younger fellow citizens to compete in the brat race, either.
It is not "worth" or "merit" that advances most
members of American "society." It is "aggression."
The most "aggressive" succeed and advance.
The most honest meet with indifference and deceit.
The smartest and wisest do NOT play the "poetry game"
at all. Bob Perelman, along with Barrett Watten,
produced prose that could have been used by Mr. Crews
as examples of flawless, MLA-sanctioned expository writing.
And their poetries ain't got game in the "creative writing"
curriculums pushed and peddled by the Spraylors
who populate the smaller university corporations. This
IS the way it should be. You know that. I know
that I have found the same basic principles to be true
in most other "occupations" American humans occupy
the space to pass on their genes, as they are coded to do,
and they have their families and they raise them
the best they can, as I'm sure Spraylor did. I'm sure
that he was simply taking care of his genes. Okay. Fine.
Who reads the shit taught in "creative writing" classes?
Surely a lot of the folks here at the factory must have
read it; their prose here demonstrates perfect influence
bending the "rules of grammar and mechanics," but
it is definitely NOT the influence of the Language Poets,
who are rightfully renowned for their experimentation
with the universal and the received grammars, as you
know, Reader. And, as you perhaps do not know, I
could do much worse than Chompsky, Pinker, and Saussure,
whom I've skimmed [perhaps several times, aware of limits].
I 'd rather be a grammarian than a mechanic. Actually,
I'd rather be a gramma than a singer of hokey ballads.
Seriously, "Reader," I have few, if any, quarrels
with the Lang Pomers. If it truly mattered
to me, you are the ones I find disgustingly
hypocritical and brutally dishonest. No big deal...
You are what you are and it is what
something else entirely is. I am
not the problem with it. It is
problematic. For me. For you
I have little interest. You, Reader,
wish that this will mean that
will be the last thing or two I have
to say. I, too, wish to begin writing.
The students in the "creative writing" classes
matriculated through the culturally encoded
morality of randomly opening and closing doors.
Wow! That's quite a revelation and statement!
No wonder I couldn't find anyplace to put it.
Posted by Steve at 6:16 AM