Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Art Snobs

To be read aloud, with venom.

The Art Snobs

Saints save us from the Art Snobs.
Their great big gobs. Those super-
cilious, bilious blobs of snoot.
Ugly to boot. You’ve seen,
You know the ones I mean:

They peer down ridged nose bridges.
They sneer down half-mast glasses.
They’ve been to college, they think they know it.
They’ve drawn the line and you must toe it.

They tell you what you must or mustn’t rate
and have and haven’t read. They prate
away and say ‘It’s all a swizz!
It isn’t art if it don’t look like what it is!’
It can’t be art if you have to see it twice
(Though Monet’s allowed in, okay, he’s quite nice.)
And every modern monument must be
'A carbuncle' and 'a mad monstrosity'.
And music isn’t if it’s not melody, just Art
Garfunkel, Sinatra, Mozart and that TV
ad for the airline. All the rest
don’t count if they don’t pass the Whistle Test.

And other boring tests, and boring laws.
They’ve decreed a boring canon even more
strict than any canon gone before.

(Fear not, they’ve not forgotten
to exclude the trashy bottom.
Tabloid pop and mags and chav hip hop.
They’ve just lopped off the top.
Or anything that requires a stretch;
The certainty of the certifiably unsure
wretch.)

So saints save us from the Art Snobs.
Their great big gobs. Those super-
cilious, bilious blobs of snoot. Back to
the Age of Hooper we ought to boot
the haughty brutes. The wilful stupor
of an Age which scuttled out the old snobs -
the Cambridge Queers and Oxford Nobs -
and God we almost miss 'em,
now our Gods are King and Grisham.

But still. Every action has a reaction.
Antithesis, synthesis, repulsion, attraction.
A critical mass of half-mast glasses, Kipling verses.
The critics and the masses. The common classes versus
the literati class. My arse! Keep your Common Man,
I’ve not yet met him.

I used to think the first snobs were a curse.
The Reverse are worse.

And to the po-faced, red-faced bar-room wit,
Who rules a poem must rhyme, I say:
bullcrap.

24 comments:

Duck said...

Bravo! (clap, clap.... clap)
A right proper use of the arts; cultural warfare. This escalation of tensions hs not gone unnoticed.

Brit said...

Nothing personal. I'm not even sure what the POV is myself. There's something in there to offend everybody, including me.

Brit said...

(Apart from that last line, which is obviously a direct response. The rest is general.)

Duck said...

OK, if that's the case, it's really good! (apart from the last line, obviously!)

erp said...

Great poem brit .. and if it matter, "I blame him" too. Although I won't think less of you if you change the last line to get some of that Swedish gold.

Bristol chav, Kappa trackie, trackie-wearing oiks, ?

Duck, very nice free verse poem on the 9/13 thread.

The Wonderful "One-Hoss Shay" A great poem I haven't read in years. Kinda reminds me of the wonderful great experiment which also last about a hundred years and then just collapsed. Could Mr. Holmes have been that prescient?

Duck said...

erp

The 9/13 poem was Brit's. I'd love to take credit, but the poet's code forbids me. I did write this one, though.

You should check out the Daily Duck blog, since you've been a regular at the rest of the PostJudd Alliance. We'd love to have you!

erp said...

Duck, I know brit wrote the poem, the free verse to which I was referring is this:

If you do win the Nobel prize, I called it first! But picking on the poor underpriviledged class won't help your standing, and holding him responsible for his own actions! Really now, that won't impress the Norwegians.

I'd be honored to join you. Thanks for the invite, I'll add Duck to my First Reads.

I missed the whole blow up at the bros last summer. REAL LIFE was interfering, so I didn't notice right away that the usual crowd wasn't commenting.

When I said in a comment how much I missed David, someone revealed David's blog, but the welcome mat said, "We wince at every hit," so it took me a while to get up the nerve to jump in. I'm so glad I did. You guys and gals are fun.

monix said...

"The certainty of the certifiably unsure wretch"

A gem and worthy of expansion.

Mike Beversluis said...

Wow, that's good.

Duck said...

Mike, I've been meaning to ask: how do you pronounce your last name? I'm thinking it's Beavers-loose, as in "who let the Beavers loose?"

Mike Beversluis said...

Exactly.

Well, no.

I pronounce it Bev-er-sloose, but I was giving a talk and some Dutch people in the audience corrected me: Bay-var-slouse. I mispronounce my own name. But since a lot of Dutch names were screw-with-the-French nonsense, I'm not going to start taking it seriously now.

Duck said...

That's why I go by "Duck". Duquette was too hard for American schoolchildren to pronounce, or teachers for that matter, so they anglicized it to Duckett, then to Duck.

Brit said...

I don't think it's possible to mispronounce your own name (unless you have a speech impediment). It's a matter of personal choice.

Brit said...

Duck:

Should it be "Doo-kette"?

Duck said...

Give that man a cigar! Yes, you nailed it. But The english language doesn't have much precedent with the hard Q sound, so people prounounce it the way it is spelled. Or even worse, they pronounce the silent 'e' at the end, like Duqu-ett-ee.

Duck said...

And by the way, the new pronunciation of my last name is Stud-genius.

Peter Burnet said...

Duck, you are an embarassment to your hardy ancestors. Surely the right way to pronounce it is something like "Dew-kette" with your lips all scrunched up and your tongue almost protruding. Say "Doo-kette" up here and you will be dismissed as just another vowel-mangling tête-carré!

Mike Beversluis said...

So, poetically speaking, Duquette rhymes with touché? :^)


---
*Sorry, but as an American I have to signal humor. It's in the bylaws.

Peter Burnet said...

Hmm, maybe a bit like touché when you are sucking on a large lemon.

Duck said...

Nice try, Mike. Repeat after me; Stud-Genius.

Peter, no one should be encouraged or expected to attempt proper French pronunciation. It is dangerous. People have choked to death!

Brit said...

Our apologeez, Monsieur Robert Stodgy-Knees.

Peter Burnet said...

LOL. Somebody is on his game today.

Duck said...

Close. You need to work on your French.

Oroborous said...
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