Posts Tagged ‘wherethewildthingsare’

In Response to “Contradicting Contradictions”

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Where was this passion all semester?! I feel as if spoken-word should be performed exactly the way each author performs it. I’m almost afraid to label it a performance. Speaking a poem rather than having to type it in print opens the door for emotions to be free. When I read Sylvia Plath and Amiri Baraka poetry I can see their passion in their words and punctuation on the page and attempt to read each piece as active as they may read it if they had the opportunity to let their emotions be wild and free on stage. I don’t think I know about the Staceyann Chin performance that you are talking about. To say that Staceyann is  “acting” like an angry black women is to judge and marginalize her performance, to remove Staceyann Chin from her piece, and to throw her into an archetype of an “angry black woman”: this is where I find the issue. I would say that Stacey Chin is being an angry Stacey Chin. The closed mindedness is when to categorize and lable wild free emotions to help you understand it. You basically put the wild free emotion back in a cage when you use “acting like an angry black woman” as a description of art.  I wanted to talk about the saxophone player that most likely looked forward to having the honor of playing along with Amiri Baraka.  However, I do feel that Amiri chose to have a white saxophonist to add to the message of the poem. The poem that we watch by Amiri Baraka broke the allowance of white people, in this country, to always be free from guilt. While they blame the colored people that live in this country (not just black people).  The class fell right back into what Amiri Baraka was trying to break.  The white man became the victim and Amiri Baraka was laughed at.  I wasn’t surprised. Consider Kanye West’s video with the white ballerinas (do u think those ballerina were unfortunate too) and the black people as civilized having dinner(Kanye west took it a step past black and white because even the black people wouldnt accept the women he brought to dinner because she was different and wanted to lable her as weird and strange because of their closed mindeness.) The same point was trying to be made by Amiri I would guess to have the white people do the work and perform for black people for once.  But if we go as far as to say that it was strategic by Amiri Baraka we already begin to criminalize him because we are saying that it was premeditated.  So Molly I must say that I do have a problem with you “nearly ripping your hair out when Amiri hooed like an owl.”  You did not understand the symbolic significance of the owl within the context of the poem so your closed mind could only laugh to set you free from your mental prison as Amiri Baraka successfully got under your skin and aggravated you. I’m sure there are more unfortunate saxophone players out there.  I was very disappointed how the class responded to Amiri Baraka’s poem how we weren’t as open minded as we act. Now look at Kanye West’s Video After we saw Amiri Baraka where will your brain take you.

Direct Your Anger Here

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

After class today Molly informed me that I was likely to be crucified for my remark about Staceyann Chin’s piece “If only out of vanity,” and also that I might want to explain myself on the blog a little bit more. It’s not that I don’t believe there aren’t any artistic merits to her poem/performance – it’s just that I personally find the style abrasive and somewhat rudimentary.  What specifically do I find obnoxious and or childish about the poem/performance? 1:56. The resemblance of her yelling, repetition, and rumpus-ing about in this instance is uncannily similar to another well known tantrum from a boy in his wolf-pajamas.  Dr. Scanlon helped articulate the thought behind my somewhat crass remark a little better by saying that it might seem to lack many of the traditional qualities that I value in poetry: subtlety, grace, beauty, and technical prowess. Yes – I realize that many of these qualities are subjective and whether or not this poem/performance possesses any or all them is certainly debatable. Different strokes for different folks and all that fun stuff. Sorry if I offended anyone but I just felt particularly compelled in that moment to share my opinion. All that said – you’re more than welcome to disagree with me as my thoughts/tastes change accordingly as I learn/grow more.