Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2007 08:10:19 -0500
From: CA Conrad
Subject: Louise Gluck is the Ann Coulter of poetry, or Ann Coulter is the Louise Gluck of politics
Both of these women have annoyed me for many years, but watching the news this morning, and seeing Coulter interviewed (I seem to like to torture myself by listening to this woman who claims vegetarians should be force-fed meat, etc., etc.,) the similarity between the two suddenly came a little clearer.
Ann Coulter likes to wag a very large cleaver at women who would dare suggest that they own their own bodies and have a right to an abortion. She also likes to say she's a staunch Christian who upholds the high moral standards which created this great nation, etc., etc., blah blah bliddy blah blah blah. She'll go on a dark rampage for as much time as a reporter will allow her about women who think they're better than the great gray men who wrote the bible.
Yet Coulter, even this morning at 7 a.m., dresses like a bucket of sex! She would give the hottest Biblical prostitute a run for her hard earned cash. I'm not knocking it! She looks good! Some would say she looks great! This morning she was wearing the type of mini skirt I recall hearing as a kid my mother explain to her slutty and marvelous girlfriends that the hem needs to be closer to the pussy than the knee to be considered a bona fide mini skirt, which my mother always wore. Coulter's skirt was mini and there's no denying it. And boots right out of an S&M porno. She's spicy, she's a freaky mountain of peach and she LIKES it like that!
And frankly, hey, that's cool! Go for it Ann! However, needless to say, the costume contradicts the message of the foremothers she claims to have so much in common with.
(Gay Republicans (which there are more of than ever before!) LOVE her like no one else. But then again, of course they do, these knuckleheads are living the same kind of contradictory existence that she is!)
The VERY FACT that she is a woman who fearlessly lives her life in her body at 7 in the fricken morning on national television exactly how she wants to is awesome, but it's also entirely owed to the very trouble-making women who have challenged the very powers she claims to walk behind. She's an idiot in the end. Just like Dr. Laura tells mothers to stay at home and take care of their children, yet is on the air to do so, leaving her own children at home with a baby-sitter.
For many of the same reasons Louise Gluck has always irritated me. She's NOT a poet whose work I have found particularly interesting, but I have had friends who think she's a genius. I even got talked into hearing her read in New York where she trashed Ginsberg, saying he'll be a mere footnote to the history of poetry in a hundred years.
Getting a glimpse of Gluck in action made me very interested in her. At the time (this is some years ago) she had a poem called MOCK ORANGE which had the flavor of admitting she hates sex.
Gluck likes to use the word asshole, and appropriates other language which she feels is edgy, and cool, but does it so she can tell you how dirty you are for liking your asshole. She is in effect turning the clock back and making women in particular feel good about feeling that modesty is a form of courage, and that those who have given themselves permission to like their bodies in their entirety are dirty filthy scum.
No wonder Gluck hates Ginsberg so much. No wonder she thinks Mark Strand is Jesus Christ. Oh my god, I live for the day when I meet her and tell her how I've been watching what she does, and how I believe she's not worthy of the language she uses to abhor the body.
Using the language of Ginsberg to be cool, then turning a gun on him on stage to say he's going to vanish if she has anything to do with it.
She needs to lighten up of course. She needs to have Mark Strand recite Ginsberg's PLEASE MASTER poem while she beats him and reaches for the strap-on.
My mother and her slutty friends were actually pretty fucking cool in a lot of ways. They learned the value of their own judgments, they learned the taste of their own appetites, they lived and lived and LIVED passionate, full young lives. There are a LOT of women from my mother's generation I meet who have lifted themselves, mind, body, and all of it, over the heads of the oppressive ideals of the nagging, crabby old men who fear ever second of their lives for the world they were promised was their own to have, and to have alone.
The danger of Ann Coulter and Louise Gluck is that they both want to be empowered by the ass kicking women who made their style, and gave them the freedom of their language, but at the same time want those women to be ashamed of themselves, and any other woman who would want to be so bold today.
Just a little instant bitchy essay for the morning,
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
CA Conrad's Ann Coulter & Louise Gluck
This is from CA Conrad, a Philadelphia poet with a lot of panache, who somehow finds in Ann Coulter (that wingnut pundit) and Louise Gluck (former poet laureate) quite a bit in common... I read the title and wanted to protest it, but Conrad won me over somehow. The secret of this piece: Allen Ginsberg, who offered the grand permission to those who felt their bodies and their desires shameful.