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Monday, July 12, 2010

Pangloss Versus Pekar [Today's News Poem, July 12, 2010]

Pangloss Versus Pekar [Today's News Poem, July 12, 2010]

The pumpkin is winding its tendrils and strangling
The kumquat. The weaklings must wither and offer
Their lives to the strength of the plunderer: mighty
And blithe. And the smoke of the city combined with
The fog... yet the birds are still nesting. The pigeons
And crows are discussing the various merits
Of carcass and carrion; garbage and spoilage.
An airplane is circling the neighborhood—higher
Than hawks, thus the lord of the firmament. Higher,
The clouds are discharging a bolt sent to scupper
The god of titanium shaped as an eagle;
Igniting the pine with a nest full of hatchlings.
A flame in dry grass soon consumes my whole garden.

“Here's a phrase you don't often hear in regard to Harvey Pekar: role model... Even more, he yielded nothing, angering those who might help him for what at times seemed like capricious reflex... And yet, to watch those clips now on YouTube is to see something authentic and subversive, the talk show as Dadaist political experiment, in which the power of the open mike is used, even for a few minutes, to pry back the slick veneer of entertainment culture and expose the contradictions underneath. ”
– David Ulin, Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2010 Edition; accessed, 8:40pm July 12, 2010
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-pekar-appreciation-20100713,0,6170883.story

“Research into grammar by academics at Northumbria University suggests that a significant proportion of native English speakers are unable to understand some basic sentences... The supposition that everyone in a linguistic community shares the same grammar is a central tenet of Noam Chomsky's theory of universal grammar. The theory assumes that all children learn language equally well and that there must therefore be an underlying common structure to all languages that is somehow "hard-wired" into the brain. ”
– Science Daily, July 6, 2010
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100706082156.htm

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1 comment:

rToady said...

Oh, nice.

I do feel like I've lost a role model.