Category Archives: Poetry

An Integral Part: the Internet intertwined with everything else

circle.jpg This is what the Internet is best at:
My blog is an integral part of my life, and I’m neither ashamed of it, nor do I think my online friendships are lesser than physical friendships. And they become physical friendships, a lot of times. I travel all over the place, and whenever there’s anybody in the area I try to meet up with them. I owe almost everything going on in my life right now to blogging and the Internet, and that’s fine with me. The Internet does nothing so well as social networking. The other day, I realized I was living with someone I had met on LiveJournal, spreading jam I had gotten from a friend I met on LiveJournal, and having breakfast at a table I had bought on Craigslist — everything I was doing that day had to do with this glittering network of people I had found through the Internet. The blog doesn’t really interfere with my writing because it comes from a completely different side of the brain. I do feel guilty when I get too busy and haven’t posted, but I would never stop doing it. It’s an integral part of the way I market my books and interact with my audience.

Catherynne M. Valente: Playing in the Garden, Locus, May 2008

Valente writes fiction, yet many companies can attest to the same kind of intertwining of the Internet with everything else they do.

And there was not a word in there about wanting the Internet turned into cable TV.


Howl! Still Censored After All These Years

howl.gif Irony lives:
Fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg’s Beat-era poem “Howl” was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines.

‘Howl’ too hot to hear, 50 years after poem ruled not obscene, radio fears to air it, Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer, Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Personally, I think by focussing on the “dirty words” ( some of which FCC Chairman Martin himself used recently on the FCC’s own web pages) the FCC misses (or suppresses) the more currently-applicable parts of the poem, for example:
and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
threads of the craftsman’s loom,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
notism & were left with their insanity & their
hands & a hung jury,

Anne Waldman and Allen Ginsberg reading, including Howl, Internet Archive, (August 9, 1975)

The FCC also finds time to approve more media mergers, to water down open access provisions for 700Mhz bandwidth, and to leak information to lobbyists. Maybe it should be called the Less Communication Commission.