Friday, November 12, 2004

Exchange with National Book Foundation

Re: The new Monday Report.

First I sent an e-mail to the National Book Foundation, asking questions about their awards process. Excerpts from my e-mail:

"The question is how and why Rick Moody was named Chair of your panel. Surely you know he's been involved with controversy over literary awards in the past. . . .

"Rick Moody is the poster boy for cronyism and corruption in the grants process-- and yet he chaired your panel. What explanation do you have for this? Who made the decision?"

In his response, NBF head Harold Augenbraum said, "I've spent the past hour reading your web site and I'd love to talk after our awards process and hear some of your ideas in more detail."

What do you think? Was he just blowing me off?

I'm reminded of the carnival that came to town, and hired all kinds of local young people to work for it. The carnival boss told them they'd be paid AFTER the carnival ended; "AFTER we count the receipts," he said while chewing on a cigar. The day after the carnival the kids showed up where the carnival had been to discover only an empty lot.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

My guess is that he's just blowing you off. I'd also say that he's also trying to think as to whether or not he can manipulate you for pro-Moody ends or whatever, but I'm not a paranoiac sort, and the Demi-Puppets, for all their sins, strike me far more as Venal and Corrupt rather than Paranoid and Machiavellian.;-)

A more sophisticated Blow-Off happened in the non-Literary world of Politics, recently. For about 15 months, the Anti-War movement was cajoled by the Democratic Party's own Demi-Puppets into believing that if it did volunteer work for its Presidential Candidate, he would end the War. Fortunately enough Anti-Warriors saw that said Presidential Candidate was not that different from Bush, and quietly decided to stay home or go fishin'.

They did so in such numbers the Dems had to blame their loss on fictituous Right-Wing Prudes and/or Ralph Nader -- instead of its own efforts to Blow-Off the Anti-War Movement and not do a damn thing in Congress to keep the Republicans from marching further when it comes to the Iraq War...:-/

--Matt Hardwick

Emerson Dameron said...

I'd suggest writing him back until he's clearly ducking you, just because I'd be interested in how that discussion would go. Outside George Plimpton, no one in the mainstream lit world has seemed keen on debating the ULA in real life. Maybe in those circles, there's something undignified in defending oneself.

Emerson Dameron said...

I'd suggest writing him back until he's clearly ducking you, just because I'd be interested in how that discussion would go. Outside George Plimpton, no one in the mainstream lit world has seemed keen on debating the ULA in real life. Maybe in those circles, there's something undignified in defending oneself.

Anonymous said...

At least he answered you, and respectfully. That's more than most of them do.

I say you should assume good intent until proven otherwise. Remember that participation in a possibly tainted/antiquated/unfair system does not automatically mean total agreement/collusion with said system.

Answer the person, try to engage him succintly and politely, and see what happens. At least he answered; that says a lot, and is prima facie evidence that he's not "blowing you off." The fact that he answered, and says he spent "an hour" reading the ULA site, is proof to the contrary (whatever his ultimate stance/conculsion.)

King said...

Past experience (dozens of instances) says that you're wrong.