Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Peace Gesture

As a gesture of good will, I'm removing the reference to pods in this blog's Profile. I've also made another change for politically correct reasons, meeting critics halfway.

I'm also willing to overlook differences of opinion with Moody-spokesman "Harland," to pursue instead those points we can agree upon; chiefly the belief in democracy in literature. In coming days I'll propose an area in which we might be able to work together toward that goal.


John said...

So the defender of freedom of speech caves. I guess we see how strong your principles are now, don't we? You're giving in to censorship, to the established ways of thinking, things you speak out against.

But retreating a bit and understanding that other people feel and think differently from yourself is a wise strategy.

King said...

You well point out what a no-win situation I'm in when dealing with the demi-puppets of the mainstream.
Keep in mind that I'm from the zeen (zine) world, where all things and everything could and was printed. Very refreshing. The reader can sort things out for himself. I plan eventually to return to that scene when I can no longer stomach the so-called "mainstream."
EVERYBODY feels differently about things. It's part of being a human being.
We DON'T get to see those differences in the approved lit-scene, unfortunately.
We'll see if Mr. Moody is willing to compromise. So far he hasn't budged.

Harland said...


I'm gratified to see that you say you're willing to move beyond the politics of the personal insult. And yet here, in your comments section, you bow to the slightest pressure -- one comment criticizing you for caving in to common decency, to restraint from overbroad statements, and you're right back to referring to anyone who doesn't agree with you as a "demi-puppet of the mainstream." Well, nevertheless I look forward to your plans.

By the way, I spoke to Rick this weekend. I told him that you remained concerned about the Guggenheim he received eight years ago. At first he thought he'd gotten it longer ago, but together we checked the records and, indeed, it was eight years ago. Rick told me that despite your insistence that he is wealthy beyond measure, that time in his life was filled with significant hardship. I wonder if you recall the brief reversal in real estate prices in New York City at the end of the 90s. Rick explained that he'd sold his co-op then and taken quite a loss on it -- the Guggenheim was necessary for him to live in the manner to which he'd become accustomed.

King said...

Curious sarcasm, as it's self-defeating.
I hope Mr. Moody will cooperate with what we're doing-- it'll be in his interest. Kind of a bold, Nixon-in-China move that would only bolster his credibility and his reputation.

John said...

The Guggenheim is not awarded based on financial need. It clearly says that on the Guggenheim website. Can you find something else to criticize Moody about?

And yes, King, it is a no-win situation when you say one thing and do another.

Harland said...

"Curious sarcasm, as it's self-defeating.
I hope Mr. Moody will cooperate with what we're doing-- it'll be in his interest. Kind of a bold, Nixon-in-China move that would only bolster his credibility and his reputation."

It's very difficult to avoid sarcasm with you, King.

I'm sure Moody's only interested in bolstering his literary reputation, not his reputation as a politician. That would be your specialty, inept as you are at it.

King said...

All these anonymous statements of course side-step the main points.
Yes, the Guggenheim grant was strictly "legal," according to how that foundation has been corrupted from its original vision.
Did that make the grant ethically and morally right?
Let me remind you that the Guggenheim family was granted tax-free status for that pool of money, originally, with the idea that it was going to be used for philanthropic purposes.
Does giving scarce arts grant money to the person who least needs it qualify?
The Guggenheim family, in fact, was noted for its charity-- they KNEW the vast class differences in this country; the differences in opportunity, and did much to try to alleviate those differences.
The award to Rick Moody was a slap in the face to those principles.
Just one more example of how the upper class scams. If the money isn't going to be used for its original purpose, then it should be taxed-- it should never have been sheltered in the first place!
The rich get richer. . . .
PEN, by the way, follows in this same recent tradition. This "public charity" lasy year gave its largest literary award to Philip Roth, one of the most successful writers in the country.
Does he qualify as a charity case?

Harland said...

Hey, King.

Maybe, because literature is so inherently uplifting, what with all those social qualities it has that you keep talking about here, maybe they gave that Guggenheim to Moody because they figured the little people, the common man, Mr. Front Porch, would get uplifted from reading it. Imagine, all those armies of people feeling relief from their woes and cares after reading a book. And all for $35,000 seed money. Almost seems worth it.

Maybe they should give a Guggenheim to Alice Sebold next.