"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thank You, Jim Goar

Well said.

10 comments:

Seth Abramson said...

Tony, I apologize for the tone I took with you yesterday. There's no justification for that.

A lot of fine people I otherwise respect have been quick--surprisingly so, it seems to me--to validate not just the criticism of my "flarf" post (which I've now said in numerous locales was not intended as serious critique), but also one of the primary vehicles for that criticism, Jim Behrle. I thought it went without saying that you can disapprove of the messenger without disapproving of the message, and that you--and Jordan Davis, and Jonathan Mayhew (all people I respect)--needlessly crossed the line into validating someone who called me a "racist," "asshole," "dickhead," and much worse. In my world, that's poor form.

I know what you think of me, Tony, and there's not much I can do about that. All we've done is interact on-line; off-line, I've no enemies, and there's a reason for that. When people say Jim's a peach off-line, I believe them and wish we could see that Jim more often online. And you'd likely say the same thing about me, though I'd respond (as perhaps Jim would) that I've always tried to be true to myself both on-line and off.

I don't respect the way the entire blogosphere has given Jim a free pass about his behavior, and frankly I think the joke (as perhaps Jim would say) is on all of us. People have started deleting him from their blog-rolls--that's a start. The next step, I think, is to not needlessly validate his methods by connecting perfectly sound arguments (e.g., "flarf is poetry" [a precept with which I happen to agree]) with the sort of virtual terrorism Jim launches against any poet who displeases him.

Pigeon-holing me as a traditionalist is, to me, as dismissive and patronizing as the phrases I used, sarcastically, to describe flarf. But whereas those few (thought I) obviously sarcastic phrases have now brought me endless abuse from all quarters, and whereas Jim's years of abusive behavior have brought him nothing but a fawning fan-base, the attempt to marginalize me by saying that I'm "up in arms" and have an "ideal" vision of poetics and am "preaching to the choir" and am a "traditionalist" and so on...well, that goes unresponded to, even though I know you've not read enough of my recent work to make any of these observations with any degree of accuracy. To say you weren't trying to turn me into an aesthetic-conservative archetype would simply be disingenuous. You were, and did.

That said, there's no excuse for churlishness. I stand by the intellectual substance of my comments here, while regretting my tone and the excesses of my language. I can't change what you think of me, but I can make clear what I do and do not think of myself, and act accordingly.

S.

Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

I would like to be erased from all blogrolls. And if you don't like what I'm up to or feel like whining about it: don't ever visit my site again.

And me and cocaine never go in the same sentence.

xxxjimmy

Seth Abramson said...

Jim,

Whatever I may think about you, it's not my intention to joke about or make light of any past, present, or future personal struggles you may be/have been engaged in. I do respect your sobriety, whether or not me saying that matters to you one bit.

As to your suggestion that I willfully close my eyes to things I abhor as a method of survival: you don't do it, and neither do/will I. It may be the one thing we have in common, whether either one of us wants to admit it publicly.

As you said yourself, Jim, I'm a small fish. You ought to find meatier game. But I'll continue to oppose you. People like me have been opposing bullies like you since the beginning of recorded history, and before that.

S.

Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

You seem to be urging people publicly and privately not to come to my blog and not pay attention to me: why not follow your own advice? Your lawyerspeak may thrill some, but I had you pegged since your snide Million Poems comment: you are afraid of poems that aren't like your own. I'd urge anyone to see how that comment field went down to see for themselves how that comment field went down. Why you need to frame your comments in any new light is beyond me: I'm glad I've given you so much to think about.

xxxjimmy

Seth Abramson said...

Jim,

If I'm not afraid of anything or anyone I come across during my professional life, there's absolutely no chance that anything you do, or anything I come across in the world of poetry, will scare me. Sorry, you've got me pegged as some cringing suburbanite--but when I'm not jousting with you, I'm working on a first-degree murder case. So, I don't have too much difficulty maintaining a sense of perspective, as between the alleged humor in your cartoons, and alleged homicides. The police officers/criminal defendants I work with/for every day shit bigger turds than you when they've got the runs. No offense.

S.

Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

I don't know why you want a stool sample, but have fun with whatever shit your knee-deep in. I know your job is the main point of justification for pretty much every way you behave: I'd work harder on winning that argument, getting that 1st degree guy off than worrying what comes out of my holes. That you're spending any time here while some guy's ass in on the line is beyond me.

Learn something from those cops, though: how to be stand-up and how to be a man. Men don't whine around the internet looking for people to fight their battles for them. Or looking for sympathy. Or looking for anything. Your friends aren't cowards. You are. And you know it. You won't accept responsibility for who you are and your end of it: that's on you.

xxxjimmy

Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

I mean: I knew I was a better poet than you. That I'm also a better lawyer, well, that's a fucking bonus.

xxxjimmy

Seth Abramson said...

Jim,

Whatever helps.

I look forward to finding a poem by you which exhibits any indication whatsoever of your skill as a writer. I'm afraid poems about witches and goose are a little too "Ghosts 'n Goblins" for me.

And keep dreaming of policemen, sport. Maybe one day you'll meet a real live one, and feel a little tougher than you are, a little less like a scared child. Which is what, in your heart of hearts, you feel like. Every day. God I know so many people like you.

Take care.
S.

Behrle, Prince of Trolls said...

Seth--

You're not gonna be able to throw what a great guy you are because you make so little money and defend people who really need to be defended if you're going to spend the time you should be doing your job here. A man's life hangs in the balance: that's on you. Your wispy lectures about manhood amuse me. I have met cops, cops have met me--I love cops. I could tell you stories: but that's what you do, right? Wax poetic about every damned case you have so that we'll like you or be impressed by you. I've met a lot of people like you, too. Vapid people. I hear the gavel!

xxxjimmy

Seth Abramson said...

Poof!

Tony, have fun in Austin.

S.