Saturday, July 7, 2007

Apocalypse flavors

One of the challenges in life is to replace other people's prejudices with your own prejudices. I've been spending the last couple years deciding what I think of chapbooks, which some voice in my head told me a long time ago to be wary of. Or maybe it was someone else's voice, it's so hard to tell the difference anymore. But on one hand, they disappear into the bookshelf, wedged between books and on the other, they can be so handcrafty and pleasing to hold. And far better to travel with also.

Yesterday afternoon I spent reading Anne Boyer's Good Apocalypse, from Effing Press - which I made the unusual effort of ordering after reading her totally inspired hilarious trans-Marxist contempo piece "I Love LIterature" on a blog or somewhere.

And the chapbook is totally great and I know a lot of people know that already but why not reinforce the chorus. I first accidentally typed "Bad Apocalypse" when I was writing in the book's title in the last paragraph and my slip shows how much more unusual and great her perspective on this takes us. There's a creepy brilliance in her lightheartedness dealing with Problems, call it hate as glee maybe, or meant irony, or the ecstasy of smarting. She's posing this great question about culture throughout and how it's consituting us internationally, emotionally, etc. She brings up Omar Sharif in one poem, who is a great example of this, the arab/Russian/heartthrob/exotic/mustachioed man etc. The etcetera, say. That's what she's talking about.

Zizek says that the problem is we're living now in this obscene age where it appears that the revolution has been thoroughly discredited, that we're past choice, that the free market global economy capitalism is simply how it is and how it always will be. And if we're dreaming of the revolutionary, they are simply part of the order, either as outgrowable stage or hipster entertainment. And here's Boyer slyly quoting Guy Debord over the picture of a platypus "The grand style of an era can always be found in what is governed by the secret yet obvious necessity for revolution."

So it needs to be done... but that doesn't mean anybody wants to do it.

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