A Note on decorum. And, also, pornography

Hi folks. It’s a slow day at the office. So here we find ourselves…

I enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) the conversation about content and comfort that arose first from Alex Boyd’s controversial essay, through my rebuttal, and onto the important part, your chorus of concurring and dissenting opinions. A reminder: it’s important to the ethic of this blog that comments are offered freely, without filter or delay, in real-time and real-time. That’s something of a founding ideal.

The root of Vox Pop lies in my desire to have a sort of rehearsal studio for the opinionated; a place to sharpen, broaden, rethink, and recharge our ideas about poetry, aesthetics, and art. Opinions need conflict to grow, to evolve. They need well-spoken, deeply-though opposite forces to challenge them into change or, just as validly, non-change. Pluralism is as good a tool for those who seek to become more plural as it is for those seeking to strengthen the resolutions they already have.

I’m a firm believer in that rhetorical ideal of the intense and passionate argument that carries with it no shades of a personal attack. In a community of people practicing a skill (poetry) that has a firm and ancient anchor to the personal, this is a hard line to walk. But we’re all smart people, and we know how to use the language. I’d like to repeat my disdain for personal attacks masked as discussions about something as universal (and therefore, non-personal) as creativity or aesthetics. Going forward, I reserve the right to delete comments that are not commensurate with the ideals described above. I promise not to take that right lightly, and to give special consideration to contrary opinions, aware that my disagreement with the content of such arguments might colour my definition of the word “personal”.

This shift of policy starts now, and does not apply to past comments. I’m proud of the bickering electric roundtable we’re growing here, and don’t want to do anything to threaten it. I hope you don’t either.


On an unrelated note, Harriet has this piece up on poets with non-academic jobs. Most poets have non-academic jobs, and the list of dayjobs for poets is as long and wide as the list of dayjobs for everyone else. That being said, there’s some interesting quotes there, and one of the interviewed poets is someone we all may know :). Thanks to Sina for the story.

After reading through the interviews, skip over to the comments to gape at the Ken Kesey-penned pantheon of damaged souls who talk to themselves over there. Jeez. It’ll make you rethink what qualifies as a respectful, sane, online community.

Explore posts in the same categories: Poems in the Wider World, Reviewing

4 Comments on “A Note on decorum. And, also, pornography”

  1. LH Says:

    Decorum is always a good idea.

  2. Much as I enjoy the malapropism, Jake, it’s “commensurate” not “commiserate.” Please take this as constructive criticism and not as an attack on your person, with whom I commiserate.

  3. LH Says:

    It’s actually not criticism, it’s a correction.

  4. voxpopulism Says:

    Tee hee. Thanks Zach :)

    Actually, at the time, it was co-miserable.

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