Lucifer's Valet

GUY DAVENPORT SAYS

Posted in Poeticks by lucifersvalet on 3 December 2009

e. e. cummings “was not a wise person, but had the wisdom of his folly, a bravado of spirit, and his own special way of knowing and talking about the world; and these are better than wisdom, to a poet….”

The exact same could be said of Gertrude Stein.

BUT I LIKE SOME OF THOSE SONGS!

Posted in Culture Vulturing by lucifersvalet on 2 December 2009

Dept. of De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum.

In fact, some of them have been favorite songs. & “I’ll Fly Away”? Isn’t badmouthing that blasphemy?

On further thought, what makes them “worst” songs is not that they are unspeakably dull but that they’re catchy, for some irritatingly catchy. Me, I’m a sucker for catchy. In fact it’s taken me a long time to like non-catchy music. The first time I heard it I thought Pod was dull, dull, dreadfully dull. The only song I liked was the Beatles cover.

In fact, the songs have to have some catch for them, or you wouldn’t want to listen to a medley of them, even as a mock. So there!

& what about Oates & Garfunkel themselves? I like them too! & they’re kind of catchy & cute. It’s easy to imagine them making some worst-ever list.

Or is there some further level of irony I’m missing here? Because I miss those things. The other day I was complaining to a friend about an A Team rerun I’d seen & he said, “I pity the fool who can’t tell it’s tongue in cheek!”

I thought that was funny.

Posted in My Back Pages by lucifersvalet on 2 December 2009

Stephen J. Greenblatt on Charlie Rose. At first I don’t recognize him. Another memento of the lost life? All memory is about what’s lost. Speaking of which, Charlie Rose is a crappy substitution for Dick Cavett. At least Cavett had sparkle. Rose goes instead for gravitas. Cavett’s shtick was a kid from Nebraska who could work his way up to being a cultural elitist. Yes, surely middlebrow, but at least it had a DIY quality. Rose is a professional. He speaks to professionals. There is no need for charm or charisma: what’s required is a license. It’s a job, not an art. Cavett was a pale copy of Oscar Wilde (pale as the cathode ray illumination on the wall, seen of course from someone on the sidewalk looking in windows). If you’re going to be fake, why not something fun like Wilde? Rose may be a real thing, but it’s a clerk. What did Marlon Brando say in that movie? The world is run by clerks.

2004

Warren Zevon had a joke about that movie: Marlowe travels up river, through battle and jungle and nightmare, through the heart of darkness, only to find at the end of his quest Truman Capote.

A world that falls off from Dick Cavett wasn’t falling from a great height.

2009