Gadding about

My first travel article, Three Days in London, is now up at Others on Paris and Cardiff are coming soon. Many thanks to Gina Misiroglu at Red Room for putting me in contact with the folks at Gadling.

Ron Silliman has caused a disturbance in the poetry force by closing the comment stream on his popular blog. The number of lunatics, narcissists and cyber-bullies were ultimately too much for Ron to handle. I stopped reading Silliman's blog ages ago because the comments section was the ultimate poetry bone killer. Poetry criticism often turned to personal attacks and just outright meanness. Yes, I could have just not read the comments, but that defeats the purpose of blogging. A blog is supposed to be informative and a conversation, at least in my opinion. If you run a blog and don't want comments, why not just have a static website?

Poet Jessica Smith has a great post about Silliman turning off his comment stream at her looktouchblog. If you read the comments on her post (92 and counting), you'll see some of the crazies who made Ron's comment stream so intolerable have decided to take Jessica to task for having an opinion that doesn't jive with their own. As William Shatner told the Star Trek geeks in that classic Saturday Night Live skit: Get a life, people.


Justin Evans said…
Damn skippy!
Steven Fama said…
Hi Collin,

Now that Ron has turned off comments, I guess that cements the fact that you'll never read it again -- since it can't possibly be a conversation.

That just doesn't seem sensible; it even seems a perfect example of the classic expression, at least to me.

And I assume you'll always believe different, but personal and mean remarks have always been a part of literary criticism, including for poetry. You mention the coments to the J. Smith post: I was very, very specific in there about what criticism has always included.

Best wish on your continued poetry work!
Collin Kelley said…
Steven, I've actually been to Ron's blog a couple times this week. I wish Ron had more time to moderate the comments so that he could turn them back on, but since his blog is so popular, that would take up far too much time.

As for the crap posted in Ron's comment stream, if you want to consider some of those comments "literary criticism," be my guest, but I'll have to vehemently disagree.
Collin Kelley said…
And as for the "classic expression," I've been in the blog game since it began and I know firsthand there are flamers masquerading as literature lovers who live to hijack conversations, cause dissent and generally cause mayhem. To paraphrase Alfred Pennyworth,: Some men aren't looking for anything logical.. they can't be reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

I've been writing and having my work published for nearly 20 years, and I find as I grow older the endless criticism, arguments over what's "good and bad," who's won this or that prize, the contest lottery, the MFA culture -- it's all sucked a lot of the joy out of poetry and it's creation.

Call me jaded, but all the po'biz and circle jerk criticism does nothing but push poetry further back on the shelf.
Ivy said…
Recently went and saw the Sally Mann exhibition at your recommendation. Some powerful images, especially the ones hidden away from immediate view. Great article about London, Collin!

[oops, error in my previous comment]
Radish King said…
A blog is supposed to be informative and a conversation

Hmmm. I'm glad you added the disclaimer. A blog can be whatever the hell it wants to be. At least I never got the rules but then I probably wasn't paying attention. I certainly don't write my blog to INFORM anybody about anything and quite frankly I stay away from didactic blogs including Ron's unless of course my name is mentioned.

My blog is a conversation only by accident and if I don't like the way the conversation is going I turn off the comments stream or delete comments on a whim. My blog is not supposed to be a conversation it's supposed to be where I go to practice writing.

Collin Kelley said…
By accident or not, the comments you do allow on your blog create a conversation. And it's always quite interesting. I hope you leave the comments turned on so there can be many more happy accidents. :)
Radish King said…
You know you're really evil when you get all sweet and make me turn to goo. Sheesh.

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