I have recently read an article about popular instapoets from one of my subscription magazines and been appalled at the author’s dyspeptic raillery on the poems of the known poets and brazen-faced mockery on the literary merits of the works by playing a role of agent provocateur following the instapoets just to mock their works with malice.
Just because one does not like another’s work doesn’t ipso facto endow the person with right to desecrate the work and to insult the author by putting him/her in the pillory and, thus dispiriting the mind and the heart that are indeed “noble” and respectful. As a hobbyist writer of my blog who has the temerity to write in English, I am now indeed in more sorrow than in anger that there might be agents provocateur or double agents in hides of followers intent upon deriding my amateurish but sincere writings.
The instapoets, bloggers and anyone dabbling in the craft of writing are the cult of Knut Vonnegut’s maxim: “To practice any art, how well or badly, is to make your soul l grow. So do it.” I hope the author and his likes will understand it with magnanimity of the learned literati who will not use their learning to reason against these noble spirits.
Author’s Note: This poem is a spiritual recipe for the existential malady which stifles the soul’s desire for freedom of expression for a social recognition denied on the ground of unfortunate biological and social planes. Kafka’s miserable salesman turned into a big monster bug, but the narrator of this poem becomes a beautiful, confident spirit rider, jettisoned from the dreadful realistic shackles and chooses to embark on new adventures with Kemosabe, meaning “a faithful friend” in Native American language, which is the Great White Spirit Horse.
Once upon a time, there was a natural beverage called Milk from a cow out of which people made a variety of victuals to live and enjoy. Then when the age of reason hit the zenith of ethical paeans and scientific progress, people engineered offspring of Milk to their likings and called them low-fat, 2% reduced-fat, fat-free, or even lactose-free. And that’s not the end of hubris. It bellows to encourage people to try extremes like that of Dr. Frankenstein. The results are almond milk, soy milk, and now oat milk, which Starbucks has recently added to its beverage menu.
It appears that Starbucks has finally nodded to the growing demand for vegan alternatives to dairy products, attracting more upscale, environmental and health-conscious clientele supporting Greta Thunberg’s noble environmental activism. Thanks to globally strategic campaigns about the alleged maleficent effects of cow milk on the grounds of health, environmental, and ethical issues, drinking cow milk has become something diabolical. Subsequently, dairy sales and related industries have drastically fallen and continued, causing many companies to file bankruptcy and even more people to lose their jobs. I wonder if these so-called upscale people have even worked at ordinary jobs and understand the dreadful consequences of unemployment, prior to pontificating about their virtue-extolling manifestoes.
I am unsure of whether Starbucks will hit a bonanza by selling the new vegan addition to its menu due to the facts that (1) only 13 locations in the U.S. Mid West and a few selected locations in the U.S. will sell the oat milk drink; and that (2) there are still many people who are not ardently militant against cow milk when it pairs deliciously well in their favorite cold drinks. For me, I may try the new oat milk drink if it becomes available in my location out of curiosity, doubled with a writerly responsibility to see if it’s really worth the replacement and the propaganda for me to jump into the bandwagon.
The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt might have been destroyed eons ago, but public libraries in every continent across the seven seas are going strong both as municipal assets and cultural repositories. Libraries are no longer elite academic institutes for the esoteric religious and the moneyed echelons of society whetting their intellectual vanity and superiority. The democratization of libraries as a public institution of shared and exchanged knowledge has made it possible for every class to access the symbolic fortresses of universe knowledge.
According to Stuart Kells, author of The Library: A Catalogue of Wonders and Shakespeare’s Library, libraries are “civic infrastructure,” which functions as pathways to literacy and social engagement where an exchange of information and propagation of knowledge occur voluntarily. In fact, a library is something of a public educational enterprise without expensive tuition, which provides various kinds of educational programs for all ages and all classes and of administrative services (e.g., passport service). That is why a government should fund its public libraries to encourage and fortify communal integrations and progresses instead of grandstanding on its discordant political vitriols to manipulate the number of constituents.
People might deem the future of public libraries to be rather bleak because of the advent of electronic books and online libraries. Yet, as time has been changed, so have libraries with modern resources, catering to the needs and interests of today’s library users. Public libraries have become democratic forums of learning and exchanging knowledge and information. They are vibrant cultural atriums in which the abstract and the physical become wondrously and liberally consummated. For this reason, I think that the future of public libraries is reasonably auspicious.
Author’s Note: This is my thought on a new radio interview with Stuart Kells on the future of public libraries. The subject is universal beyond Australia. Readers are encouraged to listen to the interview and to visit their local libraries.