Nice job on the Tory racetard poem scandal over at the Beeb by friend of The Midnight Bell, Alan Conor. Succinct, non-lecturey look at folk doggerel, or whatever it is we should call these persistent horrors.
I feel he could have improved the piece by inserting a section in the middle introducing the worst poem in the world, as established by top literary scientists (I barely got my Canonology A Level. I’ve never been able to follow the maths of the anti-canon, and am entirely lost when I try to figure out the quantum canon, though I understand Jack Kirby is very important) which of course remains Andrew Motion’s rap on Prince William’s 21st birthday (very nearly redeemed by the fact that the especially awful ‘Here’s an age attack’ line recalls Big Stick’s mighty ‘Crack Attack’. This, I fear, was an unintentional allusion. Back in the eighties, when people would ask ‘Keats or Dylan: Which is better? Is this a crisis for high culture?’, why did no-one ever phrase that as ‘Andrew Motion or Big Stick: Which is better?’ I think it would have made the whole thing a lot easier. Motion, if you ever want to be a better poet, three words: MORE DRAG RACING)
Then the article could have a discussion of whether the race doggerel is better or worse than a work by the poet laureate. He could have contacted Motion, and asked him the real questions: “Do you honestly believe that your poem is better than this evil poem, even though the evil poem is evil?”
I suppose the fact that I plan on using any influence I manage to win in my life to mercilessly harry (kthx I know, it’s not a point of grammar I’m hung up on – latinolatrous hangover) Andrew Motion (and Nick Hornby) might disqualify me from writing for institutions which require things like ‘objectivity’, ‘coherent sentences’ and ‘minimal to no use of the -tard suffix’.
It is the life, as they say in France.