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Go to: Religious conversation and the Socratic method

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by AnthonyMiller

link textI fear that today any socratic irony is defined as "trolling"

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 07:02:07 UTC | #948032

Go to: Countless millions of taxpayers’ money spent on discrimination in schools

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by AnthonyMiller

One of the highlights of my time at my United Reformed Church secondary school was when the prep school headmaster Mr Hawkins had a sudden road to Damascus conversion to Anglicanism and joined the Church of England. Several months later he started blanking me in the street whenever I bumped into him in Caterham and then announced that he was leaving his post as head of the prep school to go to another job in another school which happened to be Church of England.

Of course it could be that all this was entirely a matter of faith and after studying his faith and history seriously Mr Hawkins had come down in his soul against non-conformism. But really if, as a teacher, you cant lie about your faith ...then probably you're in the wrong career

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:59:18 UTC | #925428

Go to: The Archbishop of Canterbury is a Welsh bard

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Jump to comment 89 by AnthonyMiller

Comment 88 by JCarr :

Some things really are black and white, regardless of philosophical meanderings.


Tue, 03 Jan 2012 16:10:06 UTC | #904960

Go to: The Archbishop of Canterbury is a Welsh bard

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Jump to comment 87 by AnthonyMiller

Comment 82 by peter mayhew :

I don't think most priests dare ask if they are talking poetically or factually. They don't want to be disagreed with, or be seen to contradict the dogma, so walking the poetic line leaves people nicely ambiguous about it, which is what is most convenient for them.

Actually I think you'll find that as more are more people learned to read Pius X in particular spent an ever increasing volume of time trying to put the poetic genie back in the bottle

Poetry is an art form and has changed over the years... as art forms diversify they become specialised. Poetry on the whole does what poetry is best suited to today - playing with words, sounds and images. In the past (say in the 19th century and before) poetry was used more as a narrative tool - to fulfill roles that would now be taken on by television and film. Shakespeare for example uses poetic techniques in his plays because drama and poetry are less clearly defined as separate art forms. And many of Dickens novels remain percuilarly episodic because they were published in instalments and fulfilling some of the functions that would now be undertaken by soap opera within an over-arching framework. In the same way that the invention of the camera made purely pictorial painting somewhat redundant creating a drive in paiting towards more abstract representations.

Modern poetry is abstract, surreal and mystical because that is what the medium does best ...but there is still, for example, light verse out there... in the style of Wendy Cope etc. It's like music ... although there are more comic songs than there were say 10 years ago it's still primarily now a medium used for the exploration of sexual feeling because that's what it lends its self to best?

My theory anyway...

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 14:34:23 UTC | #904940

Go to: The Archbishop of Canterbury is a Welsh bard

AnthonyMiller's Avatar Jump to comment 81 by AnthonyMiller

Comment 41 by susanlatimer :

A poet is a poet and must live or die on their poetry. An archbishop is another thing altogether.

Nobody gives special credence to a poet's opinion on homosexual marriage. Poets aren't given special presence in political arenas. Their influence goes no further than the words they write. When they put on robes and wear crosses and call themselves an archbishop, we are talking about an entirely different thing. It's cheating. It means you could write bad poetry if you weren't a good poet and people would take your poetry seriously. It means you can make bad politics if you aren't a good politician and get away with it. It means you can make bad ethics if you aren't a good ethicist and your word is authoritative. The robes and the crosses make all the difference.

The fact is this isn't actually true. Why in the 21st century does the state still spends a small fortune financially subsidising the small press?
To some extent in the UK but more in the US poetry is a career thing that English professors indulge in and much modern poetry is actually state subsidised. This is why ordinary people cannot understand it. This subsidisation actually pushes up the price and cost of poetry magazines financially and actually excludes ordinary people from the poetry world - now a hobby of the rich. It is amazing how poetry is still tied to the printed page and so expensive to participate in given you can now communicate and publish online for free. The poetry world is steeped in snobbery and awash with a culture of state sponging. This is why there is a poetry corner in the Abbey. I dont think when Dylan Thomas was writing they actually got arts council giros and poetry was the better for it.

The thing that's insane is that the main argument for subsidising small press magazines (to aid human communication by removing some of the printing costs) doesn't exist any more as you dont need to actually print anything any more... so why does it still go on? And there are endless poets in workplaces scheemes and such nonsense - because that's what we all need to help us work better. There isn't a trough the Poetry Society cant try to get its jobs-for-the-boys-and-girls fat snout into. At least the punters at the RCC generally want to be there and aren't being forced to fund it out of taxation... ...although you could argue the tax breaks churches get are an unfair form of taxation on non-believers... still, that's "democracy" for you.

Between leaving University and going into comedy I published about 20 poems in various small press magazines. All of the people who published me had one thing in common. No state subsidy. And all of those who didn't publish me ...well, on the whole I cant say I understood most of their content... there was definately a connection between incomprehensibility and state funding.

Tue, 03 Jan 2012 13:09:35 UTC | #904896

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