Sunday, August 21, 2005

Keillor's Minnesota: Like Main Street, but Fun! 

Whooo howdy, how 'bout some Sunday Night Elitism?

But Garrison Keillor could do with a little Albert Ayler in his church, and church is what Keillor is all about. Everything that comes out of his mouth in that treacly baritone, which occasionally releases into a highpitched, breathless tremolo when he wants to convey emotion, is a sermon. The homily runs something like this: we are good, if foolish and weak, and may gain redemption through compassion, laughing at ourselves, and bad poetry badly read.

Albert Ayler could only be a tonic for Keillor — a tonic we will force-feed him as they force-feed a goose in Perigord for foie gras — because Ayler's art is opposite to Keillor's shtick. Everything Keillor does is about reassurance, containment, continuity. He makes no demands on his audiences, none whatsoever. To do so would only be bad manners. Gentleness and good manners are the twin pillars of the church of Keillor.

I don't condone the smarmy highbrow tone, but I do strongly endorse taking potshots at Garrison Keillor. Eat it, public radio!

No Antonin Artaud with the Flapjacks, Please [Poetry Daily]

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