NB: Antologia do Poesia Fâ Clube Novembro 2016 = Fan Club Poetry Anthology November 2016
I doubt anyone else is going to review this poetry book (it’s in Portuguese, not counting my three contributions in English, and it’s poetry), so I thought I’d do it. The problem with reviewing a book with something of mine inside is that it's impossible to get any distance to it. So some of the time I'll rejoice, and some of the time I'll whimper, but I'm afraid that's unavoidable. Beware.
I do agree that reading is suffering as a pleasurable activity. It seems possible though that one of the reasons for this push away from a literary (and literate as some rather startling surveys have suggested) society is that people have a damn hard time finding their niche (Rilke for some of us...) when it comes to reading even though we know where we stand when it comes to religion, politics, music, and even debates on what is and isn’t art. It's almost as if there was some obvious and oppressive majority (our friends) to either instill their taste preferences in us or push us to rebellion through the "TURN THAT SHIT OFF!" gratification system. I doubt most of us (beyond the really hideously sheltered or those raised under horrifyingly religious parents) ever had our parents aware enough of what we were reading to get to the point of telling us to "put that fucking book down and get some fresh air, you pasty hobgoblin!"
I had the terrible fate to grow up with parents that were actively involved and supportive of my creativity. In case you are wondering that is, indeed, another way of saying I was raised on my own preferences, as well as letting my air grow very long by age 15. So, it took me a long time, and even a 12 step program that my nihilistic ego couldn't allow me to cross the threshold of (if I'm powerless I'm clearly not culpable for my actions) before I was challenged enough to really find writers who did it for me, and not like that awful "well we're married and marriage is forever so we might as well try and fornicate since it's always going to be like this because we signed up for it" did it for me, but instead that whole "YOU'RE GOING TO FILL RUBBER SHORTS WITH COTTAGE CHEESE BEFORE URINATING ON A HOBO!? How did you even know I was into that?" doing it for me. It also took a fair amount of excess and to realize that some folks (rhymes with where-o-whack) were paid for a whole lot of crap while others were paid crap for a whole lot.
As much as it is reasonable to assume that most people are going to give themselves literary “reacharounds”, that doesn't mean that we should discourage a project that, at its core, is designed to challenge people to shit or get off the pot. I have no doubt that countless friends/husbands/wives/educators/editors/pet cats/photocopy lab-monkeys have suffered at the hands of un-tweaked or barely hammered menu-shits, but since when does having occasional shit-storms ruin anything for anyone? How many times have people stopped going to the movies because films got shitty, contrived, or flooded with awful half-conceived or just straight up aborted and hardly edited ideas? Oh right, never, fucks sake there are still people arguing that the X-Files 2016 edition was a good idea. Shouldn't this same model of human behaviour be applied to writing and readers, or have we all dismissed "Twilight" so soon... For those of you skim-reading, I think writing is just as positive as CouchTo5K, in that it encourages people to stop talking shit and actually get something done. Completing couch to 5K doesn't mean you are going to start looking for endorsements from Nike for most folks, nor does it mean that most poetry contest winners will suddenly think themselves our generation's Rilke (although that bearded fuck sure could write some run-ons) what it should, and I believe DOES do, is simply encourage that inner #ITHINKICAN and push it to a resounding #IACTUALLYJUSTDIDTHATYO! and in a fading economy with post-secondary education not only meaning less on the employment field but apparently providing no statistically significant gains to critical thinking skills. I think encouraging people to try something they love and will take personal pride in regardless of its money-making or value-providing assets is a good thing.
This book an example of that, if writing poetry is your thing.