‘Smith on Pollock’ by Julian D. Woodruff The Society January 5, 2020 Art, Beauty, Culture, Poetry 31 Comments It seems the art world all but missed the dart Hurled ‘cross the continent when Hassel Smith Called Jackson Pollock’s paintings “restaurant art”; Or else it put it out of mind forthwith. We learn, “It’s not that Pollock dripped, but how.” How patrons prize his mast’ry of technique— The practiced toss, the paint mixed to allow The epic play of line here bold, there sleek. And yet, Smith’s salvo’s not to be ignored. What was the thing that so displeased his eye? Did Pollock’s energy just leave him bored, Reacting not with “Wow!,” but rather, “Why?”? I wonder whether Smith felt in his gut, “Monumental? Then, monument to what?” Julian D. Woodruff was a teacher, orchestral musician, and librarian. He served for several years as librarian at the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. He now resides in the area of Rochester, NY, where he writes poetry and fiction, much of it for children. His work has appeared in Frostfire Worlds and on the websites of Carmina, Parody Poetry, and Reedsy. His GPS poem placed tenth in the last riddle contest of The Society of Classical Poets. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 31 Responses Joseph S. Salemi January 5, 2020 The only thing to which Pollock’s art is a monument is the power of hype, insider influence, and publicity. A coterie of modernist painters and art critics labored mightily to talk up the man’s work, and the heiress Peggy Guggenheim provided him with financial support and lots of entree to the Manhattan art world. Pollock was sleeping with Peggy (a shrewd career move), and she got a befuddled Clement Greenberg to call Pollock “the greatest living American painter.” That’s how things work in any establishment, whether in art or politics or poetry or academia or big business or popular entertainment. If you think otherwise, you are a naif. Reply Sally Cook January 5, 2020 To Mr. Smith and Mr. Woodruff – A monument to nothing, it turns out Except perhaps that Pollock took the lead In doing little; turning things about So that a random act, a foolish screed Turned on its head; the art world on its snout. We suffer still from all the chaos since; At SCP we act out penitence. I was there. Reply James A. Tweedie January 5, 2020 The artist Hassle Smith’s critique was true. But I don’t think he should felt so smug. ‘Though restaurants were not his first purview, His “art” would look nice on a coffee mug. Reply James A. Tweedie January 6, 2020 Let me try this again: The artist Hassle Smith’s critique was true. But I don’t think he should have felt so smug. Though restaurants were not his first purview, His “art” would look nice on a coffee mug. Reply C.B. Anderson January 5, 2020 I dropped a bottle of ketchup on my kitchen tiles today. I think I should be considered the greatest living American artist for that alone. Reply Red Was Iceblue January 5, 2020 In my younger years, I was ever altering how I wrote. I can remember for over two years, I wrote cahier after cahier in a language, which I would call American, but with additional letters and unusual spellings (That is not an excuse for my frequent typos, but it is noteworthy, at least to Me.). Today I would not call, those notebooks I wrote in Germany, poetry, or prose, or free verse, etc.; it was simply writing; and two years ago I threw most of the pages away. In addition, there were many other experiments. It is from the visual-arts world, for example, that I created the bilding, which I do still like (though it has gained no interest here at SCP). Like Ms. Cook, I too was there; and Jackson Pollack (1912-1956) informed various verbal presentations of mine, like the following verbal concoction, partly to move the mind in different ways. a a W o m i t p r n e u a n i e e d t y s m r m l t e h a m a o b e a l o y o e a g p s r k d o s o e i s m i n o o n b m n d r r f g e o e e a e c r g e t f f a e a d h h r r u t e o o o s c i b r r m m e o v e i n e t z u l W s . l h o p e e e e a n f r p s n t t t a v e s a o r a r v l t e t h p e d o i a o r i o a v p s t n w r l e s i i n i l . t c o , g W i a u h t e v l r W t h e ! e e I have written other poems on Pollack paintings and his life; but, like Ms. Cook, I have no desire to dredge them back up, nor share them @ SCP. But I would say to younger poets, the World is huge. There are so many possibilities for English. Find what works for You, and what helps You flourish as a poet (as You can see in the above “poem”, I used to capitalize some of my pronouns, partly as a counter-reaction to E. E. Cummings.). Reply Red Was Iceblue January 5, 2020 The poem did not look like this when I typed it. It should have been eight slender lines. Obviously the comment section does its own thing. Reply David Watt January 6, 2020 Jackson Pollock’s “Blue Poles” hangs in the National Gallery of Australia, here in Canberra. Purchased in 1973 for $1.3 million AUD, it could be considered a successful investment, as it is today valued in the hundreds of millions. Having said that, it was always a controversial purchase, for the price at the time, and the fact that the then Prime Minister was required to give the final purchase approval. Personally, I’ve never considered tossed and dripped ‘abstract expressionism’ artistically valuable. Ketchup on canvas (with glass shards included) would serve equally as well. Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 6, 2020 A great deal of the hype and hoopla surrounding modernist art is largely driven by financial motives. If you can get the academic and critical establishment to say that some piece of garbage is “momentous” and “groundbreaking,” you immediately set the stage for its future value as an investment. This has happened within living memory to the work of talentless poseurs like Keith Haring and Basquiat. And if you have limitless funds like the revolting Yoko Ono, you can generate your own tidal wave of critical acclaim. Reply Monty January 6, 2020 1/ As has always been the case, there are those who admire ‘surrealistic art’, and consider it to be a vital form . . . and there are those vehemently opposed to it, who like their art ‘straight’, lifelike and safe. This can lead to futile exchanges in which the former ask the latter: “In a painting, do you really feel more stimulated by seeing a bowl of fruit or a row of houses . . than you do by seeing something from Ernst or Breton?” And the latter have to say “Yes”, for fear of contradicting themselves. And the former will ask: “But for how long can one stare at such a familiar image as a row of houses before deciding they’ve seen all there is to see; and does one really need to see yet another row of houses, from trillions of other paintings of a row of houses . . in a painting which has only been lauded ‘coz of the artist’s renown?” And the latter will blandly say: “Yeah, but at least we can make sense of it.” And there we have it: Those who lack the curiosity and imagination to allow their perceptions to be challenged . . need to be able to make sense of art. They don’t wanna be discomforted. And they should just leave it at that: horses for courses. But they don’t; they grow resentful at their lack of curiosity and imagination . . which naturally leads to their dismissal of challengeable art. And the same lack of imagination prevents them from seeing the indubitable truth that each and every form of art is valid, if not to one person, then to another. Those who don’t recognise the term ‘horses for courses’ are those with the narrowest of narrow minds. It really is that simple. 2/ If anyone cared to read the fascinating biography of Guggenheim: ‘Shock of the Modern’ . . they’d soon see that it’s not a case of who she slept with, but who didn’t she sleep with! She wasn’t shy, old Peggy. And, given that she was one of the most influential figures in the rise of the whole ‘surrealistic’ movement, who can begrudge her possessing a high sex-drive? At least she was honest about it. For her unswerving and determined patronage of such a vital and ground-breaking movement . . she may well be the most important person in the history of art who never actually painted. Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 6, 2020 Pollock was not a “surrealist.” His chosen style was a form of abstract expressionism called “action-painting.” Before you comment on art, perhaps you should know something about it. No one blames Peggy Guggenheim for her kaleidoscopic sex life. She was an admitted nymphomaniac, and made no bones about it. My point was that Pollock bedded her as a means of advancing his career, and it seems to have paid off quite handsomely. As he revealed much later to a friend, he had to do it with his eyes closed, and with Peggy covered by towels. The notion that simply because houses and landscapes and still-life paintings have been done many times means that such subject matter is exhausted or dated is absurd. We have thousands of excellent portraits — does that mean portrait-painting should cease? We have a similarly large number of Annunciations and Crucifixions and Nativities — are painters disallowed to continue making them? Before modernism came along, no one would presume to think that human ingenuity had been drained by past achievements, and that we had to come up with absurdities, stupidity, and ugliness to fill the gap. Your attitude seems to be that of the typical art-world denizen: “It’s art if an artist says that it’s art.” So if some phony pounds a nail into a gallery floor (I have seen that here in New York) and insists that it’s “art,” we all have to go along with the fraud. Ever since Marcel Duchamp took a urinal off the street and put it in a gallery, we’ve been fed this line of bullshit. Recently at a major gallery, an “artist” displayed some kind of stupid installation that was made up of cigarette butts, used napkins, empty wine bottles, half-eaten canapes and sandwiches, and general filth and trash. After the exhibit was over and the gallery was closed, the cleaning crew came in, assumed it was the detritus of some cocktail party, and swept all of it into the trash. The next day the “artist” was enraged at this destruction of his work, and the gallery owners were deeply embarrassed. You want to defend that kind of crap? Fine, go ahead. But don’t tell the rest of us that we lack imagination or are “narrow.” By the way, you never answered my main point — namely, that reputations in the modern art world are frequently cooked up by hype and publicity and money, and this is done to sell “masterpieces” for a huge prices to gullible collectors, or to cynical investors who are looking to flip the works for a heavy profit in the future. Reply Monty January 6, 2020 How many times did you see the name Pollock in my last comment . . . yeah, exactly. So, whatever possessed you to start your last missive with: “Pollock wasn’t a surrealist”? Pay attention to what’s actually being said instead of leaping to conclusions. I’ve no affinity whatsoever with Pollock; that’s why he wasn’t mentioned in my last comment. For most of my life, I knew only his name; and none of his art. But, about 10 years ago, I went to the Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, where I happened to see for the first time Pollock’s ‘Mural’ . . in its full size (6mts long): and I confess I was totally mesmerised . . staring agape for 20-30 minutes. But to this day, that’s the only piece of his work that I’m aware of. He’s never been under my radar. My avid interest in the surrealistic movement – since its inception early in the last century – is solely from a European standpoint. Apart from him, I couldn’t name one other American artist; and will probably never be able to do so. Again, where in my last comment did I say that still-lifes and landscapes were “exhausted”? Where did I even IMPLY that they were exhausted? WHERE? It’s a pure lie. Can’t you see that your habit of distorting what others say is only indicative of a lack of confidence in what you say yourself; there can be no other reason for it. I don’t believe that you tell these lies just for the sake of lying; you tell them for that reason. Still-lifes and landscapes will never be exhausted, ‘coz there will always be people who want the art they view to be safe and lifelike; who don’t want their perceptions challenged. Like I said: horses for courses. D’you think I’m unaware of the farce and bullshit that passes for the modern-day art-world? That’s why I’m intentionally unaware of it. My only interest is in art from around 1910 till about 1970. I don’t care what came before then, or what has come since. That 60-year period contains everything I need in my relationship with art, and I’ve researched it thoroughly, having been to umpteen exhibitions around Europe; watched maybe hundreds of documentaries on telly; and read 30-40 (auto)biographies. And there’s still so much more to discover! That 60-year period will keep me occupied for the rest of my days. I trust your now aware that modern art doesn’t exist in my psyche. You started your last paragraph with: “By the way, you never answered my main point..” . . but you never asked me to! Your “main point” was in your earlier comment, which you made before I even joined this thread. So how is it that you expected me to “answer” it? See? You just rush headstrong into things, and you get yourself all mixed-up. So, you know for sure that Pollock had Peggy with his eyes shut, and her covered in blankets . . ‘coz “he told a friend”! Oh, so it MUST be true, then. What a waste of space on the page. That’s the oldest trick in the tabloid-journalism book: the sheer epitome of the gossip pages: “A friend revealed..” I’m mildly shocked that a man of your genuine and undeniable literary standing would resort to such inanities. Lannie David Brockstein January 12, 2020 Hey Monty, Regarding the argument which you put forth for “civil and fruitful discussion” in this thread, because you are not an insincere coward that resorts to posting verbal suckerpunches against others, about paintings that depict bowls of fruit or rows of houses, can the same argument not be applied to Pollock’s paintings—that they all look the same? My opinion of Modernism is that it is to art what Atheism is to religion, and what 0 is to mathematics. Something new to many art galleries are 3D printer renderings that accompany the paintings on canvas they exhibit, so that those whom are blind or visually impaired can enjoy those paintings, too. They accomplish that by means of their “seeing” those paintings with their hands, much the same way that the blind or visually impaired can “see” a person’s face, by means of their using their hands to gently touch that other person’s face. What moral right does any seeing person have to judge a person that is blind or visually impaired, if that blind or visually impaired person does enjoy synesthesia-seeing (by means of their sense of touch) 3D renderings of paintings by Pollock, more than 3D renderings of paintings by Bouguereau? It was William Blake who wrote: “How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way, Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?” From Lannie. Reply David Whippman January 17, 2020 With respect, this piece was about Pollock, and I don’t understand why you connect him with surrealism. Many surrealists, such as Dali, were undeniably highly skilled artists. I would question whether the same could be said of Pollock. Of course it’s all a matter of personal opinion, but I think there’s an element of the emperor’s new clothes in much of the praise heaped on Pollock et al. Reply Joseph S. Salemi January 6, 2020 You call people who prefer realist and figurative art “lacking in curiosity and imagination.” You suggest that they are dull persons who “don’t want to be challenged,” and who “don’t want to be discomforted.” And you don’t consider that to be insulting to those of us here who have commented on Mr. Woodruff’s poem? You’re the one who is a liar. You said, in speaking of someone talking to those who prefer figurative art, the following: “But for how long can one stare at such a familiar image as a row of houses before deciding they’ve seen all there is to see, and does one really need to see yet another row of houses, from trillions of other paintings of a row of houses…” Then later you say “there will always be people who want the art they view to be safe and lifelike; who don’t want their perceptions challenged.” What does that suggest or imply about the modernist attitude (your attitude!) towards traditional subject matter? You’re not just a liar, Monty — you’re a STUPID liar, because you don’t even remember what you have written. Both of the above quotes are dripping with contempt for anyone who prefers realism to modernist dreck. And now you’re trying to back away from the clear implication contained in those quotes about your personal attitudes about art, by pretending to be a disinterested connoisseur of surrealism. I suggest laying off the marijuana for a while. And once again, you proudly trumpet your basic ignorance. You are only interested in art from 1910 to 1970? You know nothing about the great masters, about the Renaissance, about the Italian pre-Raphaelites, about the Flemish and Dutch greats, about Neo-Classical painting? And then you come here and have the cheek to lecture the rest of us about how we are “lacking in imagination”? I guess this is all of a piece with your proud claim that you don’t read (nor care to read) any poetry earlier than 1750. In the long course of my life I’ve read a lot of books, so I don’t recall where I read about Pollock’s letter to his friend about his sexual flings with Peggy Guggenheim. Apparently you won’t accept anything as true unless you have a videotape. We’re not in a courtroom here, buddy. We can mention whatever the hell we want to mention. By the way — you saw the Pollock mural in Venezia at the Guggenheim Gallery? And you went into ecstasy before it? Really? At that piece of Greek-diner restaurant art? As they say in social media, LMAO. Reply C.B. Anderson January 7, 2020 As anyone who has studied the philosophy of art must know, there ARE objective standards of what constitutes art. One such standard is density of meaning, and random squiggles from a bottle of pigment do not live up to that. Crap is crap, and can be recognized immediately. Anyone who considers crap as art is aesthetically challenged, to put it politely. To call such persons cretins would be a disservice to the many sound and reasonable inhabitants of Crete. Reply David Whippman January 17, 2020 C. B., you just said what a hell of a lot of people think. In my opinion, they are right. Of course, Monty is entitled to his opinion. But he seems to claim some sort of intellectual high ground, and I think his admiration of Pollock’s work does not support such a claim. Monty February 2, 2020 ‘All art is quite useless’: Oscar Wilde. I’ve made it known on these pages before, CB, that I regard you as the foremost poetry critic at SCP. There may be a handful of others here who are equally qualified to hold that title – with their undoubted knowledge of all things poetry – but between them, they’re either too prejudiced to be trusted with a balanced assessment (guess who?) . . or too reluctant to criticise blatant errors for fear of offending someone. Vitally, you hold no such fears; that’s why you’re worthy of your title. And that’s why I’ve always trusted your word implicitly. But in matters of art, I can never again take notice of anything you say after your outrageous claim above. Forgetting for a moment everything else that’s been said in this whole thread, that one sentence of yours: “One standard of art is that it has to have density of meaning”.. is almost criminal. Art doesn’t even need to have ‘meaning’, let alone ‘density of meaning’. Of course it can have meaning if the artist so desires; but it doesn’t HAVE to have it! It’s not a necessary function of art to have meaning. If one person sees a certain meaning in a piece of art, and another person sees a different meaning in the same piece, that’s already two different meanings . . so how can that piece be limited to one single meaning? I know it’s an old cliche, but art exists only as art. From some of the things I’ve read in this thread, I imagine that anyone who read the above aphorism from Wilde will simply take it literally: ‘Oh, Wilde thinks art is useless’. But he’s actually paying art a compliment. What he’s saying is: ‘Art doesn’t need to have any use’ . . or ‘It’s not the function of art to be of any use’ . . therefore it’s useLESS. See? Art doesn’t need to have a use: it doesn’t need to have meaning: it just needs to be. Others can then deduce their own meaning from it. Monty January 31, 2020 I think by now most of the regular contributors to SCP have noticed how enraged you become when replying to a commenter who’s dared to oppose your impossibly one-dimensioned views; thus, given that a few days have elapsed since you wrote your above comment, maybe you’ve calmed down enough to read it again with a more balanced state of mind. Of course you don’t have to re-read it, but if you do (and I’m fairly sure you will) you may now notice that it basically consists of nothing but the following: 1/ You’ve simply repeated many of my own words and sentences from my previous comment.. 2/ You’ve attempted, as is your wont, to put your own words into my mouth.. 3/ By the general nature and content of your last comment, you’ve unwittingly endorsed and supported most of what I said in my last comment. Allow me to elaborate on each point . . Point 1.. speaks for itself: your comment is littered with extracted copies from my last comment. Here are just two examples of many: In my last comment, I said “I’m only interested in art from 1910 to 1970”. In your reply you said: “You’re only interested in art from 1910 to 1970”. How percipient of you; you copied me unerringly, word for word. Again, in my last comment, I made it clear that “I don’t know anything about art from before 1910”. Incredibly, in your reply, you tell me: “You know nothing about the great masters, the Renaissance, Neo-Classical, etc” . . well, given that they all came before 1910, you’ve again done nothing but repeat what I already said. See? (And there are plenty more above; take a look for yourself.) So, now you’ve absorbed the above examples in the cold light of day, you can now see how futile your replies become when you write while enraged. Your rage distracts you from what’s actually being said in the comment to which you’re replying. I’ll venture that your patent lack of attention-to-detail is generally down to the following scenario: You encounter a comment which quickly enrages you . . by the time you get to halfway through the comment, you already know that you’re gonna write a venomous reply . . then, when you continue reading the rest of the comment, you do so with only half a mind on it, ‘coz the other half is already starting to form the basis of your reply: even if only subconsciously. And the consequence of reading with only half a mind is . . you miss things: you misinterpret things (of which, more later): you take things out of context. But, being the sporting chap that I am, I’m gonna offer you a remedy; as a goodwill gesture from the heart of my bottom. In future, when you’re reading such a comment, and you reach that boil-over point, with half a mind already on your reply . . stop reading! Take check for a few seconds, compose yourself, and then continue reading the rest of the comment – thoroughly, and in its entirety. Then, and only then, should you start considering your reply (which will, in turn, be more balanced for doing so). I feel that this method should eliminate those mistakes which you so often make. Point 2.. We’re used to this from you by now, trying to insert your own words into other people’s text. To cite several examples: a/ In your penultimate comment, you infer that I expressed the notion that landscapes and still-lifes are “exhausted”. That’s your word: I never said it, nor inferred it. The majority of people in the western-world don’t want their perceptions challenged: they will always settle for ‘safe’ art, such as still-lifes and landscapes . . thus it can and will never become “exhausted”. Hence, there will always be a market for ‘safe’ art, and so there should be . . different horses for different courses. b/ You then inferred that I suggested those who like their art to be ‘safe’ are “dull persons”: again, your words. I never said nor inferred anything of the sort. One’s art preferences (if any) can never be a means by which we can judge their character. c/ I stated that when I first saw Mural (which was purely by chance: I’d never heard of it before entering Peggy’s place, and it happened to be the very first piece on view), I was “stood agape” for 20mins. You changed that to “so you went into ecstasy over Mural” . . no, I didn’t: that’s your word. I did what I said: “stood agape”. I know what I felt that day; and I also know the feeling of pure ecstasy . . two different things. See how you just change people’s words around? And it’s stupid, ‘coz everyone knows that that’s what people do when they’re wrong, or when they’re losing an argument. d/ You refer negatively to comparatively recent so-called art such as “the nail in the floor” . . the “installation of the leftovers from a buffet”, etc . . and then accuse me of “defending” such stuff. That’s a blatant lie. All the sort of stuff you’re referring to (let’s include Emin’s ‘Bed’, etc) has happened in the last 20-30 years . . and yet I said quite clearly in my last comment that “I don’t know nor care about ANY art since 1970”. And I don’t! I’m intentionally unaware of it all. So how can I be “defending” stuff from recent years? See? YOU DON’T READ COMMENTS THOROUGHLY! Your all-consuming rage prevents you from doing so. How else can your flagrant inaccuracies be explained? Point 3.. In your comment, you’ve quoted two of my sentences, and ludicrously tried to claim that they contradict each other. For a start, the two sentences weren’t even linked. The first one was (to paraphrase) just me wondering for how many minutes one can stare dutifully at a painting of a ‘row of houses’ before realising it’s just another ‘row of houses’.. like a trillion others they’ve seen before (unless they’re in company when they see it; then the pretentious art-world bullshit comes out: “Oh, but just look at the strokes he’s used to do those roof-tiles”). And the second sentence just reiterates what I said in the previous paragraph: that there will always be people (generally the majority) who want their art to be ‘safe’ and lifelike; who don’t want their perceptions challenged”. And it’s perfectly true: there always will be. Just as there will always be people (generally the minority) who like their art to be a bit different from the norm: to stimulate them. And you claim that those two sentences contradict each other; and what’s more, they warrant you calling me a “liar”.. which you quickly qualify as “STUPID liar”. But now you’ve read them again, even you can see who the stupid one really is. In your first paragraph, you refer to “those of us who’ve commented on Mr Woodruff’s poem”: but you haven’t once commented on it in this thread. Not once. The moment you finished reading it, you saw it as a ready-made opportunity to release some of your fury on Pollock, the type of art he represents, and subsequently the whole Modernist thing (whatever Modernist means). Can’t you see that? Read all your comments again; they’re nothing to do with the poem. It’s just you letting-off steam about a type of art which has got nothing to do with you; art which you’ve never been able to accept or understand (which is the very reason for your hatred of it). And you don’t possess the composure to ever stop and think: ‘Actually, there are all types of art for all types of people: horses for courses”. No, that’d be too easy for you, wouldn’t it . . you’d have nothing to release your anger upon. How could you stoop so low as to mention the m-word at the bottom of your 5th paragraph? What mindless puerility; pure gutter-press stuff. Have you no pride? As for Pollock and Peggy: it doesn’t matter if you can’t recall the actual book in which you read that “a friend revealed..” . . it’s utter tripe. A classic tabloid juicy snippet, and I’m still surprised that you had the temerity to even mention such nonsensical hearsay. You say: “We’re not in a courtroom: we can mention whatever we want” . . but I bet you wish you’d never mentioned that! Calm down . . Reply Joseph S. Salemi February 1, 2020 Oh for Pete’s sake, Monty. It takes you three and a half weeks to compose a reply, and all you can come up with is pathetic logic-chopping? Grow up. 1. Yes, I’m very glad I mentioned your self-confessed marijuana addiction, and I’m repeating it here. You smoke too much weed, and it has obviously affected your critical capacities. 2. Yes, Jackson Pollock screwed Peggy Guggenheim to get ahead in the art world, and yes, he said that he had to cover her up with towels to do it. If you’re bothered by my mentioning it, tant pis. 3. Yes, you are a stupid liar who attempts to talk your way out of the clear tenor and implication of what you have written, usually by trying to make pointlessly complex rationalizations for your absurdities. 4. I could say a lot more, but you’re really not worth the time. Monty February 3, 2020 Can we leave Pete out of this? None of this is for his sake, so I doubt if he wishes to be involved. You’re obviously not aware that there are two ways in which it can take 25 days to “compose a reply”: the first way is to write maybe 50 words every day for 25 days – which is how you think it was. The second way is to not be anywhere near any internet for 24 days, then “compose a reply” on the 25th – which would never have entered your mind until now. I can imagine your thoughts (and those of most Americans, probably): “What! He didn’t use the internet for 24 whole days!” But if you were to further ask yourself: “Well, what could he’ve been doing for those 24 days?” . . . then you might begin to get the picture. As for your four points: 1/ As much as I wish you hadn’t, it’s now plainly apparent that some good has come from your initial mention of the m-word. It’s enabled others to see for themselves just how low you’re prepared to stoop against anyone who has the capability to expose you for what you are, and will always be. It’s now there for all to see that you feel no shame in resorting to gutter-press tactics in trying to dig yourself out of the hole-of-rage from which, realistically, you can never escape. You’ve been sentenced to life in that hole-of-rage; accept it.. and give up the digging. 2/ The only person who’s “bothered” about your claim regarding Pollock and Peggy is you. There can be no doubt that you now sorely wish you hadn’t’ve even mentioned it in the first place. “I read somewhere that someone’s friend told someone about . . “: it’s as ridiculous as it gets: a tabloid nonentity. Perhaps you could ask Mr Mantyk to remove it. 3/ You’re fantasising again. I realise how dearly you wish that the words of my penultimate comment had said what you wanted them to say, or what you misinterpreted them to say; but the fact is, they said what they said. Anyone can read them to see for themselves that they made perfect sense; anyone can see that I haven’t backed away from them in any way; and anyone can see that you had, and have, no answer to them . . which is why you desperately resorted to copying them in your own comment. 4/ I’m sure you COULD say more, a lot more; but it’d only be the same old worn-out words (“you’re a liar, Monty.. you don’t read poetry before 1750.. you had no education.. you smoke m” . . if only you could hear yourself sometimes), or futile attempts to distort my comments. That’s generally all you do. You’ve got nothing of your own to say, and nothing new to say. Your words just degenerate into a paraphrasing of mine. What a shame it is that a truly accomplished writer such as yourself has to resort to such desperate tactics in an attempt to extricate yourself from debates in which you’re generally left without a leg to stand on. Given that you always unfailingly reply to my words, I obviously AM “worth it”. If I wasn’t, you’d simply tell yourself “I’m not replying to him: he’s not worth it”. See? If you ‘genuinely’ felt that I wasn’t worth it, you wouldn’t reply: anyone can see that. Rather, I think it’s the case that I AM worth it to you. I feel that you secretly welcome our exchanges, ‘cos they afford you a guaranteed opportunity to release some of your deeply-rooted tension. A valve you can switch on and off. You need me. At this juncture, it wouldn’t be unreasonable of you to be thinking: “But, at the same time, Monty always replies back to MY comments in our exchanges”.. well, I sincerely wish I didn’t have to. But – as will be shown in the next paragraph- I’m never left with any choice. It can be seen that, historically, maybe 90% of our personal exchanges on these pages have began thus: Someone submits a poem.. I make a comment to the author of that poem.. you then send a comment to me denouncing something(s) I said in my comment to the author. And that is ALWAYS how our exchanges first begin – you to me. It’s never me to you . . absorb that! And in almost all cases, your comment makes no mention of the poem upon which I commented; the poem is momentarily forgotten in your mind. Your initial comment is always directed solely at something you spotted in my comment to another, something which didn’t happen to acquiesce with your own racist, deeply-prejudiced, hate-filled, frustrated and failed outlook on life. And as such, your comment transpires into a diatribe in which you attempt to ridicule me (normally for no other reason other than I happen to live my life in the exact opposite way that you live yours; and have beliefs and characteristics that are the polar opposite of yours); flagrantly distort my words to make it appear that you’ve got some sort of case; attempt, in desperation, to insert your own words into my text; try to belittle something which I hold dear, for no other reason other than you resent the fact that you don’t, and never will, understand that thing; and incessantly repeat the same old perceived failings (1750, etc) with which you delude yourself into thinking they afford you some sort of superiority over me. And owing to the nature of such comments, I’m left with no choice (as I said above) but to defend myself – against your raging lies and inaccuracies – with my own reply . . and so another exchange begins. But it’s always you who instigates it: because you seek it. Even filthier, you seek it from behind a keyboard! ‘The bravery of being out of range’.. as Roger Waters put it. You really are unique. Before I became affiliated with SCP, I promise you that I had no idea that any individual could be so inextricably screwed-up over what’s left-wing, what’s right-wing, what’s kaflik, what ain’t.. and everything in between. It’s been an eye-opener for me. But I now realise that you’re literally an impossible human being to deal with, you’re so far gone. I realise the pain you’re in . . and I don’t want any more to do with it. Thus, I’m gonna give you two choices . . 1/ We can carry on just as we are, with you hijacking my comments to others with an unprovoked attack: so beginning yet another exchange in which you just monotonously rehash old stuff . . Then I’m forced to reply.. a/ To defend myself against your lies.. b/ To put you in your place and try to make you see your own failings.. c/ (and this is the reason why my replies are sometimes lengthy) To make your failings clear to other readers, thus they’ll know what to expect when you launch an unprovoked attack on them in the same way. If you DO choose to continue, you must realise that you can never beat me. In spite of the fact that you’re a man of undeniable literary standing and I’m a common taxi-driver . . we’ve both been blessed with the same gift of writing. Hence, when we have personal exchanges of words, we start as equals. But I will always have a slight edge, ‘coz I write truthfully, and from the heart; you write untruthfully, disingenuously and from the stomach. I’ve never tried to distort or subvert other people’s words at SCP; you do both without even blinking. That’s why I’ve got a slight edge . . and that’s why you can never beat me with words. My beautifully-crafted, elegant and colourful pen is mightier than your ungainly, blood-soaked sword. 2/ We can agree now that you’ll never again write a comment to me in response to a comment I made to another.. and vice versa (not that I’ve ever done it to you). Also, in any comments you make to others, you’re not to mention my name.. and vice versa. If there’s any infraction, the rule is immediately rescinded: for example, if I was to mention your name in a comment I made to another, you’ve got the right to reply to me personally, with as much diatribe as you wish. But other than that, we send NO comments to each other; and we don’t mention each other in our comments to others. We’ll simply keep out of each other’s way. I trust you can see the sense in this: not only for us, but for others at SCP (including Mr Mantyk) who might be as tired as I am at these monotonous exchanges. I’ve got a mile of better things to do than argue with you: and none of them involve the internet! So, if you wanna take option 1, then just reply to this in your normal manner, with your normal empty words. If it’s option 2, then send a reply saying only that . . option 2. And that’ll be the end of it. Joseph S. Salemi February 3, 2020 You actually think that you’re a good writer, Monty? LMAO. Take your “options,” and stick them in your opium pipe. I’ll write whatever I choose to write in these threads, whether they pertain to your comments or not. Got that, matey? Monty February 5, 2020 See what I mean about you being “impossible”? It’s beyond belief that you – who’s become infamous on these pages for replying to comments which you didn’t even read properly – have just done exactly the same thing again: in broad daylight! Astoundingly, you assert: “I’ll write whatever I choose to write in these threads..”, but if you’d’ve read option 2 properly, you would’ve noticed that IT ALLOWS YOU TO DO THAT. It allows you to write anything you want, in any comment, in any thread. Read it again. The only two things it disallows is 1/ You making a personal comment to me: or me to you.. 2/ Either of us mentioning each other’s name in comments we make to others. See? You can still write anything you want: to anyone you want: except one person. That’s all, just one. Can you not see that that’s a sensible and humane solution to what’s become a monotonous bore on these pages? Think of others. Think of those who submit poems to these pages, only to have their comments-section commandeered by an ongoing feud between two others, showing no regard to the poem itself. And as has been shown, the feud is always, ALWAYS reignited by you. Can you not see how selfish it is of you to use other people’s pages to let off a bit of steam? There’s nothing at all wrong with healthy and honest debates, no matter how strong they are: they’re important in life, and they’re important here at SCP. But there’s nothing healthy or honest in our exchanges; they’re just one-dimensional and predictable. They serve no purpose to anyone else at SCP . . and they simply HAVE to stop. Option 2 allows them to stop once and for all, without impinging upon your freedom to say what you wish in comments to others. You can still refer to me in a comment to another: just not by name. For example: As things stand now, someone submits a poem.. I make a comment to the author.. you then make a comment directly to me: “That’s rubbish, Monty. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just a..” . . and we’re off. But under option 2: Someone submits a poem.. I make a comment to the author.. you make a separate comment saying words to the effect of: “I don’t agree with the above comment; instead, I think it’s the case that..” . . See? You can still “pertain” to my comment, but without mentioning my name, and without sending the comment to me directly . . and, of course, vice versa. There couldn’t be a better solution. I trust that I’ve now explained option 2 so clearly (read it thoroughly, for once), even you can see that if you refuse it, everyone in this thread will realise that by refusing, you’re more or less admitting: “I need you, Monty; I need our personal exchanges. I abhor everything you represent, thus it’s so easy for me to get angry with you. As such, I constantly anticipating your comments to these pages, just so I can release some of that anger”. See? It’s simply the case that that would be your only reason for refusing the solution. For everyone’s sake . . will you now accept option 2? Monty February 5, 2020 . . and would you kindly refrain from defacing these pages with such blights as LMAO? I don’t know what it means; I don’t know what any of those modern-day acronyms mean – except ‘lol’, which I’ve recently concluded to be something supposedly representing ‘funny’. Save such blights for your text-messages to those who readily expect nothing differenr. Joseph S. Salemi February 6, 2020 Monty, go take flying leap at the moon. What’s become “a monotonous bore” on these threads are your endless, ungrammatical, meandering attempts to justify yourself and your ignorance. As for you telling me how I should fashion my written answers here, well… LMAO. Monty February 11, 2020 Well, you’ve had a long weekend over which to ponder my offer, so for the last time: Will you accept option 2? Just give a straight Yes or No . . don’t hide behind meaningless diversions such as ‘leaps at moons’ and ‘stick in pipes’; all that does is give the impression that you’re trying to avoid committing to actually saying the words Yes or No . . which could only be for one of two reasons: 1/ You CAN actually see the common-sense in option 2 (the way in which it’d benefit the readership at SCP, without hardly impinging upon your, and my, ability to comment), and you realise that it’s the only viable and sensible solution. Hence, you feel as though it’d be better to say ‘yes’ . . but, out of blind obduracy, you just can’t bring yourself to do it. 2/ You know for sure that you don’t wanna choose option 2, but you’re hesitant to simply say the word ‘no’, ‘coz everyone who’s been following this thread will be left in no doubt that you wish to adamantly perpetuate this feud just as a constant supply to your own demented ejaculations. So, no more diverting from a straight answer . . just a simple Yes or No. If you ain’t answered by tomorrow night (wensdy), I’ll take it as a No; after which I shall effect my plan B. In your last comment, it took about 13 millimetres to expose your hypocrisy. You referred to my own comments as “ungrammatical”, which is automatically disproved by the fact that you’ve never highlighted any grammatical error made by me on these pages. If you’d ever discovered one, there’s not the slightest doubt that you would’ve jumped straight on it: that you would’ve been falling over yourself to reply, telling me of my error. You wouldn’t’ve been able to resist it, no matter how minuscule the error. So, I think we can forget about that. “Ungrammatical” was just another angry, empty word from you to me. But little did you know that it also carried with it a sumptuous irony, ‘coz there were only about 13 millimetres distance between your word ‘ungrammatical” and your other words “go take flying leap at the moon”. See? Now we ARE talking bad grammar. Although the correct wording would be ‘go AND take A flying leap at the moon’, I’m aware that it’s accepted on that side of the pond to sometimes omit the ‘and’, as in: ‘Go take a shower’.. ‘Go take a nap’ . . but nowhere in the English-speaking world do we omit the ‘a’ to leave ‘Go take flying leap’. See? There were 13 millimetres between you accusing me of bad grammar and you displaying bad grammar . . 13 millimetres of flagrant hypocrisy. Try talking you’re way out of that one . . . Monty February 11, 2020 . . ‘your’ for ‘you’re’ above. Joseph S. Salemi February 11, 2020 Monty, you’re such a flaming jackass that it’s laughable. I left out the indefinite article “a” in a sentence. That’s a typo, not a grammatical error. As for your grammatical gaffes, there are so many of them in your endless posts that everyone here has simply ignored them. I guess I’ll have have to express myself even more strongly about your precious “options.” Take them and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. Do you grasp my meaning? Or should I make it more anatomically explicit? Please don’t bother answering me. But if you insist on doing so, could you at least manage it in less than fourteen paragraphs? We’re running out of pixel-space here at the SCP. Red Was Iceblue January 7, 2020 I appreciate Mr. Woodruff pointing out Hassel Smith calling Pollock’s painting “restaurant art”. The sad news is that in the New Millennium there is art that doesn’t even rise to the level of restaurant/hotel-room art, as in the following: Banana Art “bonana fana fo…” —Shirley Ellis When a banana duct-taped to a wall was decently sold for $120,000! recently, a Georgia artist, Dave Datuna, peel’d it on the spot, and then he ate it, while onlookers watched him swallow it. The said banana was part of an art exhibit by Italian artist Cattelan, the Coxes had to buy. Although it’s only a cheap piece of produce from the store connected by gray duct tape—only this and nothing more— and though the Hunger Artist wasn’t in black leotards with ribs protruding, sitting on spread straw before a crowd, he gobbled up the wall fruit unapologetic’lly. Art Basel, then, removed the fruit piece energetic’lly. “The Hunger Artist” is a short story by German writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924). Reply Monty January 28, 2020 David and Lannie: I trust that when you’ve read this missive, you’ll both agree that you should, in future, pay more attention to what’s actually written in comments to which you intend to reply; and indeed you may even question your ability to simply read English. The following quotes are from my above comment, but perhaps if you read them in highlighted form, you may actually understand what they convey: “I’ve no affinity whatsoever with Pollock” . . “Ten years ago in Venice, I had a chance 20-minute encounter with ‘Mural’” (before which, I never even knew of its existence) . . “But to this day, that’s the ONLY piece of his work that I’m aware of”. It appears that you both had trouble grasping those words, so I ask that you go back and repeat them to yourselves before reading on. I’ll start with you, David: now you’ve seen (and hopefully grasped) my words in the cold light of day, can you ask yourself – you don’t have to tell me, but ask yourself – whatever possessed you to refer to “Monty’s admiration for Pollock’s work”? Think about that. I declared above that I have NO KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WORK, except for ONE PIECE; and yet you said those words. You never read my comment properly, did you? This is further evidenced in your other reference to me “seeming to take the intellectual high-ground”. Let me quote again from my last comment: “My only interest is in art from a 60-year period.. 1910 to 1970; I don’t know nor care about what came before then, or what’s come since”. See? A mere 60 years.. in the whole history of art; which probably indicates that I know less about art in general than anyone else in this thread . . maybe less than anyone affiliated with SCP! And yet I “seem to be taking the intellectual high-ground”. Again, ask yourself. You also said: “CB, you just said what a hell of a lot of people think”. Not just “a lot of people”, but “a HELL of a lot”: which would indicate that we’re talking about a significant number. So, who are these “hell of a lot of people”? Did you text or e-mail “a hell of a lot of people” with the contents of this thread; and “a hell of a lot of people” replied, saying they were all in accordance with CB’s words? How incautious of you to leave yourself with only two choices: 1/ Show me a list of these “hell of a lot of people”.. 2/ Admit that what you SHOULD’VE said was: “CB, you just said what ‘I’ think”: only you.. there were NO other people.. you just invented them for special effects in a cheap attempt to sway opinion against me. Why? Was it not obvious enough that all opinion was already against me in this thread; and I was seen as the villain by everyone (for daring to speak-up for perception-challenging art)? Like I said: if you’re gonna reply to a comment, have the decency to first read it thoroughly. And as for you, Lannie: not only have you displayed the same lack of attention-to-detail as David, but you’ve also shown yourself to be a potential attention-seeker. But first, let’s go over the opening words of your above comment, in which you’ve quoted me as proposing a “civil and fruitful discussion” in this thread. Not only did I not say those words anywhere in this thread . . nor did anyone else! If another commenter had said those words, and you confused them with me, it would’ve just been a simple error of you getting the commenters mixed-up. But nobody said them . . so where did they come from? Do you sometimes hear voices in your head? As with David, you’re now aware that I made it clear in my comment that I know only ONE piece of Pollock’s work, which means you’ll now be aware of how futile it was to ask me in your comment: “Can it not be said that Pollock’s paintings all look the same?” How can any human ask that question to another human who’s already declared that he only knows piece? See? Pay attention. You seem to be attempting to tread on Salemi’s toes. He’s long been established as the chief keyboard-warrior at SCP, but if you’re gonna start using words such as “insincere coward” at someone you’ve never met . . maybe you’re putting in a challenge for his title. ‘Twas Roger Waters who said: ‘The bravery of being out of range’; how his words echo when I encounter a keyboard-warrior, a term which is the very definition of an “insincere coward”. What’s more, I’ve clearly showed myself in this thread to be the antithesis of those words. I’ve stood up and stood alone in my defence of abstract/surrealistic art, and I’ve done so with courage and conviction (‘courage’ in the sense that I was aware of how unpopular I immediately became in this thread for my views, but stood firm; ‘conviction’ in the sense that my relationship with my type of art is natural: wholehearted: and above all.. easy). There you have it, Lannie: courage and conviction. Conviction being the opposite of “insincere”: courage being the opposite of “coward”. Think again, warrior. Reply Monty January 28, 2020 The last line of the 6th paragraph should read: ‘he only knows ONE piece’. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.