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« Medievalists! Classicists! Share some of your hard-earned knowledge! | Main | Change in voter registration data »

Thursday, 04 September 2008


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Carrie K

Now let's see if any of them actually make it to the polls to vote.

Rich Puchalsky

Uh huh. Here's a short poem entitled "America August 2008":

Two roads have diverged, and at last we can see
That Langston's America never will be
Our song of ourselves is a jingle of lies
And hope is a thing that will peck out your eyes

Adam Roberts

That poem is a cheery piece, Rich.

Rich Puchalsky

The comic forms are inherently cheery. Anapestic tetrameter -- like most of Dr. Seuss.

This dreadful one-stanza piece may be, comically, the best sort of poetry I can make. I read it at an open mic last night, and the audience really seemed to understand it. (Though the thing is tightly focussed in place as well as time. The public library in Amherst, Massachusetts has special collections for both Frost and Dickinson.) The American poetry tradition is inescapable for people around here, even as the myth of America sickens and dies, so it's like a dog returning to his vomit again and again.


Looking at it, the difference in registrations is greater than the difference in vote count in the 2004 presidential election in two states, Iowa and Nevada. Senate vote differences would be interesting, too. Does 538 use these numbers, I wonder?


Alaska: 2,836 Republicans, 2,628 Democrats, 6,825 Independents (no aff. & all other)
From March 4 to Sept 4

Src: ,


Rich, I'm ignoring your depressing poetry. This is supposed to be a thing of hope, not more of the same. (Damn lines, stuck in my head.)

Rosie, much obliged. I've updated the list.

Rich Puchalsky

As a politico I can see the advantages of cultivating hope even based on the slim reed of un-analyzed voter registration data not even for the critical states and ignoring what's likely to happen even in the best available case of Obama winning, but as a poet my impulse is to reach for a rock. Have you seen the much-linked Scott McCloud "four tribes" drawing? That was very helpful to me, because it at last gave me a self-understandable reason for why I write. (Once, at a picnic, all the poets except me participated in a game of writing down why they wrote, and came up with various statements about beauty, self-expression, etc. The best I could do was mutter "to annoy people.")


Rich writes "to annoy people."

Count this day, a job well done!

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