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Ken Rufo
Professional Grokker
Professional Grokker

Ken's posts

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Awesome.  Just awesome.  I'm going to go find me some Generation M and relate.

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This piece from Kevin Drum is fascinating, horrifying, and worth every minute you spend reading it.

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This is epic win stuff.  Shatner's Has Been is still one of my favorite quirky albums - this brought that all back.
My son just sent me this.

He is not right.


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I remember when the narrative from the Romney camp was: "Elect Romney, he has run a business, a lot of businesses; he knows how to run things!"  Now we know they utilized underdeveloped, poorly implemented technology, spent too much for advertising buys in most markets, and are now trying to get back meal expenses by charging journalists hundreds of dollars for lunches, or even for being able to "view" Romney at particular functions.

Seems like there are two possibilities here.  Option A: Romney doesn't really know how to run a business after all.  Or Option B: Romney knows exactly how to run a business, which is to say, to externalize as many costs as possible and make others foot the bill.  I'm going with Option B.

Small wonder, then, that I didn't find being a businessman in any way a useful qualification for running a government, which can't, by definition, externalize costs.

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Not so sure about the pendulum swinging in the other direction just yet (or ever), but it's a nice reminder of the web that was, just a decade ago.

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It is now possible to drink in The Green Dragon. The pub just opened in New Zealand near Matamata, where the movies were filmed:

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From Mark Bibbins, The Dance of No Hard Feelings, "Ending in an Abandoned Month:"

Of the citizenry but not exemplary,
another false copy of me returns
to cheap structures that poke
              into the clouds.

              Nauseated, we watch
a two-foot tornado stagger black
up our street, hear the sick smash
of windows hit by giant hailstones.

Every time the world
                          ends this way,
I want to thank whoever had a choice.  
Perhaps we should have

seen it coming--white kids giving
mad props to zombies, Jersey studs
with waxed eyebrows and brilliant
      buffed nails.


The poem continues beyond that point, but it's the opening half that I adore.  The small tornado with the gigantic consequences, the linking of the cultural fascination with zombies to Snooki and The SItuation, and the desire to think it all stemming from some other me, some doppleganger who likes to sit in the cheap seats.  It's a powerful set of conflictions in a very economical package.

Hi, I'm Ken.  I have accomplished a surprisingly consistent level of mediocrity, albeit unintentionally.  I am particularly fond of modern poetry of a certain kind, and particularly less fond of poetry that purports to represent things through symbols.  And yes, I know that probably makes me a terrible poet.

I am well versed in rhetorical theory, media theory, and Halo.

And I'm actually very excited to see how this whole poet g+ community works :)

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There are a good number of exquisite poems in +Cate Marvin's Fragment of the Head of a Queen, but given my proclivities, two poems stood out the first time I read the collection, and stand out still today.  The first, "Scenes from the Battle of Us," has the following remarkable simile:

I am like a table
that eats its own legs off
because it's fallen
in love with the floor.

It also includes, in a sort of throwaway aside, the sentence "You can play the tourniquet."  I love both of these constructions so much: the amazing juxtaposition of "play" with a medical technology for triage and constraint, and the idea of a self-cannibalizing piece of furniture.  

My other favorite poem is titled, simply enough, "Postscript," and begins as follows:

We sure are tired, so long's the longing
we undertook.  It would put you to sleep
to read the book of examinations, trials,
and speculations.  Even the cattle minded
the haul we had in mind for them, lugging
the same records across and back the same
lands, as if we were lost in the ocean.

I am particularly keen on how these lines enact, formally, the sort of expository incompleteness contained in them.  Until "in the ocean," a completed line of poetry avoid completing an actual sentence or bit of substance, and when you read the lines together, at the level of content, they exhibit a sort of indefinite deferral of reference, with many words that hint at specificity without ever arriving there (the book that explains everything, the haul we had in mind, the same records, the same lands, etc.).  

I often note that the poetry I prefer is there to confound sense rather than make it, and these two particular pieces really do this well.  The whole collection is worth reading, to be sure, but these two always receive a few read-throughs from me whenever I pick up Marvin's book.

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A quick plug for my nephew's extremely talented band: As It Starts.  A fan made a video for one of their particularly popular songs based on footage from a recent show at Chop Suey in Seattle.  It's definitely worth a few minutes of your time.  Enjoy!
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