Franzen, his wife Yi-Fen Chou, and an Iraqi orphan “walk” into a “bar”… #LiteraryTwitter
— Jenn Gidman (@jenngidman) September 8, 2015
American poetry was shocked and unprepared to find itself an object of general interest and mild scandal on Monday, when the release of future grad student apartment impromptu bookend “The Best American Poetry 2015” revealed that poet “Yi-Fen Chou” is actually Michael Derrick Hudson, previously best known as “that dude at the barbecue who always claims to be working on a chapbook.” His poem “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve” was selected as this year’s standout example of “complaining w/arbitrary line-breaks,” but has since been reclassified as a villainelle. Brian Spears called it “yellowface in poetry” in The Rumpus, and Slate’s Katy Waldman pointed out that “assuming a minority identity when it suits you and then retreating into inherited advantages when it doesn’t pretty much defines white privilege.” “[T]hanks to his shitty racist pen name, now we’re going to have editors raising an eye at the work of every poet with an Asian-sounding name,” wrote blogger and verified Asian-American Phil Yu. “Best American Poetry” guest editor Sherman Alexie, who honestly sounds sort of delighted that anyone cares about poetry at all, wrote this entertaining explanation of his choice to keep “that poetry colonist,” even though he knew this controversy was coming.
man I tell you what
you go offline for one day and you miss ＴＨＥ ＴＯＴＡＬＩＴＹ ＯＦ ＲＡＣＩＳＴ ＣＯＬＯＮＩＡＬＩＳＭ ＡＮＤ ＩＴＳ ＧＲＩＰ ＯＮ ＴＨＥ ＷＥＳＴＥＲＮ ＷＯＲＬＤ
— Patricia Lockwood (@TriciaLockwood) September 8, 2015
There was also scandal in Canada this weekend! It was a rough few days for genteel disagreement. For more on that, here’s former Northernmost Tabs Intern and Markdown Evangelist Karen K. Ho:
Thank you Karen. And a little-known fact: Canada will have four hundred and thirteen more federal elections before the 2016 U.S. presidential race is over. So good luck to the candidates in all the provinces and boroughs and ridings and duchies and city-states all across “America’s Friendly Hat.”
Today In Etc.: Hairball investigated. Peak Comment is Free: “Wasps may have stung me in the testicles – but I love them anyway.” Questionable marching orders. Feminist conversation awkward. “Vampire squirrel of Borneo” caught on film. New Yorker finally breaks silence about The Flying Penis From Venus. It’s a great time to be a freelance writer! Live it up, suckers.
— opus moreschi (@heyitsopus) September 7, 2015
Today’s Short Movie: “One-Minute Time Machine” (5:40)
Today’s Long Song: The KLF, “Live From the Lost Continent” (1:17:35)
~A man, a plan, a tab, a canal, Jesus, ancient tigers, Adam and Eve, Panama: The Aristocrats!~
Today in Tabs is officially done with summer and would like it to be cold now. We may or may not have an abbreviated week this week—I’m off Thursday but if there’s enough demand I’ll get a guest tabber, so if you have a request please hit reply and tell me who you’d like to hear from! As always we’re brought to you by Fast Company and by email. If you like Today in Tabs, why not send it to some friends? If enough of you do that I won’t be forced to institute some kind of awful list-growth program. Think about it, ok?