“…to-day the editor of Harriet holds a show of his own, and wins applause by slaying whomsoever the mob with a turn of the thumb bids him slay…”
……………………………………………loosely adapted from Juvenal, Satires (III.36)
For a beautiful example of everything George Orwell tried to expose in Politics and the English Language, read The Poetry Foundation’s letter just posted on Blog:Harriet [click here]
In the Letter, the Editors try to cover up the appalling mess Travis Nichols made out of what had been one of the most vibrant poetry discussion sites in America.
Today Harriet is at Zero!
Yes, the Like/Dislike thumbs are down at last, having served their purpose — which was simply to remove four figures, Thomas Brady, Alan Cordle, Desmond Swords and Christopher Woodman.
Now with Harriet on her back in the blood soaked dirt, weakly raising her left hand for mercy, Travis’ hysterical fans indicate no mercy — and the stunt becomes a fait accompli. Harriet is dead now for sure.
Of course there’s no mention of any of that in the letter. Just spin, faulty figures, bluff, and bravado — like the last administration on the state of Iraq in the months following the invasion!
Indeed, not one word of this Poetry Foundation letter is truthful. Like the stats in it — foully cooked! Everybody knows you can cut the stats on a blog in a thousand different ways, and not one of them will give you a true figure. Travis has cut the Harriet stats all in his own favor — and just look at him up there in the picture to see where he’s at!
And dear Catherine Halley, the On-Line Editor at The Poetry Foundation, you should be ashamed to add your signature to that letter. You did your best to prevent the debacle, we know that, and are tremendously disappointed in you for capitulating now.
We’d love to post a list of the myriad voices who have vanished from Harriet since the ugly puscht, lending us their support through their silence. Those of you who know the Blog can trot out their names with ease. Their absence cries shame on you, Travis and Catherine. Shame on your petty vendetta.
And shame is the word.