Care for some “snuggling”? Such appears to be among the deepest thoughts and most memorable expressions of our current generation of poets. The best-known, “instant” kind, anyway. The real kind still exist, poet David Solway notes in this essay, although they’ve been pushed to the cultural margins. And while understanding and appreciating real poetry – a learned and often challenging practise – has fallen into disfavour, it remains vital to our civilization, if there is to be one. That millions of people are buying Instagram poetry, Solway argues, does not change the fact that it is self-indulgent rubbish.
Is it possible the modern world so readily accepted government-decreed physical isolation because most of its inhabitants were already living essentially disconnected lives? For people existing mainly in a virtual world, does it even matter that they can’t go out into the real world? Author, poet and songwriter David Solway observes how, once they do venture back out, many people hardly even look up or recognize others. While accepting the usefulness of the mobile device, Solway ruminates on the increasingly obvious psychological, social and, yes, civilizational effects of this ubiquitous technology.
Putting numbers to nearly everything is the postmodern world’s way of separating facts and knowledge from mere opinion or superstition. This not merely reflects a cramped view of knowledge, it is false and immensely damaging to rational inquiry, discussion and the dissemination of knowledge. David Solway mounts a counter-argument for quality over mere quantity. Although nominally about the social sciences and aimed at its practitioners, Solway’s essay serves up food for thought for any consumer, customer or target of the social sciences: students, their parents, business people, employers, government officials, voters. In short, all of us.
Smear, denounce, attack, delegitimize and wreck their career. The twisted toolbox of today’s left – including here in Canada – should be growing familiar to conservatives, for victims in virtually all walks of life topple almost daily. One of the latest is sociologist Ricardo Duchesne, long of the University of New Brunswick but, as of last week, no longer. David Solway illuminates the sordid saga of a solid researcher and author becoming the left’s racist du jour.
With the possible exception of executives of regulated utilities or owners of supply-managed farms, you rarely find socialists running private businesses. Except, apparently, in the near-failed socialist state of Greece. Canadian writer David Solway made this discovery at an antiquarian bookstore in Athens, where he learned from the hard-bargaining proprietor that socialists can be as good at taking other people’s money as they are at spending it.
Many are suffering under the isolation triggered by the Wuhan virus. Yet solitude was once considered an attraction rather than an affliction, a time to pursue activities for their intrinsic pleasure. David Solway urges us to rescue poetry from its cultural exile as a way of enriching reflection and keeping the language vital and renewed.