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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The caged bird's stolen song

I think the obvious lesson here is that we need to turn more responsibility for the arts over to government employees:
The United States Postal Service is set to honor Maya Angelou today in a dedication ceremony for a new postage stamp depicting the legendary author, poet and singer. But there's one problem: The quotation that accompanies Angelou's picture on the stamp was apparently not originally written by her.

The text on the new "forever" stamp reads: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." It appears to be a reference to Angelou's best-known book, her 1969 memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

But the Washington Post reported yesterday that the quotation can also be found in "A Cup of Sun," a 1967 poetry collection by children's author Joan Walsh Anglund. A Postal Service spokesman told the newspaper that the line, which has been widely attributed to Angelou by people including President Obama, was approved for use on the stamp by Angelou's family.

In a follow-up story, the Post talked to Anglund, who said the words on the stamp were hers. The newspaper notes that "Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp."
Sometimes, it is painful to realize that for decades, we have been losing to these incompetents. How is it even possible? But, you see, when you don't show up and play, even the most incompetent opponent will defeat you.

Labels:

97 Comments:

Anonymous WinstonWebb April 08, 2015 1:37 PM  

But she and MLK still invented peanut butter, right?

Blogger Gunnar von Cowtown April 08, 2015 1:37 PM  

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

Governmental incompetence and accusations of plagiarism aside, that quote is supposed to be profoundly deep? I've pulled higher wisdom out of fortune cookies.

Anonymous p-dawg April 08, 2015 1:40 PM  

They couldn't even allow the plagiarism to stand as they thought it was written by a black woman...they had to remove those horrible pronouns, or someone might have thought only male birds sing.

Anonymous Eduardo April 08, 2015 1:46 PM  

I for one was shocked to find out that something involving Maya Angelou turned out to be fraudulent.

Anonymous Whoopi Winfrey April 08, 2015 1:49 PM  

Maya Angelou is a national treasure!

If she wants to adopt some saying as her own; then I say more power to you, Sister!

Just having her claim it as her own turns it into poetry of the highest order.

Blogger YIH April 08, 2015 1:51 PM  

Makes sense, there's a monument in DC to plagiarism.
WinstonWebb, that was a good one.

Anonymous Alexander April 08, 2015 1:56 PM  

Fuck all of y'all. Without George Washington Carver, we wouldn't even have a Postal Service, or children's poetry collections, or the Washington Post, or stamps, or pronouns.

So if his intellectual protege took a few liberties, and a few bureaucrats fumbled along the way... well that's a small price to pay for the privilege of having a bloated government office deliver a written message by the slowest means possible.

Anonymous Daniel April 08, 2015 2:04 PM  

"it" happens to be a sonic and poetic degradation, by the way. Depersonalizing a prisoner bird like that. Angelou's version is downright misogynistic.

Answers.com to the rescue:

"Q: Who said a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it had a song?

A: It is a Chinese proverb.

1 person found this useful."

Multiculturalism wins!

Blogger Moor April 08, 2015 2:05 PM  

Ironic considering Angelou is quoted as saying,

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

Now all we have to do is believe that no one knew better (or knew how to use google)...

Blogger Markku April 08, 2015 2:08 PM  

A rabbit doesn't rabbit because it wants to rabbit. A rabbit rabbits because it's a rabbit.

Deep shit.

Anonymous trk April 08, 2015 2:08 PM  

A gun doesn't shoot because it has a bullet. It shoots bc it has a target

Anonymous trk April 08, 2015 2:10 PM  

An EBT card doesn't buy food bc it can be swiped. It buys food w money swiped from the man.

Anonymous Alexander April 08, 2015 2:12 PM  

So basically, they could shorten it to "Muslim gonna Muslim" without diluting any of the overarching point.

Anonymous Krul April 08, 2015 2:17 PM  

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

Why would a woodchuck chuck wood if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Anonymous Steve April 08, 2015 2:22 PM  

set to honor Maya Angelou today in a dedication ceremony for a new postage stamp depicting the legendary author, poet and singer

Wow, a living legend, no less.

I'm not able to judge if she's any good as a writer (cos I've not read her stuff), but the fact that she's not considered legendary anywhere else in the English-speaking world suggests her reputation is not based on literary merit.

Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, H.G. Wells - they all had considerable international reputations that have endured the decades, and can be considered "legends". Angelou? I only ever hear her name in connection with some form of American diversity fapfest. Never in connection with readers saying "hey, this book is great!"

Blogger GK Chesterton April 08, 2015 2:25 PM  

She is highly over rated. The poetry is sub-par at best, though her novels, if one can get over the crassness for crassness sake that her ilk seem to enjoy, are stylistically strong.

I'm not sure if I can join the plagiarism charge here though. That is not exactly a phrase unlikely to be repeated especially if we allow pronoun substitution.

Blogger Doom April 08, 2015 2:29 PM  

Given the average Joe's capabilities, and modern distractions, plus throwing Janes into the mix, how much is really to be expected? I often feel like I am stuck in a movie that is a cross between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Dumb and Dumber. There are upsides to it, if you are a capitalist. Though, the direction of the whole program makes success a potentially very dangerous thing. Between value and wealth being conflated, and common jealousy of the mob.

As for Zero and crew, honestly, they aim to be wrong. They can't be right. Wouldn't know it if they saw it. Unfortunately, it is looking more and more like those are the cream of the secular crop, and the secular crop seems to be expanding faster than it is being shut down and off. The GOP did take most of the smaller elections, but... they aren't that much different. Bleh.

Anonymous Difster April 08, 2015 2:31 PM  

There are two recent songs that exemplify (if unintentionally) the culture war that we're undertaking. Both are by Steve Taylor who, until recently has not put out an album in 20 years.

The first song is Goliath (from the album of the same title) - Read the lyrics HERE Then go find the song on YouTube

The 2nd is Layers from the same album - Find the lyrics in the same link as above.

Goliath could be be the SP/RP anthem.

Anonymous buzzcut April 08, 2015 2:34 PM  

"INTERROGATE THE BIRD! I WANT ANSWERS!"

Anonymous Sevron April 08, 2015 2:37 PM  

So caged birds song because they're dumb birds acting on instinct? Was this ever questioned or unclear to anybody? How was this mistaken for being profound? Vox is right, I can't believe the idiots have won as much as they have.

Anonymous Krul April 08, 2015 2:40 PM  

buzzcut - "INTERROGATE THE BIRD! I WANT ANSWERS!"

"I ain't singin'! I ain't no stool pigeon, see!"

Anonymous Aeoli Pera April 08, 2015 2:42 PM  

Learned helplessness. We have been subjected to such persistent, pervasive humiliation by these people our entire lives that it is now impossible to tell which news articles are written by The Onion without checking.

Here's your morality secret police.

Blogger darkdoc April 08, 2015 2:43 PM  

Didn't Maya Angelou and the Tor Toad invent the internet or something?

Really, I think that happened and it's true and everything.

Anonymous notbob April 08, 2015 2:49 PM  

How many other prostitutes got a US postage stamp dedicated to them?

Anonymous Cash April 08, 2015 2:55 PM  

Is it even worth showing up to fight when it comes to government? Serious questions.

If SP/RP instead swept city council instead of the Hugo's would that be the best way of taking power? With the State losing it's legitimacy should our side focus on non state actions? Should we seek to be our own versions of the National Socialist, Al Qaeda, or Mao's Red Army?

Anonymous Steve April 08, 2015 2:58 PM  

notbob - Susan B. Anthony.

Anonymous Susan April 08, 2015 2:59 PM  

Notbob,

She wasn't a prostitute, she was a whorehouse madam who ran a joint for a pimp. I was frankly surprised at the time to realize she managed to hide that fact for most of her career. IIRC, she also had several other very unsavory occupations early in her life.

Anonymous Porky April 08, 2015 3:06 PM  

My favorite Maya Angelou poem:

Man’s sole jabringing object disfigure religion trauma and nubs.
The inside, the trauma of representation
that turns into the black child devouring
and identifying with the stories
and into the white culture brought up.

De de de de de, dink, and add
subjectively like a white man,
the black man.

Blogger Shibes Meadow April 08, 2015 3:08 PM  

A black poet does not succeed because she is a good poet. She succeeds because she is black Black BLAAAAAAACK and that's what really matters.

Anonymous BigGaySteve April 08, 2015 3:16 PM  

Q: Who said a bird doesn't sing because it has an answer it sings because it had a song? A: It is a Chinese proverb.

Did anyone post about the Indian (dot not feather) who shaved his head, trimmed his eyelashes, and changed his name to Sambo to get into a medical school that had rejected him?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/06/mindy-kalings-brother-claims-he-got-into-medical-school-by-posing-as-black/

Blogger Matamoros April 08, 2015 3:22 PM  

Sounds like she is another Martin Luther King chip off the old block.

Blogger Double E April 08, 2015 3:25 PM  

It's not surprising to me that they so reliably resort to deception, fraud, and falsehoods; weak, selfish people always do.

What still manages to surprise me is how bad and lazy they are at it.

All it takes to uncover is literally asking, "Is this true?" and checking.

Blogger sykes.1 April 08, 2015 3:33 PM  

The Angelou stamp is perfect.

Now, I have to figure out how to use it to best effect.

Anonymous Jonathan April 08, 2015 3:37 PM  

Just to clarify, Maya Angelou remains the greatest poet in the history of mankind, correct?

Blogger Krul April 08, 2015 3:40 PM  

sykes.1,

You could add fake quotes like they did with Neil Degrasse Tyson.

Blogger Bobo April 08, 2015 3:42 PM  

One day they're going to find a heroic black figure who's not a pimp, a serial abuser of white girlsNboys, or a gay muslim.

And then the Gulf of Mexico will have ice fishing tournaments...

Anonymous Roundtine April 08, 2015 3:49 PM  

If SP/RP instead swept city council instead of the Hugo's would that be the best way of taking power? With the State losing it's legitimacy should our side focus on non state actions?

Cash, SP/RP is its own thing, but it absolutely makes sense to sweep into local government. I don't know what it is like where you are, but in my town, local elections tend to get about 20% turnout. All of the teachers, police, firefighters, etc. and their family members turn out and vote for the "big" government candidates. They are a bit like the people in the Hugos, with a lock on the govt.

Local govt is the base of political power. If you expect fedgov will crumble in the coming years, the power held by local office will increase over time. Controlling it now will give you a positional advantage in the future. It also allows you to let local non-state projects flourish. Local govt enforces a lot of permitting, helps determine what the priorities are for police.

Anonymous Marellus April 08, 2015 3:52 PM  

O/T

How a conservative must argue with a liberal.

http://iono.fm/e/153488?utm_content=buffer9538d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Anonymous Salt April 08, 2015 4:01 PM  

The Angelou stamp is perfect.

Now, I have to figure out how to use it to best effect.


Stick one on a tall stake, out in the corn field. Ward off crows.

Blogger SirHamster April 08, 2015 4:08 PM  

The first song is Goliath (from the album of the same title) - Read the lyrics HERE Then go find the song on YouTube

The music video for that song is awesome.

Blogger Ken April 08, 2015 4:19 PM  

So, plagiarized line from a boring poem from an overrated poet forever immortalizes governmental stupidity.

If this nonsense were on a sitcom, we'd call b.s. for lack of realism.

Blogger Azimus April 08, 2015 4:23 PM  

Krul April 08, 2015 2:17 PM "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

Why would a woodchuck chuck wood if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


Yeah, its pure, unadulterated fluff. And she's laughing the whole way to the bank. It's not that hard to be successful in certain markets, you just need the promotional backing. I mean, look at Scalzi. You know it's fluff, she knows it's fluff, he knows it's fluff - they're mercenaries doing it for the quan.

Anonymous The Spy April 08, 2015 4:24 PM  

I'm still waiting for the Oprah Winfrey stamp.

Anonymous Beau April 08, 2015 4:45 PM  

OT

Please pray for my son. He is hospitalized. My wife and I are on the way.

Anonymous Salt April 08, 2015 4:53 PM  

May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your son, Beau.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 4:54 PM  

Lord Jesus, we lift up our prayers to you for Beau's son, Beau and his wife, and his entire family. May his son be healthy, safe, and sound. We ask this through Christ our Lord, and say we all Amen.

Anonymous Heh April 08, 2015 5:06 PM  

I think it was Derbyshire who said Maya Angelou's poetry makes one want to weep...

Blogger Matt April 08, 2015 5:15 PM  

I wonder how many minutes they spent on brainyquotes.

Anonymous Porky April 08, 2015 5:25 PM  

Praying, Beau.

Anonymous p-dawg April 08, 2015 5:25 PM  

@notbob: Marilyn Monroe has had a couple. Ronald Reagan had some as well. They like putting out stamps dedicated to prostitutes.

Anonymous sawtooth April 08, 2015 5:25 PM  

Angelou is to poetry, what Neil deGrasse Tyson is to science, and what Bulack Obobo is to presidencing.

They are pop stars for SJWs and their mouth breathing minions; nothing more.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet April 08, 2015 5:50 PM  

I don't really see the big deal here. So what?

Anonymous NorthernHamlet April 08, 2015 5:50 PM  

Beau, prayers sent.

Anonymous Red Comet April 08, 2015 6:02 PM  

Did anyone post about the Indian (dot not feather) who shaved his head, trimmed his eyelashes, and changed his name to Sambo to get into a medical school that had rejected him?

This won't get much play in the mainstream because it disrupts the black victim narrative. Just like any story where a "teen" turns an old lady's head into blood pudding with a sledgehammer or a "teen" immolates his ex-girlfriend.

Also, stories like this and the college quotas for Asians in California are why I believe the Asians and Indians will eventually part ways with the Democrat party.

They mysteriously find quotas and discriminatory hiring laws that affect white men to be unfair when applied to them.

Note that this does not mean they will suddenly start voting for Republicans or small government whatever.

Anonymous Pope Cleophus I April 08, 2015 6:02 PM  

On woodchucks

Anonymous Cash April 08, 2015 6:19 PM  

Has anyone seen the show Black-ish? If this whole thing makes you laugh you will like watching it.

Anonymous impervious April 08, 2015 6:34 PM  

I know why the caged bird should shut up.

Anonymous Fred April 08, 2015 6:51 PM  

MA never claimed the sentence as her own. However, she regularly referenced it and its meaning.

The problem is the stamp makes it appear it is MA's words.

No big deal. She remains a one of America's seminal voices.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 6:55 PM  

"She remains a one of America's seminal voices."

No you're not, said Little Nicola.

If that were true (shudder), doesn't say much for America's voices.

Blogger mmaier2112 April 08, 2015 6:56 PM  

Isn't she dead?

Anonymous impervious April 08, 2015 6:56 PM  

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

I always thought the phrase referred to a jailhouse rat snitching on his cellmates.

Anonymous Fake But Accurate April 08, 2015 7:01 PM  

Angelou always seemed overrated as a wordsmith to me. Emperor's New Poetry, as it were.

If she really was able to play gerism, well, this is my surprised face…

Like many untalented hacks of the correct skin colo / genetalia / etc. , she had a good press agent, and that's really all that's needed.

Anonymous Fred April 08, 2015 7:01 PM  

"If that were true (shudder), doesn't say much for America's voices."

What is it about her work that you don't think is good? Her verse? Her fiction? Voice? Plot? Dialogue?

Is there another writer who you think has done much better at exploring the black experiience in 20th Century America?

Anonymous SJW Cause of the Minute April 08, 2015 7:07 PM  

So caged birds song because they're dumb birds acting on instinct?

No! Caged birds sing because they are OPPRESSED by the MAN, and FORCED to sing for their wages, which are pure BIRDSEED!

Speciesist cishet haters!

Anonymous Maya Angelou Bigger Than Youra Angelou April 08, 2015 7:09 PM  

What is it about her work that you don't think is good? Her verse? Her fiction? Voice? Plot? Dialogue?

Yes.

Is there another writer who you think has done much better at exploring the black experiience in 20th Century America?

Who cares?

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 7:10 PM  

"Is there another writer who you think has done much better at exploring the black experiience in 20th Century America?"

Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Wanda Coleman all come to mind at first blush.

Anonymous Anubis April 08, 2015 7:12 PM  

"Has anyone seen the show Black-ish? If this whole thing makes you laugh you will like watching it."

Is it so overpoweringly magic negro that you have to laugh like watching Mystrery Science Theater 3000? With more fictional talent in one black family than all of sub sahara Africa.

BTW. inventing peanut butter was not as great an achievement as inventing the time machine to let them teach the ancient central Americans.

Anonymous Fred April 08, 2015 7:17 PM  

I agree with you on Ellison and Hughes. Both very good talents. MA's voice touched me much more and possessed a deeper authenticity I think. Plus, she was an incredibly multi talented person.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 7:17 PM  

Hey, look: Maya Angelou is a bit like JK Rowling --- not really a very good writer, but then again a person who gave inspiration and comfort to millions of people who'd be reading a lot less if it weren't for her. So, that's a considerable achievement. Kudos to her for having a big heart, if not such a big talent. If these people are mostly reading dog-doo, well that's too bad, but maybe some of them will come round. And if they don't, at least they're enjoying themselves in their weepy, self-congratulatory bubble. There are worse drugs.

But........ poetry? I've saved Hallmark Christmas cards with more style and elan.

Anonymous Fred April 08, 2015 7:37 PM  

"But........ poetry? I've saved Hallmark Christmas cards with more style and elan."

I don't think you have. And I think her work is celebrated by ordinary people and critics and well read thinking people who have read more poetry than any of us will ever take note of, let alone read.

She's not your cup of tea. I get that. But to suggest MA's work is less than pedestrian just comes off as uninformed or worse.

Anonymous Maya Angelou Is Biggah Than Youra Angelou April 08, 2015 7:49 PM  

And I think her work is celebrated by ordinary people and critics and well read thinking people who have read more poetry than any of us will ever take note of, let alone read.

Argumentum ad populum is a fallacy.

She's not your cup of tea. I get that. But to suggest MA's work is less than pedestrian just comes off as uninformed or worse.

Appeal to authority? That's also a fallacy.

Fred, got anything more than "because I say so" to defend this untalented plagiarist?

Anonymous Maya Angelou Is Biggah Than Youra Angelou April 08, 2015 7:52 PM  

MA's voice touched me much more and possessed a deeper authenticity I think.

Cool. Now explain why your opinion is mandatory for the rest of us.

Plus, she was an incredibly multi talented person.

…in your opinion. How much talent does plagerism really require?

Anonymous Fred April 08, 2015 8:23 PM  

MA has not been accused of Plagerism.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 8:43 PM  

"But to suggest MA's work is less than pedestrian just comes off as uninformed or worse."

Well, don't take my word for it! Just ask Wanda Coleman, a sister African-American woman poet, and in my view, a far better one:

"Coleman's greatest notoriety came as a result of an unfavorable review she wrote in the April 14, 2002 edition of The Los Angeles Times Book Review of Maya Angelou's book, A Song Flung Up to Heaven. Coleman found the book to be "small and inauthentic, without ideas, wisdom, or vision".

Predictably, the literary SJWs circled their wagons around their Precious, and Coleman was snubbed for the rest of her career. Sound familiar?

Angelou wrote books with titles like "A Song Flung Up to Heaven." (I just puked a little in my mouth.)

Coleman wrote books with titles like "Mad Dog Black Lady" and "Bathwater Wine".

I know who _I'd_ rather hang out with. Oh, and read, too. Still, de gustibus and all that, I know what you mean about cups of tea. Cheers!


Anonymous In the room the women come and go, talking of Maya Angelou. April 08, 2015 8:48 PM  

Sorry, but somebody had to make that joke, it was mandatory.

Anonymous Friend of Bill April 08, 2015 8:52 PM  

"Now explain why your opinion is mandatory for the rest of us."

In fairness to Fred, I don't think he's insisting or making anything mandatory at all. He's saying what he finds moving and interesting and authentic. Ain't nuthin wrong with that. It's just a quarrel over taste, there are no tanks rolling into Prague.

Blogger ChicagoRefugee April 08, 2015 8:52 PM  

But to suggest MA's work is less than pedestrian just comes off as uninformed or worse.

Or worse? Ooooh, watch out, boys! He's gonna start flashing the race card at you and call you nasty names if you don't stop arguing with him about the sainted Ms. Angelou.

Anonymous Maya Angelou Is Biggah Than Youra Angelou April 08, 2015 10:22 PM  

In fairness to Fred, I don't think he's insisting or making anything mandatory at all. He's saying what he finds moving and interesting and authentic. Ain't nuthin wrong with that. It's just a quarrel over taste, there are no tanks rolling into Prague.

Meh. Like I haven't had Angelou's doggerel and incoherent rantings crammed down my throat enough times in "literature" classes, in discussions with "serious art people", in the mass media, and so forth, with Mandatory Appreciation Required, that I have to put up with that crap here?

No.

I've seen this game enough times, and it often starts as "just a difference in taste" along with "everyone ELSE likes this" ad populum fallacy. But not too much later it's all about RAYsism because somehow any difference in taste that has a disparate impact on People of Color must be due to RAYsism, it can never be "just a matter of taste" in the end. Which makes the initial foray a lie, but since when does that matter?

Not my first SJW-infested rodeo, buddy, not by a long shot.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 08, 2015 10:28 PM  

MA never claimed the sentence as her own. However, she regularly referenced it and its meaning.

What meaning? This is gamma strawmanning as poetry. Nobody thinks the fucking bird sings because it's trying to answer a question. Everybody understands the bird sings because that's what birds do. There's no meaning because there's no sense. A more meaningful line would be something like "the bird doesn't sing because it is happy, it sings becuase it has a song." That at least has a logical premise (e.g. that people may mistake the bird's singing for an expression of happiness).

Angelou is like the SJWs littering the Hugo awards in recent years, a mediocre talent with the right skin color, politics and plumbing.

Blogger Jack Aubrey April 08, 2015 10:30 PM  

She's been sainted already? Damn fast work, been room temperature for less than a year!

Anonymous impervious April 08, 2015 11:13 PM  

"Like I haven't had Angelou's doggerel and incoherent rantings crammed down my throat enough times in "literature" classes"

Then y'all been takin' the wroooooooong literature classes, jim.

Mandatory Appreciation Required? Fuck that noise. Do what VD advises, give them no quarter. Point out this stuff is garbage,patiently explain WHY it's garbage, then sit back and watch as they point and splutter "raciss!" Haha, the bear trap has been sprung! Tell them they appear to have no arguments based on literary criticism, just childish identity politics -- what does this say about the quality of MA's work? Helps if you can reference some actually good black writers (they exist), so they can see you're judging on merit, not race, just like that good old M.D. allegedly recommended. "It's gibberish, it reads like "The Palm Wine Drinkard" without the wit or the fun." Watch in horror as they realize you've read Amos Tutuele so officially Not Raciss. But doesn't worship MA.

You stupid brat, now look what you've done! I'm meeeelting!! Oh, what a world, what a world..."

Sad Puppies now comes in Poetry Val-U Paks as well, nicht wahr?

Anonymous impervious April 08, 2015 11:29 PM  

"Is there another writer who you think has done much better at exploring the black experiience?"

The elephant in the room is, Why should black writers feel obliged to explore the black experience? Why shouldn't they explore whatever the hell they want? It's maddening to see everything reduced to race, and the 150-years-dead vampire, slavery. As if these people were the first and only people in history to experience it. Come on, black writers, where's your "Snow Crash"? Where's your H.P. Lovecraft? (I know they're out there, but I just wanna see more of that, and less oy vey.)

Anonymous SideBurns April 08, 2015 11:51 PM  

"Come on, black writers, where's your "Snow Crash"? Where's your H.P. Lovecraft? (I know they're out there, but I just wanna see more of that, and less oy vey.)"

They're not out there.

On another note, wasn't Angelou another one of those that insisted on people calling her "Doctor" even though she wasn't?

Anonymous Viidad April 09, 2015 12:41 AM  

@ Beau

Praying for your son. God be with you.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 09, 2015 12:55 AM  

In fairness to Fred, I don't think he's insisting or making anything mandatory at all. He's saying what he finds moving and interesting and authentic. Ain't nuthin wrong with that. It's just a quarrel over taste,

Well now, there's taste and then there's intelligence. If we're arguing about whether Rye is better than Bourbon, or Rum better than Gin, we're arguing about taste. Hell, even if we're arguing about whether ZZ Top or Steely Dan is better, we're arguing about taste. Tolstoy or Twain, that's taste.

But if someone is moved by "the bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song" then we're not talking about taste. We're talking about emotional incontinence. There's nothing moving about the drivel Angelou writes if you aren't first moved by the thought of someone with black skin and a vagina putting pen to paper.

Anonymous Harold April 09, 2015 1:53 AM  

I don’t know why people are pooh-poohing this quote. “he sings because he has a song” is beautifully mellifluous. Replacing “he” by “it”, however, ruins the mellifluousness “it sings because it has a song”. It also ruins the sense of it, since the quote is not really about birds but about people, and using an impersonal pronoun makes this more distant to the mind. In short, Angelou ruined a good quote.

Maybe it is not profound, but did the children’s author ever claim it was profound? She is an author who writes twee childrens books with twee illustrations. And according to her site “has produced Dolls, Collector Plates Figurines, Clothing, Greeting cards, Tea Sets, Glassware and a host of other products to numerous to mention here.” Her most recent book is called “faith is a flower”. She is a very feminine Christian woman, that may not be to everyones taste, but does she deserve to be mocked for it?

Blogger Krul April 09, 2015 2:35 AM  

No one is mocking Joan Anglund, Harold. The quote is ridiculous in this context. In its own context, it fits perfectly.

Anonymous Harold April 09, 2015 3:24 AM  

“I think her work is celebrated by ordinary people and critics and well read thinking people who have read more poetry than any of us will ever take note of, let alone read.”

If she had any talent people outside of America would have heard of her. My mother loves poetry, she has shelves of poetry books, including some prized first editions. When I told her that Maya Angelou had died, she said “Maya who?” Me, “Maya Angelou,” her, “Never heard of her.”

She’s one of America’s pet negroes, like Neil Degrasse Tyson. Noone outside America knows who these people are. Americans love their pet negroes so much they made one President. Not that I am mocking Americans; Norwegians love Obama so much they gave him a Nobel prize just for being black!

Anonymous Discard April 09, 2015 3:37 AM  

Maya Angelou is a chronic plagiarist as well as a doggerelist. She read a poem at Bill Clinton's inauguration, called "Rock, River" or some such thing, that was cribbed. Has everybody forgotten that? I wouldn't be surprised if some lowly functionary at the Department of Stamps deliberately inserted a little joke for our amusement.

BTW, when Black plagiarize, it's called "voice merging".

Anonymous Harold April 09, 2015 3:57 AM  

As for my calling “it” an “impersonal pronoun” in this context, it turns out that is incorrect. But I am sure everyone knows what I meant.

Krul,
Yeah, you are right, it does seem people were mocking those who consider the quote to be a great profundity.

Anonymous anonymous coward April 09, 2015 4:58 AM  

Come on, black writers, where's your "Snow Crash"? Where's your H.P. Lovecraft? (I know they're out there, but I just wanna see more of that, and less oy vey.)

They're not out there. Do you really think the liberal gatekeepers would let a black person break the mold they have set for blacks?? Come on, SJW's hate blacks even more than real racists.

Anonymous impervious April 09, 2015 9:13 AM  

"They're not out there."

Well I wouldn't know b/c I don't read much SFF, but wouldn't that Samuel "Stars in My Pocket" guy count? Those books are thick, surely they're about other things besides the tedious platitudes of the Official Black Experience. But I haven't read them, so maybe I'm wrong. For years and years, Jewish novelists wrote books whose basic message was "Look at me, I'm a Jew! I'm a Jewish, Jewish, Jew!" but they wrote about other stuff, too (Asimov, for example.) Most black writers have no more to say than "Boo hoo hoo, I'm black! And also, SLAVERY!" but there's gotta be SOME who are doing it differently. To be honest, none come to mind, but then I'm not well-read in African-American lit. The guy who wrote "The Intuitionist," which is sort of clever, was on the right path, but then he back-tracked and started babbling about John Henry. I guess the SJWs hunted him down and brought him back, in a sort of literary Dred Scott operation.

Anonymous anonymous coward April 09, 2015 10:52 AM  

...but wouldn't that Samuel "Stars in My Pocket" guy count?
No, he's a gay and a pedo, he doesn't count.

Most black writers have no more to say than "Boo hoo hoo, I'm black! And also, SLAVERY!" but there's gotta be SOME who are doing it differently.
In sci-fi, or literature in general? Sure, many black authors do not deal with 'black issues'. Even some celebrated ones, like Toni Morrison, do not write about 'racial struggles'. (Of course, it's inordinately hard to separate the real author's message from the SJW bullshit bubbling around it in the media; e.g., Morrison is billed as a 'strong independent womyn' by the media and academics, but if you read her novels, it's in fact the opposite -- they're actually quite red-pilled warnings about 'not putting your dick in crazy' with elements of horror.)

Blogger Cuca Culpa April 09, 2015 12:15 PM  

Just found out yesterday that I've been attributing an old Russian proveb to Ronald Reagan for all these years.

Доверяй, но проверяй.

Anonymous Ackroyd April 09, 2015 4:23 PM  

How does the "incompetence" of Obama stack up against that of his immediate predecessor?

Anonymous rubberducky April 09, 2015 10:27 PM  

This is priceless. They put out an official stamp for Angelou that features a quote misattributed to her by Barack Obama, and to top it off they misquote it. They did the same kind of thing to Martin Luther King, Jr. Do you remember how they engraved that "I was a drum major ..." quote in stone on it? Yeah, he never said that. They botched it.

If I were a historic black figure, I'd have to include in my will a request that only my enemies should eulogize or memorialize me. Cause my admirers are sure to mess it up.

Blogger James Higham April 10, 2015 2:30 AM  

We're flooded by them.

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