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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Allen Ginsberg and the Prudes of Connecticut

Your comment cannot be accepted due to the presence of profanity. Please remove any objectionable content from your comment and try again.  

I read several articles on the suspension of a teacher for his use of a poem by Allen Ginsberg.  I chose one which seemed favorable to the teacher and attempted to make a comment.  My comment was disallowed on the basis that it contained “profanity”.  The entire comment is found below.  Do you find any profanity in it?

“This is an interesting development in our society. I am a huge fan of Allen Ginsberg.  I had to take a second look at the news when I saw the poem in question. 

Yes this is an erotic poem.  It is a poem about sexual desire.  It is a poem about homosexual sex.  Allen was Gay, Allen was celebrating his love and his desire in this poem.

His poetry beginning with Howl for Carl Solomon has always challenged conventional values and from the beginning has been upheld in the courts against local provincial moral / political watchdogs.

I have been a fan of Ginsberg's poetry since the 1960's and have watched his career develop.  I think it is appropriate that his poetry is still causing a disturbance.  Apparently there is still something to disturb.

The suspension of this teacher comes to us in the social context of a renewed opposition to people who are homosexuals. Gay marriage is seen as a portent of the end of civilization whereas increased militarization and increased warfare are seen as preserving our way of life.  Allen Ginsberg was also anti-war and pro peace and love. 

I would suggest that the make love not war slogan is much more beneficial to world peace than the make war for peace propaganda affecting the minds of the impressionable populace today.

This teacher should get his job back and an apology.”

The above comment was rejected by the Journal on the grounds that there was profanity in it.  Do you see any profanity?  What is the objectionable content in my comment?  

Historically Connecticut has had a hard time with sexual attitudes even heterosexual attitudes. Up until the mid-1960’s Connecticut would not allow women married to men to use birth control. I took out the part below not because I thought it was objectionable, but because I figured there were some prudes that might find it objectionable and call it profanity.  “Yes this is an erotic poem.  It is a poem about sexual desire.  It is a poem about homosexual sex.  Allen was Gay, Allen was celebrating his love and his desire in this poem.” It’s all I could think of that might be regarded as profane by the prudes in Connecticut! 

The comment was still rejected.  Where is the profanity?  So much for a free press and free expression and the ability to discuss social issues wouldn't you say? 

Connecticut was the last state in the union to deny women the liberty to decide whether or not to get pregnant.  (Is pregnancy really something the state has a right to decide on for a sexually active woman?) Historically and currently speaking the political operatives in Connecticut just didn’t and don’t seem to like sex of any kind unless it places a burden on women.  I see this reflected in the outrageous suspension of this teacher for using a sexually explicit poem in his classroom.

Poetry at its socially relevant best exposes the inclination of society.  Songs like “Over There”  and “Ohio” are examples.  Both works of art provoked the national spirit to take action.  One was created to send kids to die in a war designed to benefit the arms manufactures of the world.  The Nye committee investigated that.  One was written to stop an illegal war inVietnam,the Pentagon Papers exposed that.

Poetry opens our eyes allowing us to see.  By censoring art and ideas society has taken a stick and poked out its own eyes but still wants to be the leader. Do you want to be a citizen following a blind leader?   If you do, just keep silent and don’t complain about where you end up. 

"Please Master" can be read here. You may not like it, you may be disgusted. I love the freedom Allen felt in being Gay and being able to write such a revealing poem. 

The Taliban of American society hates that freedom. Are you one of them?

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.