Showing posts with label Criticism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Criticism. Show all posts

Can There Be Poem Criticism Without PoBiz Criticism? (Matt Koeske)

This post grew out of the conversation in the Comments section of the post "Thread: Writing Forum Survey" . . . and is oriented especially as a response to Monday Love's comment (#13). As the scope of Monday Love's (and the below post's) topic is much larger than any response to the survey, I thought it would benefit from having a topic of its own.

I'm inclined to take a small (?) detour from the insightful and compelling argument of Monday Love (regarding the dynamic of polarized insider/outsider coteries in the poetry world today and the relation of this dynamic to the functional criticism of poems themselves) posted in the comment section of the post: "Thread: Writing Forum Survey". I'm not so certain that discussion of poetry can or should stand in the place of a discussion about the current social and psychological behaviors and attitudes of poets or of the PoBiz (if that is was Monday was implying). I tend to see it the other way around, i.e., no functional discussion of poetry can take place without first "deconstructing" (and more importantly, understanding) the platforms from which those discussing speak . . . and perceive. My feeling is that this blockage is due to a "tribalization" inherent to the PoBiz organizational dynamic. In other words, various splinter schools of thought in poetry do not have any successful interactions or relationships with one another (no cross-pollination . . . they don't even have an abstracted symbiotic relationship in the same ecosystem).

Take the various tribes that seem to cluster around poststructuralist, academic notions of language, the "post-avant" or those influenced by language poetry and by postmodern, culture-theory-laden, literary criticism and philosophy. They come up with new names for their tribes pretty frequently. They are fashion horses for the clothing of names ("signifiers"), but the mindsets and core beliefs don't change (nor does the love of naming things for the sake of naming things). From what I've seen, the various splinter tribes that could be categorized by these things do not very often self-criticize the writing within the tribe, but often write scathingly about more "mainstream" poetic styles, using intellectually derogatory terms like "quietude" to issue a merely tribalistic or prejudicial rejection of those poets who don't belong to the "post-avant" tribe.

At the same time, those poets who identify strongly with the mainstream, "workshop-bred" writing that most classrooms and poetry journals are devoted to, respond to the "post-avants" with general ignorance. It seems to me that any discussion of poetry and poetics between these two groups is essentially pointless, because tribal prejudices eclipse any functional reflection on the poetry itself. One might as well listen to the politician's campaign ad slam of his or her opponent in the hope of getting a fair, critical assessment of that opposing candidate. If we are to provide useful critiques and reflections on the poetry coming out of these two (perhaps the largest two?) camps, we must write from a perspective that transcends or avoids the tribalistic, Us vs. Them warfare. This doesn't require poetic knowledge or "good taste" or critical expertise so much as it requires a psychological and sociological understanding of group behavior (especially, in my opinion, of tribalistic group behavior . . . which is the conventional social structure of academia, precisely where today's poets inherited it . . . with a surprising eagerness to join and partake of the empowerment of "professionalization", and with a distinct lack of reflection, I might add).

Equally, the understanding of how contemporary poetry publication impacts what kind of poetry is published, taught, and celebrated cannot be derived entirely from an examination of the poems (and the complimentary ignorance of those poems that are generally not getting published). We would need to understand the dynamics of the market, how and why it buys and sells what it does . . . how money comes into the publication system and who is giving and receiving and channeling this money. That seems especially important to me because the two largest sources of funding for poetry today are (I believe) contest submission fees and grants (from government and other organizations). It is hard to calculate another channel of funding, which comes from the tuition of the many thousands of undergraduate and MFA students who are paying universities to make them into poets and/or help give them access to publication venues. Only people as starry-eyed and detached as academic poets could ignore the realities of market systems and economics in this capitalistic day and age . . . divorcing themselves both from modern reality and from the scope of thought beyond their specialized field (as a creationist might ignore evolutionary biology's ideas and research).

I think that what happens all too often in the poetry world today is that the poets are not really analyzing and questioning the system in which they strive to create and find identity and audience. They are not asking how the system affects poetry, defines poetry, determines poetry in America. Poets are not looking at the systemic level, at complexity and interrelation. They are looking only at the short term and only through the lens of abstract ideologies that falsely present contained sets of conditions, as if poetry today existed only in its own little Petri dish. They are thinking in terms of "How can I get published/find an audience/gain status (and maybe a career teaching)?" They are not considering externalities or consequences of the system. They are not asking whether the system commodifies poetry or how that commodification affects what poetry is or how it is defined (by the PoBiz system).

Poets feel their world and their ambitions are so small that there could not possibly be such externalities . . . but if poets were 1/10th as well-read in the psychology of groups and crowds (and tribes) or in the study of complex systems, they might be more inclined to understand how cause and effect occur in such a system. The naive faith that many poets share regarding the "smallness" of the poetry world is effectively negated by the lack of adequate diversity in that world. I mean the lack of poetic diversity, the lack of a diversity of attitudes toward poetry, poetic status, and publication. When the vast majority of the agents (an anthropology term denoting individual volition and some degree of self-interest, not meant to imply anything like "agent provocateur" to the more paranoid readers out there) in this social system are doing and wanting the same things, the system does not benefit from the counterbalances (i.e., "self-regulations") greater diversity could provide.

Another common belief among poets is that anything that benefits the increased publication of poetry is an absolute good. This belief is the typical reaction of poets to the recognition that poetry is not widely read or paid attention to in America. Therefore (they conclude), it requires some kind of "affirmative action". There is no contemplation among most poets of how this "affirmative action at any cost" might negatively affect the system and the poetry it produces. There is also little to no reflection on the fact that boosting poetry book and journal sales with grant and contest money does nothing to encourage non-poetry readers to start reading contemporary poetry. The audience for poetry is an audience of poets, almost entirely. Another fact that is not often noted is that there are more poetry books published each year in contemporary America than there every were in previous (less-academic) eras. Some poets who have recognized this flaw in the notion that poetry publication requires social welfare subsidization have hailed this as a golden age in poetry publication. But again, this glut of poetry publication is funded largely by aspiring poets paying contest fees on the gamble that they, too, can be published poets, poets of status. The sales of contemporary poetry books to non-poets or those who do not aspire to become poets is dismal (as most would expect).

I think it is essential that we look at facts like these and contemplate the effect they could have on the character and quality of American poetry. And this, I think, should be done before any aesthetic discussion of published poetry can be entirely valid. In other words, I suspect that there is a very strong effect on the character and quality of poetry based on a simple observation of the current publication system.

And I mean with this that we should go back to fundamentals in the criticism and study of poetry. We should be asking all over again, "What is a poem? What defines poetry? What defines a poet?" When I read contemporary poetry, one of the primary questions I ask of the poem and poet is "What are you doing to make sure this poem is not a commodity of the PoBiz marketplace? What and where is the individual (unaffiliated) vision behind this poem." Almost every contemporary poem I have read fails this personal criterion, because the poem and its author seem to lack the awareness that poetry is even in danger of commodification. The great disease of today's poetry is a lack of awareness of the larger world, of humanity as a species in its modern predicament. Today's poetry mostly looks academically specialized and small-minded to me in the same way that most academic writing has no appeal or meaning to non-academic readers, readers who are not professionals in the specific field being written about. From my perspective, most of today's poetry looks exactly like it was written within an academic market system like the PoBiz offers . . . and without any awareness of the compromises and dangers such a system presents to art and to the evolution and adaptivity of language itself.

As an additional minor note, although I don't deny that the dynamic Monday Love describes (in which an outsider/insider polarization exists) can potentially occur, I haven't personally seen any real evidence of this in today's poetry world. What I have seen is very few outsiders and poetry dissidents . . . a surprisingly tiny number, in fact, especially considering that I have also observed a great deal of dissatisfaction (even in academia) with the current state of poetry and its publication. Of the dissidents I've met, I've yet to meet one whose poetry (if I had the opportunity to see it) struck me as absolutely aesthetically defiant of PoBiz or contemporary academic conventions. Much, even the well-written and most interesting, was "regressive" and resembled the poetry of an earlier era. "Regressive" is not meant as a criticism here. It's merely meant to indicate that the poetry did not really directly challenge the PoBiz system in its conception or style . . . except in the sense that fundamentalisms always react against modernisms (i.e., not progressively). What I'm saying is that I have yet to read any contemporary poetry that really progressively transcended the inheritance and indoctrination of our PoBiz era.

Back in the days, I once questioned whether one could be a true "Poet" these days by writing poetry at all. Perhaps the qualities and voice that defined and/or should define a Poet (e.g., individual vision, functional innovation in thought and language, the desire and effort to speak to and for a large and diverse social collective, to articulate the thoughts, feelings, and voices this collective can't seem to put into words, etc.) have been barred from the language form published and labeled as poetry. Of course, most poets were and will be nonplussed by this proposition. But I still feel this notion is viable. And by "poetry" here I am not referring to poetic stylings, spoken word, rap, performance oration, etc. . . . but to what is defined (by the PoBiz) as poetry, what literary artifacts are deemed "poems" by the poetry establishment, what is published in "poetry journals" and in "poetry books".

In the very small, very underground, very disorganized resistance to the PoBiz, there is simply not enough mass and muscle to create the kind of self-defeating polarization with the "insiders" that Monday Love describes. As far as I have seen, outsider poetry of literary quality (not just adolescent, neo-Beat, rebellion poetry) has yet to be written in America. Or if it has been written, it has yet to find an audience or be disseminated or recognized . . . even by an underground of "Anti-Foets". I would even venture the guess that we, none of us, know what such poetry would even look like. It hasn't yet been conceived, because in order to conceive it, we would have to throw off the shackles of the PoBiz indoctrinations, monopolies, and colonizations that still imprison our thinking about poetry. I suspect that it is only after these shackles are slipped that we will be able to embark on the creation of such a poetry (or poetries, more likely). And that creation will not begin with a bang of genius, but with fumbling in the dark, wild misses at a glorified goal. Moreover, only when great critics discover, comprehend, and promote this poetry effectively would any sort of movement be able to start.

I think that there is some genuinely good and a great deal of well-written poetry coming out of the PoBiz publication factory . . . but any truly great and revolutionary poetry must, I feel, cut its umbilical cord to the PoBiz clean through and find a wholly new soil to stand on and cultivate in. This has, I believe, been the model of many if not all the major movements in poetry recognized today. Reinvention. Not an absolute reinvention (which is probably impossible), but a recognition and rejection of the element of contemporary poetry that makes it moribund. I believe that this moribund element of today's poetry is the PoBiz. And the PoBiz is a set of beliefs, ideologies, dogmas, habits, taboos, and totems (perpetuated and empowered by an indoctrinating, academic market system). The PoBiz is a culture unto itself, a mindset, a collective way of being a poet that is not only accessible for more aspiring poets than any previous forge of poet-making, but is actually a purchasable commodity. Poethood can be purchased today, and this purchase is significantly easier than earning poethood through the old-fashioned means, an individuating "trial by fire", an initiation not into the tribe, but into unaffiliated selfhood. The kind of selfhood that is not bolstered and comforted by a group of like-minded believers. This poetic selfhood is also every bit as much a strangerhood.

It is this strangerhood, in my opinion, that the PoBiz has emerged to protect aspiring (and practicing) poets against. The fear of individuated strangerhood is a great menace to poets and always has been, claiming many victims in every era of human life and creation. But I think we need to start seriously contemplating that, menace though it may be, such initiation into strangerhood could very well be the truly essential "education" one needs to become a Poet. Accepting and enduring this threshold of self-creation had always been the traditional and ritual poet-maker . . . until it was replaced by the model of purchasable poethood the PoBiz now mass-produces and sells. We must, at the bare minimum, ask of this transformation: what was lost and what was gained? And what is the value of each?

--Matt Koeske

Guest Writer: Monday Love Weighs in on "Foetry Politics"

(This post has been elevated from the comment section of the Writing Forum Survey. In his post Can There Be Poem Criticism Without PoBiz Criticism?, Matt Koeske responds to Monday Love.)

Many who love poetry look at ‘foetry politics’ and say, ‘but what’s this got to do with poetry? If editors and poets use creative marketing and fund-raising methods which are not pure as the driven snow, if coteries exist in which friends support each other, so what? This has always been done and always will be done, and there are enough honest platforms out there for poetry, so what’s the big deal? If I really love poetry, why should I care about this nonsense? It’s trivial to me.’ probably needs to answer this question.

Corruption is more wide-spread than anyone realizes.

Po-biz is very, very small and almost all the coteries are connected, and if you don’t happen to belong to one of these coteries, you really will lose out on a slice of the pie.

'Group-think’ permeates po-biz, due to the existence of coteries. This is a subtle point, because it is true that coteries and ‘group-think’ which arises due to coterie behavior is normal and there is nothing wrong with it, per se.

However, since poetry does suffer from a severe lack of open markets (because poetry doesn’t sell on its own and requires university subsidy and fees collected from contests which are run and won and judged by a relatively small group, consisting largely of these defined coteries) this ‘group-think’ does stifle free discourse, not from any conspiracy, but simply from the nature of coterie group-think, which, again, is quite normal.

“Group-think’ is really a misnomer, because ‘thinking’ isn’t really what occurs; it’s really a non-thinking gesture which prevails, an irritation with lively and original investigation; any ‘thinking outside the box’ is viewed with suspicion, since the insularity of 'group-think' is unconsciously rewarded and defended for the survival of what is essentially an entity which exists accidentally, not out of any necessity.

Coteries exist for themselves, not for the sorting and processing and development of new knowledge, and too much activity in the ‘knowledge’ area sends out warning signals to the coterie or club. Coteries always appear ‘innocent,’ precisely because they are ‘accidental’ (they contain persons X, Y, and Z for various social reasons, and most, if not all, are perfectly healthy reasons).

Coteries are ‘innocent,’ because they exist, not abstractly, but socially; they have no agenda beyond, ‘these are my friends and we together doing what we love.’

These ‘innocent persons’ are the first to protest when ‘necessity’ is introduced: “You are nothing but a coterie, you are not helping poetry, per se, poetry requires a more systematic investigation of…” These sorts of comments are those which immediately send up the flags, and this, in a nutshell, characterizes the current struggle between “Foets and anti-Foets” in poetry, today.

The coteries react with ‘innocent’ indignation (‘you hate us merely because we exist’) and the outsiders reply, ‘yes we hate you because you exist (for yourselves) merely.’

What gives the debate outlined above even more momentum is the following: The coteries become more and more enamored of the 'friendly' nature of the coterie-process and gradually become less enamored with intellectual debate and process, while the outsiders continue to become more enamored with intellectual debate and process, resenting more and more the friendly nature of the coterie process.

The rift widens, and the two sides become more and more irritated with the signals given off by either side. The coteries can smell the type who is ‘desperate for argument,’ while the outsiders feel they are quickly labeled a ‘troublemaker’ for daring to argue about anything substantial. The ‘anti-argument’ and the ‘argument’ sides solidify into their respective identities, and the end result is that the coteries grow more and more anti-intellectual while the outsiders grow more and more ferociously intellectual and argumentative; but even worse, the status quo of the coteries, in order to secure intellectual respect, will strive to be intellectual in highly bizarre and technical ways, while the outsiders, striving to appear friendly, to make up for a lack in that regard, turn timid and acquiescent--thus both the outsider’s passion AND the inquisitive intellectuality of the insider’s coterie-status quo become diminished to such an extent, that poetry loses even the minor edge it once possessed.

A great dishonesty finally prevails, with coteries pretending to be intellectual in more and more Byzantine ways, scaring more and more laypersons away, while poetry outsiders fall into toothless and ‘out-of-touch’ impotency.

Since poetry is ‘market impotent’ in general, coteries come and go fairly quickly, even occasionally receiving new blood from the quarrelsome, anti-social outsider.

So the rift exists in the first place, then becomes diminished, and sometimes disappears, but in a process, as described above, which damages poetry as a social entity and as an art.

Discussion within poetry loses effectiveness, for no one is talking to each other about poetry with an independent spirit; fashionable theories and ideas are repeated and shallowly discussed, everyone looks to each other, attempting to get clues as to what to say next, radical anti-intellectual statements are allowed to pass, since no one is prepared, to defend, in any substantive manner, any intellectual idea or principle, the whole of this idea having been eroded by groups staking out positions in the manner described above.

So here we are back to where we started: “for no one is talking to each other about poetry” and this was the initial complaint upon which I launched this commentary. It may be pointed out that I am guilty of the same thing, since here, at some length, I am demonstrating the problem of which I complain: verbosity which has nothing to with poetry; but the careful reader will see that I am clearing ground so that discussion of poetry might exist in a more fruitful manner; and also I would remind the reader that poetry can not be boiled down to ‘itself;’ the structure of po-biz will always matter, just as who writes the canon and the textbooks and the reviews and who writes the poetry, will always matter, beyond ‘the poetry’ itself.

Monday Love Survey: A Narrative Response

Please comment on this post here.

(The following essay by Matt Koeske appeared as a comment to Thread: Writing Forum Survey--admin.)

I'm very happy to see this conversation happening. I mean the one that evolved out of the survey more so than any direct reply to the survey's questions. I am entirely in favor of the ever-vigilant examination of the rhetoric of us who identify as "outsiders" and support's and's missions. And Robocop's points [comment section] are, in my opinion, excellent ones . . . and without the whiff of elitist/insider dismissal of the other that is what we "others" tend to hear so much of the time.

For instance, I think Robocop is entirely correct in suggesting that the rhetoric of this survey is misleading in a partisan way. That is, the subtext of the survey implies and reinforces an outsider/insider or tyrant/victim dynamic between forum moderators ("insiders") and unaffiliated and "dangerous" dissidents ("outsiders"). I found that I was not able to really answer most of these questions, at least not simply . . . as I found them leading and inclined to simplify and pigeonhole responses and responders. Not that I failed to understand and appreciate the subtext of the survey. The sentiment (tinged with necessary outrage and drive to change) is valid and extremely important, but perhaps the time for such a survey and its implication of an Us vs. Them call to arms has not yet come. And I mean primarily that those called on to "join the outsider army" are being asked to pick sides before they have been convinced or otherwise (honestly) wooed. It's not time yet to dig foxholes (and may never be).

That said, my only experiences on a poetry forum have been with and, and a handful of the same people have been involved with both. On I know my voice will be tolerated and probably even appreciated much of the time. My experience with was mixed. Many people seemed to appreciate my more essayistic and "literary" posts, but a number of Foetry regulars made it clear that forum posts were "supposed to be" short, simple, unreflectively emotive, and free of argument (in favor of bald and unexamined opinion). I saw this as small-minded and self-defeating, and I continued to both write my essay-posts and to argue for the value of such a development of argument and idea. I owe it to the awareness and respect of Alan Cordle that he also saw value in my approach and entrusted largely to me after he retired. That is perhaps not the most accurate way to explain what really happened. In fact, when Alan retired, I tried to argue for a coalition of the regulars (the "Anti-foets") to collectively take charge and install no leadership.

As I was perhaps the leading voice in stumping for this democratic coalition, it turned out that (as anyone involved in activism might expect) I ended up with the lion's share of the responsibilities. I tended to see this as similar to the common cartoon scene where one person is volunteered because s/he forgot to step backward along with everyone else in line. Even though I repeatedly declared that I was happy to do anything I could to further the cause of (within the scope of my sense of ethics), I did not in any way want to be in charge of . . . as it turned out, that was precisely what happened (and by default rather than election, I might add).

My one year tenure as's admin was admittedly frustrating for me. I attempted to push Foetry toward becoming a more journalistic PoBiz news source and "poet's advocate" information archive. I argued for organization, better research and presentation, and a new dedication to fair-mindedness and clarity. But I tried to remain conscious of the fact that I was, ideologically, more radical than many of the Anti-foets when it came to my objections to the PoBiz system (which I felt should be both boycotted and critically deconstructed). Recognizing this, I made every effort to not stamp with my personal philosophies. A significant part of doing this was to call for volunteers to take on various projects (research, mission statement writing, organization and verification of evidence against poets and judges involved in contest and publication improprieties, a formal FAQ addressing the many repeated questions and attacks received to which no definitive and readily available answers were available, etc.

But perhaps because this sense of a conscientious and more-professional, grassroots, activist organization required more disciplined (and more carefully reflected upon) efforts from a "staff", combined with the general disillusionment we all shared regarding Alan's retirement, things never came together as I had hoped (and felt was necessary in order to make viable and useful for poets). At the same time, I was an odd "choice" as an admin, because (similarly to Alan) I had already "retired" from the whole poetry game by this time and stopped writing and reading poetry. My investment was based entirely on the fact that I felt what wanted to achieve was a just objective and greatly needed support from those who recognized this (and also had the sense to direct this objective and the grassroots outrage behind it toward useful, ethical, and intelligent reform).

But I came to feel that if I, a person who had lost interest in poetry in almost every way and no longer had any personal poetic ambitions, was the most enthused about the cause, the future of the cause was in sorry shape. I was ready to move off into my prose writing and pursuits of psychology, so I felt ready to retire from along with Alan. We discussed this and agreed that it was time to shut down . . . feeling that handing off the reins to yet another loyal supporter was bound to only pass the buck and stick them with the same burdensome situation that we found impossible to resolve. Our hope was that, if anyone really had the drive to continue the mission, s/he would simply start over and do so on his or her own and sans's baggage.

And this is precisely what Jennifer has done . . . and I hope she can understand that the reasoning Alan and I implemented in our closing of Foetry was intended to be an act of kindness and support for whoever took up the standard next . . . and not an attempt at forbidding access to a resource.

I mention all of this in the hope that it will serve as one example of the difficulties of constructing any kind of forum community and suggesting that there are all kinds of ways in which an ideal of that community fails to function in act. Humanity must be preserved at all costs in any organization . . . and that includes individualism, a right to speak and to disagree even with one's fellows. At, we are just beginning, and there will be growing pains. I am completely tolerant of this, but at the same time, I have already (both privately and publicly) spoken out on behalf or restraint and careful strategy. What I appreciate (and recognize as a rarity in any group dynamic) is that my cautions have been seriously considered by all those involved in This dynamic is pushing us closer to a democratic ideal, where decisions are made with collective reflection while also giving plenty of space for individual expression. Instead of the group (or a dictator's) psychology conforming the published products at, the group has given the right of equality and voice to all who would speak. And so far, there has been a significant amount of self-criticism on this forum.

This is such a unique and wonderful thing, that I hope it will come to be appreciated and respected by more and more who visit And I hope that many of these people will understand that the beginnings of this kind of functional democracy are going to have their hiccups and belches. I'm reminded of the Dr. Seuss story, "Yertle the Turtle", in which a "plain little turtle named Mack" finds that the only way to rock the ridiculous system of King Yertle's oppressive supremacy is to issue a small burp . . . and the whole hierarchical stack of turtles comes crashing back into the pond. I think there should be tolerance for these occasionally "unseemly" burps coming from those people on the bottom of the stack, those people barred from entering the Kingdom of Poetry. This tolerance and understanding of the nature of dissent and outrage are what (as far as I have seen) are most lacking in the criticisms and dismissals of (and coming from "insiders" and PoBiz devotees and wannabes.

The main reason I wanted to be involved with when I joined was to contribute the thing I realized was my most useful attribute: balance and rational (or at least complex and articulate) philosophy. I didn't want to just jump in and amplify the voice of outrage and injury that already rang out loudly from I felt that what lacked was a devotion to credibility and an adequate consideration of how others not in its camp perceived its rhetoric. If the harshest critics and smug dismissers of had been correct about the "shrill, self-centered whining in the name of sour grapes", then Alan and the other devoted people at would have made every effort to dispose of me and my attempts to encourage balance and credible reform. But not only did that not happen, I even wound up as the admin of the site.

That is a testament to the intelligence and fairness of this group . . . the best and brightest of which have reemerged to keep fighting the good fight through These good people are capable of reason and change. But sometimes we will make blunders in the pursuit of a cause. This is, in my opinion, not any kind of justification to dismiss what is being attempted here. What IS being attempted is a bold and original adaptation, the evolution of an entirely new life form in the poetry world. So long as dissent is allowed and listened to here, this evolutionary event with progress toward fitness. Individual voices will be tolerated and yet they will listen to and influence one another. We should not fall into the same position that the original malcontents with democracy voiced. Democracy is a complex system, and it needs time to evolve and self-organize. The alternative is some form of royalism or dictatorship or party elitism.

So I encourage all who would question the way presents itself and its ideas to continue voicing criticism (but not sniping dismissals, which are not in any way useful for anyone). Thus far, has demonstrated that these criticisms, even when they hurt, are being considered and can in fact lead to change. That the people here are willing to listen and reflect on anything that is being said to them already demonstrates the unique and rather wonderful potential this site foreshadows. Where else in poetry today is there this much willingness to self-criticize and even change directions based on well-argued critique?

Even as I have already voiced a number of criticisms and calls for restraint to the people posting, commenting, or being quoted here, they have continuously impressed me with their ability to reflect and seriously consider the values of mission and fairness even over personal desires and injuries. The call-outs Jennifer has posted declaring that freedom of speech is granted and admired here are not blown smoke. For those of you who don't like what is said on, come and voice your dissent and criticism . . . and do so intelligently. That is how progress is made.

My Best,

Matt Koeske

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