I held my nose, Trunk,

I held my nose, Trunk, and read that Paulin poem. Putting aside the political content, the striking thing is how bad it is. This guy is a famous poet? If so, poetry is in even worse straits than I thought. It reads a bit like a Mad magazine parody of the 1960’s, only with dumber content. Anyway, these appear to be the key lines:
“the programme though
of saying Israel’s critics
are tout court anti-semitic
is designed daily by some schmuck
to make you shut the fuck up”
Elegant, huh? This is evidently autobiographical; Paulin was invited to speak at Harvard, then dis-invited, then, if memory serves, re-invited. The controversy was over his own alleged anti-Semitism. Nowadays, of course, it takes more than criticism of Israel to be called an anti-Semite. Generally you have to stab a Rabbi, attack a soccer team with baseball bats, or say “Death to the Jews” a few thousand times. Paulin himself was called an anti-Semite for saying, among other things, that Jews living in the West Bank “should be shot dead. I think they are Nazis, racists. I have nothing but hatred for them.” Thanks for that thoughtful “criticism of Israel,” Tom. I may try my hand at parody later, but frankly, this “poem” may be so inept as to be beneath parody.


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