Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Doug Anderson: On Risk and Compassion

Constant irony, constant obliquity, perpetual hipness, constant skipping the stone over deep water, afraid to speak, afraid to stand up for something, afraid to expose the heart, afraid to mean, afraid to be human, bloodless, unfettered glibness that touches nothing, no balls, no will to risk, no compassion, no vision, just a bunch of fucking talk, just a constant shifting of masks. Makes me want the 60s back big time.


LIBERALS: we can do better. I count myself as one but I’m getting annoyed with people whose chief purpose in life seems to be being offended. It takes more than bumper stickers and posturing to get things done. It takes getting our hands dirty and looking clearly at things we don’t want to look at: like our obnoxious self-righteousness. And isn’t this being offended a bit narcissistic? It becomes all about how offended I am rather than the grit and compassion necessary to actually get outside ourselves and be with the subject? A privileged lefty who will not see the problem clearly because it offends them is just as bad as the conservative who is incapable of empathy. We can do better.


Got the new issue of Poets & Writers. All this stuff about agents and how to hustle. There are are a lot of mediocrities out there who know how to hustle and nothing else. What if we just wrote really good stuff? What if it had to cost us something? That’s how it’s done.

Copyright 2015 Doug Anderson

3 comments on “Doug Anderson: On Risk and Compassion

  1. Mike McCormack
    December 7, 2015

    ‘Stand up and use your ears like a man,’ Charles Ives told a lackey music critic of those times. Completely correct, Doug. Self-righteousness. If you haven’t got as better to offer, be still; be silent. You create a futz and a ruckus around all of us that only can paralyze or mesmerize, and is no better than shill advertising. No matter the subject or topic. We’re too many for there to be any way REAL to do it except by example; by living the life without putting the trumpet to our lips to EXPLAIN what we are doing (this of course is how the poets have done it for centuries). It’s just got to be that way in a country and world of far too many head. Idealism only can spread by example, if it’s going to at all. None ever should await anything. Be the man, the woman you want to see; story’s end.


  2. Elaine Olund
    August 28, 2015

    Yes, well said. I’m getting annoyed lately, too.
    “What if we just wrote really good stuff” will be my weekend mantra, re: writing out my frustrations!


  3. Daniel Burston
    August 28, 2015

    Bravo, Doug!


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This entry was posted on August 28, 2015 by in Opinion Leaders, Personal Essays, Poetry, Social Justice and tagged , .

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