In 1971, feminists sang “I am woman, hear me roar/In numbers too big to ignore!” In 2012, feminists are driven to tears over Internet articles. Reading popular feminist watering holes like Shakesville or Feministe is enough to convince anyone that “hysteria” should be brought back as a medical diagnosis. Think I’m kidding? Here’s a case example.
The South African poet Roy Campbell (1902-1957) is a perfect example of how “great literature” is defined more by politics than by actual talent. While far from perfect, Campbell’s verse is energetic, masculine and passionate, a joy to read. Think Hemingway in iambic pentameter. But the reason you’ve never heard of him is because he made the fatal mistake of siding with the wrong group of thugs: he was a passionate supporter of Franco’s Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War when every major literary figure was on the Republicans’ side. Merely because of this, Campbell was wiped from the public consciousness, condemned to languish in the backs of college libraries.
Of course, Campbell was a far more complicated character than his enemies made him out to be. A lifelong iconoclast and outdoorsman, he became notorious for attacking the racism of his fellow South Africans in his satirical poem The Wayzgoose; relocating to England, he became active in the Bloomsbury Group, the circle of intellectuals and authors that included Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, John Maynard Keynes, and Bertrand Russell. Tiring of their snobbery, Marxism and anti-Christian attitude (and upset over Sackville-West’s lesbian affair with his wife Mary), Campbell shredded them in another satirical poem, The Georgiad. Relocating to southern France and later Spain, Campbell and his wife converted to Catholicism and became Nationalists after witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Red Terror. Despite his fascist sentiments, he later enlisted in the British Army during World War II despite being well over the draft age, when the communist chickenhawks who had been agitating for war with Germany in the first place either fled the country (W.H. Auden) or slithered into noncombatant positions in the civil service (Stephen Spender).
The Geographer writes on how he very nearly nuked his blog to avoid seeing his career plans go up in smoke:
The measure of your country’s intelligence is proportional to whom it allows to ACTUALLY speak.
As I’ve already stated, I’ve made the suicidally brave decision of putting my real name on this blog. No, I’m not going to start Tweeting every inane detail about my life like a girl, but I’m going to own everything I write here no matter who it upsets. I’m not going to censor myself for an increasingly slim chance of getting some mindless cubicle job.
Some of you (all five of you) probably think I’m nuts for writing this blog under my real name. Beyond the fact that I don’t care what panty-wetting liberals think anymore, tying this site to my identity forces me to shit or get off the pot. I’m making myself accountable in a way that I couldn’t were I anonymous, because I can’t pretend to be anybody other than who I am.
Here’s what I’m looking to accomplish in the next year. I’ll probably add or subtract from the list as time goes on.
It was roughly a year ago that the SlutWalks took the world by storm. Never again will we blame victims for getting raped! Take that, patriarchs!
For those of you who missed this momentous occasion, a refresher.
I’ve always hated introducing myself, because I always come off as a self-important windbag. So I’ll keep this short.
My name is Matt Forney, and my life sucks. I could go through the various ways in which it sucks, but I’m not here to plead for sympathy. I’m here to change myself.