Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Common People

So, Obama had a Poetry Night at the White House. Cool. And he invited a rapper. Hm, ok...appealing to the young folks, I get it. Since then, we have all heard (over and over) about what a terrible travesty it was to have Common in the White House. What's shocking is not that hate-mongering folks decided to make this an issue, or that they are blissfully unaware of how offensive their taking offense is, but that this issue is NOT GOING AWAY. I mean, really, Poetry Night at the White House is a huge scandal? Common!

Ok, the bad puns are out of my system. But I'm still wondering if politicos just hate the idea of rappers in their hallowed halls, or if they would have found something to disparage about any other visiting poets Obama would have chosen. Consider the following gallery of rogues:

William Shakespeare

The Bard had this to say about women...
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

Robert Frost
This guy was obviously a trespasser...

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Gwendolyn Brooks
Encouraging juvenile delinquency...

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight...

Charles Baudelaire
And advocating substance abuse...shocking...

You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it—it's the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.

So, can the pundits and talk show hosts really say that these famous poets are any better, morally, than a rapper? Especially one who has this to say about the ladies in his life:

One mother, one sister, one daughter, one wife
Once lost in the darkness; blessed by sunlight
Once blind to the bounties of livin’ – Lord, surround me with four women
To symbolize life;

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