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Pop--junk Poetry

September 20, 1987

Surely William Faulkner would have withdrawn the famous "write what you know" remark from his Nobel Prize acceptance speech if he had guessed that future generations would gleefully confess that all they know about is Dumbo and "Leave It to Beaver."

The poets profiled demonstrated the incredible degree of emotional investment this culture has in phantoms, a witness to the power and effectiveness of advertising and marketing techniques.

It is unfortunate that no mention was made of the recent show "Bad Influences" at Otis-Parsons, where a similar attempt was made to show the influence of pop culture on art. In the work shown there, images from TV, movies, billboards, etc., were appropriate with an obvious recognition of their absurdity, and inverted or exaggerated as a criticism of the culture that churns them out.

Why? Because the images were manufactured to be sold as products or to sell products. Walt Disney was a businessman, and a very good one at that. An artist who uses those images as smooth surfaces, not recognizing the money-machine behind the icon, is still a victim.

GARRETT WHITE

West Coast editor

FRANK Magazine

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