G. Tod Sloan seems like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to ask about his career; lest he landslide you with angry screeds about women who have better jobs than he personally does. An erstwhile college professor with an insanely long list of “publishers who ignore me” posted on his web page, G Tod Sloan’s 1600-word origin story tells of how his own agitating “essentially destroyed my career and livelihood”. I’m guessing this means that this guy would be a plague upon any university which hired him. So let’s have a look, shall we?
I was brought into contact with Slone’s blog because he kept sending the SLC student newspaper political cartoons and angry letters about Marie Howe until the Phoenix published them. Ms. Howe teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College, which I attended; although I never took Howe’s classes and don’t recall having any contact with her. So I guess that would make me Slone’s target audience, since if I had taken her class, I would be biased in her favor. Here’s what he submitted to the College’s newspaper, The Phoenix:
Wow. At least he got that luscious curly blond hair right, although he overstated the wrinkles I think. All of the undergraduates at the reading look like total doofuses, especially the one from “Sarah Lawrence U.” on the far left. Seriously, look at him. He has all the individuality of a cardboard standup used at a firing range. At least the NYU and Columbia guy get the credit of some feature; like being a Jew or wearing earring(s). It’s sad that this cartoon could be made much more effective if Slone had any fucking clue what Sarah Lawrence students looked like. Or maybe he was just working towards that corner and got tired, I don’t know. He sent a follow-up comic to the Phoenix which looks like this.
NB: There is way too much text in this panel.
Here, Marie Howe looks like Whoopi Goldberg in whiteface and Slone’s self-insert is rendered about as transparently as a spirit. Not that getting a ghostly visitation in a public place wouldn’t be great material for a poem, but I’m 90% it’s a slobbery in the art; so I forgive Slone’s lazy depiction of SLC students as hat-wearing signboards for the College. Tina Chang is depicted as a sneering viceroy to Howe’s Queen Bey. It’s interesting to compare the actual faces of these women with the faces Slone gives them; like watching a straw feminist filter occlude this guy’s reality. (Am I getting too poetic? Sry.)
Howe and Chang are trying to engage people in an act of creativity by writing poems with strangers in Grand Central station. That’s the idea of what Slone’s trying to depict, anyway. Except now that’s he’s telling this story, Sloan can insert himself into the situation and share his thoughts while controlling every aspect of how it happens. He finishes off his polemic against all things “PC” with the sexist command “Bang that out on your typer, Brooklyn!” Slone claims to be fair&balanced but the service to his own ego is obvious.
Seriously, if you hate poetry and think it’s a waste of time don’t harass the poets, just move on. It’s not like they’re aggressively demanding you read their work, the way G. Tod Slone does constantly on his web site and blog, ruminating on all of the people who’ve ignored him over the years.
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