Thursday, December 11, 2008

Poet Laureate of Vice

Taking a break from my second straight day of full-bore computer hacking, I wandered downstairs to get myself some lunch. I was planning on a vegetarian quesadilla from the airport-caliber burrito purveyor that has recently installed itself into recently renovated food court on the ground floor of the shitty building on my campus where my computer hacking office also is, Academic Two. Only mention its name because there are three adjacent buildings here on campus that make up one of its primary structures, Academic One, Academic Two, and the Wolfe University Center. The food court is next to the UC, at the end of AC-II which is furthest from AC-I.

This was about 3:30pm. The food court, unfortunately, according to the hand-written sign taped to its entrance, closed today at 2pm. No reason given. It's raining, so I couldn't bike away from campus to get lunch from the strip mall-caliber burrito purveyor that's just up the road, and resorted to going to the book store for some "snacks."

AC-II is connected to the UC by a single set of double glass doors, the kind that aren't automatic, but do have one of those blue buttons that opens both doors automatically for handicapped, encumbered, or lazy threshold crossers. One of these two glass doors was also not working. This, also, was communicated by a hand-written sign taped to the door. Just on the UC side of the doors, there was another door on the right hand side of the hallway. This door also had a sign on it saying that it was broken, and to please not use it. These broken doors, I'm sure, are mild inconveniences for many, but I don't mind, since I tend to enjoy the outward signs of decrepitude of the campus; rather than just hate on the place, I reckon its better to try and laugh at it.

Our University Center has many TVs, most of which are permanently tuned in to MTV U. This, I suppose is some kind of contractual thing not dissimilar from the TVs which were in every classroom of my middle school which obligatorily played something called "Channel One News" every morning and showed commercials for Pepsi products (where a whole generation learned to love Anderson Cooper). It's the type of thing which I pretty automatically ignore (having learned to automatically ignore such things back in middle school), but as I walked past one such television on my way back towards my computer hacking office from the bookstore, Coke Zero and Rold Gold pretzels in hand, Peanut M&Ms in pocket (traditional hacker-snacks), I happened to notice that the screen was only occupied by a few lines of poetry.

"Odd." I thought, and that feeling multiplied as I noticed that the poet credited for the words there was John Ashberry, who is generally recognized as being America's difficultest poet. The words soon faded away, and rather than, like, showing the next stanza, as I was expecting, instead a link came up that said "read the whole poem at". And it turns out that John Ashberry is the mtvU poet laureate. Who is the ad wizard that came up with this one? It strikes me as a ballsy and interesting move, but at the same time rather completely inscrutable, given Ashberry's status as a writer of oftentimes completely impenetrable verse.

And, well, I'd muse about it more, but I've consumed my snacks and need to get back to work.


Post a Comment

<< Home