Moyers Hits It Out of the Park
Congratulations to Bill Moyers for his outstanding article “How Wall Street Occupied America” [Nov. 21]. Moyers lucidly traces our society’s sad transformation over the past several decades into today’s iteration of the early twentieth century’s Gilded Age, when a tiny slice of the population was able to command seemingly boundless wealth and political influence. What’s old is new: we have reverted from being a “we” society to being a “me” society, with limited horizons for a vast number of Americans.
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
I am grateful to Bill Moyers for two reasons. One, for giving us an easy to understand timeline of just how superrich people and corporations have whittled away at democracy. Two, for offering us hope by reminding us that democracy still starts at the bottom. Facts are important, and I want all the facts I can get. But I need hope. Without it, I will just come home at the end of the day, shut my door and be lost like some atom floating in an uncaring universe, unable to find another atom to bond with.
Having just eagerly read the articles by Bill Moyers and Richard Kim [“The Audacity of Occupy Wall Street”], I am moved to suggest a slogan: We Seek Fair Play. I would occupy, but I am 92.
Comment on Bill Moyers’s report on the origin of our current class war: an important source of the class war was Reagan’s trickle-down economics. It didn’t.
Hats off to Bill Moyers!
The High Price of Poetry
Jeremy Bass, in “Shelf Life” [Nov. 21], takes me to task for omitting certain poets from The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry, especially poets he deems influential during the second half of the century. Of course it is every editor’s prerogative to pick and choose according to her or his judgments and sensibilities, and I do not shirk responsibility for my choices. Germane to this discussion, however, is the extent to which an editor’s selection can be skewed by the anarchic permissions process specific to the American publishing industry, where the rights situation has become extremely unwieldy and cost-prohibitive. As I indicated in my introduction, several poets who were in the original manuscript had to be dropped because their rights holders insisted on fees that were far beyond my budget—not to mention that satisfying such unreasonable demands would have violated agreements with the overwhelming number of publishers, agents and poets whose generosity made the anthology financially feasible in the first place. Had Bass read my introduction more exactingly, he could have easily surmised that several of the poets he blames me for neglecting may have fallen victim to their publishers’ greed. In the end, Penguin and I decided that the many years of work on this anthology should not be scrapped because we were prevented from printing less than a dozen voices out of a total of about 200.