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Bad Canada

The problem with the media is that its function is the message - it needs news, and if it doesn't have a feed, will stir the pot to make one bubble up. So it is with the British media and Vancouver 2010. The ongoing demonisation of the games - the virtual garlanding with tragedy's albatross - stems largely from the fact that Team GB is not currently doing well in the medals table. I find it to be negligent to report more on a pre-games accident than on the fact that athletes from many nations are daily striving and winning in good faith and with alacrity and poise. The charge, made in the Independent the other day, that Canada's winter athletes have an unfair home advantage, having had more time than foreign competitors to train, is absurd - all host nations have such advantages - and, given Canada's only recently assuaged drought of home-won gold - it is a dubious advantage at that. The luge death was a terrible accident. It is true the poles were in a bad place, and the track was very fast. But given the demands of the sport to be fast - and the fact that all dangerous sports are dangerous - it seems time to mourn the athlete, and let the living athletes also receive their due.

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Term Papers said…
Very nice write up, easy to understand and straight to the point...

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The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



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JOHN ASHBERY HAS DIED

With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.