Thursday, August 14, 2008

Here's what Joe Massey Learned at Iowa

It's pretty funny.

I'm trying to finish a paper, but I will soon reply to various threads.

I'm absolutely not ironic.


Blogger Amish Trivedi said...

You totally got served!

That was hilarious.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...

I think the funniest part is that he's Mr Sincerity and he's the one ironizing my post.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Amish Trivedi said...

That's quite true.

Been in touch with Post Office about Ra. Things looking up.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Honestly, though. I kind of wonder if most recent Iowa graduates spend a lot of their time talking down the fact that they went to Iowa. I'm not saying that's necessarily what you're doing, but I get the sense that there's a certain "eliteness" of having been there that many people might link you to if they didn't know you, and that you're pretty consciously trying to pre-empt that in a way. i.e. the whole "I was there, but I definitely didn't fit in" thing.

Which isn't to say that this can't be true, or that I don't think it is. It's just something I've noticed about some people with prestigious academic backgrounds (at all degree levels), how they actively downplay and distance themselves from it.

4:40 PM  
Blogger mark wallace said...

I thought Joe's piece had its funny moments, but in terms of "gently poking fun" at you I don't think it quite works because I don't what particular aspect of what you said he was poking fun at. That you were at Iowa at all? Something about the way you discuss it? I couldn't tell. I'm not saying that your post couldn't be satirized but that I didn't know what the purpose of this particular satire was. I'd welcome enlightenment if somebody's got it.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Anthony Robinson said...

If you think Joe Massey is Mr. Sincerity, you obviously haven't read his New Sincerity Manifesto.

New Sincerity is sooo 3 years ago, anyway.

As a close comrade of Mr. Massey, I'd suggest that he was not poking fun at Johannes in particular, but rather the cult of Iowa, namedropping, and just plan overall po-creepiness that tends to pervade so many po-blogs.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Johannes said...


He was not poking fun of me in "particular" as I was the person who wrote the post? You are getting more and more sincere by the minute.

I suppose I shouldn't have brought up "sincerity" because there's nothing more tiresome than hear any of you all talk about it.


I love the fact that I've now been criticized for "name-dropping" the "cult of Iowa" and suspected of trying to distance myself from Iowa - all based on the same post. Fantastic.

I've never noticed that people with prestigious backgrounds try to distance themselves from those schools.

I for one am always playing up my BA from the University of Minnesota. I wear a golden gopher on my head.

If I was scared of people getting to know I went to Iowa, I would never have mentioned it.

Was I scared that that Jerome Corsi would dig it up in a tell-all Johannes Nation book?

6:30 PM  
Blogger Anthony Robinson said...

Hey Johannes,

I don't know you. I am sorry you find me, a stranger, tiresome.

I will refrain from making any attacks upon you. It wouldn't make any sense to do so.

I did not come here to pick a fight. I just wanted to point out that Mr. Massey has absolutely no bone to pick with you. He generally has strong opinions about "MFA culture" and he airs these opinions.

You apparently found something worthwhile in his post--you linked to it. And you said it was "pretty funny."

So why are you behaving defensively and being dismissive of me?


7:19 PM  
Blogger Max said...


I'm talking about a personal experience I've had with some people who come from elite college backgrounds (ivy league, etc). Obviously, Iowa would be kind of the ivy league of the MFA thing, as far as prestige is concerned.

I don't think you're scared of people know you went to Iowa. I just get the sense that you felt obligated to "explain" your Iowa experience, in part because it's Iowa. I mean, wasn't that kind of the point? To describe what it was like for a guy like yourself to be in that storied program? I don't get the feeling you'd have written such a post had you perhaps gone somewhere less historically prestigious.

12:49 AM  
Blogger mark wallace said...

Matt, I don't think Johannes felt obligated to explain. I literally asked him to explain, and he obliged me.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

. . . when i applied for the MFA program at Iowa, they rejected me . . . (Warren Wilson also turned me down) . . .

so, Johannes, just getting in there to Iowa means you're better than me!

8:12 AM  
Blogger Amish Trivedi said...

Johannes is probably going to disagree with you on that, Bill.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Matt Walker said...

Mark, for a second there I thought I'd made a comment in this stream and somehow forgotten it...stop scaring me! :)

11:06 AM  

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