Breakfast of Champions: 1/15

This week's print feature comes online later this afternoon, and I don't know what I'm more excited for: to go live with the expanded web content we have, or to see the cover for the print edition. In the meantime, check out our coverage of music, labor issues and politics -- including tonight's Michigan primary.


The Elephants in the Room blog has been awash with posts since we revived it. Expect more tonight during the Michigan primary. From yesterday, Kevin Hoffman directs us to an amusing video that answers the question: what Republican candidate do Michigan Democrats support?

Jeff Severns Guntzel's missive about candidates having their pictures taken with babies includes perhaps my favorite headline of any recent post.

Local band His Mischief have a new video, and Sarah Askari points you to it. As it turns out, the producer of the video has chimed in in the comments.

From the Blotter: Paul Demko has news about contract talks for grocery workers that are just about to begin.


How about some highbrow Brain Candy today?

This video of David Gallo discussing amazing ocean phenomena is worth watching in its entirety, but my favorite parts take place later. Two highlights: the squid that changes coloration so female squid see his sensitive side, but males see his badass side; and watching an octopus take the form of algae.

The Atlantic Monthly has published online Dana Gioia's long essay from 1991, "Can Poetry Matter?," a piece he later expanded into a book. Most of the arguments about why poetry has receded from the public mind you've heard before -- newspapers rarely review the art, and it's become an isolated, academic discipline -- but the bulk of Gioia's ideas seems fresh even today.

This is sad. There are more terrific poets writing now than at any point in human history, and to think that most Americans aren't exposed to the writing. At the end of the essay (spoiler alert!), Gioia offers six proposals to bring poetry back. These are the kind of great ideas that, when you read them, you're shocked they haven't come into wide circulation more than 15 years later.

Since one of the suggestions is to integrate poetry into non-poetry publications, let me leave you with an excerpt from Jane Kenyon's "Happiness," from her staggeringly awesome collection "Otherwise."

No, happiness is the uncle you never knew about, who flies a single-engine plane onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes into town, and inquires at every door until he finds you asleep midafternoon as you so often are during the unmerciful hours of your despair.

If you don't have time to read a long-ass musing on how poetry can matter again, just click that link and read Kenyon's poem. I think they're getting at the same idea.

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