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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Genius? Says Who?: Regina Hacket Critiques the Genius Awards

posted by on August 7 at 14:39 PM

P-I art critic Regina Hackett has been writing about the Genius Awards for the last five years. But in all the writing she’s done, she’s never said what she really, really thinks about the awards. Does she think the awards have gone to the right people? For a critic, she’s been silent on this point.

Until now. She may not always say what she really thinks in the print edition of the P-I, but she says exactly what she thinks on her blog. (Have you noticed this?) In her latest entry, she critiques the roster of Genius Award recipients for the last five years. There are people who’ve won whom she says didn’t deserve it. And she names some people who haven’t won a Genius Award whom she thinks should. What she has to say is definitely surprising.

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fnarf and poe are famous. you too, frizzelle.

Posted by infrequent | August 7, 2007 2:59 PM

Slog comments FTW!

Posted by NaFun | August 7, 2007 3:03 PM

her blog post was way more positive than you made it sound, supportive of the enterprise but merely saying that she'd give it to some and not others if she were in charge of the whole thing. what critic wouldn't? she loses all credibility, though, at least when it comes to non-fiction writing, when she says tim egan or charles mudede should get a genius award.

Posted by wf | August 7, 2007 3:09 PM

No joke, wf. Egan and Mudede are as overrated as they are different from each other. They share a long reach and a weak grasp.

SuttonBeresCuller are overrated too. They're bold, but prone to gimmicks.

I'd like to see the Genius awards highlight artists who the local critics haven't already been fawning over -- there are plenty beyond those Hackett seems comfortable endorsing. Fortunately, Jen Graves seems less beholden to the herd mentality than either Hackett or her predecessors at the Stranger.

Posted by boat | August 7, 2007 3:16 PM

I know you guys must get a zillion comments like this every year, but I can't help it: every year when the winners are announced, I think: where's Jim Woodring? If there's anyone I've ever met in 15 years in Seattle who approaches that grossly overused moniker, it's Jim.

Posted by Eric Reynolds | August 7, 2007 3:59 PM

If Mudede's a genius, I'm an eight-legged postage stamp.

Also, giving prize money to poets is a really bad idea. You're only encouraging them!

Posted by Jason Josephes | August 7, 2007 4:02 PM

I agree with @3. Her post is evenhanded. She agrees with some, disagrees with others and provides cogent reasons why. What more can be said? Art isn't objective, it is subjective. Quality and value is opinion, perspective, not fact. That's what is so great about it. Art can cause some people to fall to their knees, and cause others to yawn and move on.

Posted by Brad | August 7, 2007 4:03 PM

jeez you guys and regina hackett - get a room!

Posted by Fawn Overmore | August 7, 2007 4:26 PM

PI blogcheck! Fnarf is taking over the world! Damn!

But I have to ride along with Mr. Poe.

I think both the awards and her criticisms are excellent. There are no objective criteria for awards. I think Hackett is absolutely right about Alexie, who is probably the most accomplished Washington-born writer ever (if not artist period), but she's wrong about Raban, who is streets ahead of anyone else in the area.

I even think SBC is a defensible pick, seeing as how it was made in 2005. They wouldn't get my vote today.

Posted by fnarf | August 7, 2007 4:41 PM

Hey Fnarf -- Be honest. Have you ever read Heather McHugh? I ask because you are smart and good.

Posted by christopher Frizzelle | August 7, 2007 4:58 PM

I think shes right about Susan Robb too, no one ever brings her up in this argument!

Posted by Jenny | August 7, 2007 5:03 PM

"If Mudede's a genius, I'm an eight-legged postage stamp."

Lean into light and live, Jason Josephes. I can see your pale and feeble legs moving beneath the postage stamp, going nowhere fast.

I picked (as if it matters, having no $ or prizes cred) Mudede and Egan because they are opposite ends of the nonfiction spectrum, Mudede's head in the clouds and Egan's feet in mud.


Posted by regina hackett | August 7, 2007 5:16 PM

Christopher, I will not be honest with you. I will lie and say "sure, Heather McHugh, know her stuff well, blah blah". That way you won't know what a Philistine I really am.

I will note that she is a poet, which is hard for me. I like my poets to be dead, like Philip Larkin. I understand that that is my problem, not hers. Her lovelyly-named website is very nice, but I must insist that using the word "lovelyly" permanently disqualifies me from talking about poetry.

Posted by Fnarf | August 7, 2007 5:17 PM

OMG!! Finally! My hours and hours of time spent at Slog have amounted to something! REGINA HACKETT ACKNOWLEDGED MY EXISTENCE! WOOOOOOO!!!

I have no idea who she is, but I think her Mudede comment is gelastic splan-tastic [sic].

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 7, 2007 5:58 PM

Fuckity Fuck Fuck!!!
Look what Fucking Dan Fucking Savage Fucking wrote in Fucking October Fucking 2002

Excerpt from \\\"Say Yes To War\\\" by Dan Savage October 2002

\\\"War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times. Saying no to war in Iraq means saying yes to the continued oppression of the Iraqi people.\\\"

Posted by Fnuckin fnamous Fnarf n Pnoe | August 7, 2007 8:57 PM


I don't like being associated with the constant spamming involving Dan Savage's Say Yes To War excerpt, brought to you in part by (daily) spammer Captain Inconversant.

Hey! Let's all smoke meth and go on a shopping spree! Props to Ecce Homo! Word bling bling.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 7, 2007 10:24 PM

When Dan Savage wrote this in Oct. 2002 he was saying that the death of children in the Iraq war was acceptable.

\"War may be bad for children and other living things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other living things, and this is one of those times. Saying no to war in Iraq means saying yes to the continued oppression of the Iraqi people.\\\"

So why don\\\'t we apportion Dan Savage his fair share of the carnage in Iraq? Let\\\'s arbitrarily assign him responsibility for the death of, say, an eight year old Iraqi girl. That sounds about right doesn\\\'t it? That still leaves 649,999 dead Iraqis to be apportioned out to Bush and the neo-cons and other war supporters.

Posted by Fnuckin Fpoe | August 8, 2007 12:04 AM

Well, she's a Sherman Alexie fan so she is obviously off her nut...

And you think she would have seen that memo by now; you know the one, about how the Genius winners all win based on their lovemaking prowess...

the Stranger staff is insatiable...

Posted by michael strangeways | August 8, 2007 9:52 AM

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