« on: August 14, 2007, 11:26:43 PM »
Alright, this thread makes me sick in so many ways. . .
As a slammaster I spent 6 years fighting for rules that would make slams transparent and give every poet in the community a chance to get on a team in their area, specifically so that no one would be left out of a slam because of the color of their skin, their sexual oreintation, the kind of work that they perform, or a personal grudge. Now maybe you live in an area where one has a few slams to choose from, but in most areas of the country this is not like this. I also fought for these rules so that there would not be another hand picked team like Mouth Almighty, because I don't think that having a hand picked team of professionals, or of people whom all pull 10s is fair.
Me and countless other slammasters over the history of slam have spent an awesome amount of hours, and money to get to the annual slammasters meeting so that we could hopefully have a smooth event. We've spent countless hours on listservs and time in chatrooms to hopefully produce that best possible results for the poets, as well as for the NPS.
Also "Slam Off" is just lingo for final team selection, the process of it, new people may equate it to one event but really most people are referring to the process when they say this.
Now, I am not a slammmaster anymore, but if I still was I would've filed a protest when I first heard about the possible violation, and then again with the protest committee if nothing came to the first protest, why?
Because I feel that rules are made for a reason, and that it is a slap in the face to all those who have fought so hard to make this an open and fair event. Even if your SM is just poorly informed, letting Tempe slide would mean that there would be 10 teams next year trying to do the same thing and using you all as precedent. And then that open stage, that open slam that I fought for so that ANYONE in a community has a chance to have thier voice heard would slowly be chipped away.
Now, it's true that I am the former slammaster of Mental Graffiiti, BUT you can go though the poetry slam listerve and read all my old posts to know how greatly I feel about all of this, you can see how much time I spent on just that listserv trying tomake things right, trying to advance slam and touring poets, etc.
I would've liked for things to work out differently, for the orginal prostest to be taken more seriously, but that is not how it turned out. And Instead I am watching you insult the 100's of poets and slammasters and organisers that I respect and admire, I am watching you insult something that has been near and dear to me for 10 years.
As a poet whom I am sure has aspirations to tour, I would think about toning it down, because I am not the only person who is reading the things that you say and watching the way that you are acting. that wonders what would happen if you step on our stages. My advice take it or leave it.
Chicago Mental Graffiti Slammaster 98 - 2003