The impotence of proof reading

The text of this video can be found here… and appropriately so, as you should read it post haste.

This video is an example of Slam poetry.
It’s a new era spoken word that sometimes will be done in competition, but other times it is just for the art of it. This video is of Taylor Mali, a teacher who was made famous by his slam poem “What Teachers Make“, which is an amazing performance to watch, and I dare you not to be moved by it.

Spoken word poetry often has critics that feel they are rants, they are ongoing, run ons, don’t make sense, and often ramble. They say things in a stream that people feel is to long, and would lose those who were to read it. I feel it is the truest sense of exploring how our brains actually think. Do you have ideas in complete sentences? Does your brain add the correct punctuation between your, and you’re? Or do you think in your voice, in a different language, or even in another persona. Can your brain type faster than your fingers? and can your words mean more than the letters, prepositions, and phrases that you combine to make paragraphs to convey ideas that will somehow be misunderstood. Have you ever handed in a term paper, and even tho you tried so hard to make it make sense to the person that decides what sense is, that if only you had had just a few minuets of face time with that person that decides sense you would have been able to plead your case and explained what you really meant that couldn’t be described on mere paper. Your ideas to big for letters, and your meanings to complex for for the hoards… enter the spoken word. The allowance of your conscience to flow in the liquid form that it has always been and ideas to spring forth like raging rivers in the calm sierra mountains. Text is king on the internet, but there is no escaping the fact that the most powerful form of communicating is with the voice breathing life into the words, giving them the exact meaning, the correct tone, the precision that can only come from the one who thought them. That to me is what spoken word is all about, and to see performances such as this, it shows that you can write a horse to water, but with his mouth shut he will still die of dehydration.

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~ by brandontonio on September 6, 2007.

3 Responses to “The impotence of proof reading”

  1. Hahahahahahha probably the funniest video I’ve ever seen! The sad part is that I have a friend who writes like that…

  2. I’m a fan of Taylor as well.

    I like the way you begin to enact (as closely as one can in written form) type of spoken language that you are writing about — like here: Your ideas to big for letters, and your meanings to complex for for the hoards… enter the spoken word. The allowance of your conscience to flow in the liquid form that it has always been and ideas to spring forth like raging rivers in the calm sierra mountains.

    I’m not sure I agree that it is a fact that the most powerful form of communication is spoken (though I was certainly moved by “What Teachers Make” and by many other spoken word artists and slam poets). I’m actually reading a lot of those arguments now, as I teach this hybrid/digital course and turn to doing more online communication.

  3. […] The P.S. at the bottom is a link to a Taylor Mali video on “Impotence of Proofreading,” pointed out earlier this semester by Brandon. […]

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