So just the other day I finally got my Slam Nation DVD in the mail. I watched it... of course. I thought the filming would have been of a slightly higher calibre.
It was nice to finally see the man behind the name of Marc Smith, the Slam Papi. Despite the fact that he 'said' he was open to slam being an evolving art form he seemed to work hard at remaining at the helm. Although the meetings were democratic in nature it seemed to me like he played his 'founding father' card in order to direct the vote towards his preference.
Don't get it twisted. I don't think I like Taylor Mali's personality. He is WAY too into himself. I DO like his poetry. Moreover, I agree with his strategy. Why can't you switch up who goes when & does what? In a competition it only makes sense to make your best play when the game is on the line.
I think Slam is big enough for both competitors & purists. So why were the purists so seriously confused? It might not be cut throat competition but it IS a competition. Each poem is scored and the highest score wins.
So when Saul Williams, Marc Smith, and others got all in a snit about people being strategic about a competition I found it laughable. Perhaps it's even MORE laughable that he later became the head of PSi (Poetry Slam Inc), the governing body of the National Poetry Slam competition.
I did like Beau Sia (sp?). The guy was intense and funny. I guess my favourite reveals my bias though... the Vancouver team. I've actually had occasion to meet Alexandra Oliver (AKA the home-wrecker).
I guess my question is... why is it that only the slick production of HBO's Def Poetry show does a decent job at capturing great poets perfroming great poems with great video & audio?