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Ted Nugent

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Ted Nugent would make a good cult leader. He’s got all the ingredients: charisma, fame in a popular art form, a highly articulate and highly singular worldview and a badass public persona. Also, the man is heavily armed.
Amy Benfer, "I have the American Dream Licked!", Salon, (June 11, 2002)

Ted Nugent

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Everyone has imaginary ideas of himself as being this or that sort of person. And you can be sure that the images are highly complimentary! But since they are purely imaginary, they are highly sensitive to assault by reality.

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What does an instinctively popular poet do in contemporary America, where serious poetry is no longer a popular art? The public whose values and sensibility he celebrates is unaware of his existence. Indeed, even if they were aware of his poetry, they would feel no need to approach it. Cut off from his proper audience, this poet feels little sympathy with the specialized minority readership that now sustains poetry either as a highly sophisticated verbal game or secular religion. His sensibility shows little similarity to theirs except for the common interest in poetry. And so the popular poet usually leads a marginal existence in literary life. His fellow poets look on him as an anomaly or an anachronism. Reviewers find him eminently unnewsworthy. Publishers see little prestige attached to printing his work. Critics, who have been trained to celebrate complexity, consider him an amiable simpleton.

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What people think about you is not supposed to matter much, so long as you yourself know where the truth lies; but I have found out, as have others who move in and out of newspaper headlines, that on occasion it can matter a good deal. For once you enter the world of headlines you learn there is not one truth but two: the one which you know from the facts; and the one which the public, or at any rate a highly imaginative part of the public, acquires by osmosis.

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