Jewel Calls Out Kurt Loder Over Their Old Poetry Beef
Today, I look at Jewel bringing up her problem with Kurt Loder over an argument that the two had in 1998 when Loder mocked her misuse of a word in her then-new book of poetry.
This is Quite a Story, a sort of catch-all feature where I share short, interesting anecdotes from interviews that don’t really fit into any other feature.
Jewel has a fascinating new interview up with Rachel Brodsky at Stereogum where she calls out a lot of the problems she’s had with male journalists over the years, including spotlighting an infamous exchange that she had with Loder on MTV back in 1998 when Loder decided to call her out on the misuse of a word in her then-new book of poetry, Night Without Armor.
Jewel: I was pretty used to that feedback by the time the poetry book came out. But I was also very tough, right? Because the poetry book did so well, I think because it had this very honest… I mean, when I did TRL, I did a poetry reading on MTV. I don’t think that’s ever been done. The ones the kids wanted me to read were rough. They were about unprotected sex and really, like, rough, raw poems. These kids, it was like what Bukowski did for me or what Anais Nin did for me. They took the veneer off of life and I felt proud that.
Not that my writing was brilliant, but I felt proud that I was willing to take the veneer off and to be met with this appetite that people wanted that. So when I did the Kurt Loder thing, I mean, I was kind of prepared for some cynicism, but when he was setting me up, I couldn’t figure out why he was setting me up. It was something about a word, right? Grammar, I think.
Brodsky: He corrected your use of the word “casualty” versus “casualness.”
Jewel: Yeah. I used the word incorrectly. He was setting me up, and then he dropped the hammer or something as if to expose me that I wasn’t educated or something. Did they put in when I said, “Fuck you.” Was that in that?
Brodsky: The transcript is still out there. You call him a smart-ass.
Jewel: Wow. That’s amazing. Yeah, I just remember looking at him and like saying, “Fuck you.” I am uneducated, straight-up. An uneducated kid that was homeless. You’re a college-educated man going after a kid, “Fuck you.” I was so pissed. No, no apology. No, he was just a dick. What an ass to show himself like that. It was almost that thing where you’d feel sorry for somebody, it’s like, “Wow, here’s a full grown man who does news for children, on a children’s network, for teenagers.” Yeah. You’re bitter.
Here’s the transcript, courtesy of MTV (they’ve gotten rid of the video, though):
Loder: There’s a line you have. “here are nightmares on the sidewalks/there are jokes on TV/ there are people selling thoughtlessness with such casualty.” Casualty doesn’t mean that, does it? Casualty’s like a guy gets his arm blown off. I mean isn’t that…”
Jewel: That’s a type of casualty.
Jewel: It’s a type of casualty that…
Loder: No, No, really. I thought you were trying to say casualness
Jewel: No, casualty
Loder: Oh, OK. All right. Are you a tech person? Do you take computers on the road, do you log on, e-mail?
Jewel: No, I’m a bit archaic. I mean, I still write everything by hand. It’s quite archaic.
Jewel: It is wow. I’m dyslexic as heck. I mean, I just can’t type well.”
Loder: Really? That’d be a problem for a writer.”
Jewel: It is a bit of problem. I mean, putting the book together. Everything was done by hand. I had to recopy it legibly to get it…
Loder: That explains casualty probably
Jewel. That probably does. Smart-ass for pointing that out. Next topic.”
Loder: I don’t know. I just want to help.”
Jewel: Publicly (laughs). If you wanted to help, you could have taken me aside, in a little corner.
Loder: Oh, later.
EDITED TO ADD:
Reader James Crugnale found the original video and he shared it on his Twitter account!
Here's that hard to find video of Kurt Loder fact checking Jewel about her use of "casualty" in one of her poems. pic.twitter.com/QcI2ZCK3C3
— James Crugnale (@jamescrugnale) April 9, 2022
If you see any interesting anecdotes from interviews that you think would be worth spotlighting, drop me a line at email@example.com.
1 thought on “Jewel Calls Out Kurt Loder Over Their Old Poetry Beef”
I remember this. He doesn’t seem to be doing it in a mean spirited “gotcha” kind of way, he just seems to be genuinely confused by her word choice. But she’s right, it would’ve been a lot more polite to point it out privately.
I’d forgotten the detail of her being dyslexic, though. If Loder knew that about her going in, then yeah, kind of dicky.