Saturday, November 13, 2010

Language Abuse

The Real World, Get a Real Job, etc.   Used, in my experience, by dissatisfied people attempting to force others into bitter resignation.  "Real" in this context means such things as "brutally competitive," or a job with benefits, respect, and/or a decent salary -- but even then, I've never heard "get a real job" uttered with anything but contempt.  The misappropriation of the word "real" would be laughable, if it weren't sad -- with a fraction of awareness of the totality of existence, never mind potential, the embittered mistake psychological prisons for metaphysics.

(See also)

Always Been, Always Will Be   A claim to knowledge that isn't possible, and as above, always with the air of having been defeated.

Old Fashioned   Identifying with a generation or two back -- if you go past that you're just weird. 

You gotta do whatcha gotta do.  No way!  Really?

"They say . . ."   Who says?  How ignorant or cynical do you have to be to lump every "expert" together under a single term?

Do You Believe in God, UFO's, Marxism, Homeopathy . . . ?   Somehow, questions concerning the existence of certain things became conflated with questions of trust, even utility.

Metaphysical   This word has somehow been extended from philosophy by book hawkers to mean not only "pertaining to things 'beyond physics', such as magic and mysticism", but also, for some reason, phenomona such UFO's, crop circles, secret societies, and alternate histories/conspiracy theories.

All Natural   Unlike organic, "all natural" has no legal backbone.  Putting aside the phrase's possible total  uselessness for the moment,  products can be described as "all natural" but still violate the accepted use of the phrase.  There is an endemic and disgusting tendency to so promote products, featuring such man-made modifications as traits from traditional agriculture, transgenic technology ("GMO"), and manufactured pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, fertilizers.

Hambugger   Not pronouncing it HAM-burg-er is funny only if I am not about to eat one.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Very Thought of You?

"It's not you, it's the idea of you."

It's been said to me, and judging by it's appearance in pop culture, I'm guessing there is a good chance it's been said to (or by) you as well.  In my case, it was used to cushion a hit, probably to avoid an argument. It was offered as conciliatory, to say this breakup has nothing to do with me, per se, but some conceptual framework I was violating.

In some ways, I get it.  I represented a line to a past that wanted, even needed to be severed.  I was holding someone back.  And given my critical, even argumentative posture at the time, fueled with a certain clinginess, I can understand wanting to avoid setting off those mines.  But at the same time, I was extremely unsatisfyed by the "explanation."  It seemed avoidant, of more than just a confrontation with me.  Sometimes I wonder if she really knew why she ended the relationship, if the deeper reasons were hidden,  and "dangerous" to her.

I wonder if I will ever have a satisfying understanding of what went down, if I will ever know what was going through her head, and what "really happened."  And I wonder if those eight words ever tell the most important part of the story, or are satisfying, because even if it is the "idea of you", there is still the rest of you.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And the Winner Was . . .

The winner of the Librarius Interruptus Awards can now be named:  The Clarence Dillon Library, in Bedminster. 

My decision to never step foot in there again started with a guy talking to himself, incessantly.  He was distracting me, and I told him so, to which he responded "get used to it, I paid to use the equipment."  I refrained from debating exactly how one purchases the "right" to prevent other taxpayers from using the equipment. 

Instead, I took my case to a staff member, and somehow found myself in the director's office.  I explained the situation to him, and was shot down thusly:  "This is not a 'hush library.'"  In my mind, this is roughly like a hospital being described as "not a sanitized hospital." 

Mr. Director offered no precise formulation of his noise policy.  Instead, he "explained" that talking on cell phones and full-voice conversations are not allowed.  Apparently he doesn't spend much time in his own library.  And since someone too stupid to do his taxes without talking to himself trumps my desire to concentrate, deterring other patrons' use of the library is not strictly forbidden.

A "non-hush library" accomplishes what, exactly?