Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Curmudgeon? Who Me?


I have been thinking about returning to the often thankless task of entering some of my deeper thoughts into my online journal, those personal pages within my domain which only those who have the link are able to enter.

Philip Pullman recently posted the following: "I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love..." Mr. Pullman is a published author and book collector, so I felt some distress because he used the word "dissed" instead of 'disrespecting.' Using popular slang is not forbidden of course, and any writer is certainly free to use any word he cares to, but I feel that doing so, at least in this case, shows disrespect for the English language.

Or am I just being an old curmudgeon?

Romney Uniquely Qualified For President
said South Dakota Senator John Thune. I'm not sure exactly what it means to be "uniquely qualified."

I read a poem that made me question (again) the difference between modern poetry and prose.

Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away
by Hal Sirowitz

That's a strange question to ask
a woman at a bar, she said. "Are
you having fun?" If I wanted
to have fun I wouldn't have come here.
This is a lot of work. I have
to decide which guy, out of
all the jerks here, has the potential
of becoming my future husband.
I mostly just have looks to go on,
since the conversation is usually
minimal--like the one we're having now.

"Fun, Fun, Fun When the Guy Goes Away"
by Hal Sirowitz,
(Before, During & After, Soft Skull Press, 2003.)

I've read the poem time and again, and I can only surmise that it is recognized as being a poem simply because of its line breaks, without which it would surely be classified as prose.

Sometimes I fear that by posting my honest thoughts, some of the conclusions I come to and write about in this blog merely serve to illustrate my abysmal lack of culture, formal education, and basic intelligence... to those readers who possess culture, formal education, and basic intelligence.

Ah well... so be it.

A man and a woman who have never met before find themselves sharing a sleeping car on an overnight train. After some initial embarrassment, they both go to sleep in their bunks...But in the middle of the night, the woman leans over and says to the man: "I'm sorry, but I'm a little cold. Could I trouble you to get me another blanket?"

"I've got a better idea," the man replies with a glint in his eye. "Just for tonight, let's pretend we're married."

"OK, why not," giggles the woman.

"Great," the man says. "Get your own damn blanket!"

(From: Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind, MIT Press, 2011)

Yes, I have decided to go ahead with my plan to enter my deeper thoughts into my new Journal but it might take me a few days to write a worthwhile entry. I wonder if I can still write an intelligent and coherent sentence. Time will tell, as they say.

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