Language, innuendo, and curmudgeonry0
This morning I started-off on a bit of a tongue-in-cheek blast at avant guarde “writers” styling themselves after TS Eliot and ee cummings.1 That parody was in the manner of those considering themselves new masters of this style. You know, completely lacking punctuation, no fixed or rudely discernable form, and loose, incomprehensible text. The kind of stuff that immediately puts you to thinking of a Maynard G. Krebs-type, but one stoned out of his skull with no likelihood of successfully regaining sanity.2 Cue Cannabis haze, erratic bongo drums, “coffee,” and incoherent babble from the stage.
Up bubbles a short story. Perhaps at some later time. Definitely not Claxbury Corners.
But the parody? Nah. Well, it was good. Thirty percent of readers would see where I’m coming from and agree. These stodgy old coots do exist. Call them traditionalists or English teachers. Forty-five percent would be offended and disagree, not all of whom would be artists hawking this particular style. Twenty-two percent would have no clue what I was attempting, considering me insane3 or myself on hallucinogens. Ten percent wouldn’t get past the first two lines and would have to be grouped with the remaining undecided six percent.4
Abandoning the effort, it occurred to me I do that often for some misplaced altruism. Something of a shame. Determining the unfinished fluff fiction lying about was not ready for posting, I considered several other easily rant-able subjects that frequently present themselves. Following the gloomy rains of the last two days, this morning’s wonderful sunshine and the mood it engenders won’t support a good rant today.
But I did pause to consider the pet peeves at the root of these subjects. What follows is not a rant. It’s a list, not an explanation, not justification or condemnation. It’s an inventory. I may, the next grey, rainy day revisit one of them.
Folks who don’t5 punctuate, follow no real form in their writing – that’d be as good a place as any to start. Let me toss about words such as precocious, pompous, pretentious, illiterate, lazy, and egocentric. Now, having already used the words, I’ll not be tempted to deploy them explaining items in the following list. Which, big surprise, is not an all-inclusive list.
Poets and such
These folk, I want desperately to believe, are sane, reasonably intelligent people. Their emulation of the masters’ style – sans-grammar, punctuation, identifiable form, and coherence, is in most cases shabby. I’d suggest they invest some time and write something readable and meaningful.
Reading a hoity-toity food mag rag. Some good recipes and nifty ideas. Despite the fact the rag subtly tells me purple people are no longer acceptable members of society, I still read it. Read it until my paid subscription runs out. Won’t renew. Because the rag suffers from multiple maladies. Okay, it does things as so many other rags do that I just can’t tolerate.
Has a ton of adverts for highbrow dog and cat food, sanitary napkins, heartworm meds, psoriasis, schizophrenia, ADHD, and ED medications, and declarations of social causes I should embrace.
It’s a frikkien good mag!
Used to be anyway.
For cripes’ sake. Gimme ads for food, food additives, (reasonably priced) kitchen tools and appliances and décor. Let Vet Science and Legal Herbiculture suggest what overpriced dog and cat foods are in vogue, and what states most closely embrace my opinions on herbal supplement availability.
But don’t hire some “influencer” to push over-the-top appliances, décor, and responsibly sourced (and outrageously priced) ingredients, or lead me to believe I’m slicing carrots improperly unless I have a piece of $750 Czechoslovakian cutlery and a non-GMO bamboo cutting board.
Oh. The prescription medication ad picture of a recovered dictophobe, the xanotauropine that made his recovery possible and three full pages of disclaimers, warnings, and precautions. Suggesting in the end, as I suffer from dictophobia, I should ask my doctor about xanotauropine. No thanks, if my doctor has to be clued-in as to what is good for my recovery, I need a new doctor and my head further examined by a reputable shrink.
Mag ads, Part II. Had a scheme worked-out to determine the percentage of magazine devoted to unadulterated advertisements. Revenue generators for the publisher. Something of a trick as many of their style-advice, cooking-rage, cosmetic tools and chemicals, and sports equipment presentations use a two-page spread to list the latest “must-haves” including where to buy or order on-line and approximate gouge range. Called it the (SW)AI – (Proprietary) Advertisement Index. Disheartening and short of exposing myself to suit by publishing, pointless. But the results are interesting – briefly…
Advertising runs normally 30% of content. Trendier rags running nearly 60% revenue-generating ad space. Cheeky? These rags have the temerity to charge upwards of $6.95 an issue to read their ads? Rather like buying a $12.95 t-shirt emblazoned with the logo and slogan of a beer, wine, cola, or tenny-runner company.
Read an editorial in one of the fluff mags lying around Chez SPWilcen. Dewd suggested what used to be called bloggers have been renamed “stylemakers” or “influencers.” Um, really? Sorry Jack, most of these “influencers” are unoriginal twits with as much right to be telling me what diet I should be on and what color my workshop walls should be painted as I do prescribing meds.
The recipe mavens? Oh shit. That ain’t new. That’s the same pasta sauce recipe my grandmother used every second Wednesday. Will admit though if I buy the saucepan you endorse, it might taste a little different.
New names for old concepts, abbreviations, acronyms, and other aberrations
Acronyms abound. I get it. I believe in them. I use them. Seems though, we, some of us, go out of our way to be cute, clever, crafty, or whatever by making new ones.
Closely akin is declaring something that’s been around so long the dust it has collected has its own dust is a startling new discovery or concoction. Okay. I’ll allow it. Like to see credit given to the old item along with the revelation that simply, the old was left-hand threaded while the new is right-hand threaded. And don’t stoop to besmirch the old’s reputation or utility. Aside from genders beyond three, nothing new under the sun, Bubba.
I suppose this includes emojis, emoticons, and the like. I mean, if you can’t say, “I love you,” or “That made me laugh so hard I damned near wet myself,” do you really mean what the emoticon purports to represent? We’re that lazy? This of course, IMHO. 😊
Closely a**ociated is the new political correctness. D*** and Jane might today be more redaction than redundant – “Look, D***, Look! Respectfully see Jane.”
Clothes and “style”
Some of today’s fashions are beyond ugly. A valued WP correspondent recently suggested women’s fashions are designed by men who hate women. Won’t go that far myself, but it appears all the good fashion has already been exploited so fashion houses have resorted to ugly as the new beautiful.
Oh. A little skin is okay. But come on! Singers, actors, and athletes might consider developing real talent instead of going for shock value. Athletes, if you’re pro, you don’t need shock value – cover up your ass and score a nifty goal, take your team to the championship. We know you got ass; we don’t need to see it.
And the models? What we’re encouraged to believe are the “beautiful” people? Two extremes. The emaciated waif and the plus-size, beyond Rubenesque femme. My mistake. Three extremes. Men dressed with the foremost consideration is that they appear to be bums.
Real people, Plain Janes and Normal Normans would work hawking Spandeeze.
Ripped jeans are high fashion? Used to suggest hard work. I don’t understand.
Men are apparently not without a few style conscious bleeps. Showing me the hottest nattily unshaven (read: unkempt and slovenly) male personality and describing to me his $650 shirt, $250 belt, $1600 trousers, and $4750 sports jacket (I guess, that’s what it is) leaves me cold. But, I reckon, a few thou to the plus side.
What is it that has brought us to suffer these lunacies? What or who is to blame?
We put up with this crap.6
We believe we need to see what’s hot according to Hollywood and stadium personalities. We salivate over and covet these absurd fashions, lifestyles, and opinions.
We think we need a $13,000.00 side-by-side refrigerator and a one-hundred twenty bottle wine-keeper.
We aspire to look like the Kurmaddigians. To dress like Hollywood red carpet dingii.7
Full stop. Who is right? What is sane? Um, ah, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m the one out of step.
Once again, I’m left with the feeling that I’ve stayed too long at the dance. Where’s the damned car? All I see is this pumpkin.
0 Can’t believe I feel this necessary: I am not a medical professional, close as I come to that is that I need professional medical or psychiatric help. These are opinions. Mine. I am not a registered dietician, certified sports trainer, professional dog-walker, or Democrat. Got it?
1 I have genuine respect for both. Ground-breaking (as far as I know) and almost understandable. Unfortunately, those trying to emulate these writers are so far off-base they are but swollen prostate piss streams posing as the ocean east of the Cape of Good Hope.
2 Maynard was clueless in many respects but a genuine and admirable chap.
3 Not without merit.
4 New math. Credible statistics. Biden math.
5 Don’t. Or won’t. Or can’t.
6 Might go out on a limb and suggest we crave this perversion. Please note, I do not subscribe to most mags lying about Casa SPWilcen. A survey site I once enjoyed stopped delivering legitimate point-awards, instead offering only seven-month subs to magazines no one in their right mind wants. Eskimo Cookery, Diuretic Weekly, Absurd but Darling Fashion Monthly, Protester Today, Garage and Outhouse, and Lifestyles of the Rich and Raunchy. Be almost a guarantee if the prima donna home and garden maven prison escapee’s mag had zero subscribers, her branded paint, dinnerware, furniture, and toilet paper stopped being marketable, that would be one less magazine, and one less “influencer.” A notable exception to the mag-snag is Popular Storm Drain Design. Hadda have that one. Maybe Quantum Physics Quarterly. One or two others, but these two are particularly good reads which I happily pay for. Admittedly, I don’t actually read QPQ, but the pictures are amazing, the centerfold nearly QP porn. PSDD advertises only tools and heavy equipment with an occasional half-page PSA for Smokey The’s admonitions. QPQ advertises INFN, CERN, and Helmholtz meeting dates and in an admittedly crass bit of commercialism, places one can make reservations for lodging.
7 Dingii. Plural of dingus. Dingus: a useless appendage.