because here is the problem

When we say things that lots of other people say, and in the same ways that we hear it from others we are doing a couple of different things.

When we say things like, Pa and Ma Ingalls really bring a lot to the table (they truly do) or S’quatch is making six figures now (doubt it) we aren’t saying anything very specific.

When we express ourselves in these strictly generalized concepts we are sleeptalking. We might be awake, but our minds are elsewhere, leaving our mouths to chug along without us. These bereft little husks of words with all the flavor sucked out all kind of say the same thing, I am standing here, but I’m not really into this.

We get there honestly. It’s OK. Things get used up and we replace them or remember them fondly and move on. It isn’t anybody’s fault. The table as metaphor is probably as old as tables or metaphors. It is the gathering place, the spot where battles are planned, our anchor in times of celebration and grieving. Believe me, I understand the table. However, the table is not the only place of production or value in our lives. What about the fields? What about the ramparts?

The true greater concern is with these other words- a lot. A lot only specifies a sizeable quantity. There is no value attached. I can think of many things I would not wish brought to my table, especially if it were a lot. Acrimony, steaming piles of dung*, Syphillis, and termites come to mind.

I made six figures today. They were: 3 killer whales, 2 Monster Trucks, and Spider Man. I quit drawing in the 5th grade so I am mortified by my lack of artistic progression but without question, I made six figures.

We could argue that come on Juancho,we all know what those things mean. It’s just like shorthand, or slang. You need to back off the pain meds and get some sunshine (both of which I have already done), but it doesn’t change the fact that we understand each other less every day if we don’t say what me mean.

Come on. Spit it out.


*Cold piles of dung too for that matter

9 Responses to because here is the problem

  1. That sounds like double speak to me, not sleeping in tongues. When someone spews meaningless generalities, I assume they are lying or attempting to deflect focus away from core issues.

    Ramparts? The windows…the walls…

    Damn fine phrase turning on this one, Sir Juancho.And I mean that specifically.

  2. I never know what to think about these language rants of yours. They’re always pleasing to read, but a waste of perfectly good angst if you ask me.

    Most of the things you dislike are unconscious, and sometimes that’s how humans roll. We’re tired. I grunt in your direction, and you grunt back. It’s still good to see you even when you’re vague and general, and occasionally you uncork one good enough for a chuckle or a pregnant pause. Good enough with a cold beer chaser.

    We’re all too busy to be precise, and that ain’t gonna change cause you’re sippin tea and decrying our dull approximations. Put your pinky down, boy.

  3. Thanks Reverend. I guess I don’t give people enough credit to believe their doublespeak is intentional, thanks for drving me back under the bed for the rest of the day. S’quatch, as always, you really bring a lot to the table.

  4. I like it when I can use cliches literally, like when a ride buddy actually leaves it all on the trail (e.g., breakfast).

    Sasquatch makes a good point about cutting slack on this, but he does it with such originality that I award the point to Juancho. If it’s worth saying . . .

  5. Actually, that is Pete Seeger who is still alive in his 90’s and still protesting injustice and unfairness. Look for a recent release of some of his latest work.

    He did not appear at the Florida Folk Festival but his brother Mike did. Mike passed away this past winter. Mike and sister Peggy were also into protest and folk music but Pete is King.

    Some of the best protest music is being written by little known folk artists who were inspired by Pete, but are overshadowed by commercialized music. It is hard to consider a musician seriously whose music supports a megabucks lifestyle. Pete was the real thing. Lived a humble life, gave generously to others and was still chopping his own wood well into his 80’s. He is worthy of a Nobel prize. Check out Jeff Friberg’s Common Ground (MTPawketts)or anything by Steve Blackwell.