An English In Kentucky


















Thursday November 8th 2012    Tim Candler

     A sleepless night obsessing on the word "kudos" does not augur well for balance of mind through any kind of wintertime.  Perhaps in March these sorts of things can come and go, pass quickly into something like Hoppy Bug.  But to wake from a dream of an ancient Athens, where I've discovered I am apparently fluent in the old Greek language, is really not a good sign.  It was the accents, the manner of voice, that surprised me most.  Plato had a high pitched, somewhat nasal tone to his speech.  The Billy Goat, "pissing in a can," I guess.  Socrates was just a grumpy old man, and sounded like one, and he still smells vaguely of vinegar.   Aristotle, let me tell you, owned that condition of pompousness that I aspire to.  He had the pedantic understanding of language that sieved though ideas in the way that I imagine Russell in his admiration of  Wittgenstein, would have done.  And everything Aristotle said made perfect sense, which was very, very depressing.  Of course the meaning of these endless characters, are more likely  shorthand gestures, around which mind plays tricks.  Then to have all these old men  in the room where I sleep, waiting for me to say something, is clearly the reason I woke up in a Potato sweat, shaking and wondering where cigarettes, or the pretty girls and their whiskey bottles  might have gone to.

    In hindsight, and from the comfort of  actually being awake, I should have told these Heroes, "Meaning moves around."  Which is something they all would have agreed with.  "And it goes nowhere," I would have added.  Which is something they would have dismissed as an innocence, because "meaning" is constructed, and because "meaning" is constructed, it necessarily is constructed to go somewhere, or at least offer a roof of some kind.  "Meaning" they'd argue has destination, and it's this destination that is subject to change, or cancelation.  Which means that the "meaning of meaning is meaning," nothing more.  And here, had I the courage of let's call him an Atlas, I might have tried saying, "But the destination is never real."   Have to think Socrates would have said, "whether it's real in the world or not, it's all we have."  But he would have put these words in the form of a question, because it's questions that are always more humbling to a mind set on a path, one foot after the other, climbing the stairs without ever having to wonder whether each step is in its proper place.  "My first Kiss. My first Broken Leg. My first Hot meal."  As though movement were a time table, of trains, or airplanes set fast by passion for orderliness no matter the consequence.  A thing some might call "entitlement," I suppose.  And no accident the new Jumbo Jet is called a "Dreamliner," instead of "Restlessness," or "Gin Palace," or "Accidently Waiting."  But, in the end the sole answer to the trauma of this wretched word "kudos" is to take a shotgun to the television set and count Sheep.

Previous    Next