Home of random thoughts, misguided musings, wicked words and the men who make them.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Hi Everybody

I’m glad we have IRF again and I’m interested to see what it can turn into in blog form. It seems to me that there is great potential in an IRF blog. I don’t know what it is, but if it’s there this group can find it. I hope Kevin becomes involved in this new incarnation, I pleasure to think of him reading my submissions and hope to get a chance to read and see his. (Yes, I’m using “pleasure” as a verb, and no it’s not disgusting).

By way of introduction I’d like to present a series of thoughts I had on a particular day last week. The first couple read like a list of my favorite cliches:

“Every journey must start somewhere”
Every thing we do is a journey and something must start it. The beginning of some things seems pointless or stupid, or just plain sucks. But it’s unavoidable; you can’t start in the middle. So just start in the beginning, it’s always a worthwhile place to start.


“It ain’t worth doin’ if it ain’t worth doing right”
That is to say – do it right, not don’t do it.

Then I got angry at National Geographic Magazine. It was lying on my kitchen table, the cover screaming “Africa: Whatever you thought – Think again!”

You don’t know what I’m thinking, editors at National Geographic! And you can’t tell me what to do – or what to think! That’s ridiculous. If you’re going to tell me something new about Africa, something you think I am unaware of, that’s fine. If you’re looking to change my opinion by presenting new evidence on a topic I thought I was learned in, that’s fine too. But don’t think to presume superiority or assume ignorance.

In the essay Politics of the English LanguageGeorge Orwell writes that the English Language is in a bad way because “our thoughts are foolish, [...] the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” We are not aware of our words, the ones we read and hear, and the ones we write and speak. Because of this, our thoughts are unclear and “to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration. How can we accomplish any real goals if our brains are all mucked-up with decaying language. I recommend anyone interested in writing read this essay.

I’m not really mad at National Geographic. It’s just that words mean so much. Nowadays they’re thrown about haphazardly by everyone trying to be catchy or sound hip. It seems as if news organizations are more concerned with being witty than reporting the news. A witty headline, I think, detracts from the report to the reporting and, I don’t care how silly it sounds, every time I pass that National Geographic on my way to and from the kitchen (40-50 times a day) I will read that I have to think again ... somehow I’m wrong, or ignorant. If I don’t want to be wrong or ignorant, I had better read Nat’l Geographic


Blogger SuperOceanLad said...

I think you may just be too stoned to deal with the national geographic. Of course, I live by witty titles, so I may be the wrong guy.

1:24 AM, January 05, 2006


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