Marian, over at Marian Allen dot com, recently wrote a post about when characters won’t behave. We were filled with empathy for her characters. Who are we? Well, we’re those ham-handed, as Dan is wont to say, voices which are confined all week because things have to written in an oh-so-special way. Things have to be easy to read, easy to understand. In fact, we’ve overheard that things should be written at an 8th grade or lower level. Pfft, you made it way past 8th grade, right? Thought so. Is this too hard for you to read? Thought so.
As a consequence of all these constraints: readability, politically correctness, light but not funny, facts not opinion – and no, no alternate facts, we don’t get to talk much. We like to ramble. We like to pull a thread and see where the thread goes. Not like the thread that is hanging off that button on your sweater, we all know where those go. Puk, puk, puk, puk, puk and button gone.
Then you pick it up and put it in that drawer where, 20 years later it’s settled next to the keys for that 1977 Dodge pickup. Taken out by the person looking for the tube of Super Glue that is a) in a different drawer, and b) dried out. The button will be examined and put back, ‘cuz you never know who put it there and what it’s from.
We’re more likely to follow the thread on the back of a tapestry. The kind where if you pull the red bit above the character on the right, the barn in the upper left starts to unwind.
Those threads are more interesting than the stuff you read in 8th grade. By the way, some of the stuff you read in 8th grade was written so a 4th grader could understand it. This is what’s wrong with the world, people want things dumbed down for them. This is why “newstainment”, yeah, that’s a thing, you can look it up, is so popular. We’d give you an example, but no doubt half of you would be offended. Dan made us promise not to offend anyone. Where’s the fun in that?
Anyway, if you look up ‘newstainment’ you’ll see articles that accuse every so-called news channel of focusing more on entertainment and pleasing their primary audience than facts and stuff. So – tip from the voices – look for an article that lampoons a network you don’t like and become more solidly convinced that you’ve made the right viewing choice.
Sorry if that offended anyone.
But, that is what people tend to do. They look for stuff that supports their existing viewpoint. That’s called, or at least it runs the risk of committing or perhaps it merely supports epistemic-closure. There’s a word you didn’t hear in 8th grade. Wanna know something? This isn’t the first time that term has been used in this blog. Check it out, we wrote about it way back in 2013. Here’ a link for that term, but beware, it’s Saturday and that link takes you to a page that says stuff like:
“…knowledge is closed under known deduction: if, while knowing p, S believes q because S knows that p entails q, then S knows q…”
See, don’t go there. And, if you want to be truly informed in these crazy times, don’t do the stuff that leads you to believe ‘q’ when you don’t know Jack about ‘q’.
Who is/was Jack? My mother used to say “I don’t know him from Adam.” When she was accused of knowing someone she didn’t know. Adam was Adam from Adam and Eve. That Adam. The original Adam, whom my mom did – not – know. I mean she’s old, but… But Jack? Jack isn’t even always a person.
Look up “you don’t know Jack” and you’ll find links to movies, online games and websites. If you think the answer lies there, you don’t know Jack about knowing Jack. ‘You don’t know Jack’ was an expression when we were young voices back in the 70s.
Oh no, we were supposed to talk about ham. Linda said:
“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ham.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!”
Hmmm, ham, ham, well, back in the 70s, we were living in Pittsburgh where they had Chipped Ham – oh that was good stuff.
Chipped ham was invented by Isalys. It was a really thin sliced lunch meat. So thin you kind of globbed it on a sandwich instead of laying out slices. Isalys also invented the Klondike.
We got out a lot more often when we were in Pittsburgh. Part of “maturing” was learning how to confine us in the corner. Anyway, back in the 70s, Jack, was the first part of ‘Jack sh*t’ which further emphasized how little you knew about something. Sometimes, it wasn’t even a something you didn’t know. “You don’t know Jack Sh*t” was a saying all by itself.
If you want to know Jack; instead of newstainment, read stories from different points of view, analyze them, think about them, fact-check them and then decide for yourself which you believe.
Don’t think you know ‘q’ because you trust ‘S’ – For all you know, ‘S’ don’t know Jack about ‘q’.
We could continue down this road, but we’re getting dangerously close to offending someone. Dan doesn’t want that to happen, and Marian said something about using cattle prods to keep characters in line, so…
If the title reminds you of a song, here’s my favorite version: Sarah Vaughan: Ain’t Misbehavin’