Friday, August 31, 2012

Language in the age of indifference.

Lately I have received some criticism about the accessibility of my writing. Not about the content but specifically the language I use and the un-hip format of my admittedly long and drawn-out diatribes. I am fully aware that my writing style does not have mass appeal, nor is it properly watered down for a general audience.

I do not write to win hearts and minds. I am not interested in converting people over to my ways of thinking by spoon feeding them "accessible" drivel conveyed in a 6th grade reading level. This is an outlet for me, a clearing house of the thoughts that rattle around inside my head as I make my meandering path through this world. It is as close to the inner voice of my mind as I can relate it in type.

Furthermore, I have more respect for anyone who would care to read this than to strive for lowest common denominator. Language is somewhat imprecise, and just as a micrometer is more accurate than a vernier caliper which is in turn more precise than a steel ruler, I strive instead for words that more accurately convey my meaning.

For far too long now the collective intellect of the American people has been insulted and diminished in the name of accessibility. When was the last time (honestly) you had to look up a word used in a public broadcast by a news agency or entertainer. It is seemly reminiscent of '1984's' "Newspeak". It is not healthy for the public interest either, as less precision leads to wider interpretation of statements. Think for a second about the manner in which political pundits skew statements made by politicians.

 This is my way of saying, "if you care to read this, I respect your intellect and your researching abilities". I am taking a stand against the collective dumbing down brought about by anti-intellectual ideals. With over 300,000 words in the English language (based on OED entries) it should seem insulting to anyone to have to limit their personal lexicon. Most of all, I want to provoke thought even if only to learn new words.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Game over.

The current weather reports and the fact that more counties than ever before in the history of our nation are asking for federal relief for drought related disasters is more than a unsettling turn of events. NOAA and other non-federally funded scientific sources have linked these extreme weather patterns to global climate change. I am not interested in starting a debate about the minutia of such publications, asking about the creditability of organizations that have served out nation faithfully for decades is nothing more than cowardice.

I am asking you too carefully examine the interests of those who still deny GCC. It is easy to see why the recent ex-CEO of GM would become a climate denier, I am sure he still holds stock in the gas guzzling SUV producer. What is trickier is to figure out why your congressman or representative still balks at bringing about the kind of changes that might just save humanity from it's self. If the worst drought ever in the history of the United States (including the Great Dust Bowl) doesn't count as a warning shot by mother nature across our collective bow, then the hike in food prices we are sure to expect over the next two or three years surly will.

We have run out of time to entertain the fanciful passions of crackpots who still deny anthropogenic climate change. The science is in. We did it and now we need to change our ways on a massive scale soon, or stop having kids, because we are just condemning them to death by starvation. Anyone who says different, ask "what is their motives?" sooner or later it will come down to maintaining some pathetic financial interest. Do you really want to let the petroleum industry decide your children's future?

The kinds of sacrifices we will all have to make over the next crucial few years will be beyond difficult, but they are also necessary. If you want humanity to exist as more than another long forgotten relic of the past like Easter Island or the Greenland Norse, you must examine your life and what power you have in your daily life. "Do I have to drive?" Is one very important example, "Do I really need this product?" and "Are there alternatives to this necessary product that are not wrapped in single use plastics?" is another mode of thought that should be apart of every purchase decision. Deeper still; "What was the environmental impact of this product?" (do I really need out of season fruit or vegetables when the shipping costs are weighed in).

Outside of food and clean water (which are both seriously threatened in our current paradigm) how can we protect our lives from the shortsighted model of corporate control? How can we take our political system back so that it serves the greater good of our nation? What decisions do you make in your daily life to perpetuate the system that is slowly tightening a noose around your future?  Be careful where you choose to spent your money, every dime we control now is an investment in our future, because you can bet the hoarded cash in the corporate coffers will never be loosed to save us.

As always, I welcome your comments and will not edit or omit any of them.