Daniel Brooks

All the elements are at hand. A laptop, page empty. Someone is wiping a spotless floor in a Moscow coffee shop with a mop, over and over. A server has forgotten to bring the check. Neither of them have realized they are blocked, even though they are. When form defeats function, all that remains is perception.  

There has to be a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning has been dispatched with and it is time for the middle to kick in. Sadly, the middle has taken a vacation to watch the wind blow and the rain to come down. It has gone the way of ancient civilizations when writers had no means of writing, other than depicting strange beasts in a cave or making indecipherable scratch marks. Rather than write, people in ancient times did more lasting things. They moved heavy rocks around in a circle with openings pointed at celestial events having to do with the sun and the vernal equinox, whatever that is. Other ancients made burial mounds that got taller and taller as the years went past. Writing ruined all that. Modern man sits in front of his laptop. Nary a rock has been moved in many a year.

Now that the beginning has been dispensed with, and the middle is well underway, adjectives have to be defeated. Descriptions that are florid can’t be used, florid being an adjective. Adverbs are not given the disrespect they deserve. In fact, adverbs are a lot worse. They hide in the reeds, wearing camouflage.Both should be hammered down, when they protrude. It’s a war of words. Adjectives and adverbs are often prone to attack the front line with heavy cavalry. Among them are exclamation points which need to be shot on sight without waiting for the whites of their eyes. One strategy is to pull back your front lines and let the adjectives and adverbs pour in. This strategy has to be carefully planned. The nouns and verbs are given maps and battle instructions in advance, showing them how to position their predicates, pronouns, and commas on both flanks in battle formation, hidden behind a hill or in the trees. The nouns and verbs defend the center in plain sight. The general staff are on a distant hill, watching the battle through binoculars. A lot of smoke should be let loose on the battlefield and a few retreating pronouns need to be sent fleeing in front of the enemy to mislead them into thinking the battle has been won, causing a headlong rush into a trap. When the enemy’s lines of communication have been stretched to the limit, the nouns, verbs, pronouns and correct punctuation surround the adjectives and adverbs. After that, the enemy is defeated. The wise general allows a few adjectives and adverbs to stay alive, as slaves. The rest are wiped out without mercy. 

Some are using adjectives and adverbs to take over. Their numbers are growing. A false belief is taking hold that nouns and verbs don’t care about the well-being of exaggerated descriptions, even though they do. Double speak and false equivalencies are being used as deadly weapons and the truth is losing ground. Incorrect statements, backed up by hordes of adjectives and adverbs, are gaining territory. These days, the enemy has learned that it is not a good idea to attack headlong into a well-laid trap. Instead, they stand back on distant mountain tops and wait while the nouns and verbs weaken one another by fighting it out amongst themselves in the valley below. 

The use of “I” is spreading, despite attempts to turn the tide. It is a persistent threat, aided by the fact that everyone is an “I” at one time or another. In the 60’s and 70’s, “I” became accepted usage. The “me” generation said, “be here now”, often consumed with thoughts about themselves and little else. Talking about one’s self became increasingly predominate. Lately, a new form of self has appeared, one that doesn’t come out in the open to fight like a man. Anyone can use a pseudonym such as “bobsmyuncle2146” to say anything at all, and never be found, despite the fact that there are at least 2146 other people naming themselves “bobsmyuncle” and counting.  The new “me” generation is pretending to be someone else, causing nonsense to spread. 

It was possible at one time to read things without thinking too much about who wrote it, or why. These days, the first person is back with a vengeance by telling us what we want to hear. The truth is waiting in the wings, scratching its back side, waiting for the chance to enter stage left and recite the lines to the play, carefully prepared in advance. Sometimes the wait is too long. Before you know it, it is time for the intermission. In the second half of the play, the truth doesn’t stand a chance. Often there is no time remaining for any truth at all. The audience might just as well give itself a standing ovation.

It might get worse. Out in the wings are those who refer to themselves in the third person. Most people agree deep down inside that having an out of body experience to establish a dialog is odd. Sadly, many who view their individuality as being separate from themselves are well known merely by virtue of being well known. No one is saying anything about it. Instead, many believe they too can become a naked emperor, if they try.  

Perhaps there are too many people in the world, among whom an increasing number consider themselves to be well educated. Meanwhile, the wind is blowing like mad and we are drowning in information. No can decide who should take charge. Everything must be questioned. Some have become too open minded to select the least flawed person to run things, having been taught that any flaw is fatal, no matter how inconsequential it might be. As a result, idiots are taking over, filling in the gap. They have grasped a few simple concepts and avoid more complex ones. They know that might does not necessarily beat right, at least while the going is good. It has also dawned on them that subjectivity can defeat objectivity by keeping things simple, focusing on emotions and renaming them as facts. Let’s face it, these are good times for revisionism.  

Perhaps it’s time to block the writers entirely. If that happened, written falsehoods might end. The bubble headed portion of the population would have far less to disbelieve, no longer leaving them susceptible to lies. And a lot more rocks might end up being moved around.   

The End. 

Daniel Brooks, copyright, 28 July 2019

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