Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UNCLEAR THOUGHTS _sex with abstract words

I’m convinced that my thoughts are influenced by the language that I use. Unclear language. I am not sure whether my thoughts have always been unclear, and ever since I could utter language, this has been a consequence, or whether my constant exposure to unclear language has affected my thoughts about it. I am inclined to believe the later. My thoughts are a result of unclear language. After all, at the beginning of everything is the word.
Words are what surround my thoughts. I use words and believe that the words hold some power. Words in the both languages that I know (maybe just utter) fascinate me. I constantly hear them, (mis)read them, (mis)speak them and (mis)write them. Sometimes after using a word or a phrase for a thousand times, I say it again and it strikes me as extraordinarily odd. The oddness of a word or expression leads me to wonder why I just uttered it. Why it sounds so strange? And now, why had I just used it there in that context? I hear this and think, “More so, perhaps, than it appears to you who have enormous freedom of speech, and might therefore assume that words are not so important. They are. They are important everywhere.” Fuck I, must really stop (mis)using my words. Important, perhaps but constantly misused – or over used, im not sure but constantly falling short. Becoming clichés, such as, “fall short” or worse, meaningless, uttered nothing, lack of silence and nothing more.
Over time, I have become more unclear, or idealistic in my thoughts due to an abundant use of imprecise words. If words have incredible power, why then do I misuse them? Will this lack of clarity continue? It is hard not to think so, with twenty-four hour media coverage of subjects, develops a communicative environment of filling silence with words. Only the fear of repetition has instilled in me, but not (a far more damaging) fear of overstatement. I live in an environment that seems to thrive on the over accumulation of vague words in order to explain and therefore promote a lack of clarity. An example of overstatement is: Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgments. And what is words like: terrorism, freedom, reform, and change, organic, green, and sustainable…
What is terrorism? A war on terror, perhaps? A group of terrorist? Are we in a war with a feeling? A state of terror? It is surprising what a word can do; some have the power to change the world. Our brains are washed in words, but the words that hide what is really meant or felt are increasingly holding a tighter grip on our thoughts. If language is heading in an imprecise direction, will all our thoughts follow? I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and George Orwell have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism?
“The same word can be humble at one moment and arrogant the next. And a humble word can be transformed easily and imperceptibly into an arrogant one, whereas it is a difficult and protracted process to transform an arrogant word into one that is humble.”


avi said...

Yes yes and yes. I believe in the wordless thought. I also believe in non verbal communication. I see clarity in your words sometimes but I see genius in your physical gestures. You have described buildings and if transcribed I would not be sure whether the person talking was a visionary or a rambler but when coupled with your physical gestures I see genius. I have seen you articulate great vision for architecture with 3 swift gestures of your hand. Physical gestures lie far less frequently. I have come to trust them for my base.
What you say about language articulates that genuine is surrounded, surrounded by a robust and abstruse yet asinine lexicon (get it...that was a joke). But although it is surrounded I do not think the genuine is in the least diluted.
Trust the physicality of your thought. Your genius has always been physical and maybe it was able to take over when you were just starting (did that project not come hand in hand with the supreme physical shape that you must have had swimming?)
Once you reign in the physicality of your thought your written word will increase in power. Good writing has everything to do with good physical shape. What is the process of writing? Strengthening the thoughts carrying the weight. Trimming the fat. Trimming the fat. The words listed are nothing more than the academic manifestation of our culture of gluttony and obesity. Good shape is rarer but not, my friend, diluted.

chelsea said...

There is a difference between the "wordless thought" (as avi noted) and the thoughtless use of words. To a certain extent the use of words as a form of communication and not simply a realm of the mind to clarify one's own thoughts, necessitates a level of transparency and universality. The writing "UNCLEAR THOUGHTS_sex with abstract words" is a personal sketch, one in the sketchbook, not intended to portray clearly, yet to identify to its author a memory or part of a dream, a personal mark that might resonate with others in a particular way but essentially self-serving. a string tied around the finger, if a cliche is what you want to use.
There is a difference between abstraction and nonsense. There is a difference between being vague and being unclear. There is a difference between words and actions.