Why Bother?

If you love to hear the words you speak, and yearn to see them strewn across the printed page; you are probably what psychologist tell us is a ‘high verbal’.  Simply put, you live to sling the BS!  Utilizing the Creator’s gifts, in an intelligent and responsible manner, is not necessarily an odious assault on the rest of humanity; unless you have nothing worth saying.

There are plenty of facile opportunists who sell their ‘yada-yada’s’ daily. The sophists only serve in service of their need for fame, fortune, or force.  If you have a face good enough for TV, your reach could be universal.  Who needs to listen to the content of your presentation,  if you have a winning smile?  If you don’t believe me, go to any dentist office in America.  Getting your teeth pulled, seems to go so much easier with a ‘sweet young thing’ lending charm to the tortuous proceedings.

If on the other hand, your jowls are dragging against your clavicle or the bald spot on your pate has grown too large for a discrete ‘comb-over’: what then?  If looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror reveals an unwanted stranger standing in your place; you had better sharpen up your wit, as well, as your wisdom.  Just a wink and a shy grin, won’t get you a seat at the table, any longer.

When you are past your Primetime, and bold enough to own that; the real opportunity for quality wordsmithing presents itself.  Past pragmatic practice yields the rhetorical perfection needed to inspire productive thought.  Yet, who do you really desire to communicate with; your Self or the Other?  The wise man bows to his audience, those ‘tyrants the cheap seats’;  the groundlings.  They paid a farthing for a good belly laugh, not tormented soliloquies.

Who really ever heard Hamlet?  With all the ‘hub bub’ down front, what outrageous fortune befell Shakespeare’s insights into human nature?  Shakespeare didn’t become “The Bard” until his script, became the printed ‘First Folio’. There, on the permanent page, magic happens!  Printed words became the ‘gold standard’ of worthy verbiage.  Martin Luther’s printed commentaries on Johann Gutenberg’s printed Bible made the words they chose eternal; not simply ‘post a notes’ stuck to the refrigerator door.

The printed Word, had one very important thing going for it; it had to be good enough to be commercial.  Until, the advent of the ‘penny dreadfuls’, ‘dime novels’,  and the ‘mass media’; the quality of the written word and good reviews, assured longevity.  What persisted in perfecting has existed for centuries.  Value, came through endurance; while quality was a judgment left to the individual beholder.

The saying: ‘there’s no accounting for bad taste’, is a subtle ‘double entendre’.  Works done in bad taste, like ‘cheap thrills’ have a very short ‘shelf life’.  Fads, rages, pop cultural successes are but ‘whispers on the wind’. Fads are popular, for the very reason, that they don’t strain the senses.  These ‘little ditties’ of the common, vulgar, vernaculars of all cultures are seen in the songs we sing, the entertainments we watch, the food that we taste, and the fashions we obsess over.  These light-hearted indulgences of ‘the people’ are its temporal voice, the ‘vox populi’. Fads by definition are here today, but never attain the morrow?

Why bother with profundity, quality or the eternally sacred?  These terms presuppose an enduring commitment, an ennobling struggle to perfect a product of priceless value.  Great ideas, expressed eloquently are ‘pearls of great price’.  The price culture pays to sustain these sacred ideals, is of no trivial concern.  We reach for ideals, for the same reasons we climb the highest peaks. Extreme ascendant effort yields the widest worldly perspective.  We go to the mountaintop so we might return with insights to truly live by.  Chiseled in stone, or ‘written on the wind’;  the words we choose speak volumes about our characters.

The character of characters reveals the character of our Being.  Words, not eyes, are the real ‘windows of the Soul’.  Each letter of the ‘alpha-beta’ is a perfected symbol of meaning.  Every letter is a stitch in a seamless suit of understanding.  What in the World is the Word, that was its Beginning?  This is the question I wish to examine!


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