Old Writings #2

Probably written about the same time as my previous literary find (around 1994), a short diatribe about religion found its way onto paper, thus preserving my hubristic ramblings forever. I still agree with a fair amount of what I wrote then, though there is also a great deal that oversimplifies the subject, and probably just as much that is wrong; however, regardless the validity of the text, I definitely come across as a supercilious pansophist, which fits perfectly with the erstwhile teenage/young adult Jon. Despite the arrogance of it all, here it is:

The main problem with Western religion is the tenet that we are born as sinners and that our only salvation is to repent, to give ourselves over, to a higher being.

Most of our anxieties, our fears, our inhibitions, are given to us in childhood, and this notion of eternal damnation through constant indoctrination reinforces our inadequacies as human beings.

The sooner we recognise the falacy of religion, the sooner we shake off this self-limiting ideology, then the sooner we can realise the inherent goodness that lies repressed at the very centre of each of us.

The real evil reveals itself when religious and political indoctrination is complete, when sexual, racial and gender bigotry, competitiveness and unemotional apathy are the norm, whilst harmony, co-operation and community responsibility are ill-conceived utopian ideas to be scorned.

It is time that each and every one of us realises the truth. Then, and only then, can we begin to repair the damage done, and remember: at the very base of our being we have had the potential to do incredible things for the Universe.

Realise this and we are at the beginning of true enlightenment.

Old Writings #1

I found some old scribblings of mine up in J√§mtland over the holidays. I knew I had them there, though I was unsure about what I’d kept. An old essay from my Psychology degree was safely guarded in a plastic folder, which I’ll be blogging (as usual) for future Freya’s amusement.

Stuffed behind the essay, to my surprise, were a few other pieces of paper with my past thoughts legibly written for the now Jon to peruse. The first, a copy of which shall follow, is the lyrics to a never-written song I’d planned to do with Den and Mart in 1993 (?). I think the idea was to speak, rather than rap or sing, the words, most probably because none of us could rap or sing.

Anyway, here is a glimse into my past:

The painted smiles, the miles and miles of
plastic seats and knives and lives,
A fairytale scene, so clinically clean
where all will live the American Dream.

Give me some fries the size of your lies,
I’m going mad for the burger I had,
something to relish, but not to cherish,
a shake to shake the taste.

Malice in Burgerland forcing a hand in how
to keep the industry bland,
The clown of hearts will reach the parts
that others fail to reach.

Whichever you choose, you stand to lose
resign yourself to self-defeat,
When it comes to lunch, when it comes to the crunch:
one man’s murder’s another man’s meat.

Hygeine Help

I was looking on the reverse side of a liquid soap container at school the other day (another fantastic entry on the way, then), a casual glance to see if any major spelling mistakes or syntax errors had made their way onto the label. What I was greeted with instead was a concise set of instructions:

Wet hands and massage liquid soap to a lather. Rinse hands and dry.

By my reckoning, the only people who really need instructions (to prevent it being used as nose-spray or eye-liner) are the very small people who are, ironically, not yet able to understand the idea behind reading.

I walked around the staff-room at school offering the soap to various members of staff, who, whilst offering mild interest in my finding, did not seem to share the same enthusiasm as I. It is true we are becoming a humourless race.

N.B. The soap came from the toilets at school; it wasn’t that I’d taken the soap from home to show my work colleagues.

N.B. I was referring to children when I wrote “very small people”, not midgets, who are as able readers as any other person.

A Feeling Of Eruditeness

I was recently asked by a colleague at work to look through his first, very rough, draft of a piece he had written in English. I’m still not sure exactly what it was, but he mentioned something about it being a film review, being seen by his class, and for the parents of the pupils. Or something.

Anyway, it was incredibly basic, and caused me to giggle a fair number of times. The layout and, in particular, the spelling were atrocious, giving me a tittle of an ego boost.

I had a few minutes today to give the text another quick look, when I came across a mistake neither I nor the other “qualified” English teacher had seen at the first reading. The first sentence recounted the basic situation of the film, revolving around the “horrifying” lives of some school students.

Whilst I have never given it much though before, probably because I, like many others, use this word incorrectly, it suddenly occurred to me that horrify is a transitive verb. Transitive verbs need an object (e.g. I am horrifying the children at school with my outlandish behaviour), and there was no object in the text to be horrified.

What is needed here is the adjectival form of horrifying, which is “horrific”.

The film is about the horrific lives of some children…

is now how the text is formulated. I cannot say just how much joy I experienced by realising this mistake and rectifying it so that it is without error.

I apperceive that I am far from becoming an aptitudinal proof-reader, as I flounder often in the face of correct grammar, but it really felt an accomplishment to experience such an epiphany.

Now I think about it, can horrifying be used as an adjective? Nuts! I am befuddled. Oh, well, it’s back to my usual state of confusion until I can find out the correct answer to this conundrum.

Two Scrumptious New Words

I came across these fantastic words today. One of them is very useable, the other will only ever be presented for its nerd-value, but both are worthy of being added to the long list of words (and their definitions) that appear in the banner of this blog:

Tittle: the dot over the letter “i”; the tiniest bit.

Lethologica: the inability to remember the right word.

At present there are just over 200 words that can be chosen from to randomly appear every time the blog is refreshed/entered. When I came up with the idea to include this “word of the day” style function I didn’t think I’d find so many that I really liked. I know, from scouring a dictionary of difficult words I have by my bed, there are a myriad words that are of little or no use (to me, anyway). I am pleased to be proven wrong, and procure great pleasure from the acquisition of a broader vocabulary, although lethologica is commonplace.

Though not in the case of lethologica, it seems.