Monday, October 22, 2012


Like the Oz Scarecrow, I often wish for a brain or at least a bigger one.

Work and Days these several years have scrambled and unsettled me.

Daily it seems like I’m surveying ruins from ramparts.

"After a fashion" toiling in a strict ethics & rules-bound business (law) where we use time billing to calculate fees over-sensitizes one to the system's logic and oppressiveness. 

Gravest difficulties stem from the fact that lawyers operate on 30-day cycles in subliminal (at best) contentious opposition with clients, parties for whom they  (under threat of penalty of professional discipline) zealously and thoughtfully advocate and counsel.  If clients lack moral fiber, fail to share self-estimations of monetary value or mysteriously change phone numbers or GPS coordinates at any point, lawyers are toast (or worse - crumbs).  We all live in Shadow Valley now and everyone has by discovered that desperate times call for disparate measures.

Yesterday morning  after visiting Andy at Penn Vet and ahead of picking Jane up post- PSATs, we visited Chinatown just before 9 am, ahead of the general 10 am opening hour when the medieval hustle-and-bustle quickly kicks in every day.  

Wandering cloud-lonely we meandered in search of unusual groceries, tea and breakfast, overjoyed that Andy was on the mend, both of us feeling finally & briefly untethered from time and billing after one hell of a difficult week.

For short spells on the ancient empty streets I really felt free.  In my mind I saw us as walking simulacra of the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album cover.  (My shabby wardrobe is finally finding fulfillment as “costume.”)

At the cavernous Chinese market, the shopkeepers understood no English, but we transacted honest business and brought home the Chinese sausage.  The same pattern obtained at Wong Wong, where the chef cooked robust, highly individual versions of various dim sum classics.   At Penn Vet they spoke English perfectly, of course, but their straightforward business practices, and the flexibility and caring assistance you see them regularly provide to the less than well heeled are inspirational models and reminders that there can be honesty and compassion in the modern health care profession. 

Later in the day I noticed that a friend had posted this Short Article (link)
about methodologies for monetizing  “memes.”    

Although I once thought of writing something about "memes" for this space, eventually I decided not to because I found the subject and the very word so irritating.  Instead I posted This (link), which I thought was subtler, prettier and funnier.  (When in doubt about your own talent, engage in Neil Innes and James Ensor, I always say. Or Syd Barrett.) 

It’s wrong that it is so difficult for "creative types" to make a living by using language beautifully, sincerely and artistically, and so much easier for others literally to “Capitalize” from language desecration through miming and meme-ing, i.e., faking it and deceiving all of us. 

I am not for banning all language innovations or even neologisms -- only the graceless, barbaric, words-as-weapons, Pseuds Corner kind such as “memes.” 

If you have nothing to say, be like me: Don’t Say It. 

Just stand the ramparts and survey the ruins.

I Never Lied To You -- Syd Barrett (Link)

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