|Language Is A Virus From Outer Space
||[Aug. 26th, 2012|03:50 am]
Symphonic Rock Productions
A while back I talked about how no two people hear the same thing. I am now dealing with the realization that this extends to other significant things. Like how things that are fun for you or important to you are not necessarily fun or important to other people.
You get a new toy. You set it up and hope people who see it will be interested or impressed, but they’re like “Meah,” or worse, “What did you put that mess there for?”
When you come home from the record show and you’d like to show off what you got, you really don’t want to hear, “You didn’t buy more records, did you?”
Then somebody asks you about a title they’ve chosen for a project they’re doing. You think the title they’ve chosen is pretty generic. You suggest the kind of title you would come up with, and while you’re waiting for them to respond you worry that they might be so depressed that you didn’t like they’re title that they’ll stop writing the thing.
This is the depressive state of mind I’m falling into of late. I have total confidence in the worth of my own ideas. And I know the things I collect are cool. But it’s just getting to the point where I feel such a distance between myself and the people I share my house with that I just don’t want to share anything with them anymore.
If no one perceives the same thing, what’s the point of sharing what gets me excited? It’s not going to excite anyone else around here.
Seriously, there are 3 people in this house. We literally need 3 TV’s running at the same time because none of us like the same things, and what any one person really likes the other 2 can’t deal with at all. This is how you can end up feeling lonely, even though you’re not alone as much as you wish you could be.
For some people this is not a problem. They just hide in their room and keep what they like to themselves. But others, like me, have a driving need to share. So much so that it makes everything I build my life around seem worthless if I know I’m never going to have anyone to share it with. So I put myself through hell trying to share my stuff with people who have not a single reason to care about it.
This is what’s called being a sucker for punishment. But lately the punishment is starting to get to me, and I’m making a more conscious effort not to share, not to make suggestions, and not to try to find solutions for other peoples’ problems.
As a friend on SL explained to me recently, “People don’t want their friends to solve their problems, they just want a sympathetic ear for their gripes.”
This makes perfect sense, because if people wanted solutions, they’d find them and implement them. Or they’d go out and learn how to do things. Or they’d pay somebody else to do it. But there I am, straining my ears to the cosmic heavens listening for an answer. And I hear some great answers that way. But not one has ever been used by anyone I offered it to.
So, here we have the human race, which has a tendency to gather around people who supposedly speak the same language. But do words mean the exact same thing to everyone? If they did there would never be a misunderstanding.
The more I think about it, the more I identify with Laurie Anderson, who wrote a song based on the quote “Language is a virus from outer space.” I don’t know how accurate that quote is, but I’m sure language is not what most people think it is. Human communication in general is nothing but a hit or miss jumble of ideas that quite possibly never hit their intended mark.
But, if you’re lucky, even if your words never hit their intended mark, they may hit your reader in some pleasure center you never knew existed. And thus your deeply thought out and meticulously written down ideas may never be understood by anyone, but hundreds of people may love to read your works for the foreign and unfathomable ideas they read into your words, which you have absolutely nothing to do with.
Is this possibly the Jon Anderson theory of crafting Yes lyrics. Just put pretty words together, and let the fans decide what they mean? I suppose I apply that theory to my writing by including innumerable obscure references to things my readers have probably never heard of. They’ll just see some pretty or odd words and apply their own meaning to them.
So this, in the end, is the secret to literary genius. Give the reader the freedom to imagine the story he wants to see for himself.