Semantics and the Eye of the Beholder

Centuries hence, in the light of the hot world, when the Chinese-ruled ports tax starships with diamond cores and the concerns of men have melded into a single muffled sadness; when the alien cuneiforms discovered on dry sea beds have embedded themselves in human consciousness, and the letter forms of all the world’s cultures have been melded into a single system to describe a single angularly chaotic language; when seemingly infinite forms of dead media (created and mass produced and rendered obsolete within the span of a week) are our greatest natural resource and are smelted to power the chugging and clanging engines of despair…perhaps then the document pictured here will flutter against someone’s pant leg on an irradiated street, and she will pick it up gingerly in her hazmat gloves, and begin to read. Perhaps she’ll be stunned to find something in the High Unified Language written on the oldest and deadest media of all– paper. Perhaps she’ll smuggle it into her home-cubicle and pore over the words, finding them rich with subtext and subtle humor and painfully germane warnings for a populace with cheap rubber hearts and a deadness about the eyes. Perhaps she’ll be inspired and a spark of resistance will light a fire of revolution. Perhaps she’ll think it a miracle ever after.

And in the forgotten grave of a forgotten man, topped with a worn and unreadable stone, the bones of the hand which held a brush to that document will be just slightly closer than they were the day before to becoming dust.

11.24. filed under: ideas. misc.

Happy holidays!

posted on 11.24 at 04:49 PMJonathan Hoefler

Hahahaha! That really made me laugh Jonathan, thanks. Hadn’t even thought about holiday proximity. Guess context is in the eye of the beholder as well.

posted on 11.24 at 04:57 PMjmorrison

Beautiful piece—but I do have one tiny suggestion: a strategically placed hyphen between “Chinese” and “ruled.”

posted on 11.24 at 05:38 PMChris Kearin

Damn! I swear that’s one of my greatest weaknesses. One of them. Thanks Chris.

posted on 11.24 at 05:41 PMjmorrison


posted on 11.25 at 06:28 AMachilles3

Hello! I have another small suggestion: the correct verb is pore over, not pour over. By the way this reminds me of Roland Barthes’ calligraphy. I could not find any example on the webbernet to link to, unfortunately.

posted on 11.25 at 06:50 PM.

Thanks M.

posted on 11.26 at 08:50 AMjmorrison

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