Overrated Things

Installment #4

10. Career-related Ambition. (My present employment situation notwithstanding, of course) The very notion that this characteristic is a desireable one makes me laugh. It's ridiculous and it causes more problems than anything else. And it's annoying, especially when overdosed.

11. Lists. (Present project notwithstanding, of course) This is another tricky one. While most lists are indeed well-intentioned and useful, the best lists are those that address broad ranges of issues, point out the culprits and propose solutions, usually elimination or avoidance of the thou-shalt-not variety. Thus, lists like "
Five things I'd like to see vanish from all poetry and poetics discussions", while perhaps on the mark, are not broad enough in scope to be socially useful, generally. Most lists, then, should be limited to the private sector and devoted to chore- and grocery lists. Those lists that attempt societal importance, then, should indeed look only to the granddadyy of all lists: The Ten Commandments.

Further, and finally, two questions, immediately answered, regarding lists: Overrated as movers and shakers of global social trends? Yes. Practical in small ways and occasionally amusing? Very.

12. Verbosity bred in the den of Arrogance. (Present list-item notwithstanding, of course) Never to be confused with the precise use of language. And don't get me wrong: I love a good new word. So if you're talking about, say,
scarab beetles, feel free to throw around words such as coprophagous. If, however, you are talking about how much you hate me or how much you hate my blog, or if you simply enjoy thrusting your vocabulary in the faces of those less familiar with defenestration, please, take some advice: shut it.


Blogger Josh said...

Regarding Verbosity (but there's a flag on the play...this one might be called back):

Could it be that perhaps you should have listed arrogance, especially arrogance of the intellectual kind? I'm smarter than you are, arrogance. It seems that your beef with verbosity is the progeny of a deeper conflict with the intentions of a writer or speaker who uses a broad vocabulary.

You make the important distinction between the "precise use of language" and the "enjoyment of thrusting [your] vocabulary." To truely thrust the auger of your argument into the spleen of your tormentor, you should let Verbosity go on his merry way and focus your assault on Arrogance. Bloviating bastard.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Thin Black Duke said...

I have to say that I agree with you on this one. I admit that this particular list was written in a fit of reactionary rage (shall I say my own private, poetic grocery list). I like *lists,* though, because they spark further thought for me. If it weren't for the list, I wouldn't be tackling the *lyric as performance* (which I hope is more socially useful than my pathetic list).

Regardless, I also love it when people call me on my shit. Keeps me thinking. Thanks! I'm glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

10:34 PM  

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