Don’t Talk Me Your Talk

Yes, we are all angry about the kind of “democratic” culture that leaves so many of us feeling angry and powerless. Yes, we know what we must do (most of the time, anyway). So we do it. We act. One day we just do it. We get angry and heady and wordy. We write words — lots and lots and lots of words.

Of course we tidy them up before we send them (little sparrows from the nest). We need to tidy the mess of our initial wordy outcry because that’s what you do with jargon (that’s what you can do). It was a little overblown in the beginning, perhaps — a little emotional — a head full of burdocks. What you really wanted to say comes only after hours of stringent editing. That’s what you really wanted to say.

You hope I read it and that I concur — the point got made. You have much to say, you say. Well, then, so do I! Let us demand to be heard! We have been silenced long enough! “This is an outcry!” We want to be respected (and for good reason). In order to be respected, we need to carefully word our words in such a way that the message, which is the entire point (we hope) of most of our wordy words, will not be mistaken for something it is not. We need to carefully word words in such a way that we will not be mistaken for something we are not. This is all so daunting; so mundane, but how crucial and necessary to the outcome of our literary labours? We see nothing political in this.

We choose our jargon with care. We must it if it is not to choose us! We choose the most valued; the most esteemed of jargon. We will be heard! Over the masses, our one or two or eight thousand righteous, solitary voices will be heard! We see nothing political in this. We wonder, at times, why those with other ways of thinking and talking never seem to learn how to get themselves heard. We feel so sorry (this is an apology). We mean it. We see nothing political in this.

We use appropriate words. We double check meanings. We choose carefully (there are a lot of things at stake). We choose potent words, strong words. Words that drop like bombs. Words that do the job. We want to be taken with great seriousness (please let our words have weight and height – depth and breadth… Let the crowds go “ah…”).

We talk like we’ve already eaten (We have just left the table [all of us]). We talk like, of course, we will have enough protein for supper tonight. We talk like, of course, there is enough energy left over to think and talk and drop a few bombs. We talk like we have the freedom to do as we choose, except when it comes to bombs (most of us don’t enjoy bombs). We do things because we can in a democratic world (it is our right and our view). Our jargon is the proof that we canso… (See? We’ve forgotten already that too many people won’t get enough protein at supper tonight — that jargon is not protein – or freedom. Not necessarily).

We want to be heard. We hate bombs. We hate violence. We hate hegemonic masculinity. We hate that wealthy white men still dominate, and that small girls and boys of every colour continue to get raped and killed. We hate that racism and classism still run rampant here in the civilized world. We will write about it. We will use proper jargon. Damn good jargon. Jargon that delivers. We like it when our jargon delivers. It packs a punch. We like our jargon punchy; we like it to be delivered on time, and we like our pizza with pepperoni and our red meat rare (We would much prefer it if we were the ones doing the punching; if we were the ones doing the paying, doing the eating etc, but whatever… we are open).

We read newspapers. Cardboard soldiers getting set up and shot down with jargon. It’s tantalizing. It’s exciting. It’s civilized warfare. An informed cock fight (I hope we win. I hope we win.). Our jargon is commodity. It’s the rich man’s silver and gold (Live and lust for language, and you’ll swim in a sea of coins [an octupus’s garden] Let the crowd go “ah…”).

Often, we don’t know how to say it ourselves, but we swear that we will know it when we hear it. We know it when our jargon rings true. It makes us weak at the knees if it rings really true, deeply true. I heard once that the jargon some poor people talk is terrible and direct (I say this hoping to speak deeply and truly). “Too quickly to the point,” was what I heard said about this, once… A dirty blade, perhaps. Dull, but very blunt (to the point). I once heard a poor person, herself, say that people who can’t read or write, rarely do (for years, my sole focus was on the contradiction in logic in this poor person’s crazy assertion – the faultiness of her grammar).

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