Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who Knew?!

Hi again, so soon.

I didn't realize my blog posts arrived in some of your mailboxes in plain text and not in the colorful, now green, splendor of my actual blog page. (see previous post "Gone Green")

I recently added a few of you to my automatic notification list, and at the same time added myself, and glad of it. Each time I posted a new entry I thought you were notified by way of a web link to the colorful blog page. Alas, this is not the case as I discovered when I received my own notification.

If it isn't too much trouble, could you please use the link at the bottom of the page rather than read the email. After all, it's called Wild Oats Way, not Plain Old Dumb Boring Oats Way.

Thank you. I guess it's not about the words after all. (sigh) But see how much prettier this is? I know, right?

Gone Green

Consider the following:
"The only constant is change."

And what is changing today? My blog! I have LITERALLY gone green, with a touch of blue up there in the sky. So is this blog about change? No. Color? Not really. It's about words. And to that I say, duh.

The use of the word "literally" has been all but literally banned by my family of Word Not'sies. We have reserved its use for instances where it literally means literally.

I have personally banned, "It is what it is." and "Life's too short." and I'm working on putting an end to "At the end of the day..." and its whore of a cousin, "In any event...".

In the case of "literally," my daughter has chosen to substitute the phrase "not figuratively" to give her the adamance-soaked-bullwhip-wielding power of "literally" while avoiding the getting-shot-in-the-grammatical-groin by a loved one for its misuse.

Now consider this:
"Green is not a color. It is a way."

The Quote Whisperer himself, Oscar Wilde, said that very thing about art, but when he walked the mortal earth--spreading the seeds of mighty quotes along his path--green was the color of envy and money and the Grasshoppers at the Algonquin Hotel bar. What green didn't mean "back in the day" (banned!) was ecology-teaching, environmentalism-preaching, earth-friendly outreaching.

The times, they are a'changin'. Today "green" means many things. Not literally. If it were literal, the definition of green would be (if you are reading this to someone else insert air quotes here) "many things."

Today green often refers to (besides the color of grass, peas, and baby poop) a movement (which is literally incapable of motion and utterly unrelated to baby poop) where more people (the opposite being fewer people) buy, consume, and discard less crapola (the opposite being more crapola).

What a world, what a world, where "more" is the opposite of both "less" and "fewer," and where "lesser" is in bed with "greater." Great. Just great. (an expression of disappointing inadequacy)

Are you getting this? If you are not getting this, don't feel bad. It's possible you are reading badly. This time read carefully. And if you still don't get it, maybe it's because you had a bad teacher and the reason your reading is so bad is because you were taught badly by a bad teacher. I'll say it again, don't feel bad. You are not a bad person. You just read badly.

Great. Now I feel bad.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Write Like Cory Doctorow

..which begs the question. Don't make me say it...W,tH!,iCD?

There is a site that analyzes your writing and through the magic of "coding robots" figgers out who you write like. Cleverly, the site is named, "I Write Like":

The introduction begins, "Check which famous writer you write like...". And they use the word "famous" once again in the same sentence, as if a) fame is a selling point, and 2) the writer your writing most resembles is famous enough for you to have heard of him or her.

I have never heard of the famous Cory Doctorow, but in his defense, I don't read books, I have a lousy memory for names, and I don't keep track of the guys I've slept with, so unless he was really memorable in ~like~ 2 out of 3 of those areas, there is a very good chance he qualifies for famous in the real world, but not in my whirled.

If you know me, you know I have a thing for...and by "for" I mean "against"...fame.

First of all, fame is a bad thing in the same way meth is a bad thing: it tricks you into feeling good about yourself and the world, and then it proceeds to own you from the balls out. Or would that be from the balls in? Either way, it owns you, and nothing you do from that point on is likely to be good for you. You will do the riskiest things, make the stupidest choices, and cavort with the sorriest humans--all in the name of hanging on to the feeling that you rock. I've seen it happen. To others.

I, myself, have been spared the personal agony of drug addiction (caffeine does not count) and fame poisoning, although I have been exposed to second-hand fame, and although there are no definitive studies about the permanent effects of second-hand fame there are anecdotal accounts of people suffering from gagging, as a result of putting one's fingers down one's throat; strained muscles caused by excessive eyeball rolling; hair loss caused by the involuntary yanking out of it, and various scrapes and bruises such as those incurred while crawling under a vehicle to...say...cut a brake line.

It should be noted that meth, not fame, does wicked-awful things to your teeth. As it happens, fame can make your teeth whiter and brighter because if you're going to be famous, you have unwittingly signed the Terms of Use for Fame. Rule number one, and it appears again in rules 10, 11 and 14, clearly states you must have "...a dazzling smile and look photo-ready..." at all times. Rule 17, Character Actors, are not bound by the dazzling smile rule.

Another difference between meth and fame is, for the most part, famous people don't steal money from their family and friends like meth addicts do. They accept favors and freebies, sure, but they don't mess with your stuff. Besides, your stuff is ~sorry~ not good enough. Ya see, if you're famous your stuff is famous. The riffraff will pay good money to an eBay reseller for a famous person's used Starbucks cup! And that money, of course, goes to buy meth. As you can see it is a vicious spiral.

Finally, the saying about drug addicts, meth or otherwise, (How can you tell if a drug addict is lying? Their lips are moving.) must be amended slightly for the People of Fame, by substituting the word "lying" with "talking about themselves." Otherwise, the two are in very close alignment and in some cases there will be crossover, also known as the Lohan Effect.

If indeed I write like Cory Doctorow, it is my hope that my science fiction novel(s), like his, will hit the charts big time and give my nom de plume pseudofame de plume, leaving me comfortably anonymous, and still able to answer the door in my jammies at three in the afternoon.

Then again, how do you, my number one reader (and that is based on an actual count of my readership...I'm up to 1), how do you know I am not Cory Doctorow? Maybe Cory Doctorow is my pseudo-anonom de plume. How do you know that picture of me isn't some gorgeous model I paid to be my face de plume? Or if it is me, I cropped it tight like that because I'm actually in my jammies?

I'm blowing your mind, right now, aren't I? What was your name again?