Friday, December 13, 2013

The Meaning of Meaninglessness

prompt: Write the scholastic paper that goes with this title: Contexts of meaninglessness

Author's note: I never went to college, so this is my very first scholastic paper. How very appropriate that the subject is "The context of Meaninglessness!" If there's anything I know as well or even better than any degreed academic, it's "what is the meaning of meaningless". I suppose the very fact that they have degrees toward which they point might make it seem they understand meaninglessness to a much higher level than I ever will, but in fact, I had meaninglessness down before kindergarten, and thus, my entire life has revolved, nay, has exuded, nay, has defined meaninglessness!

Meaninglessness is a nearly meaningless word on its face of course. (Were I not exceedingly verbose I could stop right here obviously, but what fun would there be in that?) It’s based on opinion, conjecture, a certain sanctimonious arrogance. Something that might be meaningless to you may mean everything to me and vice versa. But there are contexts in which the word meaningless has an abundance of meaning to much of its audience, and one of them is in people’s use of language. For this example I’ll need to use English, or at least the American version thereof; not because I consider it superior or more well suited to exemplifying a lack of meaning, but because I’m uneducated and can only count to ten in a dozen non English languages. While it might be entertaining to find meaninglessness in the connection between the English word “sex” and its Euro counterpart, the number six, it would be a very short paper indeed unless we explored the possibility (for instance) that the use of the number 69 as a naughty slogan had some secret relationship to a Norwegian girl named “Nio” who’s schoolmates thought she was a bit too “Sexty” for her own good and thus wrote a folk song that talked of Sexty Nio which, because of its complex and unplayable melody became less a song and more an oral history, thus adding the “oral” dimension to the phrase’s conceptualization; and then once translated the sexy girl Nio turned into the number sixty nine and forever the two were conjoined.

Now granted, some scholars would argue that the joining of nine, six and sex is due only to the visual imagery conjured by the scribing of said numbers in sequence; that is: 6 and 9, as in 69. They would offer that the big round circles on each of the figures represent the rather large buttocks (or complete torso areas) of the common American (or so they would since they need to use someone as examples and Americans are the biggest targets), and that the elongated portions of the numbers appear to be graceful necks, like those of swanlike Asians perhaps, or those African women who wear rings around their Adam’s apples. If they are right in their observations, say many who take issue with that line of reasoning, that would mean that the numbers 6 and 9 in combination represent fat people sniffing each other’s butts, thus leading one critic of the theory of sixty nine snifflism to cry out “I am not an animal! I don’t sniff butts!” As you know, the last portion of that angry diatribe was discarded by the press, and the battle cry's origin was forgotten until Michael Jackson, the American pop singer and child lover extraordinaire bought the bones of a man who'd suffered a serious disease and when people speculated he (Michael) had purchased them (bones) to chew on them (yuk!) he proclaimed “I am not an animal!”, or so say some reporters for the English newspaper “the Guardian.”

But wait! I’ve gone far afield! This paper was created as an expose of the misuse of language unto its meaninglessness, and though I may have already put that puppy to bed many times over I will step further yet into the realm of the human wasteland of worthless words and phrases. To wit…

“This will hurt me more than it will you.”

There are few more meaningless phrases than this. In anecdotal context, my behind stung “like a mother” (another meaningless phrase, though being somewhat colorful lessens its vapidness) when you spanked me, and while you might have been sad, you could turn that emotional crapola off like the tv set; I, on the other hand, couldn’t sit down for a week! Now explain to me how it hurt you worse!? Nuff said.

But let’s get to what can be the most powerful of all meaninglessnesses… the oft overused phrase “I love you.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love the words “I love you” when they actually mean something, but in many, perhaps most cases what they mean is “I want you to be there for me on a moment’s notice, and I’d like to offer these meaningless words in trade”.

Now I can only deal within my own experience and I’d admit, my results are mixed. When I was young “I love you” might have meant I was about to be smothered in gramma’s breasts as she hugged me until I turned blue. Or, as in a previous illustration dealing with “hurt me worse”, “I love you” might mean I was about to get whacked upside the head, and the whack-er wanted absolution for their deed before the whack-ing. Many times I found “I love you” to mean “you are the last person on earth I can trust, please don’t leave me”; an interpretation I was well able to parlay into a lifetime of martyrdom, thank you very much.

“I love you” might mean “thanks for the really expensive present” or “C’mere, I need an orgasm” or even “I’m about to ask you a really big favor so be aware I know how to use guilt to my advantage.”

Again, scholars might argue that having a meaning other than the actual meaning of the words in their contextual combination, is not at all “meaningless”, but only “meaningful in a special, secret way”. But those that love language as I do know, “I love you” means “sure honey, I’d be happy to get you a beer, all you have to do is ask.” So if the intent behind the phrase isn’t backed up by a trip to the fridge, “to love” is meaningless; much like the phrase, “let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to ya” or, "I promise as soon as I get outa this funk I'll post something relevant and intellectual so that all may bask in my lexiconigrific glory!"

In conclusion, one need look no further for the meaning of meaninglessness, in context or out, than these few words posted here. Thank you for your time.

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