Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Are the Stars out Tonignt?

      They say (and don't you always wonder who 'they' are?) that words are the control mechanism for one's personal magic.  Indeed, this notion is by habit hammered home to one's children and grandchildren.  Would that the spiffy club of Madison Avenue 'ad' folks subscribed to and considered it when penning their messages, entreaties and 'plugs' to the public.  Before sharing today's thoughts with you, I should like to call attention to some word usages that were better left idle.
       Without 'naming names', (you know who you are) there has been an anemic campaign - befitting its subject - afoot to market an overnight/week inn that has the target audience believe there are great minds and clever wordsmiths culled from the higher institutions of writing, such as they may be, assembling in Spartan rooms, legal pad at the ready as well as an imagery net to snare only  the catchiest of phrases out of the literary ephemera for uses most befitting their product needs and their targets' agenda/capacity for understanding the English language.  In one such think tank setting, a somewhat brash, confident, self-aggrandizing, and apparently easily entertained guru 'takes the floor' (rather than his leave, which would have been the more humane move) to subject his audience, uninspired fools all, to THE answer to this day's charge, spouting meaningfully  and, were it not so pathetic an offering, smugly, "Batta-Book, Batta-Boom!".
       That this outburst is greeted with less than his anticipated enthusiasm is right up there with the reaction of the South when Sherman marched through Atlanta.  Dauntless in spirit as he is witless in expression, our boy leers about the room with eyes settling upon those of his cohorts, slowly and deliberately as only those who are patient/kind to their inferiors can do.  (Odd, don't you think?  For in truth this young turk most likely believes he's never had any.  Inferiors, that is.)
       Moreover, the bruise to our language is converted quickly and smoothly to a deep, life-threatening laceration by the fact that save ONE daring doubter, speaking in the dulcet tones of the meek and inexperienced, ("Don't you think we should mention something about our low prices ?") the gathering submits in silence, punctuated by the smallest, youngest sycophantic outburst from  a bespectacled, non-cunning little shaver clad in conservative office-ware's, "I like it.", which elicits the expected boom from our leading buffoon of, "Hire him!"
       As a  nation that's been watching millions of immigrants sail under Lady Liberty's armpit, her fearlessly-welcoming torch held high lo these past seven or eight decades or so, transforming them into proud Americans who would, live, grow, mate, procreate and speak English in their adopted land, we deserve more than "Batta-Book, Batta-Boom" when we are holding ourselves out to the world through an advertising campaign.
       We demand proper diction from our children and more than a passing acquaintance with their vernacular; we have been proud to incorporate those very same immigrant names and families into our culture; we nod approvingly and with pride as we call out their names as the brave who have given their lives in heated, ugly battle for this country.  Do we dare now, having produced genius as well as men and women happy to make  the Ultimate Sacrifice, stoutly put forth, "Batta-Book, Batta-Boom" as the best we have to offer?
       In deference to patience (yours) and sensibilities (mine AND yours), I shall leave "Eat More Chiken" or whatever for another outing.  Today, we celebrate our Independence (and thank God it wasn't won in a spelling bee or judged by a grammarian).  More in tune with that celebration, my thoughts were waxing more astral than asinine today. (Take note of tense usage there.)
       In honor of words, as they march along our pages bearing our thoughts, it seems now that my own birthing has become an indistinct anachronism, that taking time to reflect and record this living may have merit.  With that humble goal, seventy-year-old thoughts were attempting to form such a reflective piece recently.
       Perched quietly ("Listen" and "Silence" have the same number of letters.  Coincidence?) in my study, poised to commit thoughts to paper and fling them onto my .NET, when SHE, the 'passing-by-thought-I'd-stop-in-intruder arrived, with the force of an un-forecasted hurricane.  The room, it contents, my quill and I shuttered with such force from the vibrations, those 70 year-old thoughts were fractured upon impact with the pages.
       From an off-center pacemaker or five, word fragments flew, vying for speed and dominance in contorted paths  - now straight, now spiraling, here up, there down - and when given sound/voice/escape, produced NOT the uttered catharsis of artistic expression but noise that pushed the line between cacophony and chaos.
       Listeners knelt in fervent benediction, praying for a spate of discernible, meaningful, peaceful  lines to soften the impact of this writer's frenetic  oration.  Some quietly fled, quit the cool comfort of mosaic tiles underthongs, embracing the hot, slate, cracked sidewalks and skirting the pot-holed tar crossings in a frantic, desperate/disparate (your pick) hunt for the sound of silence.  Pausing at the corner of Walk and Don't Walk, they came upon a stubble-faced, toothless old man, Frank, peddling his warm, soft, salted pretzels.  He smiled his encouragement.  The taste of freedom would sate their need, help them swallow those last echoes of her neurotic banter.
       She permitted herself a pause: I can't control the wind but I can control the sails.  In pursuit of a 'bridge over troubled water', she took leave of her home, seeking the rhythm of the sea, the heat of a carpet of sand.  Greeted by the sleek rainbow shining down and from the massive mural, dominating the cathedral-ceilinged great room of the cottage, her childhood pierscape of the 59th Street Bridge yelled a Brooklyn "Back-atcha!".  She was 'feelin' groovy'.
       No longer exquisitely bored, she applied some sonic experimentation via Simon and Garfunkel gifts to the soul to herself and to the task at hand.  She would  have the tools to write here.  The grim latitudes of Suffolk that caused 'writer's block' - when the people in your head stop talking to each other - were back 'at the Zoo'.  All the thoughts in her heart, straining to be released and shared would skip over the boulders of obstruction and tumble out, freed from that toxic confusion of interruption by man and machine. 
"Staying long?", a shout-out from neighborly voices.  In and out, fro and to the familiarly desultory escape into a silent, inner-self writing, with, not under, the stars,
"For the Listeners and Livers Still Waiting To Be Born".
Later, Kathy, Mary, et al. . . . .

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