Coffee Log, Year 2, Day 171


Coffee:  Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee

Do you ever listen to a piece of instrumental music and wonder if the person who wrote it spoke the same language as you? I read that the reason music resonates with people is the tones are tied to our own vocal ranges, which themselves are tied to emotion. But people speak differently with different languages. “Mm’ means something different when you’re Japanese.

These days, a lot of electronic music uses samples of ambient sounds – raindrops, moving cars. No-one questions that it’s music. Does that mean the world’s speaking a language, too?

I once stood in an ancient Greek amphitheater. We took turns standing on the podium and saying something softly, seeing if we could hear each other up in the stands. We could. The Greeks knew acoustics. They were kind of obsessed with sound. Eventually, that obsession was passed down through Neo-Platonism and led to Kepler learning orbits – he thought he was deciphering the ‘music of the spheres.’

I don’t talk on the phone much anymore. It’s all come down to texting. I remember this one time back in college when I asked a classmate for her number and called her on the weekend. She was so confused by the call that she said she didn’t want to see me, and the rest of the year she sat on the other side of the class. I asked a buddy what had happened, and he said I should’ve sent her a text.

Right now, I’m listening to music and whistling along. What language is that?

Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller

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Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.

Maya Angelou

Coffee Log, Day 357


Coffee: Maxwell House, Office drip; the stronger you brew it the less it tastes like grass but the more it tastes like construction paper. What do you want to remember: soccer practice or kindergarten crafts?

Grammar: good, bad, or ugly? Ugly-bad, I’d say.

I’ve been swiping pictures like a fiend on Tinder. Internet dating never goes much of anywhere, but it’s an interesting addiction, like peeking in the metro windows during morning commute. Everyone’s dolled up and trying to impress each other. Or actively NOT trying, but that’s just another type of effort. I’m doing it too. We’re all peacocks. Anyway…

A lot of people put ‘good grammar = important’ on their profiles. They’re looking for people that can ‘talk,’ ‘spell,’ or ‘write’ right. I find that a little fascinating, that how you put your words together can be a metric for your desirability and worth. The same people usually use words like ‘looking for someone stable, who has their shit together.’ Ok, at least you know what you want.

I used to be someone who cared about Grammar. I’d be the kid in elementary who corrected your sentences if you said them wrong. Not a lot of people liked me, that’s for sure. I didn’t realize at the time that I was a product of something sinister: hundreds of years of history written by a ruling class.

What is ‘good’ language? In the textbooks, it’s well defined: it’s and its mean two different things, ‘good’ ain’t ‘well,’ etc. But when we’re talking under the blue February sky and you say ‘he did real good on his spelling test,’ I know exactly what you mean. So why should I care what word you used?

If you want to oppress someone, keep them away from books. Take out their tools to match an expectation of society. Don’t talk southern. Don’t talk mountain. Don’t talk black, or latin, or anything but rich white. If you say ‘y’all’ you’re ignorant. It’s selective understanding – we tell you it’s not good enough to get your point across, you’ve got to do it the right way. It’s bred in you to love yourself if you know how to comma and hate yourself if you don’t.

What a crummy view of language.

A thin black box to cram the whole world inside – no room, no air, no breath for different colors.

So anyway, I don’t judge those guys and gals that say they’re looking for a good grammared partner. I get the force of history clenching it’s fist around them. But I do swipe left.

Novel Count: 23,930

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

All my [people] talk like yo cotton picking ancestors
That don’t make us stupid, we just deeply rooted

Doctur Dot, Earthgang, Momma Said