Saturday, January 24, 2009

GOP/Foam People/ Writing....

From CJ :

The GOP 'leaders' are opposing tax cuts, not because they feel tax cuts are needed, but because they are still trying to cripple the federal government to support an outdated, outmoded and ill thought out political philosophy. For some reason divide and conquer still isn't clear to them.

Limbaugh has gone so far as to say he hoped Obama fails. How long can a man have diarrhea of the mouth and still survive? I guess the answer is, as long as there are enough people with shit for brains. This may also apply to the ultra right republicans.

We seem to be heavy into the Foam People season, i.e. Golden Globes, Oscars, and all the other ritual ceremonies Foam People participate in to try to give themselves substance. Even when they're trying to show they don't really care about these rituals by clowning around in front of the cameras, they are still posing for the cameras. Now we have a t.v. show that searches for Foam People; American Idol. This show demonstrates that the number of Foam People out there is growing, which means there is still hope for Limbaugh. This presents an interesting dilemma: do all the failures on American Idol have more shit for brains or less? My guess is more. And that makes me wonder about the screaming audiences who are being encouraged to develop shit for brains. Maybe the GOP will make a comeback.

On a more serious subject, I've been noticing in my reading in various fields of fiction, that our language is undergoing a syntactical change, from complex, erudite sentences to more telegraphic sentences interrupted occasionally by longer sentences. I think this acknowledges the new readers are more attuned to quick, slam bang narrative, probably due to movies and t.v. and our life style in general, which is very fast.

This syntactical shift makes sense. It reminds me of a statement made by an artist about viewing paintings. He said that since we view most art inside, when the art is created that must be taken into consideration. It's simply taking your audience into consideration during the creative process. That's what literary style has done and it seems to be working.

I have read a few books that take this idea to an extreme, and they wind up being self parodies, but most of them seem to understand what they're doing, even if it is on a subconscious level. The one genre that seems to misuse this syntactical shift most poorly is historic fiction. A couple of Civil War novels I read used this telegraphic sytntax to such an extreme it drew attention to itself and became ridiculous. Jeff Shaara's books began with a little of this style, then kept going more and more to it until he finally lost clarity and meaning. Even some of the English historic sea novels do this. On the whole, I like it, but to be used well, it needs to be understood by the writer. Sometimes the telegraphic style is simply a contradiction to the scene in which it appears.


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