The Wrong Words

Have you ever found yourself quite eloquently incapable of cutting through the purely intractable boundaries which condense between concept and utterance?

The efferevescing liminalities between the images in your mind and the words with which you speak (and write) them sediment themselves between the structured experience of lived memory and the barren skeletons of orchestrated representation. This happens in ways which quite fruitlessly generate more sentences, more descriptions and more frustrated (and frustrating) doubts as to the closure of a communication that in seeking its end almost certainly desires for itself a little death and semantic suicide.

If I could ever finally and irredeemably convey the facts I intend to and substantially obtain this teleological certainty and linguistic bounding box of experience to give – as though giftwrapped – to you, I should certainly never have to aspire to communication ever again. This can never happen because the conceptual vocabularies and linguistic (if not literary but certainly reflective, philosophical) tools that we deploy to communicate are quite intractably built (and remain existentially dependent upon) the impossibility of their own ultimate success in communication.

It is a failure to unproblematically communicate that most successfully reproduces a system of communication, of belief, of knowledge and shared experience. We should not be at all surprised that as individual systems of belief or infantile partisan tribes of ideological confusion, we are profoundly unable to render anything other than the most trivial and meaningless assertions in language with any degree of certainty. (The approximation to a barren wasteland of hollow logic and bland certainties being the native country of law and legal systems that forever fail to capture all exceptions and novelty, thus reproducing the necessity of their domain as endlessly self-validating).

The low-hanging fruit of simplistic words and concepts has taken the center of political and institutional discourse precisely because it possesses the most combinatorial depth and – in failing to render meaningful or insightful dialogues and conversations – imbues those fleeting moments of literary catharsis and intellectual insight that do occur with far more meaning and value than they might ever otherwise accrue. We generally (all) fail to say anything meaningful or deep because this is itself the method by and through which language maximally self-propagates both through and as us.

This is like prohibition. The more we restrict and constrain or ligate florid poetry, complex multidimensionality and indefinitely-extensible parthogenesis of language in and as the autonomously self-propagating emergence of structure and meaning, the more valuable it becomes. This is also why art and creativity remain so profoundly important – they represent in any context an unbounded entropy and complex essence of living things; the abundantly fertile kernel core of a communications system that abhors the shapeless infinity and unknowing vacuum that provides even the possibility of intelligible continuity.

We, like language, do not reproduce ourselves for closure. We do so because to remain uncertain, riddled with doubt and confusion is what it is to exist. This is our existential ground state and coming to terms with and being at peace with this is about all any of us can ever do.

This is a communications war between aesthetics and utility and neither side can win because to do so would be to end the game as much as the selves that play it.

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