Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Sum of All Fear

The human language, by that I mean English, is quite a complicated thing. It turns out that we have some 300,000 words, and if you took time to calculate all of the possible combinations of the sum of those words then you would realize that we still have at least another decade of possible books to be written. We've had a good run, but things appear to be winding down. And it's actually sort of an interesting thing to think about: Right now our government is scrambling to ensure that we have enough oil to swim in (if that's what we want to do with it), but what will they do when we start to run out of books? When you add up the total of print media that is distributed in this country it tumbles over into the billions per year, no small chunk of our economy.

Will they commission the inventing of thousands of more words, thus ensuring that there are enough word combinations to be able to say new things for decades to come? Another element that plays a small but key role in the creation of sentences that compose books, blogs and magazines is the human resource that is creativity. Today we also find that in short supply, what will the government do about that? What has George Bush and his criminally inept administration done to forestall this inevitable catastrophe? Have you heard about any studies being commissioned, any national days of prayer declared to help stave off the end of new books as we know it?

The other day Jess and I were talking and all of a sudden she was speaking the third act of King Lear, which she hasn't even read, and I just thought, "Oh God, it's happening." Once the combinations have been exhausted then we will only have what has already been uttered, and as you can see, it is already starting to become reality. Two weeks ago I was talking to my mother about the relative merits of owning gold, and from nowhere I began paraphrasing large chunks of Freud's Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious and I dropped to one knee and just began to weep. Word exhaustion is real, inevitable, and, by definition, vapid, for no one likes a copycat.

1 comment:

tom deslongchamp said...

The last paragraph made me crap my pants.