English, Thought, Objectivity in Mundane Objects, and New-Sincerity
by Wes Synclair
The English language is capable of fantastic things. With just 26 letters ordered in different ways, literary masterpieces, magazines, and poems have been written. With a simple reordering of the letters of a word or phrase, for example “angel voice,” you get another word or phrase, like “von elegiac,” meaning of mournful quality. Both of these phrases use the exact same letters the exact same number of times. Use the following space to write anagrams for the word apple.
Not as easy as it seems, huh? Well luckily, through the gift of modern technology, we now have computers that can do this for us. By going to the website, Andy’s Anagram Solver, we can get a complete list of every dictionary word anagram of any word or phrase entered. There are many options including breadth of English dictionary used and also number of words allowed in anagram solutions.
But that kind of thing can get complex sometimes. With so many options in this world it’s hard to tell which way is up. But we find our way, we always do. The Internet has allowed the world to become interconnected, and allowed anybody to learn almost anything they want about anything if they have the motivation to. Whenever you feel confused about anything, especially with Internet programs that have millions of options, you can always spend a few minutes and do some research and figure it all out.
But is this kind of knowledge really genuine? What is genuine knowledge anyway? I consider genuine knowledge to be knowledge based soundly on conceptual understanding that has been built up over time. But by any account, a quick search on the Internet does not fall under these parameters, although it is practically useful in small circumstances.
But what is useful? How can we apply anything as having genuine use? By definition something useful is something that will be used often. A fork is useful because it is the most common Western eating utensil, and a knife is less useful, because a powerful fork can supplement almost any circumstance where a knife is used. But does it really matter how much something is used up, or is it just the weighted benefit that was given to the user by the used object?
And what is a fork? At what point does this set of atoms and physical and chemical connections become something deemed a fork? The definition, as passively tight as it seems in our heads is actually very loose. I propose that the reason why it is so difficult for computers to identify objects as certain things is because of the variety of shapes, colors, sizes, and modifications that can change the appearance of said identified objects.
You may be wondering at this point what exactly the message of this article is. I don’t know. It is interpretable. Just like a pebble doesn’t understand or care of the consequences of falling into water, I can’t identify others’ interpretations of this. The only meaning I can ascertain, reading what I have written is some unclear, cloudy message about linearity and indeterminacy of thought and meaninglessness in the self and other pursuits. Whether or not that makes sense depends on how much you like to meta-hear and assume partial meaning.
And what about new movements of thought? The 20th century, dawn of the isms. So many movements and counter movements have sprung up that it can sometimes be difficult to ascertain which direction is up in all this. A new movement, both literary and cultural is the new-sincerity movement. This movement of thought tends to move away from mainstream irony and sarcasm used often in socializing and media and more towards blank complete honesty and sincerity. Take, for example, this poem written in the new-sincerity tradition by William Goelle:
-small particles are flying loosely around the room
i think they’re dust.
when i was young like ~5-7 years old
i thought they were fairies
and that fairies were real
and i would try to catch them between my hands
and i could never do it because they would just swish around
and evade my hands.
i felt like i had claws and they were running away from me playfully.
this applies to your life in that the faeries are like you
and you enjoy running away from things playfully too
like when we go to haunted houses and fake scream jokingly
but then also in general because human beings are playful and nice mostly.
that is the meaning of the poem.
thank you for reading this poem. (Goelle 2011, Writes of the Old World)
As you may be able to tell, the author, especially near to the end, becomes very direct with his thoughts, not falling into the stereotype of poems being like literary puzzles, which have a concealed meaning. Although there is nothing wrong with that, it is interest to digress into a poetic style so far removed from the Western tradition.
That’s all I can think about writing, at least for now. Thank you for reading this article.