Month: February 2017

On the Importance of “isms”, and the Cryostatically Re-Enabled (3)


(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Hellinder was of the species that professes inexpensive, simple tastes, yet is always willing to go out for lunch or a drink. The kind that is ever poised to introduce vulgarity (literal excrement, for instance) into a sentence, yet demonstrates close attention to grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. After a certain point one must concede that to be confounded is close enough to being charmed, and to being willing to lend a spoon upon occasion1.

A great deal of further illustration is possible, but I will limit it to this – Hellinder was possessed of a good head of wavy dark hair, and very black eyes, and he eased human interaction in a manner that defied the laws of pseudophysics. How an extrovert finagled his way into the office I do not know.

So, although I had escaped Tertiary School without forming any close acquaintances, my worknights and weekends were now peppered by gatherings with coworkers, which was the very opposite of what I should have expected out of those two phases of my human development. As I retained some old friends from Secondary School, this left a gap associated with my Tertiary experience with which I have never been quite comfortable, as it seems to indicate that something went wrong. I puzzled over these matters, and coupled as I was at the time, to watch my partner quietly ignoring the bouleversement of my social life (a luxury that I did not have) was to be convinced that a very long joke was in progress. (more…)

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On the Importance of “isms”, and the Cryostatically Re-Enabled – (2)


(Part 1)

Ultimately, the Intergenerational Debate confirmed rather than disrupted the theories of prominent sociologists, who already held that humans must cling to some forms of tribalism or “othering”, lest they die of frustration or wither away in motionless introspection. It would appear that accepting a few “isms” here and there is a necessary condition of our existence, and so it is merely a matter of choosing which ones may be the least distasteful. Ageism survives, as does Zoneism1, and fieldism, whose milder subtexts are politically acceptable to most individuals, is thriving.

As may be typical of an inhabitant of the LEZ, I discovered fieldism last of the above. Having passed my teenaged and earlier years in initial schooling, and having fathers who hardly spoke about their workplaces, I had no notion of what intrigue went on amid the grind of working life until I was treated to a speech from my superior (or rather, the only person whom I could identify as a possible superior, hierarchies having become unfashionable again over the past century) in my first few days of work:

Don’t trouble yourself if the marketing people downstairs ask you for something. They don’t seem to appreciate that we’re just as occupied as they are, and they always manage to arrive at the answer they wanted on their own, anyway. There’s some confirmation bias down there, unfortunately. But of course they didn’t study mathematical thought or scientific method in any real depth. It can’t be helped.”

This, to a newly-minted Mathematics major straight out of the sheltered environs of the Amphitrian Tertiary School at 121°06’39.3”2, seemed remarkably backhanded, full of layers to dissect. I must admit that I was impressed. And it proved attractive to draw mental lines and paint invisible markers in the defense of my chosen field of work, which others quite simply could not understand3, especially because it so happened that I had adjustments to make in the transition from university to work. (more…)

On the Importance of “isms”, and the Cryostatically Re-Enabled (1)


A carry-over from the English of Old Earth, the word “teenager” only makes sense when dissected with reference to that language, and more specifically, its words for the numbers in an open interval between twelve and twenty. That specific range of numbers, however, is no longer relevant to our use of the word; it is now generally understood that the teenaged years of life extend until the late twenties. In fact, as I lately read, upon Old Earth it was once a subject of widespread concern that the teenaged years would continue their invasion of later and later years of life unto perpetuity, and that society would be saddled with a majority of its members unprepared for the rigours of adulthood, yet past the age of sympathy and support accorded to children.

This bleak scenario did not come to pass, however. The teenaged years hit a plateau, as if predestined, and there remained despite the passing of millennia and numerous environmental and evolutionary changes (including the loss of much redundant body hair, and thank goodness for that). This may be linked to a similar plateau in education, as one’s initial round of schooling – at least in the Loidial Economic Zone (LEZ) – carries on until the mid-twenties or thirty years of age, excepting those who pursue advanced degrees, throwing themselves in for another ten years or so.

(more…)

A parting still


My lady, a voluptuous sky her only rest,

The bedchamber become a bower, become a glade,

Sings fain to dampen cheeks and furrow brows

All her own

Of what she sees, I know nothing save

She bespoke rays cleaving Apollo’s dome

Antique palettes creeping ‘pon the clouds

Once, long ago

And here this mawkish discontent of mine

Amid notes spilling chamber to chamber

Amid delights dulled to erasure

Within my breast

My lady, an unseen sky her only rest,

Seeks strings over vanished, varnished wood

And burgeoning days of warmth gone by

Now lonesome

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2016

Imagine from Landscape Painting Gallery