Shooting the message

Real Live Preacher waxes eloquent about the perils of language (via the Progressive Faith Carnival for Feb. 5):

Words sound nice and they are like magic. You write words on paper and a thousand miles away, someone looks at the paper and says, “I like the sound of that. Do it again.”

Only there is no such thing as a word. A word is only a sound, and writing is even farther removed from reality than that. Writing is a mark that stands for a sound that stands for something unknown and perhaps unknowable.

If you love words, you must renounce them. You must throw them to the ground like the statue of a false god and trample them. You must deny them three times. You must name these demons and cast them out.

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity…. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words… Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. (Eccl. 12:8,10,12)

Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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