Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Words for hire

(by R.P.Edwards)

Pray for those
Who use their words
As weapons
For the day
For there is One
A record keeps
And judges

“An F…you’re giving me an F?” the young sophomore (clearly shaken) looked down at the huge scarlet letter that adorned her mid-term project (worth fifty percent of her grade!) and then, cheeks ashen and eyes welling, up to her beloved professor who lingered long over the waif like an owl contemplating the distant kitten that had strayed a bit too far from the watchful eye of the farmer’s wife.  “My dear Melissa,” began the tenured teacher (affectionately titled, Uncle Dimples, by his adoring fans) “I have always encouraged the stretching of the envelope, the breaching of the barriers, the topping…of the top.  But (he reached down and gently pulled the now moistened volume from the child’s fingers) your presumption that there are absolutes, concrete concepts, tangible tenets, well…even in this enlightened venue…such a proposition is more than even “I” can fathom…or allow.”  A moment of somber silence ensued until, a full half minute later, the pony tailed professor gingerly grasped the up held title page and, with startling quickness, yanked it crisply from its stapled mooring.  Then, revealing  the “new-old” cover to the class (the other was a bogus reproduction), the not-an-empty seat hall erupted in applause and laughter (leading to a standing ovation) at the prominent “A+” which was shown to all and then lightly placed on the desk in front of the trembling and tearful honor student.  After a step back and a slight bow and a pointing gesture to the author, the professor then held up both hands for quiet and, having obtained it (although not fully as some could not restrain a sigh or whisper of admiration) he spoke the following, “After you have had a moment to digest the preceding experiment, I would like, from each of you (a playful peering over the wire rimmed spectacles to accentuate the point); I would like, from each of you a one page composition--single spaced (again, the peering over the lenses)--on the exceedingly great value of…deception.”

Words.  Our common tools of communication.  When spoken they are invisible messengers that can either help, or hinder; hurt, or heal; harangue, or honor and, when placed upon the page…they can be the great go-between that transfers the thoughts and dreams and concepts of one mind (often distant by miles or millennium)…to another.  And, if being so unfortunate as to be confined to a contract, these unwitting soldiers can be the subject of great scrutiny and dissection and, although in common use their meaning may be clear enough, through the pen and eye of the high priced barrister…they may be twisted into gross, perverted representatives of their former simplicity.

It says somewhere that “every” word is recorded, and that a judgment accompanies the conclusion.  Woe to those, therefore, who use these tools as weapons; as a means to an unjust end.  Who delight in the manipulation of meaning in order to subjugate the simple, to bind and burden and break…those unskilled at deceit.  Yes, woe to those who use their position of power to push, via their “words,” those who share this frail humanity…upon the tracks of the oncoming locomotive.  How short lived will be their victory dance and the hollow acclaim that comes with their temporary triumph in the area of “profit.”  For, rest assured, the evidence for their coming, inevitable, unavoidable trial is being assembled and carefully collated…and it consists of their many, many, damning…words.

The conclusion:  I must be working midnights.  And…I better watch my “own” mouth.

That's what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below...and say.

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