Something about language

by Yule Heibel on January 11, 2005

Nope, it’s gone. Driving back from UVic tonight, after choir drop-off for one of the offspring, I had a moment of clarity about language, about why it’s our first technology. But then I lost it. By the time the CD track changed from Slipping below the water line (which I love because, among other things, it provided succor during an attack of hate mail) to The world is full of crashing bores, it was gone. I was thinking of my brainstorm of several days ago, which (although I intended to keep this to myself) entailed my return to sculpture: I had this total brainstorm about a new series of 3-d work. (I used to be a sculptor, eh, just like I used to be an art historian.) Sculpture: not exactly a language technology, right? Or is it? And driving down the black and rainy streets from the heights of UVic to the knobs of Rockland, I had this picture (worth a thousand words?) of why language is a technology, even though we generally don’t treat it as one, preferring to slut and rut our way instead with tarted up gadgets and powerfully virile machines we think we understand.

Imagine if we actually managed to understand our (technological) proficiency in …language. Poets would make out like bandits — finally; and then bandits would be saints.


Kate S. January 23, 2005 at 4:58 pm

Oh no, not this shite again. You’re not receiving hate mail again, are you? What is it with these people? Shouldn’t they be busy knocking up their barefoot wives to make more white babies, so they can pull ahead into the majority again?

And … you’re Jewish? lol. Who knew? Who cares?

Oy. The world is full of crashing boors. And yes, I meant to spell it that way.

Yule Heibel January 23, 2005 at 5:08 pm

No, no, I’m not! Receiving hate mail (at the moment anyway), that is — I was just reminded of that moment because the Morrissey cd was so present in my head (and in my ears) when I did get the last letter. Now, the last letter made the reference to “my ugly Jewish face,” which is why I said I can’t figure out whether these people have a surfeit or a deficit of imagination. I’m not Jewish, I’m not any religion. I’d have to say I’m an atheist, if push came to shove, because regardless of what I believe, it’s not going to get quantified in some “religion” or system. I don’t know where or why or how these wingnuts came up with that comment, unless they’re implying that my “views” have influenced my …?what?, my physiognomy? Anyway, that letter made me pull the picture from the blog. Funny thing, though: my last name means “trouble” in Dutch, and there’s a site, Hebrew Words in Dutch (via Yiddish) that claims that “heibel” derives from the Hebrew “hewel,” which means “a vain cause.” I did blog about that many many months ago when I first found this site — it cracked me up, since my life often feels like “a vain cause.” But whose doesn’t? 😉

Kate S. January 24, 2005 at 2:13 pm

Well, “trouble” and “a vain cause” are synonymous to me, they both seem joined at the hip. Yet, still, through the ice fog, I see this as a reasonable excuse (fervent cause) to celebrate what’s left of my freedoms.

I am SO glad those punks that sent you hate mail before aren’t making me fly into Canada to kick some ass. Thank goodness. Because my bark is much worse than my bite. Just like my Rottweiler.

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