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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Monday, April 25, 2005

Objectivity

While stuck in a traffic jam in beautiful downtown Tahlequah, I noticed a new street sign for a new street: Meadow Creek Lane. I began peering between cars and over bushes to see if I could find any sign of either a meadow or a creek. Not a one. Nothing but an ugly parking lot and a way too big new Lowes.

And I suddenly realized what I've known all along --- we've replaced the actual "thing" or "experience" with words. It doesn't matter anymore whether there's a meadow or a creek or a honeybee. All that matters is that we insert the symbol or sign for the "thing" or the "experience" or whatever.

We're the most objective of all cultures. Sometimes I think the only thing we're about is objects. And anymore, the object itself doesn't matter at all --- all that's needed is the visual reminder through a word, and we no longer notice the signified no longer even exists.

4 Comments:

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Okiedoke said...

There may have been a meadow and a creek around there long ago. You might as well enjoy it while you can. Soon we can expect names such as Lowe's Lane, Federal Expressway and Home Depot Blvd. (We already have a street named Air Depot Blvd. in these parts.)

 
At 3:52 AM, Blogger MJ said...

Good post, Cookie!

Exactly. If there was truth in advertising, it might be called "Butt-Ugly Street" or "Street of Disfunctional Families" (they could move in, move out, it doesn't matter). Or how about "Urban Sprawl Blvd."..."Class Divide Street", or "Don't Drive Through Here, We're Too Good for You Avenue". "Martin Luther King But We're Not Happy About It Boulevard". "The Cul-de-sac that God Forgot".

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger KCB said...

You're so right, Cookie. I used to live in a town called Round Rock, after a big stone in a local creek. A customer-service phone rep once mocked the name -- "You guys must not have too many landmarks around there, eh?" True, but at least there really is a round rock.

Now I live in an area where everything is named Lake-something and the nearest lake is miles away. It's a symbol, that's all. Which makes me wonder what they were thinking when they named a nearby town Oatmeal.

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Cookie said...

Okie, there's a creek across the road --- well, okay, the big road (four lanes, main road through town). The creek's name is Tahlequah Creek, and the area that the Lowes is built on isn't the creek's meadow, if that makes sense.

And it certainly isn't a meadow anymore, esp. considering there are still real meadows just a stone's throw away from it.

It's bad enough that movies and television and photographs have replaced reality for most people. But it hadn't quite really sunk in that we're so far detached from reaity that we're now thinking the "word" is the same thing as the "thing" or the "experience."

I love "Martin Luther King But We're Not Happy About It Boulevard"! He. That would be a true representation of reality.

The nice thing about where I live now is the roads and streets are either numbers (if they're yet named, as we're still unplatted throughout much of the area) or named for actual landmarks.

I couldn't stand living in some flat asphalt hell named Quail Run. What quails??? Where??? And why are they running????

 

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