By which I mean background chatter, like the chatter Al Qaida is so fond of. To diverge for a minute and if you'll make this leap with me, the chatter is part of the world wide 'walla' or at the very least a large portion of the US's 'walla'. Background noise is so important especially in a culture fueled by the notion/infatuation with/realization of conspiracy (JFK / Da Vinci Code / Enron). There is certainly a feeling, which is hard to avoid, that the surface of things is only the record needle reacting to the minute shifts of the vinyl, the noise below it. In this metaphor, it appears there is something to be said about the distinctions drawn between speech and writing. Although, I'll save this (mostly) for another time, it's my belief that a conspiracy weary culture privileges writing and the text. Conspiracy makes us question the body and the words that come out of the body's mouth. The Smoking Gun demonstrates this. It has celebrity mug shots to reveal the falseness of the rich and famous' appearance in photographs, television and movies. Then it features documents to reveal the men and women behind the mask, in all the full figured infamy. Bill O'Rielly knows this well. We know how these public figures are to be viewed, but the website asks us to look at the 'walla' of their lives so that we might see the flaw in their design. In some ways, the entertianment provided by this unmasking supplants the entertainment that these people have dedicated their lives too. It's more interesting to read about O'Rielly's penchant for Loofahs then it is to watch him enter his chaotic No Spin Zone. I'll concede that the ins and outs of Lindsay Lohan's drug addictions and paternal strife are eminently more fun than "Herbie: Fully Loaded".
Now, I digress. In writing the above, I realized that I was being dogged by a phantom word. When I was writing:
We know how these public figures are to be viewed,
I kept wanting to write:
We know how these public figures are to be viewn
"Viewn" as is a modification of 'view' that rhymes (mostly) with "loon". Now maybe I'm going cloud nutzo over here, but do people actually say "vyoon", as in "The report on North Korean was vyoon by the President and his cabinet"? I really think they do and I believe I have and will. Someone should fax a memo to Hollywood to makes sure people are using this in their 'walla'. Without it the 'walla' in Hollywood restaurant scenes might seem as bogus as ray shields or GENERAL GREEEEVOUS in Revenge of the Sith. What do they use for 'walla' in those movies, by the way, just gibberish???
This brings me to my last and final point, the one I actually started this post for. I wanted to encourage you all to check out the blog for the Electronic Writing Course I finished only a month ago. The Prof has been so kind as to provide links to all of the final and midterm projects that people produced (minus a few that weren't internet friendly). Some are, no doubt, more successful than others. My personal favorites are:
"What We Want": A mash up of the NY Times and Craigslist.
"30 Poems": A poem with a very inventive and mysterious navigation method.
I've already pushed mine on you all, so I won't do so again. But... THEY'RE COOL! More later.