Thursday, November 29, 2012

Anatomy of the Polite Nod

  
    "Angel of Death as House Guest," has curious supporters. But "Language as Existence" has very few adherents, except perhaps in dark places.  I know this because when I mention "Language as Existence," I get the "Polite Nod."  Which is a combination of facial expression and movement, supported essentially by underlying emotions of nervousness and desperation, best summed by the phrase, "I really have to be somewhere else."  Over the years I have been on the receiving end of  the "Polite Nod" more often than maybe a hundred thousand times, so I followed Aristotle's advice and I have tried to develop categories for the "Polite Nod" in an attempt to better understand it.  And this is not an easy thing to do, because the nuances in "I really have to be somewhere else" are in my view quite unique to an individual, to circumstance, and to possibilities that range from whether the "Polite Nod" is wearing a tie or wearing a bathing costume.  Whether the "Polite Nod" has a pickup truck or a less useful vehicle.  And on it goes into an individuals idea of his or her position in social structure, his or her sense of self.  Aggressive, compassionate, age, angry or yearning. 

     There is however a distinction that I have been able to identify as owning potential for a major branching in a great diagram of "Polite Nod."  Aristotle's equivalent to, "living things that breath water and living things that breath air."  And here I attempted to title this major branching "Provenance."  By which I meant, what series of events, life experience and so on, preceded the "Polite Nod."  Sadly I am somewhat allergic to the word "provenance."  It sets in mind a sort of skinny fingered fustiness, a three minute egg, recipes for Bread Pudding, and that plethora of anxieties which when let lose in  people becomes a sort of blind obsession.  Which is why, for this major branching in the tree of the "Polite Nod," I settled upon a variant of Mesmer's magnetism, which I like to think of as "Intoxication."    At the moment before the "Polite Nod," there is a small opportunity to engage a "provenance" through some sort of magnetism or intoxicant that will ultimately determine the quality of, "I really have to be somewhere else."   And I realize, I've done this for the selfish purpose of reducing  the incidence of "Polite Nod" when I'm in company with others.  Either way, The Artist may return today, and I have a few things to catch up with, otherwise I risk trespass upon one or other of the more obscure sub-branches in the great diagram of "Polite Nod."


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