This morning I was alerted by the ever-vigilant automated elves within my Wordpress install to the danger that I'd received possible spam on this blog. I went to check it out — anything to avoid work — and discovered the following:
“Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.”
I think that's really rather beautiful.
It’s also something that I could never hope to have written myself, trammelled as I am by familiarity with the ways in which you use the English language to communicate meaning. Perhaps it’s this very otherness and randomness that attracts me to it. When I was in my early teens I was rather interested in Zen, and spent a worrying amount of time letting handfuls of twigs fall to the ground and admiring their happenstantial beauty. (Yes, this was before I discovered sex).
I also enjoyed considering koans — those little nuggets of didactic strangeness that Zen masters would use to tease enlightenment out of their pupils — the most famous example being the question “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” Eventually I reached my own interpretation of these spiritual zingers — that their purpose is to demonstrate that you can construct perfectly grammatical sentences which nonetheless do not mean anything, thus proving that language (for all its benefits and strengths) is an artificial and arbitrary system which cannot hope to grasp the reality of the universe.
Seek not the truth in words or argument therefore, my friends, but in... um, something else.
This interpretation of koans may be widely understood, I don’t know. My point is that the piece of spam above seems to fulfil nearly the same purpose. It’s a statement in English... but it's also not. It’s a collection of reasonable-sounding words that doesn’t mean anything, but which nonetheless fails to mean something with a zesty pizzazz which is actually rather invigorating.
It’s not grammatical, sadly, which brings it below the level of the koan — but maybe we’re witnessing the early days of a covert metaphysical campaign being waged by hidden adepts, or a gradually-awakening group consciousness amongst the computers linked by this thing we do call the interweb. Perhaps these pieces of neo-nonsense are being sent to us in order to awaken our slumbering souls and urge us onwards to godhead.
Or maybe it’s just another example of the relentlessly annoying fuckwits out there in the ether wasting our time with yet more crap of indiscernible purpose.
You be the judge. But consider this — if a person blogs, and no-one reads it, have they blogged at all?
Oh, yes, of course, obviously they have. Sorry.
I think I’m too old for Zen these days.
Or still too young.