As part of my near-constant running monologue, I said “oppositty” out loud this morning and immediately earmarked it for further exploration, as you can well imagine, considering the almost-tactile fabulousness of such a verbal slip. Wildly enthused, I twisted it around on my tongue coolly, jabbing at various pronunciations, at varying volumes, in various locales, refining my plans for its eventual usage; I stroked it, comforted it, mollycoddled it until I had shaped it into “oppocity”, the ingenious foundation for what promised to be an incredibly clever blog-post contrasting cities I don’t live in with the qualities I find most enjoyable within the one I do, culminating in a tournament of oppositional juxtapositions that would eventually reveal the city to which I have the least reason to dwell, or my most “oppocity”, if you will. It turned out, however, that I not only didn’t inherently know very much about my own city, much less any other (thus necessitating research, which, ugh), but also that “oppocity”, as written, looked as though it was meant to rhyme with “atrocity”, which I felt to be contrary to the overall tenor of my proposed post. I also simultaneously came to the conclusion that my idea was actually pretty dumb – really, truly, spectacularly dumb, especially in retrospect – and viewed the decision to abandon the project as less a failure of creative fortitude than it was a triumph of mercy, figuring instead that “oppositty” was of more comedic value if simply used as a replacement of “opposite” in random discussions with soon-to-be aggravated friends.
The truth is that the etymology of “oppositty” is not nearly as interesting as inventing a series of conversational points that would allow me to orchestrate a dialogue heavy with dichotomous blather so that I could ultimately call my girlfriend at work and say, “Hey, honey – did you know that the hypotenuse is the side oppositty to the 90 degree angle in a right triangle?” Phile Not Found is like that: when one feels compelled to explain the joke – less a funny ha-ha, in this case, than an overwrought attempt at cleverness – it probably isn’t very funny, and exponentially less clever than intended. Or, one is talking to idiots who are incapable of understanding anything, much less the contrived inventiveness of a title like Phile Not Found, and judging from the About Me page I’m guessing Ms. Nanobeagletwonames presumes she’s engaged in the latter.
Our intellectually-ambitious blog-author uses a photo of a galaxy as “a constant reminder to be humble” on that About Me page – not because of some capitulation to the majesty of another unfathomably expansive universe extant entirely separate from our own that dwarves her (and everyone else’s) comparatively meager existence, but because she’ll “never be as smart as the folk who devised the instrument that took that photo”, which kind of makes me wonder why she uses said galaxy-photo and not one displaying the camera that took the picture itself... and though I imagine that aesthetic considerations such as these are to be applauded in some cases, despite the fact that, in this case, they seem a mite self-defeating in light of the above-mentioned and spurious justifications invoked in representing oneself as a galaxy, I prefer a more logical progression of symbolic personal-identification in my blogs.
I mean, obviously, right?
So, why this need for reminders of humility, you ask? Well, quoth the brainiac: “Sometimes I feel like I’m the smartest person on the internet”. This, needless to say, is an unfortunate turn of phrase, not only because it opens the door for petty nitpicking, but also because she misspells “suffix” not four sentences later – a pretty catastrophic faux pas when combined with the above assertion, even if made ambivalently, that colours any reading of the blog with the stain of arrogance. For instance, this is a research paper slapped up without regard for context, this is unnecessarily and almost startlingly condescending, and this contains a dialogue that reads
Someone: So, what degree program are you two in?
Me: I'm in Computer Science, and he is in Computer Engineering.
Someone: Oh, what's the difference?
when it should probably read
Someone: So, what degree program are you two in?
Me: I’m in Computer Science, and he is in Computer Engineering.
Me: You see, the difference is―
Someone: Mm-hm. No, that’s great. I’m super, like, happy for you guys. Oop – gotta run.
This is prefaced with a warning that should be applied much more liberally, and though each one of these is heaving with salient points, they retain the faint but unmistakable sneer of adolescence, as though her personal awakening to the terrible manipulations of culture is one shared by the collective at this precise moment in time. As a fellow Canadian atheist whose worldview leans heavily on iconoclasm, I understand. In fact, I believe that a lot of the irritation I feel when reading this blog is a direct result of recognizing my own predilection for pomposity, for the irrational need to prove my stupendous and otherworldly intellect to the faceless masses of subterranean dolts who plague the interweb like a rotten pastiche of herpes scars, and this realization gives me pause; not enough to retract any of my criticisms, mind you, but enough to allow me to see Nanoo as, perhaps, a younger, more computer-savvy me... minus, of course, the staggering bravado and mind-blowing creativity that is so clearly evident in the construction of ideas such as “oppositty”.
If I, then, am forced by my own logic to use my 34-year-old self as a case-study for this 21-year-old student (which I am – shut up), I would have to conclude that her metamorphosis from self-absorbed youngster to slightly wince-inducing writer to absurd deconstructionist incapable of maintaining any kind of writing routine due to both the prevalence of a nineteen-month-old daughter and the delusion that any sort of prolonged concentration is feasible whilst warding off sippy-cup attacks and an alarming preoccupation with the movie Madagascar is a distinct possibility.
In that Phile Not Found is not horrible, I am awarding it one star:
I would also like to represent myself thusly:
This is not because I regard myself as a much-beloved marvel of form/function synergy, or equate myself with the manifest and intrinsic artistry emblematic of a freely-galloping horse, but because I know I’ll never be involved in anything as fundamentally useful as those ensconced in the horseshoe-manufacturing industry are.