All entries for Tuesday 23 October 2007

October 23, 2007

Last week's assignment

Haven't had internet for a while, so here're last week's assignments.

The Juggernaut Sermon 

What, then, I ask you people, is a juggernaut? What thing should exist in this world or the next such that this one word, and only this word, must exist to describe it? For words do not exist without a meaning to anchor them – we can have no word for something with no existence, even if that existence is only in the mind. Is it, then, a linguistic phantom, a butterfly indisposed to take its place under the glass? We might define it all day long, debate whether destruction is fundamental to its meaning, as certain dictionaries would have us believe. It is irrevocably an instrument of not inconsiderable proportions; of that much we can be sure.

How can we reduce such a thing, and come to understand it? What is the sum of its parts? J-U-G-G-E-R-N-A-U-T: Judgement under gawping greatness, eerily remembered nightly amid utter terror? Hardly – though the reality might, the word fails to inspire fear in even the feeblest of minds, though it is possible, if not probable, that once experience, it should be a recurring feature of one’s nightmares. But not this, then, for only a fraction of us can glimpse it and live, so those without experience would have no more comprehension of it than Ray Charles of the Louvre. Joke-worthy under gravity’s gaze except real, nail-bitingly and untamedly tank-like? Again, it is beyond the mind’s eye to conceive of something so big as to laugh off gravity, like the dinosaurs whose bones should surely have collapsed in on themselves, such was the weight involved. And tank-like does not satisfy my craving for spikes and vitriol and all manners of death and destruction. No, people, we shall have no comfort here.

Maybe a different analysis will yield an answer. How else will it break down? Perhaps it is a ‘jug o’ naught’, for the word is but an empty container for us to fill with memory and experience, whenever we should happen upon it. Mayhap it is ‘jog or not’, for if one does not flee an engine of destruction, as our gigantic friend is purported to be, one’s existence would cease to be: one would become ‘not’. Perchance it is ‘jogger not’, for the rhino does not prance or canter, does not jog, but either charges or walks, or is at rest. What moderation should there be for such a creature, that it should jog; what reason behind anything but a full on approach – after all, moderation is a fatal thing, nothing succeeds like excess. Is there any life to be had in ‘jog an’ ought’? It seems not. Nor does it seem that we shall have any joy in such an analysis, except that perhaps, for the moment at least, a jug o’ naught is all that we shall have, a vessel for a memory as yet unexperienced, a half-imagined fragment of anamnesis we were born to live again. But the juggernaut, for all its size, eludes us with that butterfly’s grace.

The Rhythm of Liff 

The Rhythm of Liff

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