Words don’t do what I want them to

When I sat down to read this post “Against the New Vitalism” I was momentarily dazed by the opening paragraph:

Words are material; they matter. Words are material that matter.1 “Words,” Virginia Woolf reminds us, are “stored with meanings, with memories.”2 Words are historical, and words are relational. Words are living, and words are alive. This is important.

This opening is interesting to me not because it’s brilliant writing, but because even while I was reading it an old Talking Heads tune started playing in my head:

Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don’t do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don’t stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape

Something about the syntax or rhythm of the words, that’s all. Continue on…

Chindōgu: un-useless products from Japan

Chindōgu (珍道具) 

Kawakami Kenji’s (川上 賢司, 1946-2019) “Ten Tenets of Chindōgu”: 1) Chindōgu cannot be for real use, 2) Chindōgu must exist, 3) Inherent in every Chindōgu is the spirit of anarchy, 4) Chindōgu are tools for everyday life, 5) Chindōgu are not for sale, 6) Humor must not be the sole reason for creating Chindōgu, 7) Chindōgu are not propaganda, 8) Chindōgu are never taboo, 9) Chindōgu cannot be patented, and 10) Chindōgu are without prejudice. (Gilbert, p 33)