Day: May 25, 2012

How Words change their Meaning

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I’m always interested in how words change their meaning – especially when it’s a downgrade. Take the word “mentor”, for example. There was a time when this referred to someone (usually an elder) in your community who you could get alongside because they were quietly wise, authoritative, learnéd and knowledgeable. You didn’t have to pay them a cent for they regarded it as their duty to pass on their accumulated understanding via apprenticeship to the next generation. That was in the days when success was measured by wisdom and laudable achievement. Now the term is just an Americanism, whereby a mentor is some slick motivational salesperson who you pay to boost your ego and tell you that you are the best (even if you are not), control you and goad you into making loads of money and becoming a big shot, because in the USA success is measured not by your wisdom and acumen but by how much money you make and how much of a “celebrity” you are. Words change. Times change. And the downward spin of civilisation continues…

Mosquito Bite [poem]

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In the same way that the cowardly
mosquito heatseeks another bloody
victim in its templezone — or indeed
the way that any other parasite
sets up a simulated limpet home
in a place where it does not belong —
those other creatures that I used
to flat revere (but now no longer
even write them in my dreamful
songs) will take the shirt-tails from
your naked arse while all the while
pretending there is no way that they
harbour any interest in your brass
and tell you that they only want
you for your mind (though we know
that they want nothing of the kind).
And thus on goes this stupid strange
unmerry little dance. There’s one
whose tongue is hanging from his
jaw (from which a group of puppet
strings protrude) while the other sees
what she can claw with tooth and nail
from deep within his treasure trove.
And let me tell you now that she with
breathless charm will never fail to
vanquishly disarm the mind behind
that tongue. Carefully using the
attributes which mark her gender out
not only will the tongue be pulled to
full capacity but he, not knowing any
better, will donate his whole entire
savery so long as she will freely give
to him her scraggy loins — he sucks
her flaccid tit, she sucks his limply cock;
it won’t be long before he has a hyper
nasty shock now grasping that it never
was his fire that she sought but every
little thing which glitters, everything he’s
ever bought. And so the dance goes
vainly on. At one time it would be that
she was seeking someone who would
give her safety when, with child, she’d
need protection in the wild; but now
it’s just a pale reflection of that primal
primitive desire. For sure it’s not to make
the offspring safe (for she is far too
selfish to with him create another life;
she doesn’t even want to be a loving
wife!) but solely to accumulate the
gleaming wealth that someone else has
earned. Eventually he will then be soundly
spurned when — with all his stuff long
gone — she, like the mosquito in that
stagnant swamp, has found another skin
to prick (another prick to skin) though
neither dancer taking part, unless they
have a change of heart, can ever truly win.

© 2012, Alan Morrison