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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A movement badly in need of a hyphen

In which we practice the very type of self-analysis we are warned against in a transparently circular post that is based almost entirely on intuition and feelings.


This is not a poem about meta-anything. We can't seem to quit writing here at CathyBlogs. We also can't quit reading about other people's writing and a headline that says 'How I Wrote 400K Words in a Year' begs to be read. We were assuming he was not writing out the phone book. We've never counted the number of words we've written in a year but then we are an English major, not mathy. (We can't even count on what person* we are writing in on any given day -- maybe that's our problem. A least our pronouns' problem.) We thought we were going to read a treatise on discipline and there was some of that, some of the 'write one true sentence' business we learned at Hemingway's knee and that 'write every day' business real writers insist on. Then we learned of the Quantified Self Movement: "Self-knowledge through self-tracking." And we knew this was an exercise we could never participate in, for not only did it beg a hyphen (Quantified-self movement? Quantified self-movement?) it hints vaguely of pornography (Self-tracking? Self-movement?!). Further ill-advised investigation unearthed a TED Talk and advice like 'instead of relying on intuition or feelings, you use data' from all the self-tracking you're doing. Then we put a stake through our hearts by reading this by the guy who founded Wolfram Alpha and immediately decided that writing our own bad meta-poems is better for our mental health than practicing badly hyphenated, over-analyzed, technology-dependent robo-writing. Even though we're not writing poems, meta or otherwise.

I'm writing myself okay, you're probably okay, Stephen Wolfram will analyze himself okay, Chaka makes us all okay:


Won't you tell me / What you wanna do / Do you feel for me / The way I feel for you / Chaka Khan

* I. You. We. She.

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