Saturday, October 18, 2014

Extreme Unction at Dysfunction Junction

Couldn’t resist borrowing a pre-Vatican Council II name for a sacrament just because I liked the way it all rolled off my tongue (yeah, I know ‘this is typed’ but I read it out loud, sometimes swishing the words around in my mouth as if I were at a wine-tasting). Erratically elegant in an inarticulate speech of the heart way.

Funnily enough (though that rarely is true of the sentence that follows) using words to diffuse and obfuscate instead of to inform and enlighten is actually my point today.

I had a letter the other day from someone pretty important to me and my health care options with a nearly illegible signature (A.N. Palmer died for your sins, sir; Kelly, note the second line of the second paragraph) and a very long job title. Within that title, as but one of his responsibilities, is “Chief Transformation Officer.”

As you have undoubtedly concluded if you’ve visited this space before, I love words-their power, their majesty, actually everything about them I find intoxicating. The language of origin is hardly a matter of concern for me anymore because of the number of transliteration services at my fingertips’ keyboard (I didn’t type ‘translation’ because many are not) but I love the job title and have zero clue as to what it means.

I see Transformers when I look at it and my previous experience with the fellow’s organization leads me to wonder if I should think Autobot or Decepticon (I would hope I’m wrong but whoever authored the Wikipedia entry for the latter term will most definitely be living out his days on that pull-out couch in his mom’s basement.). Intending no disrespect I think you can put them both in a sack, hit the sack with a bat and you’d get the right one. But your mileage may vary (or transform for all I know).

Since most of my knowledge about All Things Transformer are animated cartoons on video cassette we had (and still have someplace though we lack a player for them) when Patrick, our son, was much closer to the floor than far away, I’m fuzzy on the distinction between AllSpark and AllAnythingElse (burn).

Of course, from my own childhood and catechism class are echoes of arguments about Transfiguration and Transubstantiation. Neither of which I suspect Mr. Executive Scribble would be especially anxious or interested in defining (or using in sentence unless and until the rate of reimbursement improves very dramatically). “And I translate into many hours of history…and nobody knows my name.” (or title)

-bill kenny 

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