Dangerous things, words. They have so many meanings.
Here’s a prime example: the word theory. You know what it means: you have a theory that Google are in cahoots with your other half, because no matter how often you clear your browser history, they always seem to spot the porn you were looking at. There’s no proof about Google, it’s just a guess at an explanation. It’s not a fact. It’s a theory.
But you’re wrong. Theory doesn’t mean that at all. It means (and I quote):
a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct
So essentially, theory means a set of demonstrable facts. Google are innocent, you’re just inept at hiding your masturbatory habits.
(This is why I hate the gormless, flat-headed argument against the Theory of Evolution – that it’s “only a theory”. Gravity is “only a theory” too, so go jump off a cliff and see if you can pray your way into a soft landing.)
Words are dangerous because their meaning is slippery. They change, sometimes doing 180° turns. When George Galloway won his recent election I watched in horror as his vast, unwieldy ego rampaged around the news like Godzilla on a charm offensive (more offensive than charm, I think). And then I realised I was wrong: George doesn’t have a big ego at all. The common meaning of “ego” is the polar opposite of what Freud defined as:
the part of the mind that… is responsible for reality and a sense of self
So let me be the first person in recorded history to say George Galloway has a tiny, tiny ego. He has absolutely no sense of reality.
But his powerful sense of self is still a problem. It’s a problem for all politicians, because most of them make laws based purely on personal considerations. Most of them have too narrow a personal experience to know the effect their idiotic decisions have on the rest of us. So they legislate in ways which only improve their own reality.
If they were bright, they would be able to abstract. This is a really good definition of intelligence: the ability to create abstract laws from real-world examples. Real world is “I found an apple under a tree”. Abstract is “apples grow on trees”.
Politicians need to be better at using personal experience to construct abstract rules which apply to us all. But they’re not bright people, really: they’re just fluent and good at maneuvering themselves into powerful positions.
You see, I like abstracts. I think they’re important. And that’s why I rarely mention anything about my private life. It’s too specific.
Q: What do you learn when I mention specific stuff about my sex life?
A: You learn about my sex life.
Q: How does that apply to you?
A: It doesn’t!
So when I do mention my private life, it’s just as a litany of failure for you to laugh at. Nobody wants to read about success. People succeeding makes for very poor comedy, and I like to make people laugh. So I’ll very quickly and quietly mention this…
I’ve met someone. I’m as surprised as you are. She’s very nice.
And that’s all you get.
But even if she was awful, and the whole experience had been a hysterical farce which could only lead to a classic comedy blog, I would still keep my mouth shut. I’ve made mistakes in the past, by mentioning things which I thought were sufficiently abstract, but which appeared to be recognisable. I can’t take it back. I wish I could, because it turns out it was hurtful. It’s never intended that way.
I’m really uncomfortable with blogs which tell all about dating, at least in specific ways. Drawing general conclusions is fine. Having 3 bad dates, identifying the common factors, and establishing rules and guides for avoiding it again – all fine. But telling the world about Date number 2’s terrible teeth – I just don’t know what anybody gains from that. Date number 2 feels awful. You gain no friends. Your readers learn nothing. It’s a hat-trick of own-goals.
And that’s why I may be very bad at a “relationship” blog. I hate to discuss others specifically, and when I try to be abstract it seems I fail – my abstractions are still too personal. Maybe this is why I’m not a politician: I’m no better than Galloway! But at least when I spend my time crawling around purring like a contented cat, I don’t do it in public.