How To Be Literal Without Being Literate

Go on. Try the experiment. I did, and I’m mopping up the benchtop right now.

Try typing in the good old phrase ” Taking your pigs to a better market “. The sentence that indicates that you are going to seek better recognition for your skills or a better remuneration. A phrase that is as old as the 18th century, if not older…

The first page that Google shows you is exclusively devoted to farming interests and the pork marketing sector. It is possibly of great comfort to rural people, but not to the literate…and I am starting to suspect that a great deal of the internet operates upon the same principles. I’m beginning to see what H.L. Mencken meant by ” Boobocracy “.

In a conversation with friends we reviewed the remarkable recent story of a rescue of trapped boys in a cave in Thailand – the drama and horror of it, the sad death of the Thai navy SEAL, and the sterling part played by the Australian anaesthesiologist in the eventual rescue. We agreed that the chap would make a great choice for the Australian of the Year.

But then we also speculated about the Elon Musk affair in connection with this…the foolish, impolite, and unsavoury publicity. And the likelihood of a Hollywood drama based upon it. I’m afraid we’re all cynics – we imagined the scriptwriters and studios of California turning what is essentially an Asian and Australasian story into something that could appeal to their home audience. Something simplified and nationalised for them…

Mr. Mencken, as you said many times…” You may be right…”.

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