Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Existential Dilemma in the Publishing World.

What follows is an email exchange between some of the production crew (Y = Yasmin, K = Ken, W = Will (me)). The initial email is a company wide announcement. The exchange has some slight edits for the sake of continuity, though some of this may seem kind of incoherent to those not involved in the original exchange.

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:27 AM

Subject: Free Book Day at Holt

Henry Holt's last free book day at 18th Street will take place this , in the Robert Frost Conference Room. As we will be moving to the Flatiron in a few weeks, we'll have a huge selection of books available. We'd like to invite you to stop by any time from 1pm to 5pm and take a look. See you there!

Y: Woo hoo, good books that we actually want to read!

W: One can only hope.

Y: So formal, again. I love it. Or is it “one loves it”?

K: "one can only hope" isn't formal, it's sarcastic. Now "Only in dreams" that's formal.

W: Formal is also formal, or is that 'meta'?

K: Po-po? [as in post-postmodern]

W: No, I'm pretty sure it's just solely po.

K: Meta-po perhaps?

W: Self-reference is often a trait of postmodernism. I'm not sure "meta-po" really makes much sense as a term, though it could be a postmodern term, as it lacks clear definition, yet clearly has some meaning within the context of this discussion; its very existence is questionable, yet here it is, and is therefore contradictory. It is self-referential and satirical, "meta" having been tacked on to "po" to draw attention to the self-reference often found in "postmodernism" and unequivocally displaying its ridiculousness as a self-referential term that encompasses self-reference.

K: Oh okay, you old crummudgeon. Po-meta. Happy now?

Y: Larry, gear down. That shiksa book described all jewish men as thinking they were channeling jon stewart but really channeling larry david. Vindication! Po-megranate.

K: As for Meta-Po, are you trying to argue that the absurd has no meaning?

W: No, I'm saying that which is meaningless is absurd.

K: What else is absurd? Do these things have meaning?

Y: I think everything, especially things that are meaningful, have the potential to be absurd.

K: Hmmm, doesn't everything and anything have the POTENTIAL to be everything and everything?

Y: Maybe if you’re a moral relativist…

K: How dare you! Actually, I don't think my "morals" should come under discussion today…maybe over copious amounts of beers… but not until then… So yasmin thinks that the meaningful is especially prone to the absurd, while will says that the meaningless is always absurd.

Y: I think exposing the way we attach meaning to things reveals the absurdity inherent to the human condition.

W: The meaningless is absurd by definition. Go look it up. And I agree with Yasmin here, we've just kind of revealed how we're waiting for Godot.

K: I AM NOT waiting for anything, I'm shredding shit everyday and while it all might be meaningless… it's not in the here and now, because I effect things… my actions have reactions… maybe after I turn back into dust and my synapsyes stop firing it won't have any meaning…though I doubt that, because memory is real, but until then… I'm keepin' it real. And Meta-Po WILL raise it's ugly head one of these days… be warned! And could either of you define the human condition for me?

W: The human condition is what you make of it. If you can somehow manage to make meta-po a useful term, I will give you a pat on the back.

K: And a dollar?

W: If your lucky.

K: Well, gimmie a pat and a dollar, cause Meta-Po has inspired a great hour or so of email conversation… that's pretty fuckin' useful.

W: I'll give you a dollar for that.


theresa said...

ken expected you to give him a dollar, didn't he.

Flushy McBucketpants said...

actually, he said he'd just forego a bithday gift. I actually would have given him a dollar for that conversation. It worked my brain a little bit in the middle of a glut of POMS. I have seven books due to the printer on Monday. Yasmin has eight. Heinous.