Posts Tagged ‘seasick steve’

I started out with nothing… and I still got most of it left!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Apart from being a wonderful piece of modern American culture and answering the question “Can white men sing the blues?”  this is a great example of using language to convey two meanings at the same time.  The structure of this sentence would normally be used to report something positive, but by making the object a negative word, we have a joyful exercise in pathos. 

In art this can be a source of pleasure.  Most often this kind of contradiction is not deliberate and management double-speak is usually seen through.  Statements that say nothing are futile, and seen through instantly.  It is my experience  that most people are pretty expert at smelling BS and (to paraphrase my mother) “If you can’t say something nice, at least say something clear!” is a great rule.  You may not win any friends but you’ll win a little respect at least!

“Develop a built-in bullshit detector.”  Ernest Hemmingway

“Facts an’ facts, an’ t’ings an t’ings: dem’s all a lotta fockin’ bullshit. Hear me! Dere is no truth but de one truth, an’ that is the truth of Jah Rastafari.”  Bob Marley