2011-10-19 / Musings

Talking point

“I’ve lost all visibility ‘cause I can’t see just what you mean by what you’re telling me. Should I stay or go? Do you even know? It’s all a riddle to me.” — “Show Me A Sign,” Breaking Point

“Watch out you might get what you’re after... I’m an ordinary guy burning down the house.” — “Burning Down the House,” Talking Heads

“The title means exactly what the words say: naked lunch, a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.” — introduction to “Naked Lunch,” in which William S. Burroughs gives credit for the title of his book to Jack Kerouac

“The starmen... are black hole jumpers... They just happened to stumble into our universe... Their whole life is travelling from universe to universe.” — David Bowie, in a Rolling Stone interview with Mr. Burroughs about the Ziggy Stardust story

“Last night I said these words to my girl... C’mon (C’mon)... Please, please me, whoa yeah, like I please you... You know there’s always rain in my heart... Why do you always make me blue?” — Beatles, “Please Please Me” A faithful and distinguished reader queried in response to the musing ‘Extinguish:’ “What exactly is the point of this pointless, mindless amalgamation of words? To whom was it addressed? To whom does it mean anything?”

Please, let me make a point. “Point” arises here and now from the then and there Latin word meaning to prick, that is, to stab. The point is not an aiming at nothing, a brink as innocuous as brownie points. Rather allow me to cut through to the meat of the matter, the quintessence, the quiddity. Riding the thin white rope down like a promontory jutting into water. Out pointing the bottom line. Directing by alluding.

So, a point, by definition, a priori, is a location with no size — zero dimensional. A point has no volume, no area, no length, nor any other higher dimension analogue. Euclid, the father of geometry, defined point as that which has no part. Stretching the point, others have suggested that it is a sphere with a diameter of zero.

The apical point, stabbing into the brilliant dark, is mathematical singularity, that is, the point at which the given mathematical object is not defined or well behaved. This point might be infinite or undifferentiable.

Yet in the coordinate system invented in the seventeenth century by Rene Descartes the point is an ordered pair: (x,y). X is the number of units on the horizontal axis; Y is the number of units on the vertical axis. The point now being the distance from origin, coming from the Age of Enlightenment. Go figure. It is beside the point that Descartes was not a member of the Invisible College. In point of fact, he attributed all his ideas to dreams or to the hypnagogic state. Point well taken.

But from the pirate point of view, the unknown X should be vertical and the persistent Y should be horizontal. But no one asked until now. And that is just the point. Single pointed.

More to the point: Universe stumbling past the fork in the road, with greater or lesser degrees of volition, naked arrivals are motes and mites and tittles. And, up to a point, the point is the intersection of two lines. (Come here often? Here, to this point?) But what’s the point of getting all fired up? In the naked dark of the 12th century, point became the merger of two words, one meaning prick or pierce and the other meaning sharp, poignant compassion.

Perhaps we can merely indicate with the finger. Please, is that the point?

Then the question of address: Points point to you. ¦

— Rx is the FloridaWeekly muse who hopes to inspire profound mutiny in all those who care to read. Our Rx may be wearing a pirate cloak of in visibility, but emanating from within this shadow is hope that readers will feel free to respond. Who knows: You may even inspire the muse. Make contact if you dare.

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