MAY 30, 2009 2:18AM

Interrupting the Conversation to Talk to Yourself

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Michael: This is gonna be our first subjectless post.

Melissa: I hope that doesn’t mean it’s going to be pointless, too.

Michael: I’m beginning to believe all of these are pointless.

Melissa: You would think that.

     Let’s get back to our subjectless post.

(pause)

Michael: See, it’s weird. Without the subject, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Melissa: That’s what I was just about to say.

Michael: Oh, I know! We don’t begin at all. We’ve already begun.

     But now what do I say?

     (pause)

     We could just do a stream of consciousness thing, but those can get tedious.

Melissa: I think we need to forget that we’re recording this and just have a regular conversation. That’s when it comes to life.

Michael: Okay, but see, I can’t type that fast.

     (relinquishes keyboard)

Melissa: I know.

Michael: That’s tabbed in because it’s a part of me.

Melissa: Right.

Michael: So here it comes! That fascinating subjectless conversation.

     Ready?

     I have a headache.

Melissa: Me, too!

Michael: You do?

Melissa: Yeah, I woke up with a migraine this morning. I just took a Darvocet and went to work as usual.

     That didn’t come out right. Too much exposition.

Michael: Okay, just fix it—make it conversational instead of thoughtinal.

     That’s stupid. Just get rid of it.

Melissa: (sadly) Really? I like it.

Michael: Okay, go ahead. Keep it.

Melissa: Oh good. I think it peels back yet another layer.

Michael: A layer of what?

Melissa: The creative process.

Michael: Does it really? Or is it just our own creative process? Therefore, of limited interest.

Melissa: Yes and yes. Our process may not be identical to others’ creative processes, but if examined honestly, something meaningful—

Michael: It’s only meaningful if these conversations have meaning in the first place.

     They could just simply be, as you said, banter. In which case, they’re, again, of limited interest.

Melissa: Well, if we could ever get away from the metaness of this, we would be free to simply have an authentic dialogue—

Michael: But wait a minute! This blog is called “metaness.” If we wanted to have this thing you were describing, that would be better done with a different blog.

     But this one is supposed to be about the writing of writing this. It’s never supposed to have stopped being that.

Melissa: I know, but the air gets thin up here.

Michael: You mean, too cerebral?

Melissa: Cerebral doesn’t bother me. I live in cerebral. What I mean is, you get to the end of “about” at a certain point. And while we’re far from the end, the journey there, as you said, could get quite tedious.

Michael: Yes, but if we just started bringing in the happenings of our life, rather than writing about the happenings of our life—

Melissa: You mean writing about the writing about the happenings of our life?

Michael: Yes. I mean, it’s just this simple. What we’re doing is we are recording the exchange between us while we are writing this—

Melissa: Yes, exactly. Which means we’re constantly interrupting the conversation.

Michael: Yes! Interrupting the conversation to talk to yourself.

     Or even each other. Interrupting your own conversation to talk about your conversation.

     But that’s metaness!

     Maybe it’s the whole metaness concept that needs to go. Of course, I don’t mean the concept of metaness. That’s important. I just mean, this incarnation of it.

Melissa: I know! It can become “ness.”

Michael: Ha!

Melissa: Remember? I said in the beginning I didn’t want to use “meta.”

Michael: Right.

     Just with a period. It doesn’t warrant an exclamation point.

     I don’t think yours does, either.

Melissa: Okay, you’re right.

Michael: So, I consider that “metaness”—what we just recorded. That’s metaness.

Melissa: So what would “ness” be?

Michael: Okay, I still don’t even know what you mean by that. Yes, you didn’t wanna call this “meta” anything, and simply just calling it “ness” seems even more vague. It just seems to once again confirm that this exercise has become futile.

     Which reminds me of something I heard coming out of a movie theater after watching the first
Next Generation movie. It was a kid commenting on how he didn’t like how Data said “futile,” but he liked how Picard said it. Well, jeez, anything he says sounds good.

Melissa: How does Data pronounce it?

Michael: “Fewtul.” Like noodle.

Melissa: Or “feudal.” But I guess that has more of a hard “u” sound.

Michael: These posts make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Melissa: In no sense, no “ness”!

Michael: We are not changing the name of this blog to “ness”! I still don’t even know what that means.

Melissa: No, you’re right. “ness” would be a ridiculous name. But I still want more “ness” and less “meta” in our posts.

Michael: But that last thing you just said was meta, because we are writing about what we are writing in our post.

Melissa: I know! I can’t escape!

Michael: Beware the metaness.

Melissa: “Bevare. Bevare!”

Michael: But then you would be saying that’s one of our favorite movies—

Melissa: It is one of our favorite movies. I’m not quoting Ed Wood’s movie, I’m quoting Ed Wood quoting an Ed Wood movie.

     Sort of like that line we like to quote from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? “What. A. Dump.” We’re quoting Martha quoting some Bette Davis film.

Michael: You see? That’s meta.

Melissa: Yeah, I know. That’s why I thought of it.

Michael: There’s something very wrong with this. We’re just spewing words.

Melissa: “Spewing”—that sounds a bit—

Michael: I like it! It sounds like we’re throwing up words.

Melissa: (laughs)

Michael: We should just spare our reader.

Melissa: Our one reader. Hello, one reader!

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Comments

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Hello there!! It's your one reader! FIRST one, i would hope. This is very clever stuff, in a pleasing dialogical form.
"Ness" denotes a state or condition. It is the making of a noun from adjectives, mostly. BUt...here's the weird damn thing: adjectives already MODIFY nouns! How weird is that?: to "nounify" something that was meant to "add depth" to the noun to begin with.

I balme nouns for our postmodern, self -conscious dilemma. We are too quick to put a name to things that are process. Like this great little flow of yours. It exists in the reading and enjoying of it...in the thoughts it sparks off in mind....the "meta"-ness of it resides in its
going beyond mere banter and becoming not
just self-conscious banter but
a thoughtful (and humorous) reflection on the very process of
bantering itself. Banter about banter. Ther e is no such thing as
"mere banter" when the mind (S)
doing the bantering are meta -minds...

yr meta- friend Jim
ps i dont "balme" nouns, i never have, really:
i "blame" them. For alot of things...
Melissa: Hello, One Reader Jim, and welcome to metaland!

Michael: Your kind and funny words have truly encouraged us.

Melissa: Yes! Michael was beginning to question the merit of what he refers to as this insane existential journey.

Michael: Damn you, Jim! Now, we have to keep writing this stupid thing.

But truly, I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Melissa: And thank you for making us laugh out loud.

Michael: Very funny indeed.

Melissa: Michael, too, blames nouns—and adjectives, and adverbs, and even verbs, for that matter. As he said last night, "I am broken in the English department."

Michael: Haha.

Thanks for stopping by, Jim, and we're looking forward to reading your posts.
What a grand and wonderful ride. An intellecutal work of poetic conversation.
Melissa: 'Tis an honor, micalpeace.

Michael: You're a true writer. And your output is dauntingly prolific.

Melissa: Yes, we've been enjoying our trip through your psychedelic realm.

Michael: Nice to see you in the meta-neighborhood.

Melissa: Thanks for coming along for the ride—and for contributing a verse to the conversation.
Your invigorating intelligence and line of inquiry remind me of Robert Anton Wilson's comment, which may or may not actually be relevant here but which can stimulate other interesting writing adventures in which "is" (I want to say "is banned) cannot be used:

"Is", "is." "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.
That IS an astute observation, Hawley! Or at least, it seems that way to us at this moment :-)

—m&m