Monday, April 8, 2013

Something Thoughtful

Nicholas Reid reflects in essay form on general matters and ideas related to literature, history, popular culture and the arts. You are free to agree or disagree with him.


The oaf had been wandering unconcerned through a verdant and peaceful countryside.

He was an oaf, so he was happy.

He had fed well, so his soul was at peace.

He had slept well, so he was as alert as an oaf can be.

The sky was blue, the wind was fresh, the sun was not too aggressive.

The oaf wished to express his happiness, his peacefulness, his sense of awe and joy at this good world.

He let out a chuckle and a gurgle. Then, encouraged by himself, he let out a bellow of uproarious laughter.

He had discovered self-expression.

He had discovered comedy.

Birds sang. Sheep bleated. Cows lowed.

The oaf listened carefully. Then he clucked, he whistled, he baaed, he mooed.

He had discovered mimetic art.

He liked the noises he was making.

He alternated clucks and whistles and moos and bleats. He set them in simple series and patterns. He slowed them down. He sped them up. Simply for the joy of hearing them.

He had discovered music and poetry.

The oaf was happy.

The oaf did not look where he was going.

The oaf tripped over a large stone on the unsurfaced track, stumbled and scraped his nose against a tree trunk.

It hurt.

The oaf let out a bellow of pain, then settled for a gasping sob.

He thought how unfair it was that there was a stone in the middle of the road. He thought how happy he would still be if he hadn’t stumbled.

He had discovered tragedy, the ode and the modern novel.

The tree was on the edge of a deep, dark forest.

The oaf decided to enter the forest, to see what it was like.

He had discovered the travel book.

The trees were set closer together the further the oaf moved into the forest.

It was dark.

The oaf decided to cheer himself up by baaing, mooing and clucking in sequence.

He baaed.

The trees answered with an echo.

He mooed.

The trees answered with an echo.

Before he whistled and clucked he thought, “That is me, answering me back.”

He had discovered self-consciousness.

He had discovered self-referencing.

He had discovered postmodern literature and he had no further noises to make.

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