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Old 08-03-2009, 09:26 AM   #21
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 607
Do symbol Re: The Experience of Aikido

Casey Johnston wrote: View Post
I don't know. Does anyone have any ideas?
Try this:

Suppose a well-known politician, notorious to her critics for speaking in an ambiguous or garbled manner, starts using Tweeter to communicate with her adherents.

As a joke, an actor -- at least equally well-known--reads these political tweets as a guest on a late-night TV program as though they were beat poetry. He acts as though he is reading a poem and performs these "poems" in front of a jazz ensemble . (This happened.)

What does it mean here to read the common, underlying text "with meaning?"

: The original tweets were intended to communicate a political message in truncated prose (made necessary by the medium of communication). These truncated messages are ambiguous and at time the meaning appears garbled when read as a political text, thus resonating with their author's reputation.

: The actor, reading these texts out loud, pretends to take them as having meaning as "serious poetry" and reads them in an "expressive" manner accompanied by jazz music.

: The TV audience understands (and is expected by the performer to understand) the context of his performance as satire, and understands (and is expected to understand) his "seriousness" to be irony.

: The joke, to paraphrase one observer, lies in juxtaposing one kind of communication, in which the words used are alleged to mean less than they appear to mean (to a reader of political prose) with another kind of communication, in which words are supposed to mean more than they first appear, to a listener of beat poetry.

The underlying text doesn't change, but changing the context (and the medium) of the performance transforms meaning from a political message to one that the audience understands to be satire of a political figure -- funny or not.

So, if the metaphor is one comparing Aikido practice to reading "with meaning," what does it entail to perform a technique in the manner of reading something "with meaning?" I suspect it is no single or simple thing.



Last edited by C. David Henderson : 08-03-2009 at 09:28 AM.
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