More questions than answers
November 29, 2010
I’ve been reading the new book by Padgett Powell entitled “The Interrogative Mood”. You’ve probably heard about it. It’s the one where every single sentence in the book is a question. Although it’s an interesting concept the American-centric aspect of many of the questions (whatever happened to Howdy Doody, Tab, soda fountains, S&H stamps etc) began to irritate.
It does however make you stop and think about life, the universe and everything with questions we probably don’t stop and ask ourselves often enough like:-
“Do you subscibe to the notion that people who knew what they were doing began to die off about 1945 and are now on the brink of extinction? Do you prefer diarrhoea to constipation? Do you know the distinction between moss and lichen? Is it your impression that people who worked in animation in the 1930s did more drugs than people who work in it today? Are you engaged in a fight against clutter? Does honey come out the front end or the back end of a bee? Have you ever lost a shoe and thrown away the second shoe and then found the first shoe? What would you think an Uzi machine gun might cost? When was the last time you saw an ostrich? Would it be feasible to go to India and not be heard of again?” etc etc etc for over 100 pages !!
Of course, there is another school of thought that says it doesn’t do to question things. If we analysed our lives and the universe too closely we might come to the conclusion that most of our waking hours are spent in ultimately pointless endeavours. If I knew which part of a bee honey came from or could prove that the “authorities” don’t have any more clue about what is going on than anyone else would my life be any better? Even writing this blog whilst humming a Jimmy Cliff tune from 1972 is futile but I do like to keep myself amused in my tea break…..
The more I read this book, the more I began to formulate my own questions which the author had missed.
“Do you update your Facebook page at the same time as checking your phone for texts and watching TV? Where do you go to my lovely when you’re alone in your bed? Where have all the flowers gone? What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding? Will the last word ever spoken be “why”?” etc