I promised examples of paradox in an earlier blog. We will now examine the synonyms for the word paradox. Used as a noun: the paradox of war is that you have to kill people in order to stop people from killing each other: contradiction, contradiction in terms, self-contradiction, inconsistency, incongruity; oxymoron; conflict, anomaly; enigma, puzzle, mystery, conundrum.
It is paradoxical that the men at the YWCA are far more manly than the men at the Equinox gym.
It is paradoxical that Dr. Emma Byrne, the author of the book on swearing is actually (believe this or not) a faculty member at City University, London. (pg.4) This is incongruous as I was a student at City University, London and HATED the school and all it stood for. I ‘studied’ creative non fiction under the auspices of Julie Wheelwright (a Canadian). Now Dr. Bryne’s book is a book of creative non fiction but our class did not study her works, hear her speak nor was she ever mentioned. Most importantly she is not on the faculty of that particular school. Dr. Byrne teaches something worthwhile. It is my theory that you cannot teach creative writing – you gotta do it.
I do love the words with which Dr. Byrne concludes her book. “I started this book by saying that I didn’t want to encourage you to swear more. Swearing is like mustard: a great ingredient but a lousy meal. We need that part of our language to keep its potency; its slightly risky nature, otherwise it wouldn’t be swearing.” (pg.200) “We need swearing and, however we might have invented it, I’m fucking glad we did.” (pg, 201)
This is an oxymoron. Julie Wheelwright penned more than two biographies, one an ancestor. I had InfoAction the paid research team at VPL research the Idistruborship of her works. Her books have minimal readership. Hundreds (if not thousands) of people read my blogs, far exceeding her readership. But paradoxically I am grateful to Julie Wheelwright. She accepted my application to her programme, which enabled a student visa and a stay in London for two and a half years. It utterly changed my life, in a good and miraculous way. She tried to destroy me, but the mystery is – she somehow restored, reconstructed and preserved me. Therefore, I have made my peace with her and the school. I did not need their approval, their recommendations, their commendation. I am financially and morally independent. As i say constantly: So there! So there! So there!
Here is another bright star in my firmament. I had two items to be framed. One was the precious note that called my book a masterpiece and suggested a playlist. The other a poster created with the help of the Apple Store in London announcing my debut as a stand up comedian at a pub in London. I took both to Time Frame Gallery located at 600 Robson Street in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Christie Scott is the amazing owner – her framing genius is Karl (or perhaps Carl). The store has a vast collection of the funniest collection of greetings cards outside London, England. I go in there and regularly howl with laughter – others do not. Vast numbers of people in Vancouver have NO sense of humour, trust me on this one.
The three of us, Christie, Carl and yours truly engaged in a massive on-going conversation about the rudeness of customers If a customer is rude to her staff – Christie tells the rude one to leave. That is virtually unknown in this city – where owners, restaurant managers and common folk cater to rudeness and treat polite people with disdain. But here is the best part, not only did we agree on important principles but, these people did a superb job. The note is in a ready made frame that is EXACTLY perfect – all I had to do is agree and pay. The walls of the store are lined with items of memorabilia and pictures that are framed with attention, and (dare I say) love. My yellowed and torn University of Alberta Gateway Features article will be lovingly transported there tomorrow for framing. The walls of my new hovel in California will contain Canadian art and memorabilia to remind me of the days I spent in my native country. The apartment will be small and sparely furnished but will be magnificent in its own right. Thank you Vancouver Art Gallery Rental and Sales AND Time Frame Gallery and the producers and the directors etc. etc. and et.al. et. al, et. al.
It is the evening hour and off I go to Vancouver Art Gallery for a curator’s lecture. Please look adoringly at the beautifully framed note with its contents.
The song that blared from the speaker at the YWCA water aerobics class yesterday was I’m Gonna Make You Love Me. I am thinking of making that my theme song.
A picture of the wall with the framed poster will follow in a subsequent blog.