I used to think I was going to get some linguistics degrees while I’m an artist. I started playing with the literature just to exercise my head, but I got more interested when I found out you can learn about details that are different enough to change your brain & make you have more starting points for ideas. Then I got to thinking & I thought I could get some degrees & then bring the degrees & research back to the art world & say “even though this isn’t art, it’s my art cause it’s where I ended up when I didn’t think too much about things & just followed where I felt like it.” I thought I could get some credit for putting a lid on the anti-art deal while I was at it, and maybe make it so nobody wanted to do art anymore. But mostly I was interested cause I was learning about things like ergativity and case marking & I even understood it sometimes when people tried to account for how they happened. But then I found out that:
-There was always more to understand about those things & there will always be somebody that understands them better than me, unless maybe I picked one little phenomenon & learned about it till I'm fuckin 80 years old
-These phenomena always ended up needing more general concepts, like configurational & non-configurational language types & they kept getting harder to understand the more general they got
-so far no linguistic models have come close to explaining all the phenomena that happens in any language, so you can’t help it that the harder sciences like biology & physics, along with the big advances in brain research, will eventually undercut the theoretical foundations of linguistics & change a lot of the analyses’ contexts
I even read some book where a guy proposed some binary concept that is the basis for life, & he even tried to make a theory that maybe binary movements, maybe like a back & forth movement, is what sparked the change in the primordial soup that created matter that ended up becoming life, & he applied the same binary concept to human language phenomena & data. This is a piss-poor account of what the book was saying, but it’s the best I can remember after 5 yrs, & I can’t remember the name of the book to look it up & read it again. Anyway, so at the end he used real math to back up what he was saying in the book. He said the math was made easier so a more regular fucker could understand it, but it was too hard for me to get. So if you want to be a linguist, you’d need to take some things like case-marking patterns & ergativity, and then understand their distributions, causes & effects, etc, & you’d have to know everything that’s ever been said about them, & then you’d have to know at least a little bit about hundreds of other detailed phenomena, & on top of all that you’d have to have one eye on the books like the one I just told about with the binary theory. What a pain in the balls, let the scientists worry about it.
I have a job where:
-I can do whatever the fuck I want
-I get to put cuss words in my artworks
-I can say things about myself that I would never say anywhere else, & most people have to pay for that kind of therapy
-I can make judgments about anybody I want with no basis except for that I think it’s true & that I just wanted to, & it doesn’t ruin my name
-I can learn as much or as little about what’s happened in my field, and I can start working on something without planning if I want
-No work ever goes beyond the inspirational or observational levels of creation, & full observational adequacy isn’t required (& if it ever does happen then your work sucks & you need to loosen up)
-Explanatory adequacy is unthinkable
-I can spend a lot more time than other people pretending there’s no such thing as right or wrong
That’s a good deal, even if you have to spend part of the day eating shit at some job before you crawl off to your place & let yourself touch & feel everything you can imagine in the world & everything that happens everywhere so you can pull it all back in & let it reflect off your soul mirror like some fuckin Taoist Buddhist monk, but get this, you got it better than the monk, cause the monk has to stay in the world where everything is the same as each other & be part of it all without understanding, but you get to drag your ass back to the compartmentalized world where you get your own selfish brain & body all for yourself so you can use them to tell, write, perform or create what you saw just how you understood it to whoever’ll listen. Fuck linguistics.