All Fact and No Meaning

The other night I watched “Stranger Than Fiction,” a film written by Zach Helm, directed by Marc Forster, and starring Will Ferrell, the radiant Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, and Queen Latifah.  Ferrell plays an IRS auditor who finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work, to his love-interest, to his death.

 

Reluctantly, I admit, I was swept away by Ferrell singing a song by Eric Wreckless, “Whole Wide World,” like Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova’s song from OnceFalling Slowly”: ”take this sinking  boat and point it home, we’ve still got time / raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice” – what great lyrics.

 

What’s got me in this sappy mood?  Like David Brooks, I am growing weary of the presidential campaign which is “all about message management, polls and tactics. The communication is swift, Blackberry-sized and prosaic. As you cover it, you feel yourself enclosed in its tunnel. Entire mental faculties go unused.”

 

For an escape, Brooks reads an essay written by Michael Ward, “C. S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem,”

 

…while we moderns see space as a black, cold, mostly empty vastness, with planets and stars propelled by gravitational and other forces, Europeans in the Middle Ages saw a more intimate and magical place. The heavens, to them, were a ceiling of moving spheres, rippling with signs and symbols, and moved by the love of God. The medieval universe, Lewis wrote, “was tingling with anthropomorphic life, dancing, ceremonial, a festival not a machine.”

 

When we say that a star is a huge flaming ball of gas, he wrote, we are merely describing what it is made of.

 

I am suffering from too many facts and too little meaning.

 

Whole Wide World

By Eric Wreckless

 

When I was a young boy

My mama said to me

There’s only one girl in the world for you

And she probably lives in Tahiti

 

I’d go the whole wide world

I’d go the whole wide world

Just to find her

 

Or maybe she’s in the Bahamas

Where the Carribean sea is blue

Weeping in a tropical moonlit night

Because nobody’s told her ’bout you

 

I’d go the whole wide world

I’d go the whole wide world

Just to find her

I’d go the whole wide world

I’d go the whole wide world

Find out where they hide her

 

Why am I hanging around in the rain out here

Trying to pick up a girl

Why are my eyes filling up with these lonely tears

When there’re girls all over the world

 

Is she lying on a tropical beach somewhere

Underneath the tropical sun

Pining away in a heatwave there

Hoping that I won’t be long

 

I should be lying on that sun-soaked beach with her

Caressing her warm brown skin

And then in a year or maybe not quite

We’ll be sharing the same next of kin

 

I’d go the whole wide world

I’d go the whole wide world

Just to find her

I’d go the whole wide world

I’d go the whole wide world

Find out where they hide her

 

PS Check out Agent Provacateur’s new campaign featuring Maggie.

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1 Response to “All Fact and No Meaning”


  1. 1 Matt H. April 30, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Yum yum… and on to your point of all fact and no meaning it goes back to my recent post on talking heads. I can’t stand watching TV anymore, while I would suggest that there is LITTLE fact and ALL opinion there is no meaning behind the content. When CNN is debating whether Barak was giving Hillary the subtle middle finder while scratching his face… there is no news, no meaning, and just dubious conjecture to spike ratings and FILL time on the airwaves. Unfortunately most media outlets are following suit. Look out Rome… here we come!


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