English / 02.03.2020 / 86

Superstar of Conversational Writing

Iliy Kvatsashvili, author from the Dark Side of Business

Oh! Were you expecting something? That’s odd. So many people gathered, and nothing’s happening. No-thing. Absolutely nothing. Can you imagine it? You might have thought we’d have a new text for you here, maybe even a story. One with elements of philosophical and theological discussion, one filled with real stories and adapted for practical use. So many expectations, and here I am, unprepared. I didn’t write a single word. It’s embarrassing, really. Well, don’t you worry. We’ll find something to “snack on”. I can’t promise a real feast of the mind, but there will be some food for thought. Like a diligent housewife who wasn’t expecting guests, I’ll have to come up with something on the spot. That’s not a problem. I just have to find the first Word. The second one will find itself. And before you know it, we’ll have enough for some salad and a couple sandwiches. It’s no Christmas dinner, sure, but if you pull out that bottle you have stashed away…

Yes… the modern reader is a spoiled creature. With all this technology and mass consumption, the modern reader is not easy to please. From every screen throngs of self-realized creators rush to share their simple and practical advice on how you, too, can become a self-realized creator. Advice on how you could change your life. Turn your gray existence into a colorful life filled with joy. And in case you need more convincing, here are some pictures. There it is. A gray, boring apartment, a tattered bathrobe, and a face filled with regret. Do you recognize the air of frustration and hopelessness? Well, that’s the kind of life these self-proclaimed enlighteners used to have. Seems like everything’s documented nowadays. And here are some other pictures. Here is a creator realizing themselves with a Buddhist temple in the background. Here’s one by the ocean. You see his face all lit up with happiness? Well, if you buy yourself this golden watch by this famous Brand (which you totally deserve), your face will light up like that, too.

How do you feed a crowd used to consuming burgers on an industrial scale with just two fish? That’s right! Add a couple buckets of rice and make some sushi

Behind the scenes of these proselytizing “creators” excitedly exclaiming something to their zealous followers, a question hangs in the air, enveloped in silence: what was it exactly that they Created? No, my friends, let’s leave this question alone. Silence befits it. And those who try to shine a light on this question can expect to be ostracized and condemned. Oh well. I’d say that would do for our “apéritif”, but we won’t rely too much upon that line of thought. I’d rather we go on. I’ll look for the Word some other place.

It’s amazing how lightly people treat words nowadays. You just pick any word and off you go with it. And almost nobody wonders if the word has any weight to it. Browsing the web I feel like a dwarf dining with giants. The giants have all gone to sleep after a grand feast, leaving mounds of scraps on the table. Tremendous, at times majestic words are now reduced to husks, all eaten up and sucked out. But each Word has the labor of many minds behind it. It might be time we started a Red List for Words, don’t you find? Animals are wiped out at a much slower pace. And it’s quite hard to remember the last time we created a Word. A real one. One with weight. One with meaning…

Sorry! Got carried away. Time to get back down to earth. That’s Life for you, in its incomprehensible beauty. While some reach for the Skies, others are inevitably drawn to Earth, with all its rich colors and meanings. I wonder if we’ll get along with it? But that’s another story. It’s not mine to tell. What are you saying? That was less of a sandwich and more of a canapé? Well, canapé it is, then. It’s not much, but it is food.

So why, you might ask, do once meaningful words become empty shells? And I will give you the answer, you can be sure of that. I won’t withhold this shameful secret. The blame lies with good old people. Little people with giant appetites. Like the evil dwarves from ancient tales, they lack the virtue of patience and the thirst for knowledge. Their aspirations barely even reach the heights of simple greed… Ahem… Looks like I got carried away and got onto my soapbox. I’ll get down: can’t eat soap, you know. I’ll put it simply. I think you’ve all heard the term “psychosomatic”. It’s when the mental affects the physical. The seed of this idea was planted, as is often the case, in ancient Greece. The term itself sprouted in the early 19th century. Then it blossomed and formed a whole branch of medicine and psychology in the first half of the 20th. It was filled with depth and meaning. But then, something horrible happened. At the turn of the century, with the advent of the internet, knowledge became available to the vulgar crowd. The Word, which had a clear, simple idea at its core, fell into the clutches of this voracious mob. It was pulled about and torn apart by everyone who could get their hands on it. All and sundry, without knowing anything about medicine nor psychology mangled the Word and distorted its meaning to the whims of their own imagination. And in a matter of years, what was left of the Word were two empty shells. The first occasion this Word is pronounced is when doctors can’t find the cause of an illness. And secondly, this Word is seen as the “magical” cause of real problems, something akin to karma (what the crowd did to the word Karma is best left unspoken for now).

There are, however, nuts that are harder to crack. Kant’s categorical imperative, for example, did not suffer this fate. This Word was tossed aside like a drunkard angrily throwing away a pistachio after it nearly broke his tooth. But I see some of you starting to yawn. Indeed, this is not a topic that’s easy to “digest”. Let’s move forward.

How do you feed a crowd used to consuming burgers on an industrial scale with just two fish? That’s right! Add a couple buckets of rice and make some sushi. Maybe some maki. But the name and the origin of the food interest no one. Just don’t forget about the soy sauce. Although you know what, it doesn’t matter. There’s no fish left. Not a single one. It seems like out of all of the above, only the sauce is left.

Looking for Words became difficult. Looking for words that aren’t hollow, ones that haven’t been whitened by the oceanic tides of human attention. Have you noticed what kind of content is currently really popular with the general public?

How are the coolest among us being controlled?

School teachers remind me of elephants on a rope. Do you remember this urban myth? In Africa, a small elephant was tied to a tree with a rope, so that he couldn’t run away. The elephant grew up, but he got used to the rope’s power, which he could now easily tear off. Nevertheless, the habit was stronger than common sense. At the same time, the latter isn’t something they lack. Elephants are highly intelligent animals. They could teach some humans a lesson…



...And the complaints started coming in from all over the Internet. We heard a quacking from the Facebook swamp:

— And my mum used to tell me: haven't you eaten too much? My mum's toxic!

"Toxes will never admit their mistakes!" the second frog answered her...


Babylonian Squabbles

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