Posted by: The Amoeba | February 24, 2009

Amoeba In Depth – Or Maybe Just In Deep

Ever since your friendly neighborhood Amoeba got addicted to started posting on blogs, way back on New Year’s Day (really) in 2006, I’ve been told by various people – and still more, by my blog stats – that folk view what I write as, er, challenging. Intimidating, even. I’m not naming names, Thom

I don’t try to be intimidating. Really I don’t. It’s not like I go around wearing sabres for hands, or a Hannibal Lecter mask, anything like that. Not during daylight hours, anyway. I may not be the life of the party, but I try not to be its death, either. Until I’m tired and I think it’s time for you to go to bed. Then, I might go “the Blob” on you. But I can’t help that, any more than a werewolf or The Incredible Hulk can. At least mine’s a more passive kind of resistance.

“Is he alive?”

“He was a minute ago. Here. Pass the potato chip bowl in front of his nose. If he grunts, feed him, he’ll be OK; just don’t let him scarf down the whole thing. If he doesn’t, call 911.”

So where does this “intimidating” thing come from? OK, I’ll admit – if brevity is the soul of wit, my posts are hip waders. And yes, I use simple, common words like “cyanobacteria” and “fermentation” and “gluons”. But you should see some of the humdingers that Quilly has been throwing out into the blogosphere lately. And no one’s called out the National Vocabulary Guard on her! Not yet, anyway.

I’m afraid I come by this sort of thing naturally. People were calling me a walking dictionary in the second grade. It wasn’t the best way to make friends and influence people then, either.

But I have to tell you something. These days, I sit at a table on a regular basis with scientists who make me look like I never graduated from kindergarten. I wonder what kind of names their classmates were calling them in the second grade.

I suppose the real reason I write what I do is, that’s the kind of stuff that comes out when the fingers hit the keyboard. And the kind of writing that gets hits, dearest Quilly, does not.

But I also worry that there’s less and less connection between the world of that table I sit at and the rest of humanity. If what I write is too dense, what about their stuff?

And if we’ve lost the ability and/or the willingness to read, discuss and understand more challenging concepts – well, isn’t that when people step in to sell us drugs, or cult religions, or risky subprime mortgages?

Really. I’m not trying to scare you.

Or am I?

  O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions expressed are mine, as a private citizen.



  1. OC it’s not you personally that’s intimidating my friend. It’s the topics that comes out when your fingers hit the keyboard LOL That’s what’s intimidating. You tackle real life issues and dig deep with the issues and it just makes a reader of your blog have to dig deep within themself to make sure they understand what has been presented. Why is it I have a hard time believing the scientists you sit with make you look like you graduated only from kindergarten…highly unbelievable if you ask me. Maybe first grade LOL. Yes Quilly uses words, and I even particiapte in her 3 Word extravaganza, that I for one have to look up, but I hope you don’t change and make your blog easier to read. It is me that just has to bite the bullet and prove that yes, there is a Santa Claus and I also graduated past kindergarten.

  2. Amoeba my love, one of the things I hate about being a teacher is the “dumbing down” of the curriculum. When “The Hobbit” was written, it was considered a children’s book and the target audience was 5th grade. When I reached high school I was assigned the book in my Senior year. I am now given to understand that it is deemed too difficult to comprehend and has been pushed to college level reading classes. Pretty soon, Dick and Jane will be in high school.

  3. sometimes
    for me anyway
    it is just as hard
    to understand him in person

  4. Quilly…excellent point

  5. Nancy — me, too. On those occasion I tell him, “You’ve jumped straight for point A to points R.3. Back up and fill in the blanks.” Then he talks to ME.

  6. Thom, thanks for the kind words. But believe me, there are people with whom I work on a daily basis who make everything I do look like the ravings of a gibbering idiot – and then they settle down to work. Some of them even make as much money as an accountant fresh out of college. Which just goes to show what all that “knowledge” stuff’s really worth.

    And yes, Quilly does have an excellent point. She’s a pen. She’d better. 😉

    Whaddaya mean, high school, Quilly? They’re way past that already.

    See Dick.

    See Dick walk to Washington.

    See Dick tell people what to do in Washington.

    For eight years. Can you count to eight?

    See Dick take money out of my pocket.

    See Dick take money out of your pocket.

    See Dick take your money and put it in Bernie Madoff’s pocket.

    See Bernie Madoff go broke anyway.

    Bad Bernie.

    Bad Dick.

    Nancy, I’m hoping one of these days, somebody out there will understand me. Maybe that person will then explain me to me.

  7. ROTFLOL — You get my vote to write the new Dick & Jane novels!

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