Monday, August 24, 2009

Context Baby

I was doing a bit of study on the danger of taking things out of context. Words and advice prescribed and provided for the ears of someone that another has interpreted in a manner in which it was not intended. However, taking something out of context is not necessarily something that is done with malevelous intent. Sometimes we don't appreciate the circumstances in which certain words were uttered. Sometimes we don't understand the historical background or the applicable customs. Sometimes there is enough ambiguity after a superficial reading that we are desparate enough to take things out of context to justify our own actions. Careful reading and thought is, of course, the remedy in such situations. However, I did not want to stop there. I wanted to flesh this idea out by eavesdropping on several "conversations" to see if I could get into any trouble. I have carefully placed quotation marks about the word conversations, because these weren't actual real conversations between people. I listened to 15 second long "dialogs" between "actors" on "television" and scanned through "10" random "channels". Here is what I listened to in a matter of a couple of minutes:
  • Hand-tossed in our signature buffalo sauce.
  • Math is for ugly people.
  • How does he govern his own garden?
  • We checked for the fat drippings.
  • Which sport produces the smelliest athlete?
  • If you can deal with the nerdiness of Star Trek, let me channel Spock.
  • Here is an orb of spewing vomit.
  • It's kind of like the miracle of birth, only hotter.
  • Now vibration changes everything.
  • You are blessed to be watching this program.
It's kind of amusing to think about the different contexts in which these words were uttered. Wonder what kind of trouble I can get into applying these time-worn principles and sayings without appreciating the associated context?