The heights, the place, the nexus, the shoppes; the definitive, that funny guy, that hair chick, the pavilions...
(One of many "places")
Modern corporate marketing has graced us with the idea that the most banal of nouns--and then, progressively, even pronouns--become witty, intelligently ironic tools of common-sensical insight, when they're used in place of proper names. Like adolescents who think we've invented sex and despondency, we satirize the idea of language, of meaning, and of the concepts of human understanding and communication themselves, by trumpeting our pithy cleverness as if it were an abbreviated stairway to heaven.
Everyone knows that, when you're trying to find the restaurant, it may be referred to as, "That one Italian place," or, "The deli with the hanging green things," rather than by the more specific name with which its proud owner christened it. Presumably, sometime after the advent of spoken language, when the concept of the pronoun had been developed to aid in mutual understanding, there existed a clever human being who figured out that it was a sort of double entendre to turn the pronouns themselves (or other less-specific nouns) into proper nouns, good for a half second's worth of mild chuckling. What a novel comic, that person! In a small way, of course: the very concept of the pronoun, and of language itself--a tautological insiders-only system of associating concepts with representative sights and sounds--presupposes the double entendre, and makes it not all that seriously funny. Indeed, good for a laugh or two, but by God, don't base half your routine on it.
The spread of destruction of proper names continues unabated across all aspects of western culture, it seems. Who were the first culprits? The patriarchal cheaters, probably--how many more children do we need to be named "after" long-ago saints and prophets, anyway? The audiovisual pangs of the Muslim world, where forms of Muhammad and Abdul proliferate to painful extremes, are no less creative than the Christian, where everyone who wrote a Gospel is repeated millions of times over. The new universalists and atheists, even more funnily, follow similar, though newer trends, christening their supposedly sexually-liberated daughters after the hard-right slaveholding Founding Fathers and their ilk, such that Ashley and Darcy, Madison and Lindsay, Sandy and Beverly, have transsexualized themselves, becoming nearly as popular for naming young glass-breakers-in-training as rotted prophets and toilet/phallus slang remain among the rape culture set. If names are only something that we select out of a grab bag for pinning to each new infant, why not treat pronouns the same way, and eventually, do away with proper nouns entirely?
Lack of imagination on the part of media-plyed parents is understandable--as is the intense fear of social consequences for failure to audiovisually conform. To the marketers, though, these concepts are not their fears, but their tools. In naming their venues and their products after raw, untreated nouns, they intensify the destruction of the fungibility of language. As we've noted here before, once all movies are satire, it will no longer be possible to satirize. Once all movies are sequel, it will no longer be possible to franchise. The diminishing returns of spinoff can be retained among a dumber and dumber audience, until at some point, even the bums stop coming for the watered-down ale, and we're forced to confront a reality so diluted that it no longer exists except as spirals of ugly color.
If "watered-down ale" is permitted to mean "ale," then it is a short step to the point where "ale" and "water" mean the same thing--the distinction will have been lost, and with it, the ability to differentiate between ale and water...which then means that neither ale nor water are respected for their own characteristics. They become, instead, identifiable only as "drink," along with juice and soda, and eventually, just "liquid," along with gasoline and urine. The finer points of discrimination among their various component parts--down to such improper levels as their molecular structure, for example--are lost, along with the thousands of years of communication, understanding, and empathy made possible through the development of a complex language that has words diverse enough to identify them as different things. OJ, pear juice, margarita, pinot noir, water, seawater, fresh water, fetid water, drinking water, recirculated water...all very important distinctions; all valuable triumphs of identification and human sharing, to be able to tell one another what these things are without hooting, chest-thumping, or drawing a picture of an ocean wave and pointing emphatically at it, just to indicate where the stuff in the cup came from.
Ergo the barkeep who tries to destroy hyphenation by insisting that his watered-down ale really is just "ale" isn't just making a buck; he's also destroying the nature of "water" and "ale." Wherever his self-interested ideas spread, he makes it more difficult, or impossible, for other people to meaningfully discuss what it means to drink water, or to drink ale. Or (need it be said), once war means the same thing as peace, or freedom slavery, future proles will find it impossible to conceive of what those terms actually mean. Destroying those "buoy markers" of definition makes it confusing, then inconceivable, to describe a state of violent conflict between nations, or one of an absence of such conflict, because the lack of distinction between war and peace means that either state is simply "the way things are." The dangers or virtues of the respective terms are lost when the terms cease to actually mean anything specific--a sort of paradise for tyrants and corporate marketing departments, where relativity permits capital, and the bandwagons it buys, to define the terms, and results, of any debate.
By the same token, once all proper nouns are generalized nouns and verbs, and then merely pronouns (or, shudder, adverbs), not only will the proper nouns lose their meaning, but the pronouns themselves, too. Generalized placeholder nouns, and pronouns, only derive their meaning from the tautological nature of language, relying on the shared understanding (the unwritable, unprovable understanding) that more specific proper nouns are out there somewhere, existing, and that there is in fact a way to differentiate one restaurant from another based on such vulgar characteristics as its physical properties and spatial location. Pronouns--and verbs, and other descriptive tools--are useful, wonderful things, utterly dependent upon, and made possibly only because of, the actual qualities of the things or concepts to which they refer. Over time, as "Luigi's on Fourth" evolves into "Pizza on Fourth," and then to "Eat on Fourth," and then to "Eat" (which happens to be on Fourth), it will be at first quirky and hip for customers, and then rather bland, for every other "Eat" on Fourth will have an equally vapid "description."
Some people want to not "be a number," while others view it as cute and comforting. What will happen when no one is alive any longer who remembers when Luigi's on Fourth used to be named after Luigi? When it's just another "Eat," one of millions; just another of millions of children being named after toilets?
Our habit of replacing proper nouns with pronouns is darkly echoed in our sex. For thousands of years, we've enjoyed butches, eunuchs, catamites, fembois, courtesans, sapphos, and newhalfs: why, now, do all these concepts have to be murdered, so that everyone can be forced to be either a "John" or a "Mary"? Whenceforth comes the power and appeal of this troglodytic retro-liberalism that seeks to crush and conservatize such intermediate concepts of sex, identity, and communication itself? The bridges of empathy, like those of understanding, are fired to ash when we destroy identity variations by pigeonholing them into a classificatory subset. It is, in fact, by having the two reproductive sexes as anchors that any given person is able to have a meeting of the mind with another. Even if you think it's unfair to use chromosomes as marker buoys, you must come to understand that some kind of marker buoy is needed, else there will be no understood meaning that can allow anyone to define itself.
When pronouns become proper nouns (or, where appropriate, any other non-specific term degrades in specificity), proper nouns are diluted into uselessness, and pronouns lose all meaning, no longer having anything to which to refer. A hundred thousand restaurants and apartment developments known as "the place" sound hip right now, but like the brilliant satire of a film you've never heard of--a film set in a culture about which you know nothing, created by a species you've never seen--you will miss all the jokes, and come away muddled and unfulfilled. Something has to mean something in order for anything to mean something--an obvious tautology, like language and existence.
It is no surprise that Terra's greatest original strike against any form of "alternative" sexuality--the Torah and the Abramic trend, which, for centuries, shamed and mutilated and raped and murdered sexual "deviants"--is now one of the primary, if not the primary, driving force behind the idea that "trans" sexuals should cease being themselves, and instead subsume their identity inside the anchor concepts that created those, and everyone else's, identities. The skeins of our human selves, thusly seasoned, will burn all the more fiercely when the grindery begins turning the other way, as it inevitably will when Jenome cyclically reverses course. And then, how ironic will seem that rainbow, for a rainbow is only a rainbow when it is possible to discriminate between the colors in that rainbow. When it becomes offensive to distinguish between amaranth and vermilion, raspberry and scarlet, maroon and crimson, all those variations will vanish from our languages, and then from most of our minds.
Among the many great ironies of rainbowing flyovers into submission--like conquering Visigoths under the banner of the cross--is that it represents not only the destruction and betrayal of the flyovers, but of the rainbow itself.
Changing the world into grayscale will do far, far greater harm to those who do not wish to be defined chromosomentrically, than to those who do. That is exactly the plan, of course. Did you really think that they spent thousands of years making money by shaming and murdering fags in order that they could suddenly become pure-hearted and exalt them for the rest of time? Sure, the screws will get turned on the "normal" people for a little while, but as they say, a dick for a dick leaves the world impotent. They will come for you again, and those few generations of being designated as non-oppressed will not make the inverse any more pleasant to bear. These are people who like to throw stones; who have built millennia of a genetic and cultural legacy around the throwing of stones.
Oh, pity on you, foolish Terrans! Have you not yet figured out how this cruel game is played? Do not fight nonsensical wrongs with nonsensical wrongs, no matter how good the feeling of triumph at each peak or nadir!