Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah…So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not [NIV says he was no more], for God took him.
Genesis 5:21, 23-24
In an auspicious start to my day, I spilled yogurt on my PJ pants. In an auspicious middle of the day, I prepared and ate an egg salad sandwich made with an old hardboiled egg, a week-long-opened package of smoked salmon, parsley, and oregano.
The rhetoric of this image, and its words, really captured my attention on the walk back from checking my long-empty mailbox. I had waved at the spiders therein, then noticed outside the building an envelope with various names and numbers written upon it. And in the upper right-hand corner, this phrase: THE COPY MACHINE CAN’T BE TRUSTED. What does this mean? The complexities offer both mundane surprising conclusions: that the copy machine in some WPI department is wonky and should be avoided. That a copy machine in general distorts the original. That a copy machine’s function changes the meaning of the original and the duplicate. That private information can be compromised by anybody with access to a copy machine. That copying information distorts it – perhaps even turns it into lies. What did the writer mean when he or she penned this? Its form is neat, careful block letters; it was not penned in haste. The writing is blue ballpoint, not any formal type of pen, and looks less student and more professor-style. The writer gave some thought to this, perhaps, but thought of it in an informal situation where paper was scarce. This could explain the location of the words on the envelope rather than typed on a piece of paper or lined notebook paper. What does this all mean? That some professor meant to give his secretary a note that, when copying the envelope’s contents, to use a non-departmental copier? That somebody thought copiers a danger to society? That I have taken Rhetorical Theory too much to heart and should just finish my day with an auspiciously klutzy nighttime activity?
– KF –