The Hydrozoa are a class of marine lifeforms which include the medusae, or jellyfish. These forms share a similar structure in that they have a mouth but no brain. They can be found most plentifully in warm seas and on social media.
And in a remarkable reversal of Darwinian selection, it has been observed that certain mammals possessed of both the capacity for thought and the modulation of passions have chosen to revert to the Hydrozoic stage where they can no longer do either. This has produced a lower form of life taxonomically grouped as Tweetozoa.
According to the late Dr. Hans Finklemeyer of the University of Palaver, these creatures are identified by their ieiunium digitos—“fast fingers”—that mix actual words with bastardizations, such as ur and lolz. “If we do not reverse course soon,” wrote Dr. Finklemeyer in the August, 2015 edition of The Journal of Witless Organisms, “we will all be reduced to grunting and gestures, which will make the viewing of old TV shows indecipherable, with the possible exception of Married, With Children.”
On his deathbed, surrounded by his students and one DoorDash guy with Buffalo wings, Dr. Finklemeyer suddenly sat up and shouted, “Think, damn you! Think!” and promptly died.
His students tried to figure out what he meant, but eventually gave up and ate the Buffalo Wings.
In the spirit of this great man of science, let me offer you what I will call the Finklemeyer Propositions.
1. Do not open your mouth before your brain wakes up.
2. If your brain has been asleep for more than a week, begin to retrain it. In that regard:
– Figure out what principles are worthy of your belief. Do not follow Groucho Marx’s philosophy: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others.”
– For the sake of future generations, learn at least the fundamental rules of grammar, the first of which is that words have objective meanings. This is contra Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
3. Say unto others only as you would have others say unto you.
4. Resist the tides of popular opinion. Learn to how to swim for yourself.
5. Do not give your children smart phones before the age of fifteen…or in some cases, thirty. Give them good books instead.
And if you are a writer, let your books do the talking. Do not attempt to argue with the Tweetozoa. They have lost auditory capacity. Like the jellyfish, they can only sting. You may then be tempted to sting back until you realize, too late, that you are a Tweetozoan yourself.
So do you agree with the estimable Dr. Finklemeyer? Are you applying any of his propositions? Any others you’d like to add?