Monday, October 20, 2008
Graphite vs Ink
If you were Graphite would you ever get upset? People are always taking you for granted, using you then erasing you, using you again. When you finally produce something worthwhile, then what happens? Ink comes along and traces over you to make it “stand out” more. Or worse yet, you’re thrown away and Ink takes all the credit by making a whole new document based on your original idea. Most people don’t realize that Ink takes all the glory but you do all the work or as Henry Petroski says, “Ink is the cosmetic ideas wear in public. Graphite is truth.”
Sure the pen (filled with Ink) is mightier than the sword but where would it be without you? I’ll tell you where… flagrantly filling in textured nooks and crannies, one arrogant false start blotted out by another. Remember when they tried to make Ink erasable? Who had that stupid idea? Erasing ink was like trying to get a 40-year-old-man to move out of his parent’s house … awkward and more than a little embarrassing. I’ve seen evictions by the Sheriff go cleaner than trying to erase Ink. Don’t call on Ink to Graphite’s job.
Ink parades itself as a medium of communication. But there’s no give and take, no flexibility, there’s no reasoning with Ink. It’s not communication. It’s a monologue. The truth is Graphite’s dialogue takes more character. Anyone can have the last word. All you have to do is yell loud enough and then slam the door.
So, if you were graphite you might get upset at times. Many people want to extol the virtues of Ink while quickly forgetting your own. Just remember that Ink has its place but Graphite has its places…
And there are very few things in life that need to be stained indelibly in black.