Swifty's Guide To Convincing Nonsense (by Swifty Flame-Anderson)
As a fully confessed Nonsense-monger, I have the advantage of being able to write whatever the heck I like without having to worry about whether any of it is 'true' or not. Over the years I have honed my Nonsense-mongery into a fine art and today I have decided to break ranks, like Penn and Teller revealing all the Magic Circle secrets, and share with you a brief guide to writing convincing nonsense.
You may use this guide however you wish. You may wish to gather a gaggle of wide-eyed gullible nonsense chasers who will regularly tell you how amazing you are and perhaps regularly hand over a percentage of their income to hear more and more convincing nonsense. You may wish to play the Nonsense Monger Game at Christmas or another festival of nonsense with friends and family. Or you may wish to go around heckling other Nonsense-mongers, as you will at the end of this article have the ability to see right through their convincing baloney attempts. Or why not try all three! But a word of warning: if you get good at it, you may start believing your own nonsense.
So here goes! Hold onto your daft hats folks. It may be a bumpy ride.
Tip 1: Assert, Assert, Assert
It doesn't really matter what you assert. Just assert something. It doesn't even really have to mean anything or make sense. No pussy-footing around. Say it boldly without the slightest hesitation. As the once thoroughly popular German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels once said: 'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.'
Assertion usually involves the verb to be in one form or another. Just go ahead and assert that something is. Leave no room for doubt. None of your namby pamby maybes or perhapses. If anyone tries to point out that your assertion may have just been made up, then it can often help to make them look a bit foolish by subtly implying that they do not understand yet, but will do at some magical point in the future. Below is an example of the Grand Art of Nonsense Assertion.
Shiny Guru: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth
Doubting Thomas: Hang on a minute, SG, isn't that bullshit? What does it even mean?
Shiny Guru: In time you will see what it means.
Doubting Thomas: Why don't you just say what it means now?
Shiny Guru: The Truth is plain to see for those who have eyes to see it.
Doubting Thomas: You've done it again! That is just a big nonsense cop-out.
Shiny Guru: Those here who are ready can see the Truth, can FEEL the meaning.
Doubting Thomas: Feel the meaning? Are you serious? Feel it!?
Shiny Guru: See how your doubt disturbs. See the peace in the faces of those who BELIEVE.
Doubting Thomas: I do see what might be described as some hypnotised subjects.
Shiny Guru: When you are ready, Truth will overcome your doubt.
Doubting Thomas: How about overcoming it by explaining what you mean properly?
Shiny Guru: Those who have ears to hear will hear.
Tip 2: The Magic of Uppercase
If you are writing rather than just speaking your nonsense, you have the added advantage of being able to use The Magic of Uppercase. This can be used quite liberally to make otherwise ordinary sounding words rather impressive and seemingly important. You can see Shiny Guru using this nonsense technique in the passage above.
It is really simple. Just start using uppercase half way through sentences and see what happens! A classic example of this in Eastern Nonsense Traditions is the taking of the word 'self' and upper-casing the first letter to make the much more impressive sounding Self. Seems like a little change, right? Still the same word, and yet whole libraries of extra-ordinary nonsense have been written on the back of that one little change. Some other great examples include: Truth, Love, Being, THIS, Life, Oneness, Awareness, Consciousness, Bliss, Happiness, The Universe, what IS, The Now.....see if you can spot any more on your travels through the Wordiverse!
Maybe it all started with the good old Hebrews when one of them who was perhaps rubbish at Hebrew grammar stumbled upon the Magic of Uppercase. A simple mistake, no doubt. He accidentally put a capital G on the beginning of the word god in the middle of a sentence and suddenly found an entire nation reading and passing on his babbling nonsense. He was quick to 'capitalise' on this, and immediately started upper-casing the beginning of the words Him and His as well. Since then, the word God has become a little out of fashion, particularly in Western culture, but fear not. You can use the Magic of Uppercase with another word of your choosing. Let's make that Choosing. There. You see! Sounds much more important already.
Tip 3: Buzz Buzz Buzz Words
If The Magic of Uppercase is not working in the desired manner with regular words, you may need to start using some new buzz-words. Simply find a groovy mysterious-sounding word and start using it regularly in a context for which it was never intended. One of the great recent examples of this is the word Vortex.
A quick glance at the dictionary reveals the following definition for the word vortex:-
A whirling mass of air or water, especially one in which a force of suction operates, such as a whirlpool.
Just an ordinary word there describing a fairly infrequent natural phenomenon. But wait! First - let us try the Magic of Uppercase! Vortex. Oooh, yes. That sounds much more juicy now! Now let us start using it in a context that has nothing at all to do with vortices. This is what the spectacular nonsense factory Abraham-Hicks has done with this little word, and the more astute readers may notice the tongue-in-cheek irony which accompanies it being used to SUCK IN millions of eager readers and listeners to their Remarkable Bullshit Whirlpool.
Some other great examples include the recently popular Manifestation, the movie-inspired Matrix, The Beach Boys' favourite Vibration and the more tried and tested nonsense buzz-words mentioned above such as Consciousness and Awareness.
Tip 4: The Magic of Unfinished Sentences
Nothing bamboozles an eager-to-be-bamboozled mind like a good old bout of leaving bits out of sentences. A regular old sentence generally follows a pattern like SUBJECT-VERB-OBJECT. An example might be 'The dog chases the cat'. Here the subject is 'the dog', the verb is 'chases' and the object is 'the cat'.
But look what happens if we start mucking about and leave out part of the sentence. 'The dog chases.' Oooh! Sounding more mysterious already! Let's throw in a bit of uppercase! 'The dog CHASES.' Ooooh, how mysterious, what does he mean, The dog CHASES? He must know something we don't know. Let us listen some more!
Below we welcome back Shiny Guru with another example of the Magic of Unfinished Sentences.
Shiny Guru: To find your True Self, look within.
Doubting Thomas: Look within what? I have tried looking within the biscuit tin, within the airing cupboard and within Old Stuart's Compendium of Unusual Chickens. No luck so far, although some of those chickens are really funny and I found a nice warm fluffy towel.
Shiny Guru: You misunderstand. All of those locations are without. You must look within.
Doubting Thomas: Within what?
Shiny Guru: Within yourself.
Doubting Thomas: So to find my self I must look within my self? Isn't that a bit of a Catch 22 SG? Sure you aren't talking bollocks again?
Shiny Guru: Look within. Then you will KNOW.
Doubting Thomas: Will know what?
Shiny Guru: Know your True Self. All will be found within. Then you can simply Be.
Doubting Thomas: Simply be what?
Shiny Guru: Just Be.
Doubting Thomas: Not trying to just BE awkward here, SG, but the verb to be is entirely redundant without some kind of definition following it. You might as well say, 'Ooh ooh ooh ah ah ah' like a chimpanzee.
Shiny Guru: Look within. Just Be. Then you will KNOW. All is inside. Love is.
Doubting Thomas: Cheetah from Tarzan was really cool. Last Saturday I went to the. Hey, I think I'm getting the hang of THIS!
Tip 5: Invert Those Commas!
If you are still not feeling mysterious enough after letting loose with some well-crafted unfinished sentences, why not try putting some of your words in inverted commas. Folks tend to have a well-established understanding of most of the commonly used words in their native language, but why not throw them into a state of confusion by implying that perhaps their current understanding is in some way lacking.
Let us re-visit our jolly canine and feline friends the dog and the cat and muck about with the simple sentence 'The dog chases the cat.' Pretty straight-forward, right? Not much room for mis-understanding there. Now let's chuck in some upsdide down commas.
The dog 'chases' the cat.
Ha ha! Instant ambiguity! What does he mean by 'chases'? He cannot be using the word in the conventional sense, or he would not have used the inverted commas. He must know some top secret use for the word 'chases'. Ooooh, he is so mysterious and groovy. If only we knew all his secrets, we too could get a group of strangely dressed folks to sit on the floor near our feet.
Well, that's all for now merry reader, both the dog and the cat are Now well and Truly out of 'the bag'. Have fun on your travels through the Wordiverse, and remember not to be too harsh on the Nonsense-mongers who have begun to believe their own nonsense. Some of them can be very sensitive about it and may well 'throw a tantrum'.
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