Context

The title of yesterday’s post was ripped right from the news of the day. Out of context the words could seem confusing. But a search on the Web for the phrase “goddamned steam” would quickly tell the reader what I was talking about.

Since some readers seemed nonplussed by my unexplained use of that phrase, I find myself wondering whether my post violated some implicit contract between writer and reader. Of course we all know that anyone reading this blog can simply find the context through Google (or Bing or DuckDuckGo, to be non-denominational about it). But should they be required to?

Thinking back on it now, I think my decision to leave the topic unexplained was a kind of invitation. There were no words I could have used to convey my feeling of sheer horror and embarrassment, my sense of a world gone completely mad, when I first encountered this phrase in its original context — and realized that it was not, in fact, some sort of parody. I guess I wanted my reader to better understand that context by inviting her to see it for herself.

It’s possible that we will look back on this insane time in our nation’s history and single out the day the phrase “goddamned steam” was first uttered in public. That might turn out to be the moment when it became undeniable that we are dealing with a blend of insanity and stupidity far more toxic than anything we could have imagined.

6 Responses to “Context”

  1. Al says:

    My mistake was googling “steam” and missing the first part. Didn’t help I was on my phone so was disenclined to spend a while searching.

    My loss I suppose.

  2. admin says:

    The way things are shaping up, I think this is turning out to be the entire world’s loss. Especially after war is declared against somebody (anybody) just to score political points at home. :-(

  3. Jason Smith says:

    I too did a search before commenting yesterday. I searched for steam. And even searched news results for steam. No relevant results appeared on the first page.
    I’m not American, so I pay as little attention as is reasonably possible to American political happenings.
    My best guess was the development platform Steam had released something in VR that affected the author’s line of work.
    I suppose the ‘news of the day’ is quite different for folks like myself who aren’t from the USA.

  4. admin says:

    I hear you. I should have put double quotes around the entire phrase. My fault.

    By the way, Steam (with a capital S) is completely awesome. I am a fan.

    I too would dearly love to pay as little attention as possible to American political happenings.

    Unfortunately, as the insane ravings of the insecure child who is currently our head of state gradually loses him popularity, he will have only one maneuver left: To start a completely gratuitous and bloody military war.

    That tragedy is also going to effect people in Canada, and a lot of other parts of the world as well.

    So unfortunately, it turns out to be your news of the day as well. I am truly sorry about that.

  5. Sharon Perl says:

    Thanks for explaining. I did the same as your other commenters and was confused about what you might mean. The “Goddamned steam” article wasn’t showing up on my usual online news sources either. It’s hard to know how to divide up my outrage. There’s something new every other day. Probably that’s part of his strategy (if there is one). Or perhaps, as Stephen Colbert suggested in a recent monologue, 45 isn’t a wizard engaged in a game of 3d chess, he’s playing Hungry Hungry Hippos.

  6. Ben Kanegson says:

    Trump says to his shrink:

    “Trump: You know the catapult is quite important. So I said what is this? Sir, this is our digital catapult system. He said well, we’re going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology]. I said you don’t use steam anymore for catapult? No sir. I said, “Ah, how is it working?” “Sir, not good. Not good. Doesn’t have the power. You know the steam is just brutal. You see that sucker going and steam’s going all over the place, there’s planes thrown in the air.”

    It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said–and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said what system are you going to be–”Sir, we’re staying with digital.” I said no you’re not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”

    Therapist: “Get some rest, take two Trudeaus and call me in the morning…”

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