.My Search for Meaning—I Mean Meta

This is our “meta” issue … and I don’t know what “meta” means. Which is OK with me, by the way. I don’t want to know what meta means; I pride myself on not knowing what it means. Only the lure of filthy lucre is enough to entice me into losing my integrity by finding out what it means. My time here on Earth has been, in many ways, graced by supernatural guidance and influence for all my blessed 53 years in spite of not knowing what meta means.

What I do know is that Facebook recently changed its name to Meta … but not really. Because it’s still called Facebook. Is that, in and of itself, meta?

Please don’t answer that question for me. It’s not a real question. I was thinking out loud. I’m getting paid to write this. I only wrote it to reach my word count.

Sidenote: Ignorance is bliss. And I love bliss.

What I thought meta meant was, like, “global.” Or, “big picture.” Like, “the whole thing.” But that doesn’t sound right. That sounds more like the definition for the word universal.

My boss, who I call Hoss, told me that meta means “self-conscious.” If that is what meta means, then I am inherently the most meta thing ever descended from the finned creatures that once sprouted legs and crawled forth from the watery blue depths to walk God’s alarmingly green Earth. Because I’m so self-conscious that I get wobbly walking the crosswalk in front of cars knowing that the drivers are all watching me and maybe even goggling my sagging old-man ass much to their condescending amusement. Which is a horror, quite honestly. On all levels. I wouldn’t recommend any of it to anyone.

But I get the feeling that meta doesn’t inherently suck as a concept, so I’m probably wrong.

My colleague is writing an article about writing an article, and that, I am told, is meta. And that is such an awesome concept that I wish I’d thought of it first, and I can’t wait to read his article.

But I’m still not exactly sure what meta means. And, am I stealing his idea by writing an article about not knowing what meta means? Kinda sorta, but not exactly—which makes it seem like it’s OK if I do. Because his article is sure to contain actual information, while mine does not. And that is a significant difference.

Well, I’d better get started on my research to find out what meta means. Hoss ordered me to. Don’t anyone hold their breath. Carry on as usual; my people will contact your people when realization occurs.

Mark Fernquest lives and works somewhere north of Facebook HQ. He is SOOOO meta.


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