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There’s always something to howl about

From Man Alive! – “The integrity of art.”

From: Man Alive! A survival manual for the human mind.

Extract from Chapter 8. The integrity of art.

When I talk about Mothertongue and Fathertongue, I know that many people are straining to divide them up in their minds, to separate them and to regard them somehow as being opposites. This is understandable – it’s the way our minds like to work, in distinct categories – but it is incorrect. A genetic Homo sapiens becomes a human being when he masters Fathertongue, but none of us ever stops communicating in Mothertongue.

For one thing, since Mothertongue consists of bodily expressions of internal emotional states, we are “communicating” in Mothertongue all the time – even when we are all alone. For another, Mothertongue is necessary to many types of human social concourse – when we want to communicate love or hate, affection or indifference, trust or suspicion, admiration or contempt, reverence or ridicule, pride or shame, satisfaction, boredom, fascination, derision, impatience, joy, anger and countless other emotions. For still another, Mothertongue is essential to demagoguery and other forms of deception: I can say one thing – or a noisome nothing – in words and simultaneously communicate a different idea in facial expressions, verbal intonations or bodily posturing. And for still one more thing, Mothertongue is the essence of art.

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