Phatic Balance

At the recommendation of friends, I watched Horace and Pete. It didn’t do for me what it seemed to do for them, and the best thing about it is, indisputably, Paul Simon’s theme song.


The other thing that really made an impression on me was this Garry Shandling quote at the end of one of the episodes:

The world is too noisy and distracted to probably ultimately survive. Everyone needs to [silence themselves]. The answers are in the silence. Monks set themselves on fire to protest and to make this point. Just consider it.


Oh, believe me, Mr. Shandling, I have. And I have a solution. It lies in Phatic language. Phatic language* is the kind of verbal communication that exists solely to maintain polite social engagement. (Hello, what’s up, etc.) Crucially, it does so minimally. I hereby propose we rename Saturday “Phaturday” and observe it accordingly.
I am also open to Phat Tuesday.


*Online perusal indicates it is often conflated with small talk. This strikes me as very incorrect. Phatic language, unlike small talk, would never make me contemplate immolation.