The Limited Portfolio: “Continues to demand the immediate release”


I watch way too much Al Jazeera English. I suppose this is because I like a constant stream of news. How else would I know about the coming clown shortage?? I don’t have a TV and AJE streams live 24/7 online. I can just let all the day’s bad news filter directly into my brain to create hybrid reality-fiction nightmares and wonder when I wake up what really happened and what my brain concocted from what I half-heard.

Watching as much as I do, I have been seeing the anchors repeat every half hour for the past 110 or so days that, “Al Jazeera continues to demand the immediate release…” of three of their journalists from Egyptian jail.

I understand their point and how seriously they are taking the matter, but after a while, the wording sounds like such an urgent plea for something that just isn’t going to happen. Can you really “demand” something that you are “continuing” to ask for after… ten, forty… one hundred days? And adding in “immediate” on top of that… it threatens to sound almost comical even though there is nothing funny about it. But that is how I dissect language. After a while, these words designed and put together to create a more powerful meaning can be taken apart and reflected back on themselves to show how naked they are. It is not that the speaker does not mean them every half hour of the day for almost a one-third of a year. And it is not that the speaker should not be repeating something – we can’t be allowed to forget the fates of these journalists who were just doing their jobs.

At last everything comes down to “continuing”.

Everything is on a continuum, and you have to continue to change, grow and evolve to become and be more. I suppose this is why I so seldom rest, why I keep taking on more and different work, studies, projects – I want to keep evolving. I have given this a lot of thought lately, surrounded as I have been by creative artist types. Those who took a corporate job to get some corporate work in their portfolios and managed to limit that experience to two or so years are doing great – they moved on when they got what they needed and moved forward. They continued – and expanded. Those who have continued on, doing the same designs day-in, day-out, have stagnated. And the longer that sameness goes on, the less chance there is to evolve. It is perfectly possible, as illustrated in repeating the same words verbatim day after day, to continue to do the exact same thing. Continuing can embody either path.

But the portfolio – figurative or literal – that continues in the same way forever – it cannot be expanded on.


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