Daily Thoughts

New Worlds

I realized something, as I slapped this site together and moved in to write the dreaded first post (there’s little else in life that is more the perfect combination of heaven and hell than a blank page): most people out there in the world have not experienced ‘slapping a website together’. And therefor most people have not experienced placeholder text. There’s lorem ipsum, which is some funky weird pseudo latin. But every now and then you come across a rando placeholder text that a theme builder has used. Let me give you a sampling of the one I’m experiencing here:

“A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then…”

After a little google search, I learned that this is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther. Some coder nerd went to the trouble of using the entire crazy text as their placeholder text for their theme. Now, even though I’m a fairly well read recovering English major, I have actually been completely unaware of this text’s existence and so I had no idea. My running theory was a deep trip off a particularly tasty mushroom, or a dip in a vat of unicorn acid. Which may hold true for Young Werther, but at least seemingly not for the nerdy theme builder. 

Honestly, if I were still in the website building business, I would totally take up this practice. My world is expanded. Can you imagine the possibilities? Placeholder text from, say, Good Will Hunting? Every paragraph ends with “Your move, Chief.” Or one of the many monologues from Dead Poet’s Society? Now that I think about it, I feel that the perfect placeholder set should be monologues by Robin Williams.

New world, everyone. New world.

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