“At the moment, I’m homeless.” “I thought you were waiting for someone.” “I’m just trying to pass the time. I live in a shelter.” "How did you become homeless?” “I had a place, but I smoke, and I wasn’t supposed to.” “What’s your typical day like?” “I wake up because the lights come on in the shelter. You’ve got an hour to wash your body and do everything, and you have to do it on a schedule. Then, if you’re hungry … well, you don’t really want to eat the food there. It sucks. Anyway, you eat. They offer you oatmeal or eggs or cream of wheat.” “When do you have to be out?” “In the shelter I am, you have to be out of the building by 9 o’clock. Then you have to be in before 6 o’clock. You can go back during the day. But it makes me feel so, so unmanly because I have to answer to someone all the time. Sometimes I stay in the shelter in the daytime. I have a couple of my art pieces there. I hang out there half the day. Then I go to the library and read. Time passes quickly.” “Can you afford to buy your own food?” “Yes. I have money to eat elsewhere. And I choose not to eat at the shelter because I don’t want to take the food from a homeless person who needs it more.” “Do you have friends or family?“ "I have two children.” “Do you see them?” “Not too often. I love them. They love me. I’m divorced.” “You said you had some art pieces.” “I’m an artist. I paint. I studied art history.” “What do you paint?” “Mostly portraits. I like people’s eyes.” “Have you exhibited somewhere?” “I used to exhibit on Newbury Street and elsewhere.” “When was that?” “About 20 years ago.” “And then what happened?” “Well, I also drink. I spent a lot of money on going out and partying.” “Do you hope to get back into the art world?” “That’s my dream. You know, you made my day. Why did you pick me? I feel so proud. I will always remember this date. I’m a homeless, highly educated black man who drinks. I’m homeless because I smoke. I never hurt anyone, never stole, never lied, never cheated. I’m so happy you talked to me. It awoke in me an aspect of humanity I had long forgotten. I feel so honored. Why me?”
However it originated, though, the usage of “because-noun” (and of “because-adjective” and “because-gerund”) is one of those distinctly of-the-Internet, by-the-Internet movements of language. It conveys focus (linguist Gretchen McCulloch: “It means something like ‘I’m so busy being totally absorbed by X that I don’t need to explain further, and you should know about this because it’s a completely valid incredibly important thing to be doing’”). It conveys brevity (Carey: “It has a snappy, jocular feel, with a syntactic jolt that allows long explanations to be forgone” “It has a snappy, jocular feel, with a syntactic jolt that allows long explanations to be forgone”).
But it also conveys a certain universality. When I say, for example, “The talks broke down because politics,” I’m not just describing a circumstance. I’m also describing a category. I’m making grand and yet ironized claims, announcing a situation and commenting on that situation at the same time. I’m offering an explanation and rolling my eyes — and I’m able to do it with one little word. Because variety. Because Internet. Because language.
I’ve never made ice cream before, so I did you guys a favor and found this recipe elsewhere. This ice cream mixes the salty taste of sea salt with the sweet tastes of cream and sugar. Apparently, Kingdom Hearts II director Tetsuya Nomura had this ice cream on a trip to the Tokyo Disneyland Resort and liked it so much he decided to work with Disney to put it in the games. The characters of Kingdom Hearts II can often be seen eating and talking about this delicious salty-sweet dessert. Enjoy it with your best buddy at twilight.
2 c. milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 c. heavy whipping cream
sea salt to taste
blue food coloring (optional)
ice pop molds (optional)
Directions: Separate the eggs into two good sized bowls and beat the egg whites until stiff. Mix the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Slowly bring milk to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour hot milk into yolk/sugar mixture and mix well. Pour milk/yolk/sugar mixture back into pot and heat on medium until thicker to make a custard. Do not boil. Pour custard in with beaten egg whites and mix well. Add sea salt (keeping adding salt until it tastes salty sweet). Put mixture in fridge to cool. Once cool, add cream, vanilla and coloring to mixture. Freeze, following your ice cream maker’s instructions. If you wish, get some ice pop molds. Spray the inside of these with very little PAM spray (or something similar). Then pour the ice cream into the molds right after it comes out of the ice cream maker. Pop the lid on and the stick in and freeze for at least two hours.