Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh, I thought you were talking to me.


Since it has been a rainy day and kinda of cool and I’ve already seen the news and played the guitar and had my dinner and bath, I thought I’d sit down and write about one of my favorite subjects: communication.

I probably like this subject since I spent much of my time in advertising that is a type of communication. Imagine a room full of people who are all talking and there is one guy over in the corner yelling. That is advertising.

Advertising is sort of the rock star of communication. It has to be flashy and trashy and in your face to get our attention for the purpose of advertising is to sell you something you didn’t know you wanted or needed.

But enough of that, this started when I got my electrical power back to enjoy the creature comfort of watching the news and there was this report about the progress of returning the rest of the world to the state of light. A representative or spokesman or whatever they call the guys who read the script was Skyped to the news station to answer the obvious. He was pleasant looking and well mannered in a calm setting with a frustrating objective.

He smiled and answered the reporter’s questions in what I call “govspeak” which means he didn’t tell the viewer anything new or important, but gave the impression he was communicating with the public.
When asked how the work was proceeding, he responded the crews working “diligently” to restore power in overwhelming circumstances.

Then he reflected questions showing the companies feelings by expressing he understood the “challenges” their customers were going through, with great pathos.

Continuing with his infomercial he noted the on-going information of where the crews were working was to be the “transparency” required by the public.

At the end of the presentation I only wondered what had he really said?

He had used all the buzzwords and the politically correct procedure to present a positive public relations piece to the blurry-eyed public, but nothing was said.

In this day of microwave mentality, we send electronic messages and comment at the blink of an eye with little to no meaning. It is a kneejerk reaction to another’s statement.

Back in the day of letters, each word scratched out on paper had to take the trip from the mind to hand with a thought of proper sentence structure and the overall meaning of each phrase. Some letters were written several times to get what was hoped the reader would comprehend.

And face-to-face communication may be totally lost. It used to be called conversation, but today I find it lacking.

Few comment to each other in passing and if so they make bland statements like, “How are you doing?” (Which we all know they don’t really want to know) or if you say “Thank You” to someone his or her response is “No Problem.” (Don’t get me started on that one).

Then talking, actual conversation with another humanoid takes many paths I never expected or realized before. Some start at one point and then turn into disgusting complaints. Some start on personal introspective revelations only to turn in to bombastic egotistic self-pity. Some start on the usual format of family, health, wealth, and food before quickly declining into an abyss of lack of interest.
When there is no interest between the compatriots, there is little else to say.

There was a time when people gathered, without distinction of race, religion, or ideology to discuss the topics of the day. Each was respected for their point of view to present to the group broadening the thought process. Even if the communication became heated at the end, everyone gained.

The self-absorption of today allows us to immediately converse to others our pains and complaints and problems without a thought of the listener. If the other person talks of their plans, we are all too quick to give our opinion and directions without any basis of knowledge.

If we continue the path of electronic communication, will we loose our voice? Why speak to one another if we can just text them. LOL.

And if we lose our voices, how will we ever again sing?

So I speak out loud every day.

“Hello Bluejay.” “Hello Petie. Do you want a peanut?” “Hello crows.” “Hello Bun-Bun.” I say out loud to ears that stop and try to respond but do not understand the language.

If anyone else hears me, I’m sure they will be calling the men with the white jackets that tie in the back, but these are the only ones I have a meaningful conversation with.


Art said...

give me a peanut and I'll talk to you. Maybe.

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