February 18th, 2010

melusine, cecaelia, octomom

What happened to communication, anyway?

It's sad, but over the years, I still can't help be amazed by how much the art of the verbal slam has dominated both culture and thought.

Admittedly, I do put other people down at times, and rant and rave, but if you've noticed, even in the pugnacious of polemics, I try to tie my sentences together to explain why I feel a certain way.  I recognize that I could be wrong, which is in part why I take the time to outline my position.  If my premises are wrong, then I invite people to show why they are wrong.

For some reason that comes across as "preachy" in a world where people want to simply be entertained or to entertain others.  So instead of thinking, people just put together slams.  An appeal to logic or even common sense falls on deaf ears, because no one wants to listen to plain speaking.  Instead, they listen to the person who can make the most inventive vulgar metaphor, or inventive wordplay of any kind.  Style has replace substance in entertainment, not just in the visual but in the actual words.

Part of me wants to blame Joss Whedon for this, as even though art of snark was around long before Buffy, that particular television show marked the the surge in popularity of dialogue where characters snap at each other rather than actually talked in a semblance of normal people.  However, the invasion of the arts of the comeback and the putdown seems to have surpassed the scope of a single program.   Now when I hear people talk, be it at work or another social circle, they actually do engage in these rapid-fire series of "witty" exchanges.  It's dialogue such as this that does not exist in my mind, so I could never capture it.  It's a mindset that I simply can't understand.

It is times like these that I worry I am perpetually doomed to fall on deaf ears, because I can't operate in a world of insults where no one seems to listen and try to treat the other person as an equal instead of an inferior being.  Creative invectives matter more than heartfelt proclamations, and as a result, I'm left out in the cold.