Friday, November 30, 2007

Everyone needs to stop talking

I've spent the last few months watching political "experts" predicting the future, and trying to explain to us, the simple-minded masses, the meaning of every move a candidate makes. They repeat the same phrases, such as "It remains to be seen whether Ron Paul can translate [fill in the blank] into votes at the polls." Common phrases that have been inserted into that sentence are "popularity on the internet" and "$4.3 million dollars raised in one day." They seem to enjoy taking every opportunity to insist that Ron Paul, while kooky and fun in his Constitution-loving ways, has no chance of winning. And they know this how? What secret information do they have access to that the rest of us are too stupid to grasp? Call me an optimist, but I think he can win. At the very least, there is no way these political fortune tellers can possibly know that he can't win.

I spent a few days with family over Thanksgiving. That always means watching CNBC, which is a financial news channel, with my Dad. He can watch that stuff all day long. I realized that it's really no different from the political news. All these people talk and talk and talk all day about where the dollar is going, what are the shoppers doing this year, what's really happening with our economy. "More consumers went shopping today but they spent less on average." They talked about that all damn day. There's one "expert" who yells a lot about which stocks are going up, and a group of "experts" who talk about the economy while interjecting lame jokes. This goes on day after day for 24 hours straight.

Maybe the days of the newspaper were better - before TV, before the internet. Sure, there wasn't as much information available, but at least when we were done reading the morning paper, we were done for the day. Nothing left to do but live life.

The real kicker for me came yesterday, when I took my cat, Simon, to the vet. He was peeing blood again after having been supposedly cured of a urinary tract infection less than two weeks ago. The vet took an x-ray and tested his urine. She showed me the x-ray while she talked and talked and talked. So many words flew out of her mouth that I had to sum up the results to make sure I was understanding her. "So, you're saying there's nothing wrong with him?" Wow, us common folk really do understand things. That was indeed what she was saying. But, maybe to justify the $300 I was about to pay her for her services, she suggested I buy him special food. "Isn't that food designed to change his pH? And didn't you say his pH is normal?" All that talking, for so little information.

We should have a national day of silence. Everyone, including me (maybe especially me), needs to shut up. No, seriously, just stop. 250 million egos are rattling on at once. It's no wonder our country is so hopelessly confused.


DSK said...

There is "hope":
I rarely see teenagers yakking away on their cell phones anymore. Now they are always frantically typing in text messages. It's quieter, anyway. But I also hope that the medium will get people thinking in terse sentences again.

Aunt Kathie said...

Terse might be good, but I'd like to hear people talk in complex thoughtful sentences again and not sound bites. It's like water in the desert when it happens.

SnoopMurph said...

Wow, I would LOVE to see this day happen!