ακούω

 

 

“You make me think of you almost all the time. Usually about what you
say, the things we talk about, your insights. You inspire me. You
change my perspectives. You make me smile. No matter how horrible my
day is, you always find ways to make me smile – even by just texting
me or sending me voice notes. Sometimes just recalling our
conversations make me smile. I like the way we communicate.”

– Belle

 

I broke up with my girlfriend in college because we didn’t communicate well. Years later, our sentences became longer but the miscommunication we dealt with before had continued. Sometimes, as a writer, I cannot find the right words to say when the heavy silence articulates everything that needs to be said.

“Prior to the age of telegraphy, the information-action ratio was sufficiently close so that most people had a sense of being able to control some of the contingencies in their lives. What people knew about had action-value. In the information world created by telegraphy, this sense of potency was lost, precisely because the whole world became context for news. Everything became everyone’s business. For the first time, we were sent information which answered no question we had asked, and which, in any case, did not permit the right of reply.”

― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

 

You know, this blog is a social experiment. You and I are all subjects. This is my most ambitious literary work. We are two components of a feedback loop. Everyone I talk to in person or online are characters (in the most respectful, non-dehumanizing way) in this non-fiction literary project I call life.

Like the miscommunication in my failed relationships, we will have disagreements and experience slights (almost always perceived and never intended). I want us to create a new way of communicating in this 21st century techno society. I want us to speak poetry the way we drink water. I want all of us to stop self-censoring ourselves and just be genuine. Forget inhibitions or creating your internet persona/proxy–talk to me.

I once read an interview with Alan Lomax in which he talked about communication and the media. He stated that communication is a two-way street and how it became one-way after the media industry took over.

Giant companies like CBS and other juggernauts of the media industry, including those that control the airwaves, have these transmitters which cost millions of dollars and then you have the poor man, or the average Joe, who can only afford these cheap receivers. This created an imbalanced ratio of a few transmitters and millions of receivers.

He said that one of the major problems that plague the modern man is that the people, the masses, are off the air. You have all these wonderful cultures from around the world with their own brand of music, ideologies, opinions, and ideas, and the majority of the world doesn’t get to hear them.

Today, we are connected on a global scale due to the internet, especially with the rise of social media and blog networks becoming Human Civilization 2.0. Yet I still have a hard time trying to get my point across when language and emojis aren’t adequate enough to tell someone I love them. Perhaps this is the new Babel. The higher we rise above our filthy animal lairs, the more we are prone to miscommunication and mistranslation.

Whatever it is I’m trying to achieve as a poet, blogger, or person–whatever it is I’m trying to say–I just hope that we can reach a point where we can sit together in silence and know exactly what the other wanted to say, but didn’t.

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