Op Ed Commentary |
Just before the French Revolution, remember Marie Antoinette’s famous line, when appraised of the plight of the masses? When told that they did not have enough bread to eat she retorted ” Let them eat cake!” Well, in this 21st Century Amerikan Empire, when dead end box store and service jobs are the norm for many of our fellow citizens, they will always have their electronic gadgets to play with. This writer goes to my local health club at least five times a week. In the old days, we baby boomers remember how the local gym ( as it was referred to then ) was a place to engage others in conversation while we ‘ worked out’ . People could find almost any topic of current interest being discussed in between sets of the Nautilus or while sitting in the sauna or steam room. In this writer’s day Vietnam and current sports events were topics of great interest. There was something almost cherished about personal interaction in public places.
You go to your local health club and perhaps 75% of the members there have the earplugs in their ears. As my chiropractor son says it : ” They all ZONE OUT in public ” . It is not just the younger generations who are ‘ zoning out’ in public, but even baby boomers! Walk through a park, the mall or even at the beach and see those ear plugs! No one wishes to relate to others in person. At home or on their cell phones, I pads or Blackberrys, or whatever the hell they call these electronic gadgets, more and more Amerikans deny face to face verbal contact. Even one social network hijacked the name Face book to legitimatize this behavior. Why call someone on the phone even, and talk one on one, when you can type in your passion and expression? Imagine the new way of laughing is to type LOL ( laugh out loud ) . It is if we all became like our most unfortunate fellow citizens who are truly ‘ Deaf and Dumb’. Sad.
The media, controlled by this Military Industrial Empire, loves the fact that our populace has regressed in this manner. They propagandize the use of Tweets as the best way to communicate. Obviously, there is a place for using email and face book and Tweet contact to reach myriads of people. Yet, when that becomes the only choice for personal contact with those who happen to actually be nearby, then we become lost. Verbal skills are becoming obsolete. The ability to ‘ think on one’s feet ‘ is becoming a lost art. People can and do hide behind the electronic screen. To go about one’s business with music constantly pumping into your ears sets people against each other, intended or not. Imagine sitting in a coffee bar or in a railroad or plane, and never relating to the person next to you. Talk about ‘ divide and conquer ‘ , well, the empire loves it when we, the rabble as Noam Chomsky used to define the super rich’s view of working stiffs, cannot relate face to face.
There is something magical when two complete strangers look each other in the eye and actually communicate! If those of us who wish to see real and viable political and economic change occur do not go back to face to face verbal contact…