No, this is not a Conservative rant about how immigrants should learn the language of the land. Nor is this about how we are witnessing a steady decline in our ability to tolerate written material that has no emotional pay-off that jibes with our preconceived notions: rather, that which inspires (and requires) critical thought is increasingly that which is to be avoided. Well, ok, maybe it’s a little bit about that last one…
Certain types of ideas require a particular framing for their presentation. Just like one dons a type of dress that’s appropriate to a given occasion, some ideas are best expressed in certain ways. In verbal communication, the process of clothing one’s ideas is fairly simple; as one has direct access to one’s audience. Immediate feedback provides a sort of mirror in which one can straighten one’s tie.
Consider a pastor’s address to his congregation on any given Sunday morning: although he might discuss the inner workings of some exceptionally profane situations, he never does so in a profane manner — because the ideas he forwards are usually about something much larger. However, when one is on the street, and calling a motherfucker a motherfucker is the only thing that will get one’s point across, one is best served to employ that device.
In writing, the process of clothing one’s message is decidedly more difficult. Although this is so when one writes with a specific target audience in mind, it’s even more an issue when the expression of the ideas themselves is an end unto itself. The phrase “whoever has ears, let them hear” from Matthew 11:15 springs immediately to mind. Try as though one might, one must wrestle with the probability that certain of one’s messages and ideas won’t be attractive to all — nor even digestible by most. But, one must avoid using all this as a cop-out for the inability to skillfully put across one’s message. Nevertheless, some things simply is what they is.
At least here in America, we’re becoming lazier and lazier…to the point at which we abhor any challenge that doesn’t provide an immediate pay-off. Through that dynamic, we’re being programmed for addiction — and dependence upon the agendas of those whose thoughts will provide us our emotional fix. Don’t let it happen to you.
Let those who have eyes look, so they might see.