Friday, 24 April 2009

Cloth eared bint

This subject is a favourite bugbear of a friend of mine, and it has never been so apparent as it is for me now.

It is the startling inability of people to actually listen to others. I have been, for reasons I won’t go into too much detail about here (lest I begin an unseemly and undignified rant which is likely to run into several thousand words. See, I’ve started already!) made to realise the glaring truth of this statement over the past week or so.

Please forgive the following sub-Charlie Brooker phrasing, but it is incredible that there are certain situations and certain people where you may as well be repeatedly saying ‘wibble’ to a pile of breeze blocks as actually making intelligible speech with a cogent argument. Not that I actually do that very often, you understand.

I realise that there are often self-serving reasons for people not listening, that it is occasionally not advisable to remove the cloth from our ears. It can even be beneficial (as I'm sure some of my readers will confirm) to feign deafness on a selective basis. There is also of course the normal human condition of self-interest. Despite most of us being painfully shy, we are surprisingly arrogant when we have actually managed to strike up a conversation with someone else. We only endure the tedium of listening to others' woes/jokes/love lives/work gripes* so that we can get around to telling them about the much more interesting subject of our own.

But I'm not talking about that stuff. I'm referring to the sheer bloody-minded stubbornness of someone who refuses to listen. Your face may be blue, your sinews straining with the effort of getting across (I assure you) a perfectly reasonable and valid point, but still... nothing. There is only so much of this a man can take, let me tell you.

Frustration is not an adequate word to describe it. Fuck people and their fucking shit.

* Delete as necessary.


ep said...

Kill them. Kill them all.

marie said...

don't let them hit you babe! when something like that happens to me, i look at the person in the eyes and i start a brand new converstion with myself - I chose a topic that is a little taboo, take a good breath and speak calmly and clearly. then the guy looks at you and stop talking and then i walk away.
it doesn't change the world but at least i don't become blue -just the power of words

Myeral said...

Two good pieces of advice, thanks. Though I am leaning towards the former at the moment.

ep said...


Myeral said...

Yes. Kill them. Kill them all. It's all so simple now

Michael said...

You know, ep does have a point.
What I fucking hate most are people who start playing with their mobiles when you're halfway through a conversation.

They know who they are.

Myeral said...

ep is definitely right. I'm getting some Travis Bickle sliding gun dispensers fitted this weekend. And shaving my head.

"You talkin' to me?"

R Reagan said...

It would help if there were a common acknowledgement of how communication works. Then we can just ask if people actually want to communicate. Anyone who answers "no" automatically loses any position of power and responsibility.

Myeral said...

But surely everyone wants to communicate (apart from hermits {apart from Herman's Hermits, who clearly did want to communicate})?

The issue is about the quality of communication. For some, it's purely about 'Listen to me!' while for others it might partly be about 'Let's hear what you have to say, and then listen to what I have to say.'

I'm occasionally prepared to change my point of view if I'm persuaded by another human, whereas many people are not. So - KILL THEM!

N Reagan said...

Your first assumption is wrong, I think. What's your definition of 'communication'?

H Hermit said...

How can you say that Nancy? We loved telling people that we were Henery the Eighth (we were we were) I'm deeply hurt.

Myeral said...

Communication could be defined as many things.

Mostly - in my humble opinion - it's a cry from the heart. Because so few people listen to us, we all shout louder in different ways.

Some are lucky that they are heard, others say that they couldn't care less if they are heard or ignored. Ultimately it's the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

R Reagan Jnr said...

It might be most useful to define communication as, at the most basic level:
Information ------------>Idea

(with Information being defined as: Everything in the Universe, and idea being defined as the response to the information.)

I think this covers everything from the kiss of a billiard ball to the songs of Kiss, or of course, Herman's Hermits.

It can also be seen from this that two people are required for communication. With both being active for good communication.

Also, the woofing of dogs is basically the same as a lot of woofing (and tweeting) by people. It alters our body chemistry in apleasing fashion.
Where we can take it up a gear is in the checking of our ideas and those of others, but this doesn't usually happen because people are, more often than not, trained not to communicate as well as encouraged to see good communication as a bad thing. It's because of this that I don't think it's correct to say that people want to communicate generally. They are avoiding it as they have been trained to do. How else to explain the lack of people responding to Obama's information of 'change' with 'what kind of change?'. In a decent communicative situation, this question would then be answered by "I'm gonna ramp up the war in Afghanistan!", to which might be sensibly said, "Well you can get lost then."

However, let's take 'a cry from the heart' as our starting point. Could you elaborate on this please?

Myeral said...

Essentially, I am in agreement with you. My belief is that we (us mingers) have an itching desire to a) listen and b) be listened to. We are after all social animals. The problem is that our hierarchical genetics get in the way, and we feel (for a variety of reasons) afraid to say what we really want to say, in case we are ridiculed by those ahead of us in the chain. This leads to repression and sublimation, and ultimately to Obama, Brown, Hitler, Pol Pot, my boss, etc.

That is why I feel that we are all crying from the heart.