TL/DR – too long / didn’t read

‘Apols’ upfront. There is a steady stream of what can only be described as ‘vom’ that flows from some people’s mouths. Conversation that is flooded with the commonest of verbs, unsubstantiated opinion, inappropriate use of metaphor and simile and my favourite, neologism. For the uninitiated, that is the creation of new words. Worse still if the sound of these voices are louder than a flock of raucous white cockatoos.

I love language and herald buzz worthy words but often it serves to ‘srsly’ (seriously) alienate rather than connect generational groups. Modernist Stephen Fry would drown in a pool of pure despair. I appreciated the ironic wit of Effie Stephanidis, (Acropolis Now) but not the lack of one, in Brynne Edielston. One is a parody and other is sadly facile, however GenY would consider both just full of ‘derp’, meaningless speech.

The art of evesdropping on a conversation is redundant, as most people talk at a level that is more suited to the football grandstand.  The minutiae of their lives broadcast to everyone within a 10 metre radius regardless of the sensitivity of the subject matter. Perhaps the only way in to shut out others, is to have your own sound track? Thanks again, Steve Jobs for the iPod and the iPhone. Is our collective Baby Boomer sensitivity to certain octaves the result of too many stacks of Marshall speakers in the dimly lit, smokey pubs of our youth?

The flip side of limited conversational skills, presents when you are having a conversation that is of far more interest to others than their own stunted discourse. The silence at their table assists to clearly hear your exchange. This requires you to create a barrier by the use of fusty language and make coded reference to previous confidential exchanges. I’m considering taking up sign language, since I only know limited gestures and none are useful in keeping the peace.

May I never be in extended company with others that bore me senseless. There are already too many couples having dinner in silence. Worse still are those that exist comfortably on the edge of violence and for which silence between threats, exposes the emptiness of their lives. This type of exchange filters into my window, almost every Friday and Saturday night. Don’t you love neighbours?

The merry-go-round of cafe conversational banality is often interspersed with absurdist comments. One such, was expressed with squee, ‘glee’ by a woman, describing the use of ‘ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ as perfect, as a child’s coffin was lowered into the grave. Srsly, this I overheard recently as the upswing of an untimely death.

We are fascinated by own lives and the importance of our own thoughts and some of us are compelled to keep diaries, journals and/or to blog about them. Some of us are opinionated and like to leave a footpath of thoughts. I am in that category. Some of us are addicted to Twitter, but maybe not for much longer if the stock price continues to plummet. Some of us suffer ‘FOMO’, fear of missing out, an anxiety condition that arises with the thought that a more exciting or interesting event may be currently happening elsewhere, without you.

What will the next generation be like? If some of the neighbour’s kids are any measure, they will be adorned with absurd names, disinterested in anything outside their radar of want and adept at manipulation, social positioning and disception. Innocence it seems has a use by date.

I recently attended a 21st party where the beautiful ‘geek chic’ wafer thin women took great pains to upload ‘selfies’ to Facebook and Instagram while quietly sipping their overpriced drinks purchased by ‘bitcoin’. There was not a ‘food baby’ in sight. The stand of cupcakes left to melt with the heat, though gloriously coffered in coloured icing twirls, was so last year. Now it is ‘cake pops’, convenient iced balls of cake on a skewer that satisfy carb cravings and but not unwelcome facial judgements from others.

My generation would have been too busy ‘twerking’ old style, to take a digital record. Now it is BYOD, bring your own devise as our obsession with registering our lives for others to like or share, is emotionally addictive. At least ‘me time’, is often a quiet pursuit, however I may also be srsly overdue some ‘digital detox’. Thank heavens, I still own a book or two.

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2 thoughts on “TL/DR – too long / didn’t read”

  1. Props to you on your post! I spent 20 months working for Minister Julia Gillard (then PM) on the Australian Curriculum in 2010, overseeing the state debates on changes to the ‘English’ curriculum. Literacy issues are huge in WA as well, though I realise Tasmania has unique issues. I reviewed Tasmania alternative education models in 2004 and you were ahead of the pack! There has been some success recently -grattan.edu.au/static/files/assets/…/805-turning-around-schools.pdf

    Like

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