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Saturday, October 15, 2011

What Would George Say?

"The problem with communication is the illusion it has been accomplished" - George Bernard Shaw

What would Shaw have said if he'd lived long enough to experience what passes for communication in the age of the Internet, talk radio, and the yapping of pundits in a 24 hour news cycle?

I doubt that I'm alone in my dismay over the dismal state of communication in the early 21st century. A few days ago this was brought into stark relief when I was surprised listening to a radio conversation about illegal immigration. The source of my surprise? The two speakers, representing opposing viewpoints, were civil, did not raise their voices or interrupt, and acknowledged the valid points made by the other side. Later I realized my surprise at this normal exchange of ideas was itself profoundly sad.

When did saying it louder & uglier become the norm? Shaw may have been talking more about private (vs. public) communication. And maybe the 19th century was just as bad in both arenas. Unfortunately, most of us live today in a world where it's much harder to escape the screaming than it was in George's day.     

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