I am currently watching reruns of the old comedy show HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER. Don’t know quite why I like it so much, but the characters are unfailingly sweet, without being saccharine and they make me laugh. I just watched one of the actors Jason Segel in an outstanding film THE END OF THE TOUR, which is about a road trip that Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky: played by Jesse Eisenberg took with the writer David Foster Wallace, the extraordinary writer who sadly ended up taking his own life. Their bonding in the story is wonderful. Jason Segel gives an amazing performance and I am in awe. He hits exactly the right note of being ridiculous and too much and deeply moving in his humanity and honesty. Oh that we should all be able to turn it out like that. I am not familiar with the books of Mr. Foster Wallace, but am now tracking them down, in particular INFINITE JEST , which was included in Time magazine’s list of best 100 novels published since 1923. Heavy praise indeed. One of the points that Foster Wallace makes in his conversations with Lipsky is that he fears technology will turn us away from our humanity into shallower beings without the depth and emotional substance that makes us human. We will be servants to technology, addicted to Social Media, sound bites, emoji’s and communication by text and email.
Don’t know about you, but I am finding this already… it drives me crazy…why cant we just talk to each other any more. Are we afraid of expressing ourselves in pure human language. Are we afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of what others will think of, afraid of driving people/friends away. So what… we must be able to talk to each other. I fear I have offended a few people with my big mouth from time to time, but what I say is always from the heart and it is very important for me to know where I stand with people. ‘UR Fired’ perlease!!! And yes I use emoji’s and text speak sometimes, so call me a hypocrite….it’s useful for fast communication. But if people disapprove, or don’t like me, so be it, they are adults capable of making their own decisions; I cannot change that, nor would want to. But I would prefer them to say so in pure language, not a text or an emoji! Or very often in Social Media, which is devious and dangerous. A bit of a coward’s way out, if you ask me. Children are our most honest communicators and we can learn a thing or two from them. We can’t all be loved and liked ALL of the time and we cannot all be Politically Correct all of the time….it’s stifling and boring. So people let’s talk to each other!
And so I come back to one of my favourite hobby horses, language and the beauty therein. There are, thank goodness, still wonderful writers and poets in the world, who can put a lift in our hearts and a tear in our eyes. The WB Yeats of this world speak to us from another time, but they are still of our human race and can resonate with us…don’t let’s be too quick to throw away the power of language and words.