This month . . . .

Speechless — Unspeakable
     Lately, some things have been rattling around in my head. I think it’s because of the weather — as I write this we’ve been stuck in the house by a late winter sucker-punch of ice, snow, and more ice on top of that. A little bit of cabin-fever goes a long way.

     And so I find myself up — the powers-that-be-having already abandoned any hopes of getting school to happen tomorrow — and watching a movie. A character on screen shouts his views at another character — what seems at first blush a lucid and detailed argument. As I watch, I imagine that his words are suddenly, subtly, different because he is shouting them, his persona both bellicose and defensive; his audience, (myself included) flinching if not lost beneath this verbal bombardment. He may be right, or completely wrong-headed; it doesn’t matter anymore, because we’re no longer listening to the words, but rather to the tone in which they are being delivered. A sound message rendered poorly. The ability to have critical intercourse, says the movie maker, appears to rest upon certain caveats, one of which is the speaker’s (and our) ability to remain cool and distant from the subject matter. An interesting conclusion to reach, considering the medium the movie maker uses — one often dedicated to maximizing sound and fury.

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