Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday October 8th

I have become very aware of the demise of communication!

At the beginning of the personal relationship I am in now we would write long and amazing emails about everything. Then the process of getting to know each other was replaced with long sessions of instant messaging and now even a good portion of that has been replaced with Skype. As we got closer and got to know each other better we required a more immediate manner of interaction. 

I love to write and I will always have a Victorian love for the written word. I love to read poetry, verse and philosophy. I miss writing those long letters and I struggle to find the time to write them again.

In writing this post, I recalled a wonderful PBS series by Ken Burns "The Civil War" that was very beautifully narrated by some amazing actors. The thing I loved about this documentary was that the entirety of the piece was delivered to the viewer with the reading of letters. These letters were poetry and eloquent, the images that were evoked from these words strike you to your very core and you could feel what the writers felt and in your mind see what they saw.

I do not know of a single person that writes letters like that anymore. We have entered an age where we communicate with emails. Now I will say that I do tend to write more in emails that I ever wrote letters but only very few of these are even remotely close to those beautifully written expressions of life.

It has been said that the rise of the type writer killed the art of letter writing. Then it was the fault of the word processor, the computer, email and so on and so on. We, as a society, have taken to wanting and demanding things faster and faster.

Remember Dial-up and how fast we all thought that was? Now nothing else will do but High Speed DSL. If the desired page does not load in 5 seconds we get all frustrated and start hitting the refresh button as if it is actually going to help the situation.

HINT: Just remember, pushing the elevator button does not make the car show up faster, nor does pushing the cross walk button make the light change faster either.(well..mostly)

I stated a few months ago that I liked FaceBook because I was able to see what is happening in my friends lives more regularly. Then I realized that I am now viewing my friends lives in two or three sentence snippets. These are quick interactions followed with short bursts of communications. This is now being replaced with even something faster, quicker and even shorter. People are now Twittering their lives into cyberspace and the interaction time is cut even shorter.

If you think about it…our television viewing has taken the same downward spiral.

We no longer are enticed with smart writers and good casts of actors making us think or laugh. We are inundated with "reality" TV. My question is… what is REAL about any of it? There is nothing REAL about the Housewives of Atlanta nor it Dog the Bounty Hunter what I would consider thought provoking viewing. I miss good dramas and funny comedies. Where is the 21st century version of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and where is our new Hill Street Blues? (I do have to say that I to love TNT's Saving Grace… that is my personal junkie show that I will bend over backwards to see.)

There were so many brilliant shows that captured our imaginations and kept us riveted weekly and actually caused insightful conversations and dialogs. Now we are asked to watch as former congressman try to dance their way back into the public's good graces and "wanna be" important people ranting and being cruel to one another. We no longer have to hire writers and actors that actually are masters of their crafts we are forced to the lowest common denominator. I take GREAT pride in stating that I have never watched one hour of Reality TV.

We have lost and are continuing to lose these things that we will not be able to retrieve. Our culture, our humanity and our history will soon be placed on the endangered species list. Are we strong enough as a culture to demand better of ourselves and of those that are asking us to lower our standards? Refuse to be placed alongside the lowest common denominator, refuse to stand by and be dumbed down...

1 comment:

Pepita said...

HI Anne,

I find your observations very astute and insightful. But I do wonder how can you judge reality tv when you have never watched even an hour of it?