Thursday, November 5, 2009

Silence is an Endangered Commodity

So I'm sitting here in my retina doctor's office-vitreoretinal specialist is the official title-laboring with dilated eyes to read an article in Newsweek-yes, that liberal cheerleader magazine whose subscription won't be renewed when it runs out in April but which sometimes has articles I find interesting-while trying to block out the drone of cell phone conversations going on around me, the general noise of people, and the incessant drivel coming from  the ubiquitous waiting room TV. How ironic is it that the topic of the article,"The Devil Loves Cell Phones," by Julia Baird (Newsweek 11-2-09, page 28), is being played out all around me?

Cell phones are bad enough, but it's the unnecessary TVs that drive me crazy, what with the smug talking heads yakking about banal psuedo-news items only occasionally throwing in a real news tidbit. The powers that be always seem to tune into one of the news stations, for fear of offending someone with the choice of an actual show-which would be just as bad because none of it is needed. And the volume is turned up just enough to be irritating and whiny. Nobody really listens; nobody really cares; yet these TVs show up all over the place.  I have been known to mute the set; what I'd really like to do is throw it out the door.

The article's arguments made in favor of more silence in our lives work for me. I do watch certain TV shows, but not at someone else's expense. I have Sirius radio in the car and enjoy it, but there are days when I never turn it on. Driving in solitude is sometimes just what I need to collect my thoughts, get my s--- together (and there is a story behind that, too), or just have the chance to do what Pogo used to do: "Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." It comforts the soul.

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