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An unstoppable assault on the senses - R.H. Joseph

There has to be a cure for idle chatter, the compulsion of the great unwashed to fill the air with meaningless drivel. Surely they would be better off spending in contemplation the countless hours otherwise wasted on jibber-jabber, and the rest of us could revel in the blessed silence.

As I am living proof even Stage 4 cancer can be reversed, that science can overcome virtually the most dire circumstances encountered by humankind, surely we should set our collective efforts on eliminating the scourge of mindless chitchat.

Mind you, I have entertained the notion that I actually did die from the cancer and wound up in precisely the neighborhood many of my readers suggest is inevitable for one such as I. What could be worse than no respite from the blather?

The mere contemplation of spending an incalculable number of years in a place where people not only never interrupt their idiotic twaddle to give pause, to reflect, but the practice is exacerbated by technological innovations such as the cell phone, leaves me quivering in abject despair. Who but Beelzebub could be the mastermind responsible for the introduction of the cell phone to civilized society?

I may not be a paragon of virtue but if, according to some eternal plan, the punishment should fit the crime, than I know I've never done anything deserving of this. I'm a good boy, I am!

Just between us, I've always looked forward to being assigned to hell for if those who believe in such things are correct, that's where all the hot chicks are. Ironically, I define spending eternity in a place full of "good girls" as hell, but that's just me.

Plato wrote: "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something."

When the wise speak they say something pointed, offering for the delectation of others a bit of knowledge, an amusing bon mot, a stimulating insight or observation, and upon conclusion, grow silent once more.

Fools, with naught but the utterance of a single syllable, are induced to propagate a cascade of capricious word and memory associations amongst their confreres to no point whatsoever. For example, if you inadvertently mention a fish dish consumed the previous evening nanoseconds will have elapsed before someone recalls that their Uncle Henry caught a fish in 1953.

"That's the year my Aunt Edna was born," says a second. "My cousin had a '53 Studebaker," a third. ""I got my first car when I was 16." "Did you see ?Carwash'?" "Richard Pryor was great in that." "Boy did he change after his free-basing accident." "Who was it that played first base for the Phillies in '66?" And on and on and on.

Shut up! Shut up!! Shut up!!!

Even if moths have taken up residence in that empty space between your ears, surely compassion demands they be provided shelter from the storm of irrelevancies comprising whatever substitutes for thought in your cranium.

And speaking of tennis, I was watching the U.S. Open a couple of weeks back on my super-cosmic HDTV set unaware all I could hear was the crowd noise and the grunting and thwacking of the competitors.

When the image broke up I turned to the second signal processor (I have two dishes plus an antenna n don't ask me why.) which captures the non-HDTV signal. Whilst replaying the events that had disappeared in a rainbow of digital confusion I discovered the recorded action included the commentators John McEnroe, Mary Carillo, and some stiff employed by the network.

Suddenly the tennis, the championship, the reason I was there was subsumed by jibber-jabber. These guys were being paid big bucks to drown out the action with colorful wisecracks.

Quickly switching back to the HDTV computer (The disruption of some networks isn't nearly as horridly lengthy as others. Can you imagine my grief at the signal going haywire just when the plot of "Fastlane" provides occasion for large-breasted women in skin-tight tops to spend quality time on a trampoline? I love the Fox network!) I was once again able to watch the athletes, the match without the distraction of senseless chatter.

The opposite occurred this past Sunday. While watching the Italian Formula One Grand Prix the audio feed from the race disappeared and all I could hear was the commentators.

Sure, it's colorful watching these four-wheeled missiles zipping around the formidable circuit at Monza but devoid of the high-pitched scream of the engines (318 revolutions per second) and the rat-a-tat concussion of transmissions skipping through the gears in ten-thousandths of a second the event lost its visceral appeal.

I don't want to listen to the commentators, I'm here for the race, the sounds of the race, the sounds of significance.

Shut up! Shut up!! Shut up!!!

R.H. Joseph is a longtime employee of the News Daily. His column appears on Wednesdays. He may be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 252, or by e-mail at rjoseph@news-daily.com.