Sunday, January 6, 2008

Lost - the art of conversation

We seem to have descended into a world of 3-second sound bites. Gone are the days of long, often spirited discussions about all the most interesting topics – sex, sports, religion, politics – only to be replaced with the dismissive put-down. The anonymity of the blogosphere encourages such rude and infantile behaviour, but it’s now even happening in the “real” world.

It used to be that opposing hockey team supporters could have a conversation that started something like this:

SENATORS FAN: I bet you $10 the Sens beat the Leafs tonight.
LEAFS FAN: Are you kidding? Once Tucker gets under Alphie’s skin it’s game over.
But now it's:

LEAFS FAN: You‘re a moron.
Where’s the fun in that? Everyone’s pissed off in about 3 seconds and sulking in their respective corners.

There was also a time when people could have, and express, opposing political views without being subject to personal abuse. For example:

LIBERAL: As a liberal, I have to grudgingly admit that Harper has done some good things in power.
CONSERVATIVE: Wait ‘til you see what he does with a majority!
Has now become:

LIBERAL: As a Liberal...
CONSERVATIVE: You’re a moron.
If the weather wasn’t Canadians’ number one topic of conversation before, it is now as there is no safe place to take a conversation anymore without being personally attacked. And it’s not just between casual acquaintances this conversation-abbreviatus is occurring; it has even crept into the bedrooms of the nation:

HIM: Honey, you still awake?
HER: No. Go to sleep.
I tell you, I don’t like where this is going.

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