Thursday, October 4, 2012
Let the Ear Hear
I learned something interesting. Most of the comments were visually based--what the candidates were wearing, their facial expressions, whether or not the commenter liked their smile, which was was obviously bored or excited.
I didn't get any of that. Sitting in the other room as I was, my experience was completely different. There were no extraneous distractions so I listened.
Listening is rapidly fading into a dying art. Our brains are so cluttered with the visual of TV, movies, even phone text, that we fail to use our ears anymore. Speech (and dialogue) is what makes or breaks our stories. Some authors had a terrible time writing dialogue. I wonder if that's because the art of listening has moved to the art of watching?
Do we hear the different cadences in speech? Can we tell anger from excitement, conviction from rage? If we listen to a speech can we discern humor from disgust without the visual cues?
I wonder how different the reactions would be this morning if the debates were broadcast over radio, rather than televised. Would anybody listen? And what would they hear?