>I had an experience today that made me feel like I was from another planet. I met a guy on the job a few days back, who seemed alright to me—as long as he kept his mouth shut. The owner of a house I was painting had hired this carpenter to redo some trim work, and despite his friendly, professional demeanor in front of the owner, beneath the surface lay a vulgar child.

Normally, I like to think while I work—about a story I’m writing, topics for this blog, or politics and philosophy in general. It passes the time wonderfully and give me a chance to clarify my thinking by filing away things I’ve recently learned. If I’m not able to concentrate due to fatigue or whatever, I try to listen to something productive or artful—informative talks by great minds, audio versions of the classics, or artistic music. None of this is the normal fare for broadcast radio.

Worse than the faults of television are the faults of radio, in my opinion. Not only does most of the music make it impossible to think (that’s the point), but you’re hammered with ads that reveal the markers’ understanding of their audience. Namely, that the audience is made up of people with the emotional intelligence of a preschooler.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=fitmedia-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B000L33ETK&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrMostly, I’m inclined to give skilled tradesman—who make up the bulk of the daytime audience—the benefit of the doubt, if for no other reason than that I currently make my living as one. However, in this case, I think they hit the nail on the head.

He started playing some rap/techno station, which would have been interesting if it hadn’t been a top hits type station. Artistic music deals with a variety of lyrical themes, expressing a wide range of emotions. XM and Sirius are subscription based, and tend to play a more offbeat variety. Top hits mostly center on love (or just sex) as a theme, and anger or sadness as the emotions. (“I want to @#$% you like an animal.”)

After admitting to me that “this is the first day in a long time, I’ve come to work sober,” he started prompting me about my musical tastes. This led him to drop “typical male” comments about women and things that can be done to them. I began to dislike the guy.

At some point, I mention that I’m married. He expounded upon his philosophy of marriage—basically, that women should be seen and not heard, and that the only reason I’m still married is because I haven’t realized I don’t like her yet. At that point, I decided he was positively wasting my time, and was glad when he left and didn’t come back that day.

Today, he compounded what I already regarded as unlikable about him. My only solace was that he was talking to my dad and not directly to me. My dad, however—being a devout Christian and active member of his church— was about as polar-opposite to the guy as could be. The guy opened the conversation by saying, “I was screwing this chick…” and ended by saying “…and she was married.”

Upon learning of my dad’s religious disposition (and hearing, I believe for him, I much needed retelling of the Christian story), he responded as any man of the world would—like a 4 year-old. In a sort of conversational ninjitsu that would prompt Freud to write another book, he changed the subject to the criticism of another tradesman whose crew was on the same job.

He seemed to search his mind for the most vulgar expressions of “rip-off” he could find. He said the owner (a woman) was going to get “f—ed” by this guy’s unfair business tactics. He added, “ass f—ed, and face f—ed!” to the list. If it wasn’t sad, I’d have begun to hate him.

But really, it is sad. This reaction was an obvious attempt to display that my dad’s “preaching”—as he no doubt felt it was—had no effect on him whatsoever. He believes that he is some sort of free-thinking individual, but he is sadly mistaken. He is playing the role of a child in a man’s body—stunted in his emotional growth by the worldly influences he desires to be steeped in, and perpetually easy game for beer ads, casino ads, sex-related ads, and eventually pharmaceutical drug ads (for the things he’ll catch).

This vulgar emotional outburst has more negative impact on him than anyone else. The point of faith is to find peace, but he is not at peace. The more he tries to prove he cannot be converted to “perfection” (which is never the point, or your religion is wrong), the more he shuts doors to relationships that could help him. I have myself, decided I would never hire him as he is.

Imagine your life is like a Facebook profile or a Twitter feed. If all you do is spread vulgarity and complaints—though you have every right to do so—you will only succeed in driving away friends/followers who don’t share your views. If my dad alienates this guy by sharing the gospel, so much the better for my dad—he probably wouldn’t benefit from the guy’s company anyway. But if this guy alienates people like myself or my dad, he loses business referrals and other relational connections that would improve his life.

That’s just not worth the risk.

FEATURED MEDIA: How to Win Friends and Influence People – The classic guide to repairing and developing relationships of all kinds.


0 Responses to “>Alienation”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Get Involved

Promoting art on television starts with you. Take the Varolo user tour, and become part of the change!




"For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction."

- Kahlil Gibran

"All television is educational television. The question is: what is it teaching?"
- Nicholas Johnson, author:
"We need the media to be presenting pictures of possibility not just continuing to be prophets of doom and gloom."
- Kevin Kelly, Wired

"How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortunes of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it."

- Adam Smith
"And the science is overwhelming that for creative, conceptual tasks, those if-then rewards rarely work and often do harm."
- Daniel Pink, author: Drive

"I wish we had a Problem-Solver Party because we have very big problems that need solving. And I think a lot of our attention is addressed to the wrong problems."
- David McCullough, author: 1776
"The goal shouldn't be to have a lot of people to yell at, the goal probably should be to have a lot of people who choose to listen."
- Seth Godin, author: Tribes
"The role of the media is to disseminate information, highlight important current events, and to essentially stand as a witness, an observer of cultural, political, community, and educational events. A healthy media provides a check on the government and increases the political astuteness of republican citizens."
- Stephen Palmer, The Center for Social Leadership
"Advertisers and politicians rely on a half-educated public, on people who know little outside of their own specialty, because such people are easy to deceive with so-called experts, impressive technical or sociological jargon, and an effective set of logical and psychological tricks."
- Robert Harris
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
- John Adams
"I know no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but people. And if we think them not enlightened enough, the remedy is not to take the power from them, but to inform them by education."
- Thomas Jefferson
"Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise--as priests, prophets or philosophers are wise. Specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine."
- Allan Bloom, author: The Closing of the American Mind
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
(Proverbs 13:20)
"If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"I learn a lot from TV. Everytime someone turns one on, I go in the other room and read a book."
- Groucho Marx, comedian: Duck Soup
"There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought."
- Charles Kingsley

%d bloggers like this: