All rules are incorrect,
all laws remain perverse,
until they’re firmly set
in well wrought lines of verse.
An age or era will
be merely a stretch of time
without a meaning until
it’s glorified in rhyme.
Until the poet’s ‘Yes!’,
entrusted by his pen
to print, award success
to this or that – till then
the jury will be out,
the verdict still in doubt.
by Борис Абрамович Слуцкий (Boris Abramovich Slutsky)
translated by Stephen Capus
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast kingdoms and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my might works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 – 1822)
What is the point in doing this in day to day interaction?
One side wants themselves to be heard over all else so we get the following varying results:
- One speaks over the other and one side stops – One side is dominant. It’s all about dominance and thus indicating your view is the superior one. Maybe not correct but attempting to assert a dominant air. Alpha and omega personalities in action. Dominant alpha male/female versus a submissive.
- Try to speak over each other simultaneously – Neither side hears what the other is saying and so there is just noise. Alpha personalities clash! Or if not leaders then people trying to rise in the pecking order of their group.
- Each stops to let the other speak – An awkward silence followed by each side attempting to reignite the rapport.
Overly concerned about etiquette to a fault where communication falters. In that way you see in romantic comedies and comedies of manner often. Both submissive to a fault.
You are brought up to take turns in speaking but it seems more and more people are just talking at each other not with each other. It marks people out though I have never consciously taken note of when it happens. I tend to just let the other continue speaking but by that point they do not stop for breath and move from one topic to the next without pause thus leaving just a wall of sound emanating from them.
There is a time and place for such behaviour of course but more often than not if you are doing it then you are trying to assert dominance needlessly. Talking is a dialogue not a monologue. Leaders monologue when giving instructions and as everyone is encouraged to compete for a leading role in life and work it is seen as something that should be adopted at all times to excel.
But then of course I would say that. I’m typing a blog rather than talking over other people and becoming that sort of person. Blogging lets you express views that no one cares to hear. A rabid wolf howling at the moon it can never embrace.
Looking at the above video depending on whose voice you are focusing on you hear either Valjean’s oft repeated morality or if you focus on the designated antagonist Javert you hear the quasi-Freudian reason for why he is such a dogged adherent of the word, above the spirit, of the law. You only hear him declare this once in what is meant to be a scene two men shouting at each other showing his near loss of control. Neither, in the original novel, is ‘correct’ but both are equally ‘les miserables’ i.e. ‘the wretched’ as they are caught up in the shifting morality of society. Valjean is morally right but committed a crime and ran away while on parole. Javert upholds the word of the law while ignoring what is morally right in the circumstances such as the revolution. Both in their way fail to fulfil their true potential for fear of the consequences. Valjean wastes his life forever running from responsibility until he takes Cosette as his daughter. Javert shrouds himself in legal dogma to rise above his origins at least in the eyes of society. Neither lives for themself in the end. Neither hears what the other is saying and thus ignores the different point of view they are presented with by speaking over each other determined to assert that their way is the only true right way to exist in the world.
Everyone is a slave to their communities’ whims. We are all being shouted over and shouting over others in turn. In the end we are all wretched uncivilised beasts dressed in finery and speaking with veiled venom to each other.
Ranty, ranty, rant.
It is easier to write things off the top of my head than prepare them. It is as they say ‘in an argument you will make the greatest speech you will ever regret’.
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