Her idea was that technology had stolen something very intimate from them.
If only we could have lived in the twenties.
Nostalgia for the Pre-Screen-World assumes that in-person talks allow people to genuinely understand each other.
His filters to interpret her words was not a glass screen: he, as everyone, entered conversations to tack new things and people to his cork-board, which made the wide gaps of his ear-piece shrink to pin-prick-stars when listening.
Anything he said about others was about him. Anything he said about that person’s sexuality or her looks or her stupidity (women are always the butt of jokes for impotent conversationalists) was about his insecurity on his looks or his thoughts of his self-value. The value of his identity was, like his country, built on the bodies of others, because you can’t built a ladder without wood.
They missed each other in the same way of any article or video or conversation about the sexuality or intelligence of another person: insecure, afraid to be alone, told that stubbornness and power would bring success in the competitive arena of capitalism, friends, money, because compromise is weakness.
They were the PR agents for their own ideas: breakfast resembled informal meetings, returns home from the bar a deposition, dinners an interview – all well-marketed, photographed, tag-lined.
Screens were as relevant an impediment to their failed communication as was the fact that they always posed the same for photos. She said this about herself, he said that about himself, and nobody, but the plant in the room, heard what they said.
After driving past one another, in our relationships, how much do you blame the other, and how much on your filter, and the speed in which you drove, in your summaries to others?
word by Liam Lachance, whose novel, Blu Swag, is his first
colour by Eugenia Loli
From the author: “The return to the pre-screen era is a return to today.
Language is a performance.
Values for success in mainstream culture- confidence, ‘hard-work,’ and violence – destroy our ability to hear one other.
Confidence is seen as connected to wealth and power, and so we obsess over the validity of our own ideas, unable to compromise.
Fear of being alone is exploited to join mainstream culture. Mainstream culture is telling oppressed people why they deserved to be attacked. (#Alllivesmatter)
Mainstream culture values people yelling as loud as possible that, “I AM NOT LOUD!” and we’re surprised when we don’t listen to others. (#blacklivesmatter)
The characters in this story were raised in mainstream culture (soaking in textbooks that read like political manifestos for Western Colonial Settlers, parents raised between the ropes of a predatory social system to train the next generation of accidental oppressors: might is right: work harder, be confident: stay afloat) and missed each other because of the values to just work hard and succeed on your own.
Our empathy might extend to our friends and family, or other people we have been told are like us and worthy of life (alllivesmatter), so long as ideas formed in our minds (with us and people like us as sources) are not questioned.
Our desires and our fears have us talking about ourselves at various levels of volume to each other, about others, that are delivered as whispers, about ourselves.
I am nostalgic for right now.”