Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Good Speaking is Like Good Writing

The objective is to say as much as one can in as few words as possible -- and not simply to say the most words -- and then try to overstay one‘s welcome as long as one can.

That’s always perplexed me about most public forums I’ve attended, and probably why I’m not in the habit of attending more. And I suppose that is why most people don’t; they feel that it is just a waste of their time and energy -- over which they have no control.

I don’t know what they teach in the schools that makes people think that sheer quantity of verbiage is impressive; for some, it seems that the ultimate objective is to take as long as possible to say nothing at all -- in the despair, that nobody can tell the difference. Otherwise I would recommend that people take speech and writing classes -- but that is where I think most of them learn bad communication skills, or as they like to call it, mass communication skills.

The hope is that in talking to a hundred, one will strike a resonance in one -- rather than in talking to the one, and having the confidence that one can reach a hundred in that manner, effectively. What is taught as communication skills, ensures that one will not be able to communicate successfully and effectively with another, including personal and intimate communications and relationships, because the intent of mass communications, is to manipulate (persuade) the thinking of the other.

And that is destructive -- of the other. If both do it, than there is this immediate and inevitable war for dominance -- of each over the other, leading of course to constant struggle, even with those one should feel completely safe and at ease with. Thus every waking moment of their lives is this brutal struggle for survival -- not to be vanquished by every other.

That is essentially what is wrong with our present education system -- that it promotes competition instead of interaction, cooperation and collaboration. All energies go towards nullifying (compromising and contradicting) every other. That is a tremendous handicap to go through life with.

The smaller the pond, the more vicious these competitions and struggles become. The obvious solution is to increase the size of the pond, the gene pool, the playing field, the plane of concern to its most expansive level -- and not the most petty -- which ensures the vicious struggle over nothing.
No amount of words will ever replace thinking -- which is the silence between the words. Most people have been taught to fear this silence -- and think it must be destroyed -- by noise, by words, by every compulsion possible.

But it is only out of this silence, that great words and thoughts are possible.

4 Comments:

At August 09, 2006 9:17 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The best training I ever encountered in communications, was in training to be a Taxpayer Service Representative with the Internal Revenue Service -- in which one has to learn how to “manage” a conversation -- otherwise, one could be talking endlessly about everything a citizen has on their mind. For many people, the Internal Revenue Service is everything that is wrong with this country -- or the world. In a complex world, there is this tendency to want to reduce all problems to just one -- and for many people these days, it is to “Blame Bush,” for all the failings and inadequacies of their own lives. And that is not real helpful -- though many think to exploit such impulses, as a public service, or how they hope to get into public service.

When they all use the same tactic, nobody distinguishes themselves in their race to become the next congressional representative from the rural district of Hawaii. Hopefully a light bulb will go off in one of the candidates from a crowded few, who realize that saying, “Me too,” the most, is not going to distinguish themselves from the pack.

 
At August 09, 2006 9:22 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Ditto for newspaper editors and columnists.

 
At August 09, 2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207524,00.html

Georgia Rep. McKinney Blames Media for Losing Primary Runoff Election
Wednesday, August 09, 2006

DECATUR, Ga. — Rep. Cynthia McKinney, known for her conspiracy theories about the Sept. 11 attacks and a scuffle with a U.S. Capitol police officer, conceded the Democratic primary runoff early Wednesday in a speech that blamed the media for her loss and included a song criticizing President Bush.

McKinney, the state's first black congresswoman, said electronic voting machines are "a threat to our democracy" and lashed out a journalists, accusing them of injuring her mother and failing to "tell the whole story."

"My mother was hurt by someone in the press in this room tonight," McKinney said after losing to challenger Hank Johnson Tuesday. "One of my assistants needs stitches because of the press that are in this room tonight."

WXIA-TV said on its Web site that a boom microphone had struck members of McKinney's entourage: "In the confusion, McKinney staffers struck an 11Alive photographer and knocked his camera equipment to the ground." Earlier in the day, the station said a McKinney staffer had scuffled with another 11Alive photojournalist.

Johnson defeated McKinney by more than 12,000 votes, getting 59 percent of the vote to 41 percent for McKinney. The black attorney and former DeKalb County commissioner is now the general-election favorite in the predominantly Democratic district east of Atlanta.

He will face Republican Catherine Davis, a black human resources manager who ran against McKinney in 2004.

"The people in District Four were looking for a change," Johnson said. "And what happened indicated it was time for a change."

In her concession speech, McKinney repeated her criticism of the Bush administration and the war in Iraq, and said electronic voting machines, which have been used in all of Georgia's precincts since 2002, "are a threat to our democracy."

"Let the word go out. We aren't going to tolerate any more stolen elections. ... We want our party back!" she said.

Her campaign manager, John Evans, blamed the loss on the ABC — Anybody But Cynthia — movement and the Capitol Hill incident.

"It's over," he said. "Folks just beat us. They got a lot of white votes, a lot of Republican votes and they took some of our votes where we have been stable."

McKinney has long been controversial, once suggesting the Bush administration had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Tuesday's election was the second time in three election years that she has lost. After 10 years in Congress, the firebrand lawmaker lost in the 2002 primary to political newcomer Denise Majette, who vacated the seat two years later to run for the U.S. Senate. McKinney emerged from a crowded 2004 primary to reclaim the seat.

After her return to Washington, McKinney kept a relatively low profile until March, when her scuffle with a Capitol Hill police officer grabbed national headlines.

McKinney struck a Capitol Police officer who did not recognize her and tried to stop her from entering a House office building. A grand jury in Washington declined to indict her, but she was forced to apologize before the House. She drew less than 50 percent of the vote in last month's primary, forcing Tuesday's runoff.

"I'm getting tired of being embarrassed. She's an embarrassment to the whole state," said James Vining, 72, who said he voted for McKinney's opponent.

But Anthony Tyler, 47, said he backed McKinney because of her outspoken nature. "She speaks her mind, regardless of the issue. She is straight forward," he said.

 
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