August 22nd, 2011
There is truly something poisonous in the one-upmanship of our society.
lishd had an amazing portrait of a hawk carved into her side over the course of five hours.
A friend of mine responded by saying that some of her friends get brands done.
I mentioned on facebook that I was in Titusville (the nearest town to Kennedy Space Center) for the final space shuttle launch.
A friend of mine responded with "Wow -- why are you hanging out in Hicktown?"
Another friend responded with "Why did you go out for it? There's only a 30% chance of it launching."
(I was able to have the last laugh in this case -- the probability was downgraded farther and the launch proceeded -- but if you've been reading my journal, you knew that.)
Whenever my video game console collection is discussed, inevitably someone puts forth the question: "Oh yeah? Do you have console X?" where X is a meaningless console like a Dendy or a Game & Watch watch. This usually leads to the rather thrilling continuing thread of conversation of "Oh."
On the occasions where I do happen to have X, they continue their inquisition until one is named that I don't have without any apparent recognition that their attempt at a trump is invalid. I once endured someone asking this question eight times before they gave up and they did not give me opportunity to elucidate at any point. Their response was "Huh."
The art of conversation is not a matter of flapping your lips at one another for an extended period of time. It is about listening, understanding, and responding thoughtfully. In our age of instant gratification, it is most unfortunate that people see a period of time for reflection in the midst of an argument or conversation as an imperfection.
Groucho Marx was quoted as saying "Years ago, I tried to top everybody, but I don't anymore. I realized it was killing conversation. When you're always trying for a topper you aren't really listening. It ruins communication."
(It seems to me that at some point, I have likely been a hypocrite with respect to this statement, nevertheless I hold that it does not diminish the truth of my sentiment.)
They should all think I'm awesome because I think I'm awesome but if they don't, then that's ok, it's their problem.
I think this is the difference between you and me.
You think you're awesome.
I know I am.