I'm going to cheat today. Again.
The past five years I have tried to be heard above the din. I thought that getting in to the internet mix might make a difference. I've been conscientious, honest, occasionally brutal, but never unfair. At the end of it all, I've done little but waste hours scouring for stories, sitting and thinking, then typing typing typing. For what? Even internet communication is infected with the stupid that is pervasive in the land.
It isn't just how idiotic so much of our public discourse is. It is the constant noise. I have come to the conclusion that Americans are ill-informed on so much that is essential in their lives because there is no way to sift through the barrage of noise vying for their attention. Everyone says this, or that, or the other thing without thought, without weighing the wisdom of doing so. The barrage is deafening, and I have come to the conclusion that it is largely meaningless.
Long exposure to the crazy has left me exhausted. Weary of the fight, I continue to turn ever further inward. In the midst of this experiment in solipsism, something brought me to an abrupt standstill:
In the face of an image such as this, what can we say? What possible response to a too-long exposure to the realities of most of the world would be adequate?
I wonder if it is at all possible to make all our noise stop long enough so that we can hear this mother's weeping? Are we willing to expose ourselves to her reality long enough to help her fill the hole in her life? Are we willing to engage in conscious, conscientious silence so that the voices of those who need to be heard can touch our lives? Are we willing to risk silence so that we can really listen?
Reading this, I heard Joan Crawford's voice.