Productive Silence?

Imagine if you wanted to avoid a popular subject. Say, a hit television program about a singing contest, or a reality adventure competition in which scantily clad participants vote people off the show? Intentional avoidance requires steering clear of news broadcasts, especially the ones that include “news” features about the television programs afore-mentioned that are broadcast by the parent network.

How about if you wanted nothing to do with the excessive attention being focused on the marriage of two people from some royal family? Or the buzz generated by one individual that has huge numbers of people focused on his opinion that the rapture will occur at a specific time on a specific day?

Actually, if what you are intending to do is diminish the energy of these kinds of viral phenomena, it doesn’t matter what the topic is. All such situations share the common challenge of figuring out how to successfully and completely avoid the subject. It is also difficult to achieve fulfillment over having done so. To do nothing in these instances is not inherently rewarding. Doing nothing makes little difference against the maelstrom of the masses. The crucial truth is, if you want to stay out of the fray, you have no tangible weapon to wield.

If you try to lobby a case for purposefully staying out of the brouhaha whipped up by the media and citizen gossip/analysis, you end up contributing to the subject which you are trying to avoid. Cue the challenge of not thinking of an elephant. The only real way to not play into the latest media attention-getter is to refrain from speaking (or writing) on the subject altogether. Silence.

It drives me nuts. It is very difficult to feel you are accomplishing something worthwhile by doing nothing at all.

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2 Responses to Productive Silence?

  1. Walter Logeman says:

    Interesting. I recall a whole novel devoted to this topic. I think it was called The Whale, anyone know it? A whale is beached in a small village, everyone is talking about the whale. Except for one miserable sod who refuses.

    I read it a long time ago. I was refusing to see The Sound of Music on similar grounds. Confession: succumbed a decade or so later.

  2. johnwhays says:

    Thanks, Walter. Refusing to see The Sound of Music is very much along the lines of what I was pondering. It is pleasing to occasionally hear of like-minded responses for this kind of thing.
    I’m not familiar with the novel. Perhaps it would appeal to me.

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