Jun 7, 2008

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Dear new recipient of a free home, dear builder, helper, sponsor, and other assorted dignitaries: I can't hear you. You probably said something nice.

Oh sure, you got an entire sound system set up for the 100 or so folks who have assembled to wish their new homeowner friends all the joys they can contain. You have two microphones. You have a sound man right next to them. And you won't step up to the microphone. We the assembled can't hear you from 20 feet away. Your gratitude, accolades, thank yous and jokes go unheard in the unbearable heat.

The preacher we heard. He knows his craft. So we heard him and heard him. Thanks. We now know we do not want to go to Hell because in this heat, after an hour of mummery and handshakes and unheard speeches, we get to listen to him go on and on as though he built the house himself. Can Hell be worse?

Even the token politician couldn't be heard. Must be an honest one. He only spoke for 3 minutes. I'm sure it was about funding. But he wouldn't step up to the mic.

IT'S 2008 FOR FREAKIN' CRIPES N' ALL! Haven't you been paying attention? Look, people. Look at singers on stage. Watch American Idol idiots with VERY LOUD VOICES. Do you see them shying away from the microphone, scared of the sound of their own voice? NO. BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE HEARD. They practically swallow the damn device and let the sound man worry about how loud it is.

Not ONE person, not even the sound guy at this function, asked someone to step up and speak into the microphone. Do any of these brilliant minds, homebuilders, politicians NEVER attend a function where the sound system sucks and they can't hear the morons who won't SPEAK UP?

Haven't YOU ever been driven mad by the stupidity of standing for over an hour listening to NOTHING? Obama rallies don't count.

I'm begging all of you, if you ever find yourself in charge of some function where speakers are going to address the audience, you simply must threaten them with the "hook" if they fail to speak up, and cut off the thumbs of your sound guy if he fails to pay attention. If you don't have the formality of a sound guy, charge one of your assistants to sit in the back of the room and make small gestures to you and remind you, in your moment of glory, to GET THE IDIOT TO THE MICROPHONE BEFORE EVERYONE FALLS ASLEEP.

I don't want to hear shy, sincere people mumbling, no matter how sweet it all is. I blame YOU, Ms. Event Organizer! People only know they want the event to be special, but you folks in charge absolutely ruin it by neglecting the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF A CEREMONY WITH SPEECHES. It won't matter if the color of the table settings is perfect and the cause is heartwarming. YOUR EVENT IS A FAILURE OF COMMUNICATION in a world that has Mars rovers sending back stronger signals from 120,000,000 miles away.

In an ADHD world you have enough competition for folks' attention. Shouting, loud communication may not be perfect, but at least your audience can later tell you how much they disagree with what you said.

I'm warning you, event organizers. I will start to go numb from the shoulders up and begin talking with my table-mates and laughing at quiet jokes while you silently implore my better angels to do some thing, support some cause, or applaud some accomplishment. But no more. I will simply LEAVE.

If it's not important enough for you to even remember to make it a priority to assure that your agenda is heard, it's not important enough for me to suffer through one more rubbery chicken dinner to not hear it.

P.S. That famous line in the title was uttered by my mom's cousin, Strother Martin. No, really!


Sparrow said...

I'm with you -- how smart do you have to be to connect the fact that in order for a microphone to actually work, you have to SPEAK INTO IT?? Drives me crazy.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Just like those press conferences or town meetings on the news:
you never hear the freakin' questions!