Are you talking to me?

In Animals, Irish Mist, Local projects, Revision, TV on October 7, 2014 at 7:53 am

Talk shows don’t rate high in my list of interests. There’s something of the feeding frenzy atmosphere to them, each participant wanting to grab air time in a wild scramble with the audience hooting and applauding – boo, hiss, yay. The American episode making the rounds in France at the moment: Ben Affleck on Bill Maher’s Real Time segment of October 3rd and the grappling that ensues.

To my mind, one of the surrealistic moments in the segment occurs when Bill Maher starts talking about what’s in the minds of some billions of people he has never met, and never will. Apparently, in his view, those billions of people who, through no choice of their own, saw the light of day in countries where the Muslim faith defines the moral and theological landscape, have the violent downfall of America at the core of their thought processes and deepest yearnings.

That bit of nonsense reminds me of the surrealistic moment when I landed at Lod Airport in nineteen seventy-nine. An earnest young border guard insisted on knowing my religion. “I have none,” I replied. An unacceptable answer. Your parents’ religion, he asked next. My parents were Catholics, but… So you are Christian, he said, checking the appropriate box. Voilà, move on, next.

There’s not much listening going on. Not on Bill Maher’s show or anywhere else. Listening and paying attention to the non-verbal cues. A lot going on that meets both the eye and the ear. Turn off the sound, and watch. Turn up the sound and close your eyes.

A large crane just flew by, long twiggy legs trailing. The sky: light grey smudges moving across a white background.

Will I get some personal reading and/or writing done today? I don’t know. The balancing acts don’t always work – from French to English, from community projects to personal ones, from bank statement realities to wispier stuff.

Overhead, a slow shift to light blue behind the white.





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