Book Trailer For Madam President

Monday, April 6, 2009

Our Dying Conversations


We are a nation that talks less and less. Our teleprompter phones allow us to respond to people and never hear their voice. Very cyber, very PDA, very efficient, very cold. My phone rarely rings. I get lots of emails, but the voice circuitry is getting dustier every day. People just don't call that much anymore. They text, email, twitter, facebook, link, myspace, webcast. That's what most people do now. So when my phone rings, I know it is one person. My dad. Hey boy what are you doing? Not much. And then we talk for thirty minutes or an hour about "not much." Tell me what you talk about? I have no idea. It sure isn't literary or political. It's inane, moronic, spurious. It has nothing to do with anything really. It is the best conversation I have all day.

And I have thought about why the only person in the world that I yak with on the phone is my father. Lack of friends? No. Lack of enemies. No. Lack of social life. No. Then it hit me. Lack of people who didn't grow up in cyberland. My dad does not like computers. He hates them. I have seen him bang on the keyboard of his computer screaming..."God%#@ thing." He prefers to hear a human voice over an email. How archaic. The man is a dinosaur. Does he not have an email, facebook, twitter, link, myspace, yourface, ratrace, intrepidspace account? No. He wants to just TALK. Sicko. Why I could have twittered a thousand people in the time it takes to CONVERSE. Get in the twenty first century dude.

I bumped into a friend from college the other day. He is up on bands and film and books. We talked for forty five minutes about great movies, great songs, great books. When we finished I had that same buzz I used to get when I came out of a college lecture. I felt like I had just been enriched and I wanted to tell someone about it. How do I feel when I email someone? Like nothing. Like nothing at all just happened. How about when I have a big epiphany and I twitter it into space. Nothing. Like I did nothing at all.

Everyday at two o'clock my mother and I used to talk. We talked about art and books and movies. When she died I always felt her loss most keenly at two o'clock. There was a gap in my day. So my dad and I picked up and it turns out we talk about two o'clock in the afternoon. Like I said, we don't' really talk about anything that important. He's pretty healthy so I know I'm good for a while. Maybe he can keep chugging along until my son gets old enough to call me in the afternoon, maybe right around two o'clock. I mean I gotta talk to somebody.

Books by William Hazelgrove