Cutting the Crap


Viikko 48


Motion: THB that talking complements doing in running the world
Role: Secretary (opp.)

I believe that people should stop speaking in code, so that there is nothing in what is being said. A lot of political speech is filled with phrase after phrase after phrase, so that the intention remains hidden, trivial or bleeding evident. There is virtually no point in producing meaningless prose and speech. Silence would do better in lieu of meaningless speech.

There are ways to spot meaningless speech. One is to spot the so-called ”noun disease”. If sentences are infested with fancy nouns instead of colourful adjectives and dynamic verbs, something is usually wrong not only on the formal plane but on the substantial plane as well. Abstract nouns, accordingly, are commonly the enemy of meaningful communication. Not always, if the goal is to talk about difficult and complex things, but usually so if not.

There are good ways to focus on what should be said, if being infested with the noun disease is what shouldn’t be uttered. Take these three simple ground rules:

  1. Cut to the chase
  2. Add your personal aspect rather than someone else’s or the conventional wisdom
  3. Say less if by saying more there is the possibility that you might ”lie” or distort the picture of truth.

These 3 simple guidelines cut out most of the BS that people churn out of the corner of their mouths.

One could actually say that meaninglessness in speech is the verbal equivalent of progressive rock. The latter was a scourge of the rock scene from circa 1968 to 1975, between the end of psychedelic rock and the advent of punk. Prog rock relied on making simple music excessively intricate, complicated, sinuous and lengthy or overblown. The lyrics were about matters only their writers were interested in; dream worlds and such, pipe dreams, visions produced by sci-fi and phantasmagoria. Album art reflected this in its often daring and fantasy-filled execution. Progressively oriented rock was very boring, but it came into being as rock music’s one attempt at trying to outdo classical music in its own game, even though there was no prize or anything to win. Classical music and rock are totally different worlds, and rock has prevailed, in terms of turnover, audience, and media coverage. Prestige was the only thing classical music had more of.

Punk was the thing that put an end to the era of prog rock. It was about bloody time. The Sex Pistols replaced Emerson, Lake and Palmer. A similar bloodless coup would be in order, when it comes to the pompous ballast of meaningless speech. Meaningless speech will be supplied for as long as its hearers refrain from clamouring for something better, newer and curter. The supply does not create the demand, but it plays a role in the picture. People of course think of punk as something that was rude and chaotic, but the lasting legacy of punk has been the requirement for immediacy. If you think about post-punk and new-wave bands, they are and were all immediate in their substance, even if their personal form varied very much.

The same way that people have defenestrated their TV sets and subsequently their superficial and transient content, they should reject empty speech and its spectrum of emptiness.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 30 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Selkeä, subjektiivinen, kriittinen. 3:nnen kappaleen 3 kohdan lista on hyvä.



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