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April 2, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Things You Already Know But Just Need To Be Told

It’s Not How You Say It’s What You say

You have listened to enough music, read enough poetry, and spoken to enough hair- pullingly pretentious wankers to know that people, these days, don’t listen. They just wait to talk, and when they talk it’s just noises, man, not ideas. Communication is no longer the sharing and development of concepts, just the spitting of vocal cud by sheeple. Apparently.

As frustratingly obtuse and usually willfully ignorant as the people who express such broad strokes nihilisticisms (usually couched in swathes of equally ill thought out magical thinking) can be, they are kinda right. Which is annoying. But not as annoying as all the times that you realise that the greatest cliche of all is that cliches are cliches because there is some element of truth to them. You already know that we live in a world that values style before content, but what you need to be told is that the impetus is on you to change that.

The act of creation and sharing is amazing. It is one of those things that probably separates us from the animals. I know there is probably some animal behaviour specialist out there scoffing into their rum and raisin smug muffin (smuffin) at that statement but, well y’know, I’d like to see an elephant write Ulysses. So there. We have already discussed in this column how as we feel the cold tightness of our mortality we turn to our ideas for our immortality. But people seem to be forgetting the idea part of that.

Our generation is obsessed with the making of things, with creative expression. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest. All our hobbies are no longer based around enjoying the narratives of others but finding and refining the lenses through which we view our own. We write our lives into existence. That is, without doubt, a good and worthwhile thing. However that post-modern renarrativisation of our lives is not the same as the grotesque, vapid, porridge gray lip flap of empty nothingnesses that often sits very much along side it.

It boils down to this one easy simple rule—If you have something to say, something to express, some new thought to distribute, say it. If you don’t, wait until you do before you open your maw. Anyone can make something, anyone can express themselves. Most people do. But making something is the easy part. Finding what you want to do with that mode of expression is the important and hard part. There is no one kind of person responsible for the hot empty morning breath of non-ideas that fogs every mode of expression. No one is to blame for this because everyone is to blame for this. Everyone does it, especially you, and how we change it, how we raise the quality of any discourse is to remember that quality is what counts. Not quantity.

You need to get used to the fact that not everything you think and say is genius worth sharing with the world. Censorship is only bad when it is external and what this overabundance of modes of expression has done is remove our useful internal controls. You need to train yourself to ask of everything you put out in the world whether you really care about it, let alone whether other people will. You will find, oddly often, that you don’t and, you know what, that’s okay. No one is a genius all the time, and the only people that think they are aren’t at all.

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About the Author ()

Uther was one of the two arts editors in 2009. He was the horoscopier and theatre writer in 2010. Alongside Elle Hunt, Uther was coeditor in 2011.

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