Words of mass disruption

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Oct 03 2017 by Janet Howd Print This Article

The power of tweets to lay a trail of crumbs that we imagine we are seeing, is extremely strong. This slow but persistent infiltration of spurious news is turning into a form of global gobbledegook that is far more destabilising than any real weaponry.

Words evoking false images, rather than ones arising from reality, are definitely in the ascendant and are increasingly distracting our attention from genuinely catastrophic events.

Years ago, the artist Jean Dubuffet questioned whether eyes were “mirrors reflecting the mind’s emissions.” And certainly, these days, that question is being put very strongly to the test.

The whole world fears the destruction a nuclear cloud would bring. But the all-pervasive cloud of nonsense currently creeping up on us via our own obsession with tweets and onscreen visuals is just as dangerous. Indeed, that pall of script and images has already begun to take the air out of far more lungs world-wide than would the detonation of a nuclear warhead. Still alive but definitely not kicking, the human race will soon be unable to save itself from wilting under a cloud of uncertainty because we can no longer discern truth from falsehood.

This is occurring as I write, and it will continue as long as we lack the will to put aside our handhelds from time to time and take in the sights and breathe the smells of the world outside our heads.

Just over a year ago, the sedentary habit of millions of gamers, who until then were connected on-line but never in real time, was broken by a new Pokemon game. Its novelty was that it expected players to go out to find and capture a moving target.

Members of the “Eyes Down But Only Onto a Keyboard Society” (EDBOOKS) must play more games that tempt them to step out into the real world to find what they are seeking. As they do so, they’re bound to notice other stuff, too. And, hopefully, some of that stuff will be sufficiently interesting to deflect its players from concentrating solely on matters that emanate from their mind’s eye.

Today we are exposed to more information than has ever existed before. But, how many sources of this information can be considered truthful, let alone authoritative? More often than not, we’re led to believe that something has happened or is about to happen based on sources that are mere figments of another person’s imagination.

How dangerous is that? If the use of threatening words written in isolation and projected to the far corners of the earth is allowed to continue unabated, it will inevitably lead to serious physical consequences.

Witness the recent ‘nuclear’ salvo of words fired off by America’s Trump - fast returned by North Korea’s Yong-Un - and followed soon after by one from Iran’s Rouhani.

Had the round of Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah nonsense from each leader not started, then the missiles - which everyone knows are held in each country’s bunkers - might have stayed put. But, such is the power of pointed-words to stir up physical frenzy that instead of only firing verbal thrusts across the bows of the USA’s haranguer in chief, the other two decided to provide evidence of their true metal.

We citizens of the world must get out right now and look around together for ways to calm this situation down. If we don’t we are likely find that the only thing left to experience when we finally raise our eyes from our screens is complete and utter desolation.

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About The Author

Janet Howd
Janet Howd

Janet Howd is a voice coach who works with corporate, academic, legal, theatrical and private clients in the UK, North America, Australia and Europe.