Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Attention must be paid.

Here we are, August 1st, a bright sunny day in the city, with a dusty blue sky--a harbinger of what are supposed to be 90-degree temperatures.

It's already 8:30 as I write this, but the office is empty. I have some Verdi on my iPod and I am listening to old Italians, or Greeks in the case of Maria Callas, bellow out some 150-year-old tunes. They're tunes filled with life. Sadness, death, birth and laughter.

The only other sound--I can hear it over the "Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra," is the sound of white noise whooshing from the ceiling. The white noise is supposed to blot out the chaos of the huge mistake they call the open-plan office. In an hour or two, the office will sound like an old dump-truck rattling its way down a potholed highway. It will be noisy as sin, with interruptions about every nine seconds, with people prattling across desk barriers and all the rest.

I suppose this "ambient noise" has a purpose. If nothing else, it should serve to remind this of the atmosphere we are advertising in. There is not "attention" anymore. And though the pundits claim interruption is dead, I think they're wrong.

People, these days, whether they're at home in their living rooms, taking care of the kids, exercising, driving to work or at work are, these days, so busy that everything is interruption.

We seem, as a culture, to be unable to do one thing at a time anymore. It's why in our amped-up, amphetamined world, everything takes twice as long as it should, mostly because no one listened the first two or three times they were supposed to.

That's why, to be sure, I get in early.

I finish the nine or 11 things that have piled upon my table or computer desktop throughout the night. I read the op-eds in "The New York Times." I find time, and have for over ten years now, to write yet another meaningless post.

Thanks for your attention. 

BTW: Attention must be paid, from Mr. Arthur Miller.

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