You SAT afficienados know that the "listening skills" category is on that test. Is there a direct correlation between brain aneurisms, blood pressure, strokes, hypertension, and listening? We have an attention deficit that dwarfs any national budget problems. It is ironic, but I don't remember it being like this. Here is another irony: in an age where young people don't pay attention, it isn't politically correct to scream. Young people don't like listening and they don't like being screamed at. What are we left with? Perhaps a mafia-esque kind of throaty whisper. That doesn't scare anyone any more either. It seems the only thing to get people to listen would be the very thing that would also get the attention of the Department of Homeland Security.
Do you ever feel like you are speaking to a different world in a different dimension of space and time? Your audience looks like they are listening to a different person. The person or people you are talking to look eager and enthused, but they unfortunately aren't in the same dimension of space and time as you. The communication barrier seems to be so high and wide that we need to tesseract to span it. We have an information superhighway, but regular conversation seems to be the Erie Canal. Point A to Point B seems to have some kind of advanced algebra between them or a Picasso painting. If I were only Scooby-Doo. If I were only a fly. Even a ball of string. Game-boy is too much to ask. All material cannot be made into stand-up comedy.
I know we've done this to ourselves. Actually, I think a whole lot of other people mainly did it. I had only a very small contribution. We've amused ourselves to death to go with the Neil Postman title. It isn't just the amusements. We've heaped the burden on the communicator. That puts a huge strain on school teaching, but school is required. Church can no way be like school and survive. England hasn't adapted so they have a huge unchurched population. Church must be entertainment at least. We've done that here in the U. S., explaining the mega-church movement. Want listeners? Got Powerpoint?