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And another thing…

Posted by on August 1, 2002

“Good morning,” says the professor in a heavy French accent.

“Good morning,” I say, in just my plain old voice.

“You see,” he says, “people are so rude.” And he reads me a note one of his students has written him. I agree that it is rude. “But language comes from the body, you know?”

“Mmm,” I say, wanting desperately to say something intelligent, sensing this could be the best conversation I’ll have all day, but having at the same time no idea what he means.

“Well we are all so disconnected, “he says.

“Yes,” I say. “It’s the new self-sufficiency.”

“The illusion of self-sufficiency,” he says.

“Yes, because we’re connected through the phone and the computer. People feel they have a license to be ruder when speaking online.”

“And this becomes the new standard of conduct in face to face transactions. We are more connected and therefore less.”

“And that’s what reality TV is,” I say, and he says “A new, cruder mode of connection between people, because we’ve lost that delicate structure.”

Pause. Thoughtful nodding. He has lovely feet in his loafers. He looks around. “You have a lot of space here,” he says. “You could hold dances. A different troop every week.”

I am reduced to “Mmm” again.

“Of course, that’s what’s needed. More dancing. People become tighter and tighter here, their bodies. The terrible illusion of the mind.”

Ohhhh. Language comes from the body. I get it.

I know, it’s not profound. But it sounds profound when you hear it in a French accent. And it really made my morning. Plus, how often does a Faculty Emeritus look at me like I’m a person with a brain, rather than a retard who is occasionally allowed to work the copier? But only never. So I share this, my triumph, with you, my apparently poorly connected readers.

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