Friday, March 26, 2010

Non-Verbal Communication & Non-Communicative Verbiage

What do heads-of-state talk about when push comes to shove? When one is a hawk and the other’s a dove? When there is no lost love and one is below and the other’s above? Blah, Blah. What did he say? zzzzzzz Jet lag. Winston and Franklin seemed to get past the smoke of cigar and cigarette.. Even Putin and Bush wore the same cowboy boots. Did Mao tell Nixon it was opera they were rehearsing? Does diplomacy-speak ever get real?

As authentic as what passes between a batter and a third base coach with 50,000 eyes on them? You have to admire the certitude of the scratch, the tip of the cap and hitch of belt; that elegant dialog resulting in a steal or a bunt.

John Boehner must have his language nuked in the tanning salon. His words die from exhaustion on the way to our ears.

In those Spelling Bees you would get it right or sit down. No mumbles.

Instead, what we get are "talking points"; the re-fried beans they have cooked up for the day's sound bites. Flip the channels and you hear the same limp phrases from dittoed lips; the sound and the fury that signify nothing.

Contrasted with this we can watch a Marx Bros. movie and see Groucho overthrow a government (or Margaret Dumont) with a raised eyebrow and flick of the cigar. Harpo breaks our hearts when he plays as if he is communing with distant stars.

Van Gogh regarded himself as a musician of paint. We hear his voice on every canvas, his howl to the sky, his anguish in the shoes.

Women in high circles spoke volumes the way they positioned their fans. We have to talk she said, as her fingers crossed the ribs. I love you she sighed, her eyes behind the open fan.

In 1919 Nijinski danced for the last time. He spun and whirled and fell apart crashing through the window into the snow. He was deemed to be mad having entered his exile. He said he had danced the war.

Ahead of his time and ours Antoni Gaudi's archetecture still sings and shocks us. His aesthetic is a choir of mosaics, a hymn to the pagan and sacred in us all.

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