Them’s Fightin’ Words

At Real Clear Politcs, Chuck Raasch discusses the death of writing and its influence on current political discussions:

Imagery is the primary medium of our time, a potentially powerful host for good change and authentic understanding. But in its shadow, we have gotten lazy in our appropriation of the correct words to assuage or understand or to seek the common humanity that is in all of us. Today, throwing barbs and brickbats into the Great Din of the Internet has become as second nature as breathing, and one can do it so ubiquitously that words have become devoid of any meaningful consequence. The Great Din requires no forethought, no real calculation of purpose or result, no contemplative brake, no need to seek angles or views beyond those that reaffirm or reassure what we think right now. The best photographers still work patiently and incessantly for the right angles, the right lighting, the right moments to tell the story most truthfully and honestly. Would that more writers do likewise.

This is a big reason why our approach to politics is broken. Seeking any edge, the leading actors too often talk about optics over accommodation or resolution. By boiling complex issues into single images or seven-word slams, everyone actor, describer, citizen is let off the hook, content with their own translators and tribes. Even the once-derided 30-second sound bite has become archaic, too lengthy for our run-and-gun debates.

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