March 16, 2021
This Has Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Light Of Ancient Wisdom
We interrupt our regular programming for a rant. With appreciation for your indulgence.
BOR. Beginning of Rant.
I was on a zoom gathering yesterday for an interview conversation with a somewhat controversial author and scholar of Irish heritage. I’m intrigued by this man’s perspectives, have quoted his work in my books, and was really looking forward to listening to the conversation. When the zoom room was opened I briefly clicked out of speaker view to see the audience assembled on four screens. There was a woman painting at her easel and a blacksmith at his forge pounding away with sparks flying. Fortunately everyone was muted.
Now I’ve attended more than my share of lectures at university and as a professor at a local college delivered more than a few. I admit a favorable bias to that setting. However, given the individual images on today’s zoom screens and texting feature where messages ‘from me to everyone’ flash across the screen before slipping into the chat box, this is a very different scenario. I couldn’t help but consider how all this would play out in an actual rather than virtual theater or lecture hall. So imagine this, if you will.
The conversation between host and guest is well underway as people continue to enter the hall. Many don’t quietly take their seats but instead wander down front, turn, wave to the audience and shout, Hello! I’m here! or Hey, I just arrived. Good to be with you all. or Glad I could make it. Sorry I’m late.
But it doesn’t stop there. Frequently throughout the program people stand up, turn to the audience and shout, Wow. That’s an excellent point he made there. or I didn’t know that before. Fascinating stuff. or I totally agree with that. And then, when they are not wandering around the hall, there are those who feel compelled to add their opinion. Here’s a link to better information on this subject. and I have a different take on this and here’s what I think… and When I studied this subject here’s what I found…
It feels like I’ve somehow wandered into a Rocky Horror Picture Show experience. Seriously people? Seriously? And I find myself wanting to shout Just sit down and shut up! This isn’t about you and I didn’t come here for your opinion. Except there would probably be profanity in it. So I don’t.
In this time of pandemic, the zoom platform has been a huge gift. But this side of it, this sense that it’s an all-play event, I find disrespectful. Yes. I appreciate that people are isolated and wanting connection with community. But I find I want to tell them to get a room. Get another zoom room and do the time warp again as many times as floats your boat. Just please leave those antics at the door for events like this one.
EOR. End of Rant.
We now return to our regular programming. Again, thank you for your indulgence.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org