Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I Think I'll Die My Hair Blue
Words are important. I don't think many of us realize the value of our speech. The reason I blog, write, tweet, email, and phone call is to have my true voice conveyed. Recently, my house had a family meeting; or conference, as my grandfather would say. The agenda was highlighted by the revelation that no one felt like they were being communicated to appropriately. If there is one thing I want to make sure I teach my kids is they should never fail to tell the people most important in their lives how much they mean to them. It's a lofty goal but it's a goal germane to our family. The problem is with the rest of you.
The internet circulated story about flight attendant Steven Slater taking over the PA system, cursing out everyone, grabbing two beers, hitting the slide chute and essentially quitting his job is grand style is whitewashing the main point and central problem. Poor communication between an rude airline passenger and a self absorbed, immature air steward led to lives being endangered and inconvenienced. Imagine the words not used in that confrontation that could have saved Slater and the other people on that plane some stressful moments.
I am proclaiming my hypocrisy right here, right now. I graduated from the University of Alabama with a BA in communications. I work as a project manager for a Fortune 500 communications company. I write in a three ring binder every other night, and I maintain a twitter account and this blog. Yet, I fail, often, at communicating myself properly, appropriately and respectfully to the people I care about the most. My actions and my words rarely match. Then again, even if I ahd a P.h.D. in communications I still wouldn;t know to communicate with women.
The video I posted at the beginning of this blog is a 1981 new wave song by Missing Persons called Words. The lyrics were written over 30 years ago by Dale Bozzio but they read like something from a frustrated technology strung out writer in 2010. http://www.lyricsfreak.com/m/missing+persons/words_20346503.html
About 3 minutes into the song the line "I'll think I'll die my hair blue" is dropped. It's subtle. It's beautiful placed. It's poignancy is because anyone can relate to that feeling of speaking to someone, everything is going through one ear and out the other, and you feel like saying "time to set myself on fire" "I'm going to walk around naked" or "the aliens abducted me last night" just to get their attention. I think I'll die my hair blue is perfect.
My wife and kids make fun of me when I say "let's talk" or "take responsibility for what you say". Not because they are bad talkers or they're irresponsible but because I place such a priority on words, vocabulary and speech. How each of us communicate is important. Twitter limits you to 140 characters and tracking down the right hash tag to convey sarcasm isn't the easiest thing or quickest thing to do. Offline, real life, in person communication has no limits. Your only real world has tag should be truth.
I long for the band Missing Persons. Not only did they make us think with "Words" but dance with "Destination Unknown" and "Walking in L.A.". Now, if I could convince my wife to dress like Terry Bozzio for Halloween, or some random Saturday night, I would, without reservation; die my hair blue. Do you hear me, do you care?
Posted by Lance at Wednesday, August 11, 2010