Saturday, December 18, 2010
I had the not so unique experience of dealing with a blowhard yesterday. What has caused the recent increase in people who feel the need to bloviate at will? Why do these people feel the need to erupt like some verbal pinata about any topic under the sun?
The best example I ever found of this phenomena is in Woody Allen's movie Annie Hall . What makes these folks just go on and on about any topic? They also suffer from Voice Modulation Disorder. They talk like they are addressing an outdoor high school commencement . Even if they sit three rows behind you in a plane they sound like they are in the next seat. Rows ten through eighteen are all privy to this font of knowledge emoting from the guy in row fifteen. The only one safe from this verbal cornucopia is the spouse that has years ago lost the ability to hear his droning.
I sometimes wonder why adult-bloviation-disorder seems to be on the increase. Perhaps:
The decrease in inhibitory neuro transmitters in the elderly (this is what makes your ninety year old aunt feel the need to describe her last bowel movement to you).
The self-esteem movement (this has taught children that every thought they have is important to a stranger).
The new social network (where people feel the need to share every headache, burp and emotion they have on a real-time basis with thousands of strangers).
The feelings of increased irrelevance in the retired (their biggest decision of the day may whether to take one or two stool-softeners).
The feelings of helplessness over the collapse of our country (they realize we are bankrupt and no longer a great nation).
The touchy-feely pop-psychology of afternoon TV (this promotes the idea that talking in and of itself is therapeutic and can solve any problem including world hunger).
I'm getting better at recognizing the blow-hard and distancing myself from their machinations. I realize that the conversation they are having has really nothing to do with me; the reason I'm there is to just silence the voice in their head. For the true bloviator the only one of any importance is himself. With the help of technology bloviation doesn't even require a warm body, they can zip down I-15 with the cell phone at their ear and their head crooked like they've had a stroke while they try to use up 5,000 minutes.
Luckily I have CP to tell me when my pomposity and voice modulation disorder surfaces. I also had a father that taught me not to be the center of attention, he would say "keep quiet so people won't know how stupid you are". It was a time before books like Raising Kids God's Way made Little Johnny think everything he said was profound.