Children sitting in the marketplace

“I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?”

There was a chant of the playground that was played out over and over again.  One child would insult another.  A retort would come flying straight back.  The verbal “serve and volley” would become ever more antagonistic.  And at some point one or the other would pick up the chant as their (repeated) return “volley”.

“I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?”

And the futility of name-calling would become ludicrous in the extreme.  Each insult was returned with “that chant”.  The whole thing became meaningless.  My memory is of the “exchange” quickly running out of steam soon after “the chant” was invoked.  Insults only work when they penetrate.  No penetrating – no point.

Some people feel the same about making love.

No penetrating – no point.  That was another playground “urban legend”.  Going all the way.  I never got to hear the female perspective much, it was an all-boys school.  Yet in later years I found out that the “fair sex” could be as graphic and grounded about such things as the “unfair sex” (should that be “gender” instead of “sex” – or maybe “gender” has moved on to whatever word is the politically correct (currently) set of letters).

But is it politically wise (let alone “correct”) to tweet in the same way as one “conversed” in the playground?

“I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?”

It seems that trending tweets are the new truth.  Social media … likes … shares … trending …  And as for “likes” … the number of likes (even if less than the fingers of one hand) when compared to my “You Have No Likes At All … Really ???”  is justification of truth nowadays.  Likes and shares and trending has become truth.  So truth is now what we say it is.  And I have truth because I have likes.  And that means I can penetrate you at will.  So I will (and I do).  And then we are back to “the chant” …

“I know you are, you said you are, but what am I?”

And we call this progress?  How come all these fine technological advances and “tech” simply seem to drag us back to pre-pubescent days (except we seem to choose with hellbent enthusiasm rather than need dragging)?

Maybe I am missing something.  Maybe my aging ears need less noise.  Maybe I am no longer wise but becoming ever more feeble.  Maybe I need to be right far less than I ever did.  Maybe I just need less.

Only that it seems to me our diversity IS our strength.  Our genetic mudpools of difference mean we have the CUMULATIVE capacity to live TOGETHER on this planet in perfect harmony SOLVING and resolving ANYTHING and EVERYTHING.

In fact some of the people I disagree with the most are the very same people I would listen to the most in different circumstances.  And some of the most pleasing opinions for one scenario are not in another.  Even one word – or one silence – can be so much more impactful than a cacophony of shouted instructions.

Google it.  Tweet it.  Like it.  Share it.  Trend it.  Is progress. Is a fact.  But is not truth.

A trend is a bandwagon.  Likes are a curiosity.  148 characters thrown out to the world can be the careless match to light a bonfire of vanities.  And so often the motivation?  “No penetration – no point”.  And so often the reply is the chant of the playground.

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(bible bit)

“They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’” Luke 7:32

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4 thoughts on “Children sitting in the marketplace

  1. yes, I remember it. Today’s Tweets are far more audacious and dangerous since they trade insults with the world rather than the school yard. I have refused to join the nest. Social media bares the chest to the world, allows others to see those parts of ourselves once visible only to a few. Now to a world of avid mobile users that walk head down along our busy streets.


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