Thursday, June 28, 2018

Betrayed by Words: The New Tower of Babel

I used to have a passionate faith in words - reading them, writing them, speaking them. I consumed words with a fire born of the belief that they carried meaning, the power to change and grow, an illuminating vision of humanity, the pieces of some truth greater than ourselves that could help us make meaning in this complicated world.

I still want to believe that, but lately I feel as if I've lost my faith in words. They have become monstrous, meaningless things that screech in the darkness, a vast infestation of noxious weeds, where the rare examples that enlighten or further conversation are choked out by the clanging cymbals, the noisy trumpets, the sounding gongs, the empty and preening pronouncements. You can't count on them. They hide the truth and create divisions instead of connections.

Perhaps words have always been slippery things. But the cacophony has become deafening in this digital age. The internet is the new Tower of Babel.

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