I’ve said before that I’m not an auditory learner. Although dialogue is fine, and I never had a problem listening intently to clients, the prepared speech has always been an enormous bore to me.
This was a big problem when I was growing up. Classes were mainly a bunch of blah-blah-blah (see above cartoon), and this included most of college, which was heavily based on the “lecture to the multitudes in a huge auditorium” system. Religious sermons were something I came to dread. Even poetry and literary readings that interested me made my brain go on walkabout, no matter how many times I resolved that this time it would be different. And my efforts at listening to Books on Tape were laughable. After the first few paragraphs I would invariably start daydreaming and totally lose the thread as the voice became a meaningless drone. Try finding your place in a recorded book once you’ve lost it; it’s hopeless.
Political speeches are the worst of the worst. This is true whether it’s a candidate I like or one I dislike. Unless the orator is Churchill, in a few minutes I’m out. My concentration is stellar for any written matter, and that’s the way I prefer to get my information.
Maybe that’s why I tend to focus more on substance in politics than style. And that’s why, even though I was determined to listen to the speeches of both Clintons, I only lasted about ten minutes each. It also might be why I am immune to Obamalove, which seems to be transmitted mainly through the auditory, speech-listening mode—and I have little doubt that I’d be immune to it even if I were still a Democrat.
I’ve watched the Democratic Convention off and on, a few minutes here and there. And I’m puzzled when I see the starry-eyed acolytes, be they wedded to Obama or to Hillary. I have no idea how a grownup thinking person can invest that much love and hope in any politician. This sort of thing is seen in both parties at the conventions, but if my small sample of acquaintances is typical it’s seen a bit more often in the rank and file of Democrats. Conservatives tend to be more cynical about what government—and politicans—can do, with an emphasis on “first, do no harm.”
I doubt I’ll be able to get through much of Obama’s speech at the Greek Temple this evening. How about you?