Words create words, reality is silent

Most of the words I utter in the course of a day just aren’t that necessary. Sure, I have to communicate with co-workers and friends, but that requires far fewer words than I was using. A lot of my recent reading has tugged me in this direction, most recently a collection of conversations titled, I Am That. An excerpt:

“The moment you start talking you create a verbal universe, a universe of words, ideas, concepts and abstractions, interwoven and interdependent, most wonderfully generating, supporting and explaining each other and yet all without essence or substance, mere creations of the mind. Words create words, reality is silent.”

If that’s too woo woo for you, here’s George Carlin:

“More than half of what comes out of your mouth in that client presentation is mindless, pointless, idiotic sounding, space-filling blather. Don’t you want meetings to be shorter? Aren’t you sick of fake words that mean nothing? Wouldn’t you rather be actually creating something rather than killing it with the boatload of words you throw at it before you ever show it to the client? Of course you would. So stop talking like an idiot.”

I’d love to have a transcript of every conversation I had for 24 hours. I’d highlight just the stuff that needed to be said. What percent do you think that might be?

George Carlin on mindless marketing blather

AdRants points us to a wonderful 4 min bit of a George Carlin performance:

“More than half of what comes out of your mouth in that client presentation is mindless, pointless, idiotic sounding, space-filling blather. Don’t you want meetings to be shorter? Aren’t you sick of fake words that mean nothing? Wouldn’t you rather be actually creating something rather than killing it with the boatload of words you throw at it before you ever show it to the client? Of course you would. So stop talking like an idiot.”

I’ve been working hard in recent years to do more listening than talking in meetings with clients. I’m not there. I still talk too much. But I’m making progress.

The experiment I’m dying to try is to record (audio) one of the client presentations. And then transcribe it. That is when we will see just how mindless and pointless most of our blather is. The simple truth is, we can’t hear how dumb we sound while we’re talking.

Why American education sucks

George Carlin’s latest comedy special on HBO (Life Is Worth Losing) had some really strong moments and others where I thought he was reaching. The open was Carlin at his best. A pissed-off poet for the 21st century. The all-suicide cable channel didn’t work for me, but he was at his rage-fueled best explaining why our education system will never get any better (3 min video). Recorded live at the Beacon Theater in New York City, this is why you want to have HBO.

George Carlin on future of the planet

“We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.”

— George Carlin rant on why the planet is fine

The wisdom of Hermann Goring

Regular readers know I’m a big fan of George Carlin (and letting other people doing my thinking) so I would have bought his new book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?, even if Wal-Mart hadn’t banned it. And I couldn’t get past the acknowledgments without finding something worth writing down:

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.” –Hermann Goring at the Nuremberg Trials

I think I’m gonna need a fresh highlighter.