From the editor
// Giles Roy

In my role as a person who spends a great deal of time on the campus of a mid-sized community college*, I'm consistently subjected to a sort of noise. Not the disruptive film building construction or the grindcore that perpetually seeps from Marco's headphones (I find both of those things oddly comforting). I'm actually referring to human noise -- the sound of endless output from the mouths of my peers.

In classes, they put up their hands and waste everyone's time so they can attempt to impress their professors**. On the bus ride home, they recount stories of inebriation and sexual conquest. David Clarkson starts a conversation with me as we pee at adjacent urinals.

The problem (for me) is how brainless this chatter tends to be. So many of our interactions with one another are accented in some way by ignorance. And I mean that in every sense of the word.

In one way, people are content to really ignore the fact that they know very little. It's more self-satisfying to state something, after all, than to ask a question. A common scenario involves someone complaining at great length about something they don't understand. Their bus was late. Their living expenses are too high. Their president is doing a bad job. Each of us assumes we have something to offer, conversationally, so we spend most of our time spewing words***.

Everyone talks, and no one listens. It's a common problem, long perpetuated by our unchecked egos. Which neatly ties into the other type of ignorance.

The other type of ignorance is far more obvious, and distressingly common.

Let's say I work in retail****. I spend a lot of time with one of my coworkers, an older guy. He’s a good coworker -- enthusiastic, hard working and generally good spirited. He’s also casually racist. Every now and then, he’ll sneak an off-colour remark into an anecdote.

I won’t say anything in those instances. I’ll notice, sure, and raise my eyebrows, but I won’t start an argument. I won’t interrupt the thought process of this half-friend half-stranger to tell him that I now think a little less of him. I’ll simply think a little less of him.

I’ve heard a few stories about people “speaking up” in similar situations, but I hear much more frequently about my friends’ frustrations at being unable to act.

These are just examples. Clearly, not everyone’s guilty of this stuff*****. But recently, more and more, I’ve found myself yearning for silence. And that’s unhealthy.

*University, whatever.
**These people are hilariously referred to as “windfuckers.”
***I realize the irony of writing an editorial about this.
****I really do! But this is a fictional example.
*****Sorry for implicating you, David Clarkson.

//Giles Roy, editor-in-chief

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