In this world, fortune favours not the brave but the loud, the audacious, the mildly aggravating. It benefits those who toot their horn till those listening go deaf or start blasting their own in return. The place for nuance is a small table in the corner of a coffee shop no one visits because it barely gets any sun on it. That is to say, there is no place for it at all. There is little room for the subtle, for the unsaid, for the subliminal. It is a grating world for loud people. The quiet ones, the private ones, the recluses perish. It is not enough to be good; it is only necessary to be loud.
Frankly, the bar has never been lower than it is today for most things. The poetry you find on the bestsellers list in a bookstore—an eerie and haunted place in itself—pales in comparison to the sawdust most writers leave on the floor, shredded, or in the rejection pile. But it is sure of itself, so it is on the shelf. In many ways, this should embarrass us, but it does not, for embarrassment, too, is a silent, personal experience. There is no space for it, not anymore, no. Even our hurt must be a ten-second advertisement with a gut-wrenching hook and a bright typeface. It is a world of performance built by performers in their image and in their favour. Many of us have given up now; in our unique and personal ways, we have given up. All we want is to be left alone, to our own devices.
The time for slipping a sentence that split into strands and slowly took hold of a person is over. A sentence should be short! Poor Hemingway would ail to see the desecration of his advice and all his life’s work. The time of sitting in front of a canvas, crying tears of yellow paint for years, is gone. It is now a world of brevity, of getting to the point quickly. Hurry up! No one has the time. They are too busy shouting their names off their rooftops like fledgling cuckoos, screeching louder than the rightful heirs of the nests they have managed to infiltrate.
It is all too loud and a sad state of affairs, but we do not care. We, the others, are only trying to get a moment, and if the world allows, a few hours of sleep.