Neil Young battled the audience at New York’s Carnegie Hall last night. Time and again, he had to ask them to stop yelling out between songs. “You guys finished? No? You paid real good money to get in here, so you should be able to listen to each other.” Neither did they listen to the ushers telling them not to take pictures, flashes going off in all corners, guaranteeing each and everyone a personalized blurred memento.
It’s a common disease, not being able to listen, our self-centered world only getting worse. As Laetitia Sadier sings in Stereolab’s The Seeming and Meaning:
We communicate more and more
In more defined ways than ever before
But no one has got anything to say
It’s all very poor it’s all just a bore
Paolo Sorrentini’s La Grande Bellezza, although a somewhat tedious film, does offer one character, a poet, who says nothing. Explains the protagonist. “He’s an excellent listener.”
It’s something to aspire towards.