I was talking yesterday with my friend Lance Mannion via the old fashioned telephone. We weren’t Skyping or Apple Watch-ing. We imagined our respective faces and gestures. On the phone everyone is blind. We must coin a neologism for “phone nostalgia” while it’s still possible. Soon it will be impossible to speak without Dick Tracy micro-cameras. Accordingly we’ll have to observe our friends and acquaintances stretched on sofas wearing Sponge Bob Square Pants leisure wear.
In a college class recently one of my students at Syracuse said people dressed better in the United States fifty years ago. “Have you been to Wal Mart lately?” she asked. “Everyone slumps around in pajamas and horrible sweat pants.”
“Well,” I said, “fifty years ago people dressed up because there was a general expectation you could get a job. Dress for Success meant something. Nowadays millions have given up. A new slogan might be: Why Get Dressed When You’re Depressed?”
“It’s a Sponge Bob nation,” I said.
Let us imagine our respective faces and gestures. Faces still matter.
My face has harvested black currants.
When I was five years old I danced around the house buck naked while wearing a cowboy hat. “I’m the bare cowboy!” I said. I thought this was the funniest thing on earth. That was a face.
Nothing terrifies us more than godforsaken faces. Let your face always spark.
Let it be real and alive.
Imagine this for your friend.
Imagine it for someone you don’t necessarily like.
Every face is a foreign dialect we can get to know.
Yes, I’m blind but I know your face.
I heard it on the telephone.