Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me!

Drunken Salute

I can’t hear a word they’re sayin’

When I was a little kid in an insanely loud and crowded family of twelve, all jammed together on the second floor of a converted three family house my father owned, with cousins on the first, and my grandmother on the third, it was inevitable that one of us  would contract something outside and bring it home to infect the rest of us. The whole pack would be taken down within hours.

There were raging fevers with bodies everywhere. I never thought about how dangerously sick we really were back then. My mother could barely keep up with the moaning, the vomit and the runs. If she was sick, we never knew it. It was always about us.

In my fevered state I would have a recurring dream of being surrounded by people in my sphere of influence, father, mother, brother, the local cop, a nun and some relatives. They would surround me and their faces would blow up like balloons. They were making a soundless scream like noise I couldn’t hear but could feel. A tremendous pressure enclosed on me as their faces grew bigger.

Their mouths were moving but nothing came out. You could feel the silence. They were all trying to get me to do something but I couldn’t understand what it was. It was too intense. It was crazy. It would usually frighten me into consciousness. That dream sequence stayed with me for years. Some psychologist would have a ball with that scenario.

I was reminded of that fever like state when my browser locked up for the fourth time as video after video tried to play at once and pop-ups populated the screen. Everyone is screaming at me. It’s manic urgency is yelling at me again, frantically. Look, over here, no, over here. Don’t miss out, hurry, it’s gonna end at midnight. You can proceed in 15 seconds after we jam our unwanted and totally irrelevant message down your throat.

Sometimes a video will load and start playing 15 minutes later when I’m in another room and scare the hell out of me. I’m surrounded again. I’m overwhelmed and nothing makes sense.

So who thinks this is a good idea? Who thinks that pelting people will make them pay attention to you? Attention is currency and it’s not easily given. Not today. I’m looking at my e-mail spam catcher and I have 465 worthless, stupid messages since I booted up two hours ago. That e-mail account is useless to me now. I only keep it in case an old client uses it to reach out to me. I have to quickly peruse this madness so I don’t miss something important. It’s such a waste of time.


Pelting, that’s what it is. It’s that feverish state all over again. Everyone is screaming and nothing’s coming out. The senses have to shut down in order to maintain a semblance of sanity. So this is the environment we’ve created to move our audiences? Yeah, just throw a rock over a big wooden fence and hope it hits something?

It’s never gonna end. You are being forced into a defensive position. Trust no one. Like a speakeasy, what’s the password? Sadly, a lot of valuable, well meaning information will be in the toilet flush of spam catchers and pop up blockers. As time goes on you will be forced to narrow your focus and speak to a smaller audience whose trust you’ve gained by giving them something every time you interrupt them.

It had better be good and not all about you. You will have to be a resource and a font of useful information or it’s overboard you go. “No, I didn’t get your message, must have hit my spam folder”.

If you have any questions or need advice, please feel free to reach out to me here.

Bob O’Hearn

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Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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