‘Awake we share the world; sleeping each turns to his private world.’
By Phil Rockstroh
August 15, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — A couple of decades ago, upon returning to Atlanta, Georgia, after spending a year abroad, I would frequent an independent bookshop that contained a small coffee shop/cafe, where I would sip tea, read books and periodicals, and engage in the nearly extinct art of long form face-to-face verbal discourse with other habituates of the cafe. To this day, I have long standing friendships with a number of people I came to know during those years.
Yet even then, I noticed how the atomization inherent to the internalization of the corporate state (the manner that the domination of commercial and work space had all but eliminated the public commons) had diminished so many people’s ability to converse on all but the most superficial level.
Any invocation to deepen conversation or an assertion that arrived outside of the realm of status quo consensus caused all too many to simply go haywire. People checked out, went blank, testiness ensued…Comfort zones were mobilized for a siege. The space between people became a no man’s land, stippled with a minefield of sensitivities.