A Long Silence

Dear Readers,

Not for the first time, I break a long silence. Perhaps my longest silence ever.

In the past, I’ve written about being busy, lots of excuses for not writing, etc. All the experts on blogging say it is an error to not post regularly. I am in error.

This time, my silence has been for a deeply emotional reason. I have been overwhelmed by the events around me. I have wanted to write so much that I have been paralyzed, and unable to say a word.

Events in the United States, not just the presidential election, but all of what has been going on there the last few years in terms of polarisation, (lack of) gun control, blindness to climate change, exclusion of voters, return of increasing racism, etc. have bothered me, since the U.S. is such an important force in the world, despite efforts of its current leaders to ridicule itself.

Even more serious, from my personal point of view, are events going on in Catalonia, where I pass about half of my life (Barcelona). The conflict between Catalan independence supporters and the Spanish government is rife with stupidity on both sides. But the actions of the Spanish government defy belief, and border on fascistic tendencies. I do not use this word lightly. I usually criticise people who tend to call anyone who does something they don’t like a fascist. I do mean it seriously with regard to the Spanish government. The problem is, though I can assemble lots of evidence, it is too overwhelming to do so in print. What we are living as daily life in Barcelona is both “normal” (business goes on as usual) and “oppressive” in that every attempt by a major segment of the population (you can argue if it’s a majority or not, but you can’t deny that it’s significant) is systematically suppressed by a judiciary that is in no way independent of politicians, and is manipulated by a cynical central government that only knows how to crush its opposition, not to negotiate or understand.

This blog is about communication and information. I state clearly, and from personal knowledge, that the Spanish government is not only lying to its own people and the international community, it is manipulating the Spanish media to control the message Spanish people receive, building hatred against Catalans while accusing Catalans of “hate crimes” against Spain. People who wear a yellow ribbon, symbolising support for political prisoners, are arrested for “hate crimes,” and sometimes beaten up in the street, while those who paint Nazi Swastikas on walls go uncharged, not even for graffiti.

The media in Europe and North America have begun to realise how they have been duped, but the depth of the corruption and authoritarianism that we are seeing here is not getting out.

All of this makes me sad and silent, and I apologize. I should have something useful to contribute. Mostly, I’m doing it elsewhere than in this blog.

Author: Ray

Ray Gallon is president and co-founder of The Transformation Society (www.transformationsociety.net), a research, training and consulting company focusing on building learning organisations that can manage complexity and the digital transformation. He has over 40 years as a communicator, first as an award-winning radio producer and journalist, then in the technical content industries. His management experience includes a stint as program manager of WNYC-FM, New York City’s public radio station. Ray is a self-described "humanist nerd," and has always been interested in the meeting point between technology and culture, and has used his broad experience to advantage with companies such as IBM, General Electric Health Care, Alcatel, 3M, and the OECD, as well as in smaller companies and startup enterprises. Ray recently helped co-found the Information 4.0 Consortium (www.information4zero.org) and serves as its current president. Ray is a university lecturer and a keynote speaker at events throughout the world. He has contributed articles and chapters to many books and periodicals and is the editor of the recently published “Language of Technical Communication” (XML Press).

4 thoughts on “A Long Silence”

  1. I know. It feels like our world has been rocked to its foundation. Sometimes the best way to make sense out of it is to start writing, even before we know what we’re going to say. If you do that, I’ll be here to read. Then perhaps we can start making sense of it together.

  2. During the period between the two world wars, the sound poetry movement was born. It was an artistic expression in reaction to the unspeakable butchery that was World War I for the soldiers in the trenches. Artists like Hugo Ball, or Kurt Schwitters created poetry using “language” that had no meaning. A kind of resounding silence.

    My equivalent is a lot less artistic, and more prosaic – and silent. Today, I deleted the Facebook account I deactivated five years ago. The definitive silence – at least on that channel.

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