Active Listening By The Deaf

Man. I can’t believe how people who claim to be good listeners don’t really listen. Or maybe they only listen in certain contexts, and then turn off their ears everywhere else.

I said I was in training to work with people who are trying to get out of abusive situations, and that would involve learning how to listen, right? Well, it seems my fellow trainees don’t have the talent mastered yet. I was sitting with them, and Martha Stewart came up in conversation. All I said was, “It pisses me off that just because she’s a celebrity, she can have the rules bent for her.” I’d just heard on the news that she really wanted to go to this pumpkin fest in Nova Scotia and help them raise money. That’s dandy. But she’s a criminal, which means you have to have a special visa to get across the border. And apparently, she and her 50000 lawyers didn’t investigate this until it was too late. So instead of accepting her fate and not coming, she whined and cried like a spoiled child until they made her a special visa.

After I spoke these words, all hell broke loose in the room. Crise of”don’t pick on Martha Stewart, she only went down because she was a democrat. and because she’s female.” erupted all over the place. Of course. I should expect this in a room full of radical feminists. But what flew right over their heads as they started spasming, knee-jerk reaction style, is that whole argument is beside the point. I don’t care if she was wrongly accused of ass-raping a goat. The point is she was convicted, and she should abide by the same rules as the rest of the convicts. And on top of that, she wasn’t even wrongly accused, so that shred of sympathy is gone. If some other common criminal just found out their great aunt in another country was on her deathbed and wanted to go see her, you know what would happen? They’d find out they’d need a special visa, wouldn’t be able to get it, and would have to live with the fact that they didn’t hear great aunt Birtha’s dying words as long as they lived, and no one would care. That would be the end of it. But because she’s Queen Martha Stewart, they kissed her ass and she got special treatment. That was what pissed me off.

But nobody heard that. They heard Martha Stewart and started flipping out about how she was apparently unjustly treated and males did way worse than she did and got off scott free because they were republican males. Ok, perhaps. But you see those things on the sides of your heads? Ya know, they’re not just used for balance. They’re used to listen. LISTEN! L i s t e n! Next time, before you chop off my head, ears and all, actually listen to what I have to say.

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