Scene4-Internal Magazine of Arts and Culture
Les Marcottt-Scene4 Magazine

Les Marcott

Lazy and Inarticulate

As of this writing, it’s National Emoji Day.  You know emojis – those cute little symbols of emotions rapidly expanding as a substitute for language itself.  I was somewhat late to the game of emojis.  I thought it was some kind of childhood means of expression.  But increasingly, more and more of my colleagues and friends have succumbed to the usage of this means of expression.  I’ve had social media replies in complete emoji. I’ve had to take the time to ascertain just what this particular person had to emote and/or communicate.  Let’s see…an emoji wearing sunglasses, an umbrella, a drink with an umbrella, a sunburned emoji…it seems like a trip to the beach to me.  Why not type I went or I’m going to the beach?   After all, it probably took more time to gather and assort these symbols then it would be to simply express this in written form. 

And now a game changer in the world of emojis – a feces encrusted emoji.  Instead of the old saying “Shit Happens”, simply insert the feces encrusted emoji.  Perhaps people are just enamored of the novelty and cuteness of it all, but have we’ve become inarticulate to the point where we are using our 2017 version of caveman grunts?  Of course, social media helps perpetuate inane posts, shallow replies, sound bites, and rapid bursts of stupidity.  Are we dumbing down or simply evolving to a new form of communication?  Let’s face it, writing, especially cursive writing is so last century.  It’s being displaced by coding and keyboarding in the classroom.  John Hancock is surely turning over in his grave. From ancient cave paintings to hieroglyphics to the Tower of Babel, we are now slouching toward a shack of feces encrusted emojis.  What started out as a bang, will end with a whimper [insert whimpering emoji here].

Perhaps hand in hand with the phenomenon of emojis is the growing presence of “slacktivism”.  Slacktivism is a combination of slacker and activism.  This can basically be described as someone sitting in their underwear eating pork chops and twinkies on their laptop liking or disliking a post related to some political or social movement or event.  That’s the extent of their activism.  Let’s not expend too much energy and effort.  I’ll stand behind you, but it’s going to be from the comfort of my mom’s basement.  Of course, this is a clear case of laziness.  But sometimes we are just too busy…or so it seems.  I once heard a priest say that the breakdown of the American family actually started at the empty dinner table.  Families used to dine together, eat their meals at home not in a car with fast food obtained from Taco Bell.  We used to have family discussions and the desire to find out how each family member was getting along, troubleshooting, problem solving, and most of all... bonding.  But now, Mom works all day, Dad works all night, then there’s school, soccer practice, piano lessons and meeting after meeting after meeting.  We are simply strangers passing through the night.  And no I don’t recommend going back to the 1950’s, but this scenario begs the question, are we too busy or are we too lazy?  Because coordinating a time when everybody can eat together, well that takes work and effort.  Ironically, we are too busy for work and effort. Maybe I doth protest too much. Perhaps I should become more ambivalent [insert ambivalent emoji here].

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Les Marcott is a songwriter, musician, performer and a Senior 
Writer and columnist for Scene4. His latest book of monologues,
stories and short plays, Character Flaws, is published by 
AviarPress. Read his Blog
For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2017 Les Marcott
©2017 Publication Scene4 Magazine





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