The Parasimple Theory of Communication
Theories abound on how and why communication takes place among human beings. I’ve taught them all for many a moon to college students in communications classes. I guess the latest variation is the transactional theory, in which meaning between two (or more) individuals is somehow negotiated as in a transaction.
If that’s the case, we’ve got a lot of scary negotations going on in the verbal realm of society, at least here in America.
In a recent class I taught (to working, responsible adults, mind you), one student–to the nodding understanding of others in the class–launched into a diatribe about how it was okay for [tag]Bill Clinton[/tag] to smoke marijuana because [tag]George Bush[/tag] was strung out on cocaine before he became president.
Now, other than the obvious fact that if this were true, the media would’ve pilloried Bush into oblivion, how could anyone entertain this idea and take it seriously?
Thus I came up with my own theory of communication, which I’m labeling the parasimple theory. Let me explain. Para means beyond or outside, that sort of thing, right? So starting with the fairly accurate observation and assumption that the masses of humankind form their communications beyond the realm of reality (e.g., a president strung out on cocaine), I decided to add nincompoop to the equation, but parapoop didn’t sound too respectable and paracom didn’t cut it.
So I looked up the word nincompoop, and one of its synonyms was simpleton. Thus I concocted parasimple, which I think pretty accurately describes how humans communicate: Seize the simplest explanation that satisfies the deepest, darkest recesses of your soul and run with it to the exclusion of any contradictory evidence or even common sense itself. What you believe may not be true, but it somehow makes you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
Am I too far off? Or even in asking the question and getting rebuked, am I not just proving my own point?
Sometimes I scare myself, so my apologies if I’ve scared you.