1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


The Sound of Silence

Herman King - April 20, 2012

Another sign of the times. Lack of communication. The aloofness of the Zeitgeist. Now that I'm an "old-timer," even surviving Dick Clark, I know the real meaning of the elderly cliché "the good old days." People would respond to your communications. Now they insulate themselves with barriers of technology. Or just rudely ignore you.

Having been born and "reared" in a rural area I used the US mail a lot (this was a long, long time before e-mail). I would write to everybody and everybody would answer. No more. You can still write to everybody but don't hold your breath till you get an answer.

I once wrote liberal U. S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, a fan letter because I liked his book. I received a warm, friendly answer. Later I wrote conservative Chief Justice Warren Burger and asked for the text of his dissenting vote in a case where a confessed child killer was freed on a technicality, I got a prompt reply along with the requested text.

Fast forward to the present Supreme Court. I wrote every justice along with the clerk of court and simply requested information about verifying one of their decisions, I wanted to hear something straight from the horse's mouth. Not a single pompous ass in black robes deigned to answer my letter. I wrote a second time and still no answer. My request? Hardly anything involving national security. I had just read a biography of the great scientist Nikola Tesla in which was stated the U.S. Supreme Court ruled shortly after Tesla's death in 1938 that his (Tesla's) patent of the radio superseded that of Marconi or anyone else. (Though Marconi generally still receives the credit) I verified this from other sources but the court's silence still annoys me.

The contemporary isolation of the ruled from the rulers is a harbinger of worse to come, I fear. It covers the entire spectrum of society: business and government. Even politicians send form letters unless they know you. (Like the late Joann Davis and John Dalton who always sent me personal responses). Is it all part of the climate of fear imposed by our government and media or the dehumanizing of modern technology?

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