I’ve just finished a phone interview for a local radio news station, realizing that I didn’t articulate half of what I wanted to say. Not being a professional, I stumbled over thoughts that normally I would have been able to express very clearly. The interviewer was not harsh – had he been I’d have been totally tongue-tied. I managed to get a few points across, so I didn’t do 100% bad. Still, it could have been so much better. The subject: a proposed stadium. My role: speaking on behalf of the Gastown Residents Association. The whole situation is heating up as tonight is the city council meeting to decide of the fate of the stadium proposal. Our association wants it stopped, or relocated to another part of the city more conducive to such a large project.
I took this role, but I’m not used to the public arena (metaphorically speaking, not an actual public arena, like the proposed stadium, haha). Since becoming involved with this, I have been learning really a lot about the public sphere in which so much in our world is decided and developed. Not sure if I like it, it’s like confronting the mind of a very very large animal. Big single ideas can communicate to it, but subtle or varigated thoughts can’t go very far, can’t be seen or heard – they don’t register. In my search to find big single ideas, and as I sort through my mind to find them under the pressure of media time, I stumble over the words, not only appearing stupid for a few moments, but losing the attention of that very large animal, “the public”. It moves on to other sources for its attention, unless I can make a big gesture, a loud sound, a new compelling statement.