Home > Fonzie of the Week > Fonzie of the Week #7: Good Listeners

Fonzie of the Week #7: Good Listeners

September 11th, 2009 2 comments
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Good ListenersIt’s a well-kept secret among married people that the key to good communication is oftentimes to simply shut your mouth. Nine times out of ten this simple step will get you out of the woods with relatively little trouble. I’m not advocating that you space out and stop paying attention; I’m just saying that you’ll find your marital life greatly improved if you learn to button your lips sometimes. To put it another way, God gave you only one mouth, but two ears. In recognition of this sage advice, and because they seem to be in short supply these days, Good Listeners are the Fonzie of the Week.

I’m aware that there’s a certain irony to be found in the notion of a blogger who writes about the virtues of shutting up and listening. Bloggers tend to be the type to make noise, not quietly consume it, myself included. But hey – at least I managed to make it through President Obama’s speech this Wednesday without shouting inappropriately, which is sadly more than can be said for some of our elected officials. I’m looking at you, Joe Wilson!

…and unfortunately, so is everybody else. Yes, bad bad behavior gets attention, which is something toddlers have known for centuries. I don’t know what it means that it’s apparently taken Congress some 230 years to catch on. But to their credit, it only took them 24 hours to figure out how to use said bad behavior to earn big bucks in campaign contributions. And as Tom DeLay has shown us, the disgraced politician’s inevitable reality TV stardom doesn’t have to be bawdy – it can be on a classy ballroom dance show!

While it’s tempting to admonish Rep. Wilson for his lack of basic human decency, one must consider the possibility that he’s actually doing his job quite well. I mean, based on the conduct exhibited at recent town hall meetings, we Americans are apparently quite the rowdy bunch. Somebody’s got to represent all us dumbasses accurately when it comes time to pass legislation, and since those most qualified are all too busy professional wrestling, people like Joe Wilson will have to do.

Now personally, I would like to see Congress filled with educated, reasonable people who can agree that in the richest country in the world, even a poor person or – gasp! – an illegal immigrant should be able to go to the doctor when they’re sick. (Shockingly enough the Hippocratic Oath doesn’t mention nationality.) But hey, maybe I’ve got it all wrong. After all, there are a lot of people who think free health care is anti-American but that waving the flag under which a bunch of slave owners tried to un-Americanize themselves isn’t. And for the record, the Confederate flag still flies on the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol. I don’t particularly like it, but the simple truth is that until the South rises again, they’re still Americans and they still get a vote.

Actually, now that I think about it: good work, Rep. Wilson! The more I hear you speak, the more I’m certain you are championing the desires of the woefully uneducated American in Washington. Way to go, tiger. You’ve earned all the perks that your office affords. Speaking of which, how are you enjoying that health insurance your constituents help pay for with their taxes? Your ear, nose and throat guy must be terrific, because your voice came out clear as a bell when you interrupted the President of the United States like an ignoramus!

I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, that’s right: Fonzie of the Week. Good Listeners.

Hey all you good listeners, keep fighting the good fight, even if the rest of us aren’t yet. And Congress, take a page from the Husband’s Handbook: shut the hell up. Start listening to each other. Work together to make things better. It’s not too late to turn yourselves into good listeners, and if you do, I’m willing to consider you all a bunch of Fonzies. Well, maybe all of you except Joe Wilson. That guy’s a tool.

  1. robertsoup
  2. September 15th, 2011 at 01:47 | #2

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