Audio Surrealism

Oh surreally?I can't be the only one who's noticed this. It doesn't happen all the time, but every so often there's one day during which newscasters, commentators, and others on radio and television broadcasts are unable to speak in any useful way. I don't mean they're just fluffing their lines; I mean they're using words that don't exist. Hear it once and it's an insignificant anomaly. But when one after another is emitting gibberish, on different programs and at various times during the day, the listening experience becomes an exercise in audio surrealism.

Why is this happening? Yesterday, I listened as otherwise articulate speakers on national radio blurted out munged sentences as if some demented trickster had gotten hold of their scripts. I wish I had stopped to write down those gems of miscommunication, but alas, I did not. Words like communicationism, possibly, just to give you some idea of the flavor. If all the speakers were in the same place at the same time, you could chalk it up to things like ultra low-pressure systems, or atmospheric inversions resulting in extraordinarily high pollution levels. But these people aren't in the same place at the same time; they're probably separated by hundreds of miles, if not considerably more. What could possibly account for such a phenomenon?

A black-ops government scheme, maybe. Or aliens. Someone engaged the experimental switching mindbeam apparatus at NORAD, only this time it affected more than just garage-door openers. Or perhaps the little grey guys aboard the orbiting mothership were bored, so they decided to play with the synaptic disrupters they keep on hand in case they get tired of card games, or tickling the abducted Irish Setters' tummies to make their legs jerk. Whole lot of telepathic chuckling going on around the holographic monitors, no doubt, every time one of the radio journalists said "communicationism."

Anyway, you might want to keep your ears peeled for the next big audio surrealism event. It's a little bit creepy in some ways, not unlike listening to a presidential speech. Except in this case, everyone is doing it.


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