Speak Up

Saw legendary travel writer Arthur Frommer live yesterday at an alumni hosted speaking appearance on Tuesday. Like the Zagats of restaurant rating fame, he retired from being a white shoe litigator to pursue his travel enterprises.

We as a society have lost the skills for long form oratory. Frommer presented non-stop for a whole hour with ease, possessing notes consisting of perhaps one index card, yet he were able to cite (at my count) over 2 dozen travel resources, including websites, distinct details of each venue or vendor – especially his tales of summertime study at Oxford of really ancient Egyptian history (as in pre-Pharaoh days). Afterwards, he went on for another hour at a reception that followed.

Nowadays, the norm is the sound bite. Even the best moot court advocate does not have to go on for more than 15 minutes without interruption! Presidential debates used to go on for days – the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates are a prime example. Now maybe you get 3 minutes for each of a dozen candidates.

If we just took more time for exposition, maybe we would know more.

Happy Birthday to SSW (that was yesterday)!