The Silver Parrots and the Quiet Disease

It’s simple. We don’t know how to speak. We don’t know how to write. We don’t know how to listen. Most importantly, we don’t know how to understand. It’s high time we learnt. Otherwise we’re going to destroy our own.


He stared at the screen in disbelief. He felt the urge to drive a fist through his monitor and down on the keyboard.


He didn’t.


As he scrolled, clicking every now and then, he swore under his breath.


What the fuck is going on?


A stream of articles and posts refracted through his spectacles and lit up his eyes.


He got a cramp in his foot.


He cringed.


It all had started with an article. It was about his “home”-town. It had stated that a certain major news network had declared his city the world’s most perfect city. That article had been repeatedly quoted and shared by his ‘friends’ with accompanying heart emoticons and wide smiles.


He had read the original article.


Halfway through, he sniggered. A single, blunt exclamation escaped his mouth in a whisper:




The original article had questioned the possibility. It had discussed numerous other cities and it had narrated the history behind the creation of his town. It had ended on a note that simply stated that it appeared to be living up to the initial expectations of what it was supposed to stand for.


Some hyped up little dimwit had gone all crazy over the headline and now had his or her misguided article trending across social platforms.


This pissed him off.


He read the article again just to make sure that he hadn’t made a mistake. Turned out, he hadn’t made a mistake.


He then debated the idea of his city being the world’s most perfect one. He immediately dismissed it as poppycock. He never used the word ‘poppycock’ so he decided to mull it over again.


The first time round, he had been right. It was crazy. Granted, as compared to the rest of the country, his city had significant potential and should be considered as a model for the nation. But it was deeply flawed. It was socially, economically, architecturally, and politically flawed. To say it was the world’s most ideal city would be as idiotic as the word poppycock sounds.


He continued to scroll in order to subdue his irritation; only to come across more paraphrased articles. He opened them.


He laughed, shook his head, and swore again.


As he scrolled on, he stumbled across editorials and comments that just annoyed him further. It was like Pandora’s box had been opened and Hope was nowhere to be seen. Everybody was spewing forth hatred, racism, sexism, anger, and suspicion.


A sense of nervousness quaked through pixels, data, and code.


A disease had entered the system and it was spreading fast.


I need to write.


He knew that if he opened his mouth and attempted to correct his networking acquaintances, he would be the victim of the virtual version of a ganging up in his city.


He couldn’t give a damn. He was going to write.


He opened a document.


He typed.


He repeatedly punched the backspace key.


It was then that it hit him.


He didn’t know how to communicate.

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