Why Pujol is the perfect voice for our time
Daniel Pujol is a rock-and-roll songwriter from Nashville playing tonight at the Larimer Lounge, and he would like to communicate with you.
Courtesy of Saddle Creek
He's at several disadvantages there, especially if he sticks to the methods we mostly rely on these days. He could send you a text message, but they are short and absolute and lack context. "You have this visceral, gut reaction to everything that you read, because all you have is text in front of you," he says. "It's not reciprocating."
That's fine in a book or an article or even a letter, because there's some room to stretch out and (presumably) some caution applied to the language. But in a text message? The risk of misinterpretation of tone or even meaning is tremendously high. He could send you an e-mail instead, but lately those aren't much different from text messages.
He'll try to compensate by choosing his words carefully. There are other tools at his disposal, as well. "I think emoticons are great," he says. "As a reader, I think, 'That face is smiling.' And that's good. Inserting something like that into what you're writing clarifies the intent."
But you'll still be missing out on so much. Body language and inflection and reaction and a million other cues that allow two humans standing near each other to share thoughts and ideas and emotions. "Language is not as precise as communication," he says.
The problem for Pujol isn't as much about what we're losing as what's replacing it. "It's not doomsday for human communication, but it's such a void," he says. "The infrastructure is moving faster than the social understanding of how to apply it." So suddenly Google and Apple and Facebook are dictating human discourse, because they control the rapidly moving infrastructure. "It's very easily hijacked," Pujol says. "And I think it's hijacked by people trying to make money."
Again, that's not doomsday. He points out that it is, in fact, how a capitalistic society is designed. But if we're going to let companies define our relationships (and what clothes we wear and what food we eat, etc.), we should at least talk to each other about that. And now we're back at the beginning. How should we talk about how we're going to talk to each other?
Stuff about the actual music is on the next page.