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Everything Must Be Said Again Since No One Was Listening

·386 words·2 mins

Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.

-Andre Gide


That’s the hardest part, isn’t it? How no one listens. How we’re forced to say the same things over and over again.

How we can spend hours showing evidence, properly vetted and annotated to kingdom come, and someone else will prize their own “research” — a quick hop, skip, and a jump on a pop-up conspiracy theory Wikipedia clone — more highly than the people on the front line. Than the empiricists. Than the experts who are toiling over mind-numbing minutiae to find a way out of this mess, all the while dealing with death threats.

To be fair, everyone who has any sort of audience gets them after a while. Yes, even fairly obscure writers like me. But that’s something I’d talk about in a private place (like Poly Land Discord). Like a lot of other people, I don’t like to reward bullies with attention.

Anyway, I don’t know how our heads haven’t all exploded at this point. All the people who were Properly Convinced Long Ago are exhausted, beyond exhausted. So many of us having the quiet conversations, working out the knots, trying desperately to walk that line, find that sliver of persuasion, a thin isthmus of “maybe” — anything to open someone’s mind to other possibilities, to reach someone who really doesn’t want to be reached, before their stubbornness kills them and many other people.

We’ve reached a point where there’s nothing left to say, and most of us are completely done, we barely have the energy to speak to our friends, let alone folks who consider us enemies…. except… except sometimes there’s a chance. There’s that occasional person who says, “Oh, I didn’t think of that before.” Improbably. However improbably.

Never often enough. Never in a way that makes any of this more bearable. But just enough to give you enough hope to temporarily venture out and try again, even as you curse yourself for doing so. Even as you know it probably won’t work, part of you says, “Well, maybe… it worked before once.”

I don’t want to say everything again. I really don’t. And neither do you. But we have to. Because no one was listening.


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