Do you know the differences between “inside voice” “outside voice” and “stadium voice”?

I’ll never forget when a good friend was teasing a high school boy – who was as loud as a DC-9 after lift off – he said, “Daniel, use your inside voice, not your stadium voice.”

I was rolling – the kid was incredibly loud so my man was right on. When I think of stadium voice, I remember screaming – until my gut hurt – that the Navy QB would not be able to make his calls and Army be able to squash him like a grape! (BTW, when I was there, we regularly did…)

Here’s an excerpt from an article that made me think of that exchange:

James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/23/fossilfuels.climatechange

This guy is using his stadium voice and it is annoying. It surpasses annoying because annoying simply implies that I have the problem (maybe I do). But this dude definitely has passed through dramatic-to-make-a-point and crossed over into we-can’t-talk-to-each-other-anymore.

That’s what this is about: civility. Here’s another excerpt from a different article:

August is the wettest and often the muggiest month of the year. Yet, summer heat continues in short supply, continuing a trend that has dominated much of the 21st Century’s opening decade. There have been only 162 days 90 degrees or warmer at Midway Airport over the period from 2000 to 2008. That’s by far the fewest 90-degree temperatures in the opening nine years of any decade on record here since 1930.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-tom-skilling-explainer-13aug13,0,918946.story

Let’s just say this could be anecdotal evidence that an opponent of Mr. Stadium Voice would use in a dialog or debate. Would he hear it? Or, would the bearer of such evidence speak in such a way that he would even be inclined to do so? OK, so you’ve got people who refuse to honor people by hearing them out about Global Warming. What’s next? What qualifies as a topic that is REALLY worth getting heated about? Is getting heated-so-I-can’t-hear-anything-except-my-own-screaming ever appropriate?

You know, having lived at various times in Bickerville – as an active participant – I’ve needed someone to get in my face and tell me something hard. One of the foundational tenets of life is that men and women are blind to how bad / sinful they really are. Now, if we exist in a time of decreasing civility, that means many things not the least of which is that I will grow less and less willing to hear hard things when I need them. And if I won’t hear hard things and you won’t hear hard things and that becomes common, imagine that culture.

You know, this lack of civility really chaps me.