|Machine Gun Mouth
One of the things I first noticed at "Passing the Torch: An International Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" was that many of the authors, researchers and others gathered were very reserved in one-on-one conversation.
Understandably so, after they met me. I have what Lisa Pease called "machine gun mouth." It's an unnatural phenomena. Anybody I met, from Joan Mellen to Jefferson Morley from Rex Bradford to William Kelly to a few new -- and good -- friends from Ohio and Pennsylvania and a whole nation over, fell like dominoes -- victim to my nonstop 500 word-per-minute verbal assault. I wasn't ranting at them, I was trying to tell them everything I'd learned over the last 50 years in about 50 seconds.
The looks on people's faces made me realize I needed to dial it down three or four orders of magnitude. I tried, but even then I couldn't help myself, the words would come up and fly at breakneck speed from my gob. Every single person there -- including arch-supporter of the Warren Commission, John McAdams, was interesting and kind to me and to everyone else.
It was unplanned. Some sort of venting of steam from a pressure cooker of a psyche. Normally, I'm intense, but it was ridiculous. I should have worked a simple elevator speech, which is a nice, brief, overview professional pitch-sters use. The point is: I need to learn how to make complex information concise, understandable, memorable -- and repeatable.
Why? Democracy depends on it.
PS: I knew I was too old to be cool anymore when I tried zooming in and focusing up on Oliver Stone as he made a presentation to the symposium. For some reason, he shot me a look. I looked at my borrowed camera and learned it shoots out a laser beam to focus and was zapping him as he talked. I put it away as soon as I realized it did that.