Rapport vs. Communication

Good Marshall McLuhan quote from Richard Cavell’s McLuhan In Space.

Communication, in the conventional sense, is difficult under any conditions. People prefer rapport through smoking or drinking together. There is more communication there than there ever is by verbal means. We can share environments, we can share weather, we can share all sorts of cultural factors together but communication takes place only inadequately and is very seldom understood. . . . There is a kind of illusion in the world we live in that communication is something that happens all the time, that it’s normal . . . Actually, communication is an exceedingly difficult activity. In the sense of a mere point-to-point correspondence between what is said, done, and thought and felt between people–this is the rarest thing in the world. (qtd. 5)

Link via the always-interesting Long Sunday blog, which has some additional commentary.
This reminds me of the XTC song, Frivolous Tonight (excerpt):

Let us talk about some trivial things we like
A bit of this and that
Let's chew the fat
Pour ourselves a glass of stout
And let our rael brook shirts hang out
Nothing makes us more content
To let us wallow in a bit of nonsense
We're all so frivolous tonight, tonight

It’s on the Apple Venus Volume 1 disc, which I highly recommend for it’s clever musical constructions and witty commentary on modern life.