We’re a tribe, we quiet ones, we readers and thinkers and letter writers, we daydreamers and gazers out of windows. We are a civil people, courteous to excess, who disdain displays of anger as childish and embarrassing.
This is a quote from a very thoughtful essay titled “The Quiet Ones” by Tim Kreider, published in The New York Times. Kreider laments that the beauty of quiet is disappearing, and there’s not much we can do about it:
Those of us who despise this tendency don’t have a voice, or a side, let alone anything like a lobby. There are anti-noise-pollution groups, but they can fight only limited skirmishes over local nuisances; the war is lost. It’s impossible to be heard when your whole position is quiet now that all public discourse has become a shouting match. Being an advocate of quiet in our society is as quixotic and ridiculous as being an advocate of beauty or human life or any other unmonetizable commodity.
I’d never heard of Kreider before reading this essay; his collection of essays We Learn Nothing has promising reviews on Amazon.