White Feather, White Noise

The term white noise is also commonly applied to a noise signal in the spatial domain which has zero autocorrelation over the relevant space dimensions.” (Wikepedia)

 “Because white noise contains all frequencies, it is frequently used to mask other sounds.” (http://home.howstuffworks.com/question47.htm)

 “To “show the white feather” is to display cowardice. In cockfighting, a white feather in the tail is considered a mark of inferior breeding. In Victorian England a purported coward would be presented with a white feather.” (Wikepedia)  

There are few things people don’t talk about these days.  Flicking through the many blogs on the web, for example, gives an insight into the propensity for us all to blab ad nauseum about anything from masturbation to marriage, from betrayals to boredom, from art to alliteration.  Everything is up for grabs; no secrets too private, no subject taboo.  Not that this suggests that there is a great outpouring of truth; we witness the same old false logic and obfuscation; same old lies wrapped up as candour.


But that is OK.  We are humans and we talk – about everything and anything, it seems.  Or do we?  Are there areas of ourselves and our lives that we never discuss?  Ever?

Well, I’ve read a lot of blogs, spent many a happy hour with good friends eating a fine meal, drinking a great red and yelling at each other across the table.  I’ve heard all sorts of confessions, usually drunken; witnessed lots of soul searching, mostly cloaked in anonymity. 

And only one area remains off limits – cowardice. 

No one ever talks about that moment in their lives when they acted without honour, without dignity and out of sheer self-interest or self-protection.  You know, that moment which when recalled makes us wither inside. 

And I don’t mean that time when we were afraid.  That is too easy.  Cowardice is fear become action.  Or reaction.  Or inaction.

They say a coward dies a thousand deaths but is there such a thing as a permanent coward?  Or are we all cowards at some time in our lives?


And why do we find that so hard to talk about? 

They say that the things we are afraid of define who we are.  Perhaps it’s the way we react to the things that we fear that most reveals our secret heart.



Filed under cowardice, fear, life

3 responses to “White Feather, White Noise

  1. And nobody commented on this post you made back at the end of November. Is this confirmation?

    Some comedians have made careers out of cowardice, cloaked in that “just joking” mode of communication. Jack Benny and Bob Hope spring to mind immediately, but there are others, even now.

    But I know what you mean. Without the comedy, it’s a hard thing to admit to, to discuss.

  2. Yes, it’s interesting just what we can talk about under the cloak of humour (I will be touching on this in a future post). In art and literature, acts of cowardice are very painful to observe and usually represent a significant dramatic moment and/or insight into the human condition. But this has not flowed over into our daily discourse. Thanks for your comments.

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