What Donahue, Marilyn Manson and the 90’s re-teach us about good communication

For fun, we watched a 22 year old episode of Donahue (thx Erin).

It was about Moshing.

The show unfolds, comedically in hindsight, as Donahue tries to vilify slam dancing and the artists that make the music through unconvincing video footage and broad sweeping generalizations about music and youth culture.

It’s definitely worth a watch.

Donahue goes on to interview Marilyn Manson and paint his art as influencing a sub-culture of young people transfixed with death that enables dangerous behaviour in our children.

Meanwhile, Manson’s art largely promotes ideas of free thinking and individuality.

The show is a nostalgic reminder how powerfully we:

  • Believe in stereotypes;
  • Fear what we don’t understand;
  • Misjudge each other;
  • Mistrust each other;
  • Let nonsense fill the void in the absence of a well delivered position.

Two decades later important issues, policies, and projects are still being bamboozled through the practice of manufactured outrage.

It’s not enough to just work hard, come up with the big idea, or vote in a transformative direction. The projects and people that go with them require specific, thoughtful ways to collaborate and communicate.

Strategic communication is the most important (and most overlooked) leadership play in the modern age.

And it’s time we started treating it that way.