Bumblebee’s voice is damaged so he is forced to use cultural content in order to communicate to the humans. In the same way our culture uses more and more societal content created from the culture communicate: memes, gifs, emojis, etc. Are our voices damaged as well? Are the technologically raised generations incapable of having true communication with their peers?
In a way I think about the hieroglyphics of Egypt and the Mayans. Their city walls, tombs, and palaces spoke with myths and legends. Outlining rituals and events. Now with the internet and the advancement of mobile technology our sapien language is entering into a new realm of evolution. We use metaphor in the medium of images captured by our devices to convey our mindset, our feelings, our desires and failures. We spam each other with cultural mores derived from the centuries most popular form of story: film. Our legends are born from the technology we use.
In a way, Bumblebee’s character was one of the most likable solely from the way he communicated. For the audience, we were the ones making the cultural connections to our own experiences with the content that he was responding with. This thought brings me to the thought of, “What is true communication?” and one step further, “What is true connection?” Language is limited, it is ambiguous, and it is lacking resulting in a limited attempt to connect with “the other”. Though it’s not a bad start. Language is a technology that gives us the chance to speak out what lies within and in hopes that those that hear us understand us and know us a bit more. Know that because of the medium we use to communicate and its limitations that our fellow people will always fall short in knowing who we truly are, just as we will fall short and never truly be able to know oneself fully. But that should not prevent us from trying and it should never prevent us from forgiving those that fall short in understanding.