Agnes Callard: ‘I want you to listen’

In the New York Times:

For you, there is only one question: how much suffering can she legitimately lay claim to?

You are so busy trying to answer this question — trying to serve as judge in the pain/suffering/disadvantage Olympics — that you cannot hear anything I am trying to tell you. And that means I can’t talk to you. No one can sincerely assert words whose meaning she knows will be garbled by the lexicon of her interlocutor.