Sunday, 2 October 2011

Turn it down ... and listen!

Are we trying to make ourselves deaf?

I was at a wedding a while back and the noise level was just stupid.  It rivalled a rock concert.  It beat a construction site.  It dwarfed an airport.  What are we doing to ourselves?

It was a large wedding, so amplification was definitely necessary.  But the emcee shrieked into a microphone connected to an amplifier set to 11.  Every time he spoke, people literally cringed and curled up into the foetal position.  I'm not exaggerating.

The music during dinner rendered conversation impossible.  After dinner it got worse.  Not only was the volume jacked even higher, a live (and mic'd) drummer thumped along with the music - just in case your internal organs weren't following the beat already.  I didn't need to dance.  Most of me was already bouncing around.

Throughout the evening, as we progressed through the various little rituals, the emcee continually exhorted us to MAKE SOME NOISE.  Applause was apparently insufficient; we were expected to whoop and bark like we were at a sporting event.

Speaking of sports events, I'm about ready to give up on baseball and hockey because of the relentless, painful assault through the PA system.  I suppose if I want to talk to my friends I could text them, but then I might as well stay home where I don't have to drink my beer out of a plastic cup - and where the food is better.

Speaking of food, the decibel level is not much better in restaurants.  They seem to be mistaking themselves for nightclubs these days.  Even grocery stores are playing loud rock music for goodness sake.  In my neighbourhood, that one's a complete mystery, since most of the shoppers are of an age where they are likely to prefer Tony Bennett over Nickelback.

Listen:  I like rock music.  I play rock music.  I like my music loud.  But I want to hear it.  I want to get inside it with my brain and feel it with my heart, not feel it with my insides as the vibrations pass through me.

I want to listen to music.  Turn it down so I can hear it!

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