Friday, August 04, 2006
The sound of music
One of the things OmegaMom does not miss about city life is the clashing noise. El trains, endless traffic, cars honking, people shouting, police and fire and ambulance sirens, all combine into an ongoing, ever-present white noise that is the backdrop of city life. You get used to it, but there are times when it suddenly impinges on you and makes your mind switch from the "this is background noise" mode to "this is noise!" mode. Music was one of those city noises. Go to the beach, and someone sits down with a boombox right next to your towel. Go to the park, and three different musical genres are dueling within hearing distance. Get on the El, same thing. Part of the "I've got to have my music going loudly" thought-process is the person just wanting to drown out the background noise. Part is actually wanting to hear the music. But another part is sheer, aggressive, "My music is fuckin' GOOD music, and your music is shit". Or an advertisement of just how expensive someone's car sound system is. Or maybe it's just plain boorishness. I was forcefully reminded of this aspect of city living while swinging into the convenience store for my fix (ahhh, Mocha Frappucinos, ahhhh) on the way home. I got out of my car and was assaulted by someone else's music. It was coming from an empty car at the gas pump. Thumpa, thumpa, thumpa. Okay. Who died and made you God? Why the hell should I have to listen to your music when even you aren't there listening to it??? OmegaDad and I saw a bumpersticker the other day that said, "You make me hate music". This guy made me hate his music. This guy made me angry. This guy in his pristine white Lexus SUV was being an asshole. (Note my sexism here: I am automatically assuming it was a guy. But in my experience, the people with boomboxes pumped up to max volume have all been guys. Shoot me, I am extrapolating here. I think testosterone-laden dudes have a thang for loud noise.) So, do me and other people like me a favor: Get an iPod. Crank it up full blast. Blow your eardrums out. Just don't blow mine out, and the eardrums of people within a three-block radius? 'K? Otherwise, I'll give in to OmegaDad's entreaties for a high-bass system so he can blast polka music anytime we pull up next to someone like the Lexus asshole at a stop light. If I do, you'll regret it.