I am sure that we will all become a nation of deaf people as the noise level of just about everything seems to have picked up.
Weddings become scary as soon as I see large amplifiers ready to blast whatever masquerades as contemporary music. Go to a banquet, forget about the art of conversation, because one can barely hear the folks next to them, let alone the people across the table due to loud music.
And then, of course, we have the cellphone which no longer can have an ordinary ring, but must emit the first bars of a concert, a pop tune, the familiarity of a Broadway musical or whatever else one can program into the thing.
I have now heard the “Toreador Song” from “Carmen” more times than I care to count (and I do like the real Bizet opera) and miscellaneous other arias, which in any other venue would be most pleasant.
My computer now has people communicating to me with growls and roars, cackles and miscellaneous other barnyard and zoo sounds. I get a recorded, “Please pass the wine” which periodically pops up, then some aggravating hooting. Was “You’ve got mail” not enough?
There is a particular barking dog sound which, when it turns on, drives my dogs crazy, causing them to chime in and look for what they think is a visiting pooch. I must admit that they are none too bright as they go through this exercise over and over again, never turning up another dog but persisting in their search that it will turn up eventually.
When a cellphone is not being irritating on its own, its constant use in society generates its own human noise. How many times has one either heard?”or used?”the phrase: “Are you there?” and “Do you hear me?”
These phrases are never said once, but are repeated as signals go in and out while we try to carry on a conversation. I find traveling around the state to be especially exasperating as there are whole areas of the state which have no signal. It’s exasperating, in that one cannot communicate in today’s instant moments; it’s also peaceful. Actually, it is a bit of a respite.
Youngsters probably will never have to worry about noise in the future as they will already be deaf due to the iPods they plug directly into their ears, guaranteeing an audio blowout. The pleasant sounds of the world around them, especially of nature, are blotted out due to on-the-spot and perpetual music that is piped in.
And, now that the weather is getting nicer, more and more car windows will be rolled down and convertible tops put down so that we can all share in the musical preferences of the neighboring drivers. Sharing seems most important, or else the volume of pulsating rhythms would not be at decibel-cracking levels. One does not even have to hear the music, because one can literally feel the pulsations. Do such drivers really think they are doing the rest of us a favor?
Although I realize the need for commercials on radio and television, I swear that they are louder than the program they interrupt. I guess that is part of gaining audience attention.
I think I will program my cellphone to play a lullaby.