A lyrical, critical, and satirical gazette about our world.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


If anything is missing from this wonderful world, it has to be more and louder noise. We have too many seconds of peace and quiet. We need lots of cacophonous events in our lives. How else can we know we are alive? Without noise to keep us awake and edgy we could fall into a relaxed state of mind that would permit all sorts of uncommon behavior, such as thinking, meditating, and sleeping.

Nothing stimulates the mind more than a sudden discharge of raucous sound in the middle of relaxation or rest. And this is as it should be. Nothing worthwhile is accomplished in the meditative state. Some describe it as vegetative. Planted. Rooted. Slow. Mindless. All apt descriptions. We of the human species, created and blessed by God as we are, despite our few disgusting and despicable habits, have no business wasting away our days and nights in quietude.

Fortunately, we do not have to step one foot outdoors to avoid this waste of time. Take a typical day from midnight to midnight. We hear noise repeatedly during the pre-dawn hours. Maybe the source is an apartment neighbor's all night yammering on the telephone or her TV droning though walls with the apparent density of gauze. Maybe a group across the street is enjoying an all night party and their music is blasting out of huge three-hundred watt speakers as they try to shout over their own celebratory racket. Maybe someone fires up a vehicle with an unmuffled internal combustion engine that rattles window panes and startles sleepers into believing Armageddon has finally arrived. But it is not the end of the world, even thought it sounds like it. It is only someone operating a machine to make him appear to others as a superhuman creature. Look at me! I'm here and I make noise! Lots of earsplitting, teeth chattering, mind-numbing noise. What a goddamned mythical hero I must be!

Ah, yes, nothing like it! When the sharp crack, rattle, and rumble of an engine snaps us awake at three in the morning, we know it instantly as a call to action, an unmistakable alert to get up and go, even if it means groping in the dark. At first we are too disoriented to know the time of day, the space we occupy, and the planet we inhabit. Thanks, though, to the alarming noise of this ubiquitous mechanized product of our machinations we quickly realize we must be home in bed before dawn on Earth inhabited by billions of other people with at least one of them making a hell of lot of noise at one time and place or another around the globe.

This was not always so. When not waging one of their many wars, our ancestors lacked noise-making instruments beyond their voices, hammers, whips, pipes, drums, and the occasional gunshot. How bored they must have been to live through whole days and nights in utterly monotonous peace and quiet. Today, fortunately, a plethora of percussive devices surround us like the marching machines of monstrous alien invaders to ready us for the next moment of terror.

Fortunately a brain-quivering noise is always ready in the wings to keep us conscious, focused, excited, and aggressive. And any rare gaps of comparative calm are filled by the steady stream of an endless variety of miscellaneous auditory eruptions. Look at a partial list of human inventions to enliven a single day: jackhammers, powersaws, powerdrills, powersanders, blowers, powerlawnmowers, rotary tillers, weedwackers, sandblasters, and steam cleaners. Not to forget all the sirens, bells, whistles, horns, drums, amplifiers, loud-speakers, audiosystems, telephones, disposals, compactors, crushers, washing machines, skateboards, speedboats, helicopters, and airplanes. And we must include people screaming and hollering, barking dogs, slammed doors, garage bands, gunshots, rocket blasts, car and fire alarms, garbage trucks, explosions, and other noises of unknown source. Of course nature provides some of this entertainment. And during clement weather we are always ready to fill silent spaces between episodes of the raging elements. Noise may be our grossest domestic product. And we cherish it as we should.
Let anyone try to shut us up or even suggest we are making too much noise and we will fight for our perceived right to generate decibels enough to shatter granite.

It's a free country! We have every right to behave as freely as we want, even if we disturb others to the point of madness. You may say the quiet have rights too. Certainly they do, as long as they are part of the boisterous masses. Majority rules in a democratic state. Those who yell and beat and boom comprise the greatest number of us; thus, their rights trump those of the silent minority.

Any person worth his salt would fight and die for his rights. If anyone should show the temerity of trying to quell the raucous noise of the righteous many, they have another right—to protect themselves as violently as necessary. Whatever it takes. Right? Obviously God loves those who sound off the loudest because they have become so incredibly numerous and they are increasing in number every instant. Blessed are the noisemakers for they shall inherit the Earth. Bang!

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