May 8th, 2009
Not much is grabbing my inspiration right now. Besides, it’s hot and sticky and I’m worn out.
I also have a new passport, which is currently in the PSB getting my residence permit transferred and extended.
But that’s all irrelevant.
For a while now I’ve felt about ranting on one particular subject: The ipod. Well, no, MP3 players in general. And I don’t mean the software you can install on your computer allowing you to listen to music, I mean specifically the ipod-style machines you can carry around so your life gets its own, personal soundtrack.
I just don’t get it. Why do so many people feel a ridiculous need to walk around with plugs in their ears off in some dreamland where their life, Hollywood-style, has cool music accompanying every step?
Yeah, alright, music is cool, I like music, I’m listening to music as I write this, but….
But these ipod-types are a pain in the arse. I mean, you see them, you try to talk to them, they look at you blankly like, huh? somebody can intrude into my little dreamland? They eventually remember to pull the bloody plugs out their ears, and you can finally communicate.
But, and here’s an even bigger but, life already comes with a soundtrack. It’s not always as aesthetically pleasing as that on your ipod, but it is better. Much as I like music, when I’m out and about, or even most of the time I’m sitting here at this computer, I definitely prefer to hear that natural soundtrack. Well, it’s not all natural, but even the roar of an expressway is more important to me than whatever’s on your ipod.
It’s like this: I do not understand why you ipod types feel the need to cut yourselves off from the real world. You seal yourselves into a little bubble and cease to interact with the world around you. Why? I just don’t understand why you’d do that.
Unplug for a minute or two, wherever you are. If you’re at home and north of the equator, where it’s getting warm again, open your windows. If you’re out, pull those bloody plugs out your ears. Let it soak in: The rumble of distant traffic, children’s laughter or crying, grandparents gossiping, the distant rumble of traffic, wind in the leaves…. That, kiddywinkles, is the world you live in. It’s a beautifulfuckedupcool place. It comes with a soundtrack pre-installed. Open your ears, kick back, relax, absorb.
See, I dunno, seems to me that just as all this fancy new technology is increasing our options for social interaction, it’s also increasing our ability to seal ourselves off, and as generally anti-social as I am, I don’t understand why anybody would want to do that. One thing I like about the warmer months of the year is to sit here in front of my computer with the sounds of life as it is lived wafting through the open window. It’s part of being human. Part of the beauty of the silence of Jingshan Park is the distant murmur of the inner-city bustle from beyond the park walls.
Somehow Eleanor Rigby seems appropriate for this particular rant.
But there’s no need to be so disengaged, isolated, lonely. It’s a simple matter of choosing to hear what’s happening around you instead of listening to some silly, contrived attempt at Hollywoodising life.
Pathetic, I know, but rant 完了.