A Cacophony of Music-Thought
I like music just as much as the average person. Maybe a little less so, but only because when I listen to the music, it’s really hard for me to understand the words unless I have someone’s lips to read, I have the written lyrics in front of me, or I’ve listened to the particular song at least a dozen times. The music isn’t any less enjoyable, but I just listen to it differently than everyone else does.
This also makes it harder to determine what is clean and what is not. I personally have chosen not to curse or use profanity, and I choose not to listen to it in the music I listen to. It’s really hard when I can’t understand the words, and when I do understand them, I’ve already got them familiarized. Ah, the catch-22s of life; yet finding them where they’re embedded makes me happy.
On the same musical lines, music helps me stay awake. Listening to music and doing something else is about as multi-task as I get; my constant stream of amusing thought is enough to keep me occupied while doing anything else.
But because it helps to keep the mind alert, I want music at work. Since the computer I work at doesn’t have enough memory to run Pandora Radio and the simple program that’s always up at work, I have no music. I asked Just’In today if we have a portable CD player. We don’t, and after further discussion, he asked me if I wanted an MP3 player.
I don’t. I’ve never wanted one. I don’t love music, but before you protest with anarchism and your beloved MP3 player by your side, let me explain why I don’t want one.
Have you ever read the book Fahrenheit 451? In it, everyone there has a constant stream of noise plugged into their ears. In this book, it’s commercials and propaganda, but the content doesn’t matter much to this argument; these people in this book don’t ever notice anything around them.
I see this often on campus. Students, because they can afford them, sit in a desk before class and don’t talk to anyone. They don’t look around them; they don’t do anything else but sit with a little flat rectangle in their hand and stare at it or straight ahead.
Students do the same things at bus stops: blank stare ahead, with the occasional flick of the finger at a tiny screen. Channeled to what is streaming through the tiny buds in the ears.
I love bus stops and before-classes because it gives a chance to chat, to hear other people’s voices, to find little quirky things in the world to write about. But to do all that, you can’t cut yourself off. That little rectangle tells the world around you that you want to be cut off, that you want utter control of what you hear.
However, the same is true with CD players and tape players. so this is really only a minor peeve. Another reason for not having a constant stream of music is that stream of amusing thought in my head. Here’s a secret that many people don’t know: it takes training to hear and recognize that constant stream. If I had a MP3 player, I’d be deathly afraid of losing that training. I’d be afraid that I’d replace it with a stream of music instead.
I did this in high school. Every afternoon, I’d drown my room with music. Now, most of the time, I listen to the delicate workings of a quiet mind. And I find myself a more intelligent person because of it. I also find that I have a clearer mind. I’m not as confused or as befuddled. The clarity of thought is addicting.
Of course, my hubby is proof against all this. He has an MP3 player. To my knowledge, the only time he ever listens to it is when he’s walking to and from class. He’s got a designated place and time for the thing. I could do the same thing, and because I’ve got very paranoid thought of becoming a zombie, I’ll only use it at work.
I just don’t want to spend the $10 plus earphones.