Thursday, December 02, 2004
Sure plays a mean pinball...
I was asked the other week whether I’d rather be blind or go deaf. This is the most difficult question ever. Are we talking from birth, or as the result of an accident? From birth = rather be blind. Result of an accident = rather be deaf, I think. I've talked about this dilemma a lot over the years, and as my mum has quite serious hearing problems, it's a horrible question to consider.
My reasoning is blind from birth = don't know what you're missing, learn to cope better moving around, etcetera : deaf from accident = can still enjoy music on a physical (i.e. volume) level, going to clubs and dancing, and communicate via lip-reading and so on (I know a few people through work who do this, it's quite incredible). Plus I suspect deafness may be easier to solve/cure/correct than blindness.
Think about it though; if you encounter a blind person in your day-to-day life it’s generally very apparent that the person is blind, and as a consequence you are generally very understanding and accommodating, and do your best to help them, or at least to not hinder them. But saying everything twice and always making sure you look at someone face-on when you talk to them, constantly having to turn the television up so loud that it hurts your own ears, is, frankly (and I say this as someone who lives with someone about to get a hearing aid) fucking annoying. Deaf people get treated like shit in society; they get none of the consideration that blind or otherwise obviously handicapped people receive. They're treated as if they're subhuman and it's pretty disgusting. People compensate for obvious disabilities; blindness, physical afflictions etcetera - people don't notice you're deaf, and ergo assume you're an awkward twat rather than someone who needs a little consideration.
Saying that, my mum finally got her hearing aid on Tuesday. Now she whispers so quietly that my dad and I can barely hear her, and complains that we’re shouting if we talk at a reasonable level. I ate a packet of crisps in the same room as her on Tuesday night when I got back from football and she complained about me scrunching the packet deliberately to make as much noise as possible. I wasn’t doing that. Normal, everyday ambient noise, which my mother has been masked from for the last… well, five years or more, probably (when we finally convinced her to go and see a specialist he said that he couldn’t understand how she’d coped with day-to-day life, such was her hearing loss), is now an unwanted intrusion into her near-silent bubble. It’s going to take some getting used to. And, frankly, right now, I wish she was still deaf.
A question I posted on ILM;
Do you JUST listen to music or do you have music on while doing other things?
Q Video games, washing up, reading, surfing the net (NOT driving - this question is about listening AT HOME only), or anything else? If you JUST listen to music (notnecessarily all the time) without any other activity to distract, how do you do so? Describe a "typical" listen to a record or song when you are consciously listening to music as opposed to just hearing or playing music in the background.
I have my iPod while commuting to work, and at work we play music ambiently in the office (iPod again, often on random, though we have a large amount of jazz etcetera at work too). At home in my bedroom / office whilst surfing / playing Champ / writing / doing anything at the PC or in the room generally I have a Denon mini system that I listen to stuff on whilst doing whateveritis, and which is set up so the speakers are positioned nicely to listen to music in/on my bed.
I don't often listen to music before going out, because I don't really "go out" as such - if I do anything even close it's just going down the pub to chat shit with friends, and I don't get changed for that. I've never been massively into clubs or bars because I find it suitable neither for listening to music or enjoying a drink or talking to people, which are the three things I'd want to be able to do.
But I also have the "music room" as I call it, where I keep my CD collection and my separates hi-fi and also my TV and DVD player - this is a dedicated room, basically, for listening and watching (and playing PS1 [soon to be Xbox]). A few times a week, sometimes everyday, sometimes less often, I like to sit down and listen to a record in much the same way as you'd watch a film; sitting down, focusing, lights off (or maybe just lamp on) and soak it in.
I'm intrigued by the ideas of connections between modes and methods of consumption of music and musical taste...
Now I want more responses from you lot, in the comments here, especially to the last part of the question, i.e. the bit in italics just above this bit.
Ignore that singles list from two weeks ago – that was just the voting for Stylus. What I really think will be presented shortly, as will albums of the year, in the only format acceptable - A TOP 40 RUNDOWN. Balls to you, BBC – I love you but you killed TOTP when you moved it from a Thursday.
12/02/2004 08:58:00 am