Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bring in `Da Noise?

There is an excellent chance that tolerance of noise may be age-related: youth tend to be more noise-tolerant than the aging and the aged; that may be the situation. There is an excellent chance that this situation, if in fact it is the case, is ironic, for with age comes a diminishing capacity to hear, so one might think that the older one got, the more tolerant s/he would be of noise.

Of course, folks from my generation think back reflexively to all those loud concerts we blithely attended, decibels smashing into ear-drums. Huh?

I'm a wee bit surprised that, based strictly on the profit-motive, more developers don't build and "market" more houses and condominiums based on the noise-factor. There is a cornucopia of new and venerable noise-reducing and noise-eliminating products in the building trades. Of course, they add cost, but I believe a significant percentage of potential buyers would be willing to pay the extra cost for the extra silence. Quiet Estates. Come Home. . . To Silence-Ridge Properties! Wouldn't You Like to Live in Shhhhh! Towers?!

A small, quiet poem about noise, then:

I Beg Your Pardon?

It’s so noisy here, what
with automobiles, airplanes,
motors, guns, missiles, TVs,
ear-pods, crowds, amplifiCAtion, snarling
gasoline-drunk tools. The
blasting, roaring, whirring, whi-
ning, humming, droning, rum-
bling are incessant. How

funny if God were to turn out to be
slightly hard of hearing, willing
but unable to catch the melodies
of most prayers because of
these furious sounds we manufacture
all the time. How odd if God
would love to care, if it just
weren’t for the blare, the volume,
of our self-debilitating decibelity.

Copyright 2007 Hans Ostrom

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