ABG ArtBookGuy
  Art For All PeopleŽ    We Talk Contemporary Art    March 2017
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE LOUD

More and more people are doing it.

They're YELLING, SHOUTING, SCREAMING and LASHING OUT.

Don’t you already feel your blood pressure rising as I write in CAPS?

These days, people are turned up like never before. They’re demanding to be heard.

In a hot second, everyone seems ready to turn up the volume as much as humanly possible in hopes that their challenged voices may somehow breakthrough and rise above the chaotic and maddening mass that continues to grow louder and more defiant with each passing year … It's a seemingly relentless and exhausting mixture of fear, frustration and pure desperation heaped on a soulless bed of frenetic energy.

Phew! How’s that for an explanation?

In short, the search for meaning and especially relevance seems predicated on pumping up the volume at all costs. 

Somehow, being louder than the next guy means you win the competition ... or at least you're not a loser. Talk over him if you must!

YELL ... SHOUT ... BELLOW ... SCREAM! Write in ALL CAPS if necessary. You must be heard!

Use exclamation points!!!

I really took note of this the other day while out dining with some friends. Between the overhead music, people coming and going, and everyone speaking in what seemed to be their loudest, lunchtime voice, I could barely hear myself speaking, let alone the conversation at my own table.

Things have gotten so LOUD. The media has gotten louder, commercials have grown louder, movies are much louder, televisions now require soundbars (sold separately of course) and car stereos on the road are now ridiculously loud boom boxes of angry aggression …

And yet somehow, people still feel they’re not being heard. Really?

You know things have gotten ridiculously out of hand when you’re always seeing pop stars yelling and screaming into microphones. Isn’t the whole point of a microphone to keep you from having to shout or scream in the first place?

Oops, sorry. I forgot. Screaming into a microphone is “cool.” Silly me.

Yelling into a microphone is similar to walking up very close to a live camera lens to make sure that people SEE you.

Believe me, I SEE you. Even Stevie Wonder sees you.

Now that we can see and definitely hear you, do you actually have anything of value to say?

If you do, you don’t have to YELL. We will hear you because you’re talking into a working microphone.  

Have you ever been in a room full of crying babies? You wonder which babies really need your “immediate” attention and which ones are crying because they want your “endless” attention. In other words, amid the clutter of bawling infants, which ones are the cry babies?

Give up? The cry babies are the ones who are crying the loudest. Any parent can vouch for that.

Look … being loud can be fun. We all know that. Being “in your face” can also be fun. I mean, is your party really a party if it's not loud? If it's not loud, it's simply a gathering, which I tend to prefer quite frankly.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s just ask …

… What's more fun than a loud party with friends?

Somewhere down the line, we associated having fun with loudness. You know, being BIG, BRASH and BOLD. Yet there's also a tacky cheesiness that comes with being loud, isn't there? 

Okay, admit it. When you're in the company of people who are always loud, don’t you tend to think …

“Do you really have to be so LOUD?  It's obnoxious.”

I really do think that being loud – these days anyway – is really driven by fear. We’re afraid that we won’t be heard and if we’re not heard, our needs won’t be met and if our needs aren’t met we’ll become lonely outcasts and if we become lonely outcasts, we won’t matter and if we don’t matter, that means that we’re not really here … our lives aren’t even on the log of human history. There’s no record whatsoever that you lived.

Ouch!

You know, I’ve really got to STOP writing in caps. When you write in CAPS, it means you’re SHOUTING. It’s totally obnoxious, but how else are you going to hear me? Smile.

I don’t know. It’s just all too much. It’s like being the kid who shouts and screams to get your attention and then, when they finally have your attention, they’ve got absolutely nothing to say.

It’s a tough world out there. Don’t forget your earbuds and earplugs. As everybody knows, be LOUD … or DIE.

That’s if deafness doesn’t get you first.

 

 

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