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Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Friday, October 13, 2006

mighty pathetic 3

I have a confession to make. There are some parts of modern life that I'm just not wired up for. I think I've inherited this from my mum, who can email like a trooper but visibly pales when confronted with a mobile telephone.

I like the internet stuff, I like the mobile phone stuff, but the mp3 stuff? That's just confusing.

My project requires me to interview people so I obviously needed a dictaphone. I got an mp3 one, and oh! look! I can get extra use out of it by putting lots of little music files on and sticking these things in my ears and voila! the modern walkman.

I think I should point out at this point that my last walkman died in about 1991, I never upgraded to a discman and my life since has been remarkably free of headphones.

I now know why.

I have this slightly odd relationship with music. When it's on, it has my attention. More than that actually, I sing along, I make up harmonies and jump about in a poor imitation of whatever they did in the video. If (God forbid) it's a rousing song with dramatic changes of key or extravagant accompaniment I'll belt it out, filling my lungs to the max and setting off all the dogs in the neighbourhood.

I never listened to music while studying because if a song I liked was on, I'd find myself staring out of the window, murmuring along to the words, feeling the pain (or joy, or whatever) of the singer, and wandering off into a little daydream about where the song had come from, why the songwriter had felt that way, why...

So, I only listened to music when I could give it my full attention. Sure the radio would be on in the background fairly regularly, but my music, the songs I chose to listen to only got played when I could really enjoy them.

I should also mention my internal radio. I assumed for a long time that everyone had this, but a few people looked at me weirdly enough when I mentioned it for me to think that it might just be me after all. I always have a song in my head. When it's in my head and not being played by an electronic machine, I can have it on in the background and not get sidetracked. I'll phase it out and concentrate on what I'm doing, only to realise afterwards that it's been playing along in my head all the time. It's a pretty good radio - if I'm half way through a song (or more likely hearing it for the third time running) and I decide I want a change, it's enough to think about another song and off it goes, all on its own, drowning out my internal monologue.

Ok, now I know I'm freaking you out a bit so I'll get back to the original topic: The mp3 player.

I'm walking along, plugged into the player, happy that I figured out the software and loaded on some songs. The first song is a good one, but slow and relatively calm so I can listen without joining in fairly easily. A favourite song comes on next however and I have to physically restrain myself from singing by covering my mouth with my hand. I've given up fighting the urge to walk along in rhythm, but I really can't inflict any dance moves on the poor people of Warsaw.

I make it to the bus stop and, getting the hang of just listening to the music rather than interacting with it, I notice that being plugged in to an mp3 player makes waiting for the bus easier on the one hand (nice lovely muuuusic to listen to) but much less interesting on the other (cut off from people watching/eavesdropping/interacting with your environment).

I'm nosey and love listening to other people's conversations - it's good Polish practice above all and I've learned masses of vocab this way, honest! With my earphones in though, even at the ridiculously low level my paranoia of permanent hearing damage allows, I can't be nosey!

Maybe I'll get speakers and just listen to it at home.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Aaron Fowles said...

My mp3 player allows me to escape reality and to drift off into my own mind, oblivious to the (I'm sure) unimportant ramblings around me. It's like I never left home.

12:52 pm  
Blogger Edd said...

I have one of those radios too! It must be genetic. On the other hand I also always work with music. All it does to me is make my typing slightly more rhythmical.

1:32 pm  
Anonymous szwed said...

Bravo. As I`ve said before, insightful analysis of the little banalities of life is definately your forte.

2:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to hear you say that - I always have songs going on my head as well! My mom says she does too. So - maybe it is genetic!

Take care!

- Heather (Steve's girlfriend)

2:37 am  

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