Friday, February 17, 2017

A Small Rant

“Of all modern phenomena, the most monstrous and ominous, the most manifestly rotting with disease, the most grimly prophetic of destruction, the most clearly and unmistakably  inspired by evil spirits, the most instantly and awfully overshadowed by the wrath of heaven, the most near to madness and moral chaos, the most vivid with devilry and despair, is the practice of having to listen to loud music while eating a meal in a restaurant.”
                                                                                                                 G.K. Chesterton
I ran across this today, and I find it interesting that even in the 1920s or 30s, when it was written, and when the music referred to was undoubtedly quite good music, ambient noise in public spaces was a problem. I wonder what Mr. Chesterton would think if he walked into a supermarket or other large store today. I am at one with G.K. Chesterton. When entering a store which plays ‘music’--usually some ghastly relic of the 1960s or 70s--I refrain only with difficulty from trying to find the speakers, tear them out with my bare hands, and jump up and down on them so that no one could make speakers out of them again. I believe this horrible habit of forcing noise on the public originated in this country with “Muzak” in elevators. I have often wondered what market survey or research led to the conclusion that people would be charmed, or soothed, or induced to spend more money, by regaling them with horrible aural rubbish while they shop. The effect it has on me is to encourage my expeditious departure from the afflicted area.

 By the way, if you’d like to read a good historically-based poem, read Chesterton’s “Lepanto”--a poem not without relevance to certain world conditions today. I wonder that it has not been set to music.) 

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