Posts Tagged ‘sound’

I try my hardest never to judge anyone for anything, but in one specific area I sometimes fail:  I can’t stand half-arsed attempts at anything.  I just can’t bring myself to read crap writing, listen to crap music, or summon anything but indifference towards crap art, and it bugs me that people release things before they are ready for release.  If you’re going to do something, then you have to do it to the absolute best of your ability, otherwise why bother?  Why would I write, unless I can learn to do it in a way that makes my soul bleed and my heart explode?  Why create music that wouldn’t even stir a cup of coffee?  That’s not to say don’t go for it – actually, I’m saying the opposite.  If you’re going to create anything, then do it as though it were the most important thing in your life, because really it is, or should be.  Strive to change the world, or get the hell off my planet.  Nobody is born good at stuff – this takes tears and frustration and dragging your self-esteem through the shitter.  But if you want it, then how else can you get it but to challenge yourself to be better, with every note or sentence or brush stroke you put down?  And if you find yourself dissatisfied with something you’ve done, then go back to it.  Stay up all night with it.  Take it to the basement, and fight to the death until it’s either excellent / great / powerful, or ditch it entirely and keep on trucking.  You can’t ever, ever let the product dictate your limitations – it’s the other way around, and with that mindset, you really don’t have any limits.  This is key.

A plain fact is that writers have to research – we’re all very familiar with that.  I couldn’t write cold about an FBI agent or a safari guide, because I don’t know anything about being either.  If I wanted to attempt that, then I’d need to do a whole lot of learning before I began.  So that being said, something I see over and over in fiction writing is when people use the musical term “octave” incorrectly, and it goes up my arse.

Two people are engaged in adult playtime, and when a particularly stimulating thing just happened, “their voice went up an octave”.  NO IT DIDN’T!!!  They’d sound like Mickey Mouse!  An octave is the same note, raised to the next stave in the musical spectrum; that would sound ridiculous in this context, and send the love interest into fits of laughter or fear!  I’m sure it went up in pitch, maybe even volume (decibels), had a tremolo effect in there, the intonation changed, but if I was ever playing round with someone whose voice went up eight whole notes for any reason, I’d either call a doctor, an exorcist or Simon Cowell.  An octave is a very precise measure, so it would sound perfectly harmoniously musical – they would literally be singing.

To that same note – pun intended – look at the roots of words, and use them accordingly.  Octave – eight notes.  Octopus – eight tentacles.  Octet – eight people.  Octagon – eight sides.  Octapeptide – a protein fragment comprised of eight amino acids linked in a polypeptide sequence.  (OK – that last one I didn’t know without referring to my old beloved Merriam Webster).  Octogenarian, an eighty year old, octcetera octcetera octcetera.

I don’t really care what anyone writes – it is certainly none of my business.  But from a reader’s perspective, these small transgressions can have massive ramifications in how you are perceived as an author.  If you choose to write, then words are your notes, and using the wrong one is akin to Beethoven hitting a bum chord halfway through Moonlight Sonata.  One second you’re half asleep floating on a raft at midnight, and the next you’re arse-deep in cold water, thrown out and coughing up seaweed.  Words are critically important, especially if words and language are your business, and you’re asking other people to give you money in exchange for those sentences.  The worst response you can get to any creative endeavor is apathy.  It’s hard enough to shine in this overcrowded world, without giving the world a perfectly valid reason to bury you in obscurity.

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Fact:  We perpetually try to balance everything.  Make the ups and the downs meet somewhere in the middle, eat enough but not too much, work out but not overdo it or injure yourself – every single thing is balance.  I am not religious, but my god is equilibrium.  You can always, always count on it – for every action, there is (and always will be) an equal and opposite reaction.  This is quite obvious.  So following this logic, we are in the middle of stuff.  We’re not up in the sky, we’re not under the sea, we generally exist somewhere between the two, and everything is dualistic in nature.  There cannot possibly be only one side of anything.

So…

On my insatiable quest for bliss and harmony, I like to interact and talk.  I enjoy mind-wrestling conversations over beer.  I love what happens when brains converge.  I love company, but I don’t love it too much.   Because we need balance.  We need companionship with music and revelry, but we need solitude and silence in equal measure.  This is something I need to work on, in my bid to be a better human.  I probably need to shut up a bit more, because when I get an idea, or a thought – which we all get, all the time – I have to tell somebody.  And I wonder though if this happens too much?  There are days when I get sick of hearing my own voice.  Even my internal dialogue bugs me, and I tell myself to SHUT UP.  I meditate.   I clamp my gob.  I make myself quiet, and then my internal dialogue eventually follows suit and shuts up too.  Balance is attained.

But out in public I despair, and plead and beg with the universe to make some other people shut up too.  All I hear is noise and opinion, which sometimes is OK, but these days there is no limit on the noise and blah blah blah everywhere we go.  Facebook is the worst for it.  I didn’t sign up to read every bigmouthed wanker yelling about something Obama did, or how they feel about abortion or gun control.  If that was what I wanted, I would enter the world of politics.  But I don’t, and so I didn’t.  And neither did the ones yelling about shit.  So be QUIET!!!!  Even when they are physically quiet, they infect the Internet with their noise.  Words are noise.  Thoughts are noise.  Bumper-stickers are noise, and the more inflammatory the subject matter is, the louder and more traumatizing the noise becomes.  Stop, please!  I beg you – the noise is killing my brain.

In a harmonious world, the only sound I want is the sound of people enjoying themselves.  We are an interactive species, and so our moods and sounds affect and infect others.  Laughter and anger are contagious in equal measure – I know this because my god tells me this is the case.  And unless something is really, really important and we are in imminent danger, then I could not justify walking into a room full of calm people and making them all angry because I had an opinion about something.  This would be very inconsiderate of me.  I wouldn’t insult someone for no reason (other than fun), so why would I consider it OK to cause a fight by bringing up unnecessary incendiary topics, merely because they entered my head?  All we really want in life is to be safe, be fed, stay warm, to love and to laugh, and yet all we seem to do is fight, yell, hate and kill or injure each other, mostly with words, but sometimes with rocks, birch branches and porcupines.  (Or is ‘Porcupine’ plural as well as singular?)

I believe everything will take care of itself, no matter what – my god tells me this.  Every up will eventually come down etc.   But right now, at this present moment, with communication tools and a captive audience literally at our fingertips, the balance is slipping.  We are being noisier than we are being quiet, and this is causing my bollocks to retract.

So please, for the love of God, for the love of equilibrium, for the love of love, for the love of Star Trek, for the love of whatever it takes to motivate you – SHUT UP, just for a bit.  And when you want to talk again, only talk calmly, about happy stuff, and make jokes, pay a compliment to someone, but stop infecting the world with more anger.  It has enough already.   If you do, I promise I will too, and to further that, I promise your life will be a little bit better for it.  You will be happier if you just shut the holy fuck up.

(See that?  Wasn’t my opinion awesome?  Aren’t I clever?  Don’t you agree?  And while we’re on the topic of my opinion, do you want to hear about how angry I feel about guns and sexism and racism?  Thought not.)