Progress is a wonderful thing, generally speaking; it has put more food on our tables, more money in our pockets, and a wider variety of booze in our fridges than ever before. True, occasionally this onward progression does throw up a curious specimen such as Alan Jones, but my point remains. And we here, at the beginning of the 21st century, live at the most progressive point of that progress which progressively progresses towards wherever it is going. We would seem to be living in an age of miracles.
However, I can not help but note one small anomaly in this supposedly inexorable march onwards to better, bigger, greater, nicer times; a hump in our way; a lump in our... well, our throats. Our throats? Yes, our throats, our mouths, our lungs, our tongues, and all our organs that give us capacity to speak and sing and deliver voluble auditory ornaments unto our fellow human beings. For you would be forgiven, dear reader, if you thought, upon venturing into a pub where a band was playing, or a cafe where a poet was reading, or a library, or gallery, or theatre where someone was delivering a speech, if you fell to wondering that we did not live in a race of giants with the voices of gnats. Nothing else could explain our fondness for microphones, loudspeakers, hailers, and amplification devices of every variety.
The comparison could not be any clearer, really; just one hundred years ago, people packed into capacious theatres and gigantic galleries and libraries of the most vast proportions to hear this person speak, that person sing, and another person recite; somehow, all these artists managed to make themselves perfectly clear in spite of their handicap. These days, no matter how small the venue, no matter how few people there are, the speaker, or musician, or poet will find it absolutely necessary to place between themselves and the audience a small metallic object in order to negotiate their relationship with the audience and facilitate a louder ambience than would otherwise occur.
How can this great change have occurred? In this age of miracles, have our voices miraculously shrunk so that we can only make ourselves heard with a microphone, attached to a sound system, in which all of the knobs and buttons and widgets and dubobs have been manipulated by an expert technician; and in which the volume button has been turned to the top? Are our shrieks no louder than the whispers of previous generations? Consider that only a century and a half ago, Abraham Lincoln somehow managed to address an entire army, without amplification of any kind - and managed to make himself understood perfectly clearly, and have his words remembered until this very day. But we shrink at the task of winning over a couple of drunks in a pub.
It really does seem strange that, in this great age of onward progress and inexorable miricalishness - an age, moreover, in which few people are above a bit of shameless exhibitionism and self-display - that we should really consider the device known as the 'microphone' to be so necessary. In most cases, a person speaking in an ordinary tone should be able to make themselves perfectly clear to the majority of their listeners.
So Poets! Musicians! McCracken! Throw off your microphones! You have nothing to lose but your chains! (And, er, your pride. But who wants that anyway?)
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2014 (135)
- ► 2013 (173)
- Heroic Olympic heroes!
- How to make cheese
- A tale of two lists
- Definitely definitive
- Pink frilly brolly thrills
- Lost in a concrete Eldorado
- If I may just take a little of your time
- A gender agenda to adore a door
- Piano lessons for wimps #1
- Wanted: new book to become distracted from
- Cat news
- Wiggle niggle
- Dens of Sin and Iniquity and Niceness
- The wonderful wide world of transport
- Beatrix, Pottering
- Readers' Undigest
- Symptom, symptom, anyone got a symptom?
- Be good be good because
- Yes, that thing
- Cat scenarios
- Tuna time
- Mettling my mangaphores
- Butterflies! Dandelions! Puppy dogs! Poetry!
- Dogmatic mutterings of the press
- The show's not over until the fat lady whispers
- Solidarity, chaps!
- A gurning poem
- Join the zineage revolution
- Reptile philosophy
- ▼ May (29)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (288)
- ► 2009 (290)
- ► 2008 (316)
- ► 2007 (392)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)