Musical Stinkeye

Nothing makes me more likely to give somebody the stink eye than overhearing their mp3 player blast music at ridiculous volumes while I am riding the subway.

Now it’s not because I don’t like music. In fact I love music. I loooooooove music. It helps me write, it helps me think, it is fantastic. But that is my music. Not your music.

The longer I live (and subsequently the closer I come to being a crotchety old man) the more it seems people are listening to their music at absolutely intolerable levels.

It’s usually pretty easy to tell who it is too. It’s not the person grooving around and jiving in their seat. No, that person is just crazy. I’m fine with them.

The person blasting a concert into their noggin is the person who is completely still and facing straight ahead of them barely even acknowledging that there appears to be a live performance going on in their cochlea.

Logic says that if somebody is doing something that annoys you, you should say something. But I don’t use a logic based approach, I use a fear based one. And the fear based approach says don’t say anything because this person might stab you.

Even though it’s quite possible this level of volume is affecting many people not just myself. So why should I be the only one who gets stabbed? But then, if the person did stab everyone on the train, then I would probably be held responsible, and that’s just something my conscience can’t take.

But my desire to make it stop has actually been replaced by a different desire… to ask them if it bothers them.

Listening to music at that level can’t be enjoyable can it? Unless they are dead. And judging by the lack of movement that’s entirely possible.

Because I just honestly believe there isn't a need for 285 decibels of meringue music at 7:15 in the morning. But hey maybe I'm the crazy one. I want to say:

Excuse me sir, but you are going to go very deaf very quickly! For your own sake you should turn that down.

I mean it’s not that I don't enjoy hearing a tambourine from 50 feet away (honestly it’s great, thank you for that) its just, well, is it really necessary?

I can understand how people may not always want to listen to other people’s conversations or hear the sound of the train on the tracks. But its 2011, and while the train can be noisy, and at times, very screechy, there has got to be a better answer than hearing somebody rap so loud it makes my clavicle shake.

Sometimes I do want to hear music that loud. Maybe say, when I am dancing out the weeks frustrations at 2 am. But there is a huge difference between 2 am, and 7:15 am.

How come the person blasting their music is never listening to like... Beethoven or... a really hilarious comedian, or.... sounds of the enchanted rainforest.

No its always like, 'guy screams curse words outside an exploding car horn factory.' Just once, ONCE, I would like to hear a waterfall, ocean waves, hell I would settle for 'sounds from a leaky pipe' if just to get a bit of variety.

But knowing my luck I would probably get the guy who bought ‘dogs barking at nothing' because he misses his time growing up next to the pound.

Isn't music supposed to relax us? Frankly it seems like the people on the train who are listening to music are trying to get amped up for something.

But what? We are all trapped on this same tramped train for the next 45 minutes. We are not going to start moshing. There will be no tickle fights. What are you getting so excited for? Relax. RELAX DAMN IT.

The sheer volume and duration of exposure has to be harmful. I mean, it has to be causing brain damage... right? I mean in 5 years you almost are going to have to be stupid. I mean, I know you are in high school but by the time you get to college I have a feeling you won't be worrying about things like passing calculus you will be worrying about things like… how to zip up your pants. I can't imagine brain damage is going to be cool. I imagine these individuals saying things like:

Look how much times I can shut the door on my hand without cryings.

I have yet to mention the people who listen to music on speakerphone. They don’t even utilize their headphones. They must think to themselves:

Hey ya know what? I like bad music. I bet everyone else on this train does too!

And perhaps the worst of all are the people who don’t have headphones or even have a song to listen to. So instead of just engaging in something productive like thinking or drooling, they take the time to cycle through and test (aloud) every single frigging ring tone on their phone.

Seriously? I mean are you completely unaware of your impact on the universe. I surprised that you are not also walking around with a bag full of live squawking parrots while blowing a whistle.

I am sure you had a rough day madam. And that sampling all of the ringtones on your pink bedazzled phone that looks like it belongs to a cacophonous 14-year-old girl relaxes you. But ironically and amazingly it does not relax me. In fact it does very much the opposite. It makes me to rip the sparkles off of your phone one by one and then check your phone into the sea.

But hey maybe I just don't understand the future. I mean it’s quite obvious I don't understand the present. I can hear it though. That is for damn sure.