Start-up Sound

I have this weirdness about sound. I watch television with the sound off; mostly the sound isn’t terribly necessary, often things are more interesting without it. I watch film trailers on-line without any sound, and don’t seem to miss anything. The noise of a telephone ringing makes my head hurt. The volume on my Mac is almost always off, except when I’m actively listening to something. My fanatical intolerance for inconsiderate rustling of bags and sweet-wrappers and such is the stuff of legend. It seems to me the greatest rudeness to perform some public act — and so many more acts are actually public than people appreciate — louder than one must, and, conversely, the greatest act of awareness of the feelings of others to perform the same act no louder than one must.

So Start-Up Sound strikes me as far more than just funny — though it’s that too. It’s the first time I’ve seen any comment of any sort on the addition of the computer start-up chord to the list of noise pollution that we seem to have to take for granted: mobile phones; car alarms; musak; bass thumping from the tricked-out SUV behind; the manic R2D2 beeping of instant messaging call and response from some kid’s dorm-room. Here’s the point: the MS Windows start-up chord which serves in the film as the cue, is either functionally silent to the kids in the library, or is treated as if it ought to be blandly tolerable. They either don’t notice it, or they ignore it. But it’s not really any less intrusive in that context than the faked parody.

I do know this is mostly just me, by the way.


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