Minor threats

Ask me about that summer at work a few years ago when I was listening to a steady diet of nothing but Black Flag and Dead Kennedys. Nah—don't. It went pretty much exactly how you'd expect. (Mellow out or you will pay.)

On one hand, it was a dumb idea. If you drop poison in your ears, you're going to live that poison omehow, in other ways. I skate on a thin ice of insufferability on an average day, but on a bad day and drinking black coffee just made it so much worse. I was writing a bunch of code at the time though, and didn't have all that much else to do, and the Grind helped with that. You could rise above your problems at 105 bpm. With some consequences, although they could be forgiven by Being Productive.

Somewhere there must be a paper that explores, in boring detail that I wouldn't read but would cite authoritatively anyway, the effects of what you listen to and how it affects your work, or your cognitive apparatus in general. Work from home... already mentioned that it has, in this last year, resulted in the near-death of music in my ear—because it's just a constant barrage of meetings in my ear. I've probably got worse tinnitus now than when I played in a band or went to shows. I'd rather hear yellin' my ear. (I don't wanna listen but I got no choice.)

One more random Op Ivy anecdote: it's a joy to work in the phrase "All I know is that I don't know / All I know is that I don't know nothin' " into a meeting where it fits. Because it's true, it's true. It's the national anthem of The United States of Wingin' It.

This is consecutive day number 80 of writing on this site. I don't want to try to make any more points. I want to listen to some music. I want to want to listen to some music. I don't want to think anymore. I don't want to make sense any more. Let think come to me. Let sense come to me. Jam it into my brain with a stick.

I was listening to Thelonious Monk on repeat after work for a few weeks, a few weeks ago. I don't know what I was listening to because The Algorithm was feeding it to me. I started a post here, and restarted it, and abandoned it. I don't know what to say. I just wanted to type 1000 useless pack words around a description of a near-chromatic line of piano that detached from the rest of the music and threatened to exit the song only to fit in later somehow after an uncomfortable streak of not fitting in. There. I can retire that draft now. I don't even know what song it was. That made it somewhat difficult to re-search it to give it a re-listen.

It's not one of my posts on this internet web site if there isn't some random Vonnegut thrown in.

This here’s a re-search laboratory. Re-search means look again, don’t it? Means they’re looking for something they found once and it got away somehow, and now they got to re-search for it? How come they got to build a building like this, with mayonnaise elevators and all, and fill it with all these crazy people? What is it they’re trying to find again? Who lost what?

—Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle (1963)

We should end this.

I tried to listen to Minor Threat to get rolling at work today but it didn't work. 166 bpm is pushing it for concentration, but it works, sometimes. It's the 60-second and 90-second songs that kill me. Thrash stop. Thrash stop. Thrash stop. Can't keep up with that anymore. It's not how old I am, it's how old I feel.

Cut the tape.

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