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it’s just that i have so much to say about silence.

March 1, 2009

Don’t talk first, and then think later.  Think first, talk later, maybe even way later, maybe think today talk tomorrow.  What if you took an hour to get back to everyone on every question? It would be a lot quieter around here that’s for sure, at least for the first hour.  I went to the SFMOMA (I know I love any story that starts like that too) there’s this exhibit called like art participation or something in which the whole top floor is relegated to “art” that you add to/subtract from or roll around on a stage with a broom (no joke).  There’s these big headphones hanging from the ceiling, no no we’re not talking earbuds people, these are real-life old school headphones that actually did not have to be shoved so far into your ear that they were lodged in your brain in order to hear the latest Boyz II Men.  Anyway you need two people for this event.  You both put on the headphones and stand about 2 feet from each other and start talking.  One set registers no sound so that person instantly feels like a moron, but the other set does a 30 second delayed playback of everything both of you are saying, so that person feels like a moron too only its delayed, let me tell you if there is anything that will cure you of any romantic fantasies you had involving the sound of your own voice its to hear it played back in your ears at a 30 second delay. 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    March 1, 2009 4:17 am

    You both put on the headphones and stand about 2 feet from each other and start talking.

    One set registers no sound so that person instantly feels like a moron, but the other set does a 30 second delayed playback of everything both of you are saying, so that person feels like a moron too only its delayed,/i>

    Hmmm. That sounds suspiciously as if someone has managed to duplicate the delayed quality that pervades the comments section of a familiar blog. It’s as if a commenter will sometimes just write whatever he (it does seem usually to be a “he”) thinks is true at the moment without ever stopping to wonder what he might decide instead to write were it to be:

    a) an hour later,
    b) the next day,
    c) on a note that gets sealed in a bottle and tossed into a large river,
    d) in invisible ink for a time capsule, only to be opened at some time in the future after his language is forgotten.

  2. Kent McMIllan permalink
    March 1, 2009 5:00 am

    For example, had he waited, might a commenter have realized that he had made a mistake with the closing html tag on some text? Would he have seen that the italic letters in which he had intended to set the text he had borrowed from from the blog as a quote had, in the absence of a sharp bracket, run ahead in typographical abandon, jumping off the island of quotation, over a strait of blanky whiteness, and giving his own small words the undeserved distinction of an italic pedigree?

    Might he have instead written in simple, declarative sentences that he felt competent to punctuate so that he would be able to mind the html? Probably not, but he would have cringed when he saw it all on the playback and would have decided to blame it on his keyboard.

  3. October 22, 2009 7:25 pm

    Such a good show. I loved the typewriter with the unspooling paper. I imagine it’s like what people imagine when they pretend Kerouac sat down and spat out On the Road in one shot, no problem, with God typing whenever he had to move his hand to lift a glass or ash his cigarette.

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