Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Sound of Moozak

The Bradford branch of Waterstones has moved its poetry section to a narrow bookcase in a gloomy corner near the toilets. Probably the best place for a form of expression of less value to the general public than arse-wipes.

But while poetry has been shoved to the furthest, least accessible part of the store, the prevalence of all-pervasive muzak has intensified, not just in this book depository but in virtually every public place. Earlier this year the moozak at Bradford Interchange was changed from pop to light classical. The thinking behind this change of policy had nothing to do with upgrading the aesthetic experience of people waiting for the 626 to Baildon or the 680 to Smiddles Lane. Groups of yoof, it was decided, are less inclined to coalesce in public places to the strains of Peer Gynt or Swan Lake. The irony would be if Bradford's scallies started to develop an appreciation of Boccarini or Bizet.

The kind of bovine moozak piped in to assault the eardrums varies according to where you are. One cafe I used to go in invariably had some silly tart blaring out cliches about everlasting love with lots of reverb and echo. Cacophonous cack. Other establishments favour dire variations of rap with some silly bugger blathering on about the state of the nashun. Moozak for retards. Further evidence of the country's enthusiastic slide towards infantilism (the childish aren't responsible for their actions, know what I mean bro). This crap follows you everywhere you go. Either your hearing is eroded or your intelligance is insulted by repetitious statements of the obvious on railway stations and on trains...please take all your belongings with you, stand away from the edge of the platform

You go into what looks like an interesting bookshop and what happens? Bored staff, clearly irked by the prospect of having to talk to people who might want to buy a book, for their own entertainment bang over the PA what they consider to be avant-garde selections of moozak designed to make suicide feel like an attractive alternative. 

Airports, cinemas, bakers, railway stations, bus stations, the doctors, the dentists, supermarkets, old people's homes  (where the telly must always be on loud) - everywhere, low grade, eardrum bashing, de-sensitizing noos and moozak is directed at you. It's a conspiracy. Big Brother is terrified of you having quiet moments in which you might actually reflect on your experiences. So your airspace is violated with incessant prattle and moozak. And if it isn't coming at you from the radio or a hidden PA, it's coming at you from some twat's intrusive IP3 or mobile phone. Yar! Hi, I'm on the train...the bus...the plane...the piss. Jacquetta's coming round to mine, isn't she? She's coming round to yours? I thought she was coming round to mine. The sound of silence died with Simon and Garfunkel. And, day by day, our peace and quiet dies with them. 

No wonder Charles Bukowski used to say the further away he was from humanity the happier he was. Ditto. Take the moozak-racket of modern life as far away from me as possible.

1 comment:

Edward Spalton said...

Wetherspoons' pubs are muzak-free areas.
Long may they continue!

They offer a good range of beers, ciders, wines etc and a reasonably priced food menu too.

On a recent visit to Ireland, I was pleased to find they had reached as far as Enniskillen.