Are you a musician, classical or otherwise? I play keyboard. No, not on a baby grand, a Moog or a Wurlitzer. Far from it. My keyboard is the one on the laptop I’m using to create this opinion piece. It may be pleasurable “music” to your eyes, if I hit the right keys and create a compelling tonal theme in your brain pan, or simply not in tune with your tastes, no matter my effort to compose this composition to ring true, or at least offer food for thought, a snicker, or even a so what? Subjective…
The Grammys were awarded the other night. Didn’t watch. Never do. Awards shows, for me, are all flash and splash and a festive feast of self-congratulating self-congratulators. We like what we like. Subjective. What’s deemed transformative, original, enriching and worth repeated listening has nothing to do with winning a Grammy or not. And who cares, anyway? Different strokes for different folks. One person’s silky voice is another’s fingernails on a blackboard.
There is, however, one discordant sound that’s hard for myself and, I’m guessing, many other listeners to bear, whether the listening is intended, or comes as an ambient, accidental encounter, simply nothing more than hearing the sound without attempting to give any meaning to it. I try to listen but I’m not enjoying this sound at all, because it seems to be completely improvised, impulsive and hyper paced. Troppo Agitato. improvisational jazz comes to mind, but quickly converts to what listening to John Coltrane played sideways, or Miles Davis played inside out might do to my ears. This “sound”, reverberating over the airwaves, and often meticulously transcribed in the press, is a cacophony of usually baffling, bewildering, non-sensical, aggressive, keystrokes coming from one of two places, seemingly: Washington, D.C., or Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. They are “tweets” emanating from Twitterlandia, a realm whose inhabitants apparently have a lot to say, but simultaneously can say very little. They, like me, play a keyboard, though not for very long in any one session. How can they when their keystroke allowance is limited to no more than 140 per performance?
These terse dispatches from D.C. and the Sunshine State are simply an assault on my senses: too much, too fast and so lacking in anything resembling thoughtfulness or analysis as to take seriously. Except serious they are in spite of their usual juvenile uttering. It’s not the blithering of some middle school mope trolling innocent prey. It’s someone who, when not keyboarding 140 character attacks, distortions, bald-faced lies or alternative facts, is permitted to sign pieces of paper that create chaos, confusion, consternation, disbelief or at least dyspepsia for those of us non subscribers to this particular keyboardist’s self-serving, petty-minded playlist.
There, indeed, ARE subscribers, though. Perhaps some have already deemed it necessary to cancel their subscriptions, now suffering from buyer’s remorse. I doubt it, though. It’s not human nature to have to admit to being wrong, no matter how disastrous or embarrassing the wrong-doing turns out to be. Not what most people want to hear. Cancelled subscriptions or not, this one was doesn’t automatically expire until at least 2020. And even if the current mad maestro is forced out before that time, no longer allowed to conduct a dysfunctional symphony of disharmonious, backwards marching acolytes, there are others in line to step up and keep the assault on our ears and minds thump thumping away, from D.C. and remote outposts around the country, if not Mar-A-Lago, where the allegro troppo agitato often takes place.
In the meantime, non-subscribers to Twitter Man, stand fast. Be patient. You may have a hard time avoiding the racket made by the sworn-to-office inmates currently causing our ears to bleed, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it.
Certainly, we can pump up the volume and really tune out the noise in favor of John or Miles, Mozart or Mos Def, Green Day or Gershwin or whatever floats that musical boat. But do listen for the sound of that different drummer, the one keeping the beat in forward march mode. It’s going to come. It has to come.
Yes. Rock the Casbah. Clash! Thunderclap. Let’s get ready to go Gaga…or Death Metal if that’s what it takes. Streetfightin Man..
Rockin Robin (tweet tweet).