Good Vibrations

Steve Slavin

“Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear.”
Ludwig van Beethoven

The concert was sold out seconds after the tickets went on sale. Some fans paid over two thousand dollars for front row seats. On the day of the concert, ticket scalpers were getting a lot more. The ironically named Sound of Silence was the hottest band in the entire world.

The MC strode across the stage, bowed to the audience, and reminded everyone to please turn on their cell phones. He nodded at a stern-looking older woman wearing earphones, who nodded back at him. Everyone cheered. She bowed her head slightly, signed to the crowd and blew kisses.

There were dozens of huge video screens providing every audience member with close-up views of the signer, who had taken her place at the left side of the stage. As the houselights dimmed, hundreds upon hundreds of cell phone and phablet screens lit up. As the curtains parted, a rumbling of cheers began to rise from the massive audience. It was a guttural, almost pre-human sound that kept building. Although few audience members could hear, they grunted in unison. Their eyes were glued to their phones or the video screens, as the interpreter signed the cadence. They were expressing their deep love for Sound of Silence.

The band’s first number, Noise, was, by far, the best song ever written. Talk about good vibrations, the entire theater was vibrating. Even with the theater doors closed, people more than a mile away were well aware that the concert was underway – even though it was mid-town Manhattan during the evening rush hour.

Very few audience members could actually hear the music. But get real: only old fogeys still actually listen to music. The true music lovers feel it. In fact, hearing gets in the way of feeling.

Music is like great sex. Is sex all about feeling, or is it about just listening to the grunts of your partner?

Now that hearing was out of fashion, so was talking. Why talk, when nearly every young person knew how to sign?

Civilization progresses. We all used to read. Then we e-mailed. But why e-mail when you can text? OK, now we sign instead of talk.

Again, only some old squares still talk. Talking had gone out with reading books. Remember our credo: Never trust anyone who reads -- or hears, for that matter.

There had been some “talk” about banning hearing people from rock concerts, weddings, and other musical events. But cooler heads prevailed. After all, perhaps some of these poor souls were hoping to lose their hearing so that they too could get with the beat.

This tolerant attitude towards the handicapped is just another one of the things that makes America great. The majority rules, but the minority does have some basic rights. If they don’t want to groove to our music, that’s cool. Maybe, one day they’ll wake up and realize what they’ve been missing. They’ll stop thinking so much and just join the crowd.

© Steve Slavin 2018 All Rights Reserved

Date and time of last update 11:09 Wed 14 Feb 2018
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