Thursday, January 26, 2012

Year Of The Sleepy Dragon


This New Year's post is late, even for the Chinese. But don't fret, everyone! Your friend Ivan will carry the optimism of the new year for twelve more months if he has to. Sure, my old (new) computer is dead, and my phone's touchscreen now ceases to work, essentially bringing me back to the stone age. It hasn't really affected me at all, though. Being busy for the past few months, I've had the opportunity to wipe the chaotic slate that I've been living with since the fall. Desperate to share something in the meantime, here's something dorkilly amusing I wrote on New Years' Eve, 2007. It's about a different type of loudness war:

In New Year's past, a few good folks and I would, in spite of the more successful socializing taking place, would participate in what would later be dubbed "Music Wars". The goal of Music Wars was simple: drown or replace the opposition's party noise with our own.

The earliest instance of Music Wars I could recall was a inside my cousin's former garage, where all of us, using Kazoos, tried to outdo the stereo system. We succeeded only in attracting a few passing glances.

Fast forward six or seven years later, we were barely pubescent and cold and in the backyard of my Grandma's House, frowning at the loud Mariachi band penetrating the neighbor's brick wall. Armed with a small boombox and a folder of CD-ROM's, we "fired" an overly modulated soundtrack to Microsoft's Midtown Madness (Chicago Edition). We played that 'cause, quite simply, that's all we had and probably listened to back then. We all thought we were fighting the good fight and making a difference. But in truth our sound probably didn't go past the brick wall, much less penetrate the neighbor's thick mariachi bass.

This went on for subsequent New Years Eve's, and while I don't think we ever caught anyone's real attention, we did, in some moments, got the back door closed on us by one of our own. Not quite success, but a reaction nonetheless. Thinking about it now, it was all clearly stemmed as a combined attempt to get attention.

Go another ten years, and now the four of us were hauling outside Grandma's karaoke machine, and we began to sing songs. While those neighbors were long gone, suddenly others gathered around us, pointing their cell phones, digital cameras and camcorders at us, which for better, will stay on someone's personal tape collection, or for worse, end up on YouTube.

While I couldn't ever justify a "Music War" these days, for obvious reasons, I say if you got noise space to fill, especially in days like this, then by all means use it.

Go on, and please be safe. Don't get caught by a stray bullet, and find something to do tomorrow morning that doesn't involve a hangover.

See also:
New Year's Post-Script, 2009
Not What I Expected, 2010

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