"Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to Noise-Induced-Hearing-Loss.
"Even the smaller music devices can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 decibels inducing moderate hearing loss, and a second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 decibels causing severe hearing loss.
For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 decibels and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 decibels. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD."
Somewhere along the road I realized that many of my thoughts were not my own. I started to wonder why I do certain things, why I buy certain things, and questioned why I said certain things. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my private time, call it being alone or solitude, was extremely limited. It then occurred to me that I was always surrounded by something or someone telling me what I should think, eat, drink. When to sleep, how much to sleep, how to do this, how to do that. I see now, our thoughts, our private space, is constantly being bombarded, no matter where we go.
There is a blatant attack against our consciousness, our ability to think.
Intentional or not, moment to moment, the combined parts of our Society and Culture, aim to disable (critical) thinking AT ALL costs. It has become harder and harder to be a clear thinking, rational and fair decision making person with all the nonsensical bullshit we all have to deal with everyday.
Some days I feel crazed and irate; I am losing my mind. Where and when did it leave?
Over the last couple of years I have been experiencing increased hearing loss, which has made my ears hyper-sensitive to all sounds, certain sounds more than others. I have struggled to find pain management for the ear aches and pains, trying drops, pills, plugs; to no avail. In the mean time, I started seeking out more and more silence. It has become increasingly difficult for me to leave the comfort and stillness of my bus home and carry on any sort of daily life routine. Any sound could wreak havoc on my ears, so I spend much time alone in quiet solitude, actively choosing the sounds I want to hear, and don't want to hear.
I crave silence; I need it to function. When I go out, I am worried how loud the restaurant might be, worried about someone using the hand drier in the bathroom while I'm nearby. Car brakes squealing while I am walking down the street, someone yelling too loud, clapping, dishes clanking, etc..
The noise doesn't even have to be loud or unique in any way, it's the everyday, all day sounds that bring me close to tears. I go from feeling great and happy, to hearing some sound and feeling the pain go straight to my brain. I have an instant fight-or-flight response and a mix of anger/anxiety/pain/fear/sadness which shoots through my entire body. I want to leave the situation immediately to get myself away from the pain.
The problem is that I can't.
There is "noise" everywhere. I've resorted to wearing ear plugs and ear muffs all the time. I don't leave the bus without them.
In my desire to age and grow old, I understand that suffering is part of the deal. My body parts will not last forever; I don't expect them to. Things are going to wear out, things will hurt. What really makes me suffer on a grander scale is the systematic attack on my mind and freedom of choice, a system that direly impacts any rational decision making. I am extremely frustrated and angry with the Guerrilla Warfare tactics that advertisers and companies are using to infiltrate our senses and interrupt our thought processes WHEREVER we go.
"Oh, you have some spare time for a thought? GIVE ME THAT TIME! NO thinking allowed!" Is the message that I constantly see and hear EVERYWHERE from advertisers.
I have realized how little time we actually get to ourselves, to be in silence and communion with our bodies and our thoughts. We have to work hard at taking the time, or if you prefer, making the time, to figure out what we REALLY want and like. Not what they want us to like.
We are constantly being told what we SHOULD like, what we SHOULD be doing and when we SHOULD go, among telling us we SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD do everything we are not doing and SHOULD get that we don't have yet.
WHAT DO YOU WANT??
Driving over to the local gas station, I start pumping and immediately have my senses attacked by the BLARING advertisements that are the new trend in gas station entertainment. I was having a great day until this bullshit advertising screamed into my broken ears. They make it extremely loud so that you can hear it in this loud Gas station environment. GasTV they call it, and they hope to make you think less and less and watch their shit more and more. What in the fuck is happening with our society?
Can I not simply stand there and enjoy looking at my beautiful bus? Or look around and see the people in my community and others simply passing through? I happen to enjoy the smell of diesel without being told how sizzling and tasty the 2 for $3 cheese corn dogs are. So now I have to forcefully poke all the goddamned random unmarked buttons to mute the screen. I don't care about your "food" specials, or Mario Lopez doing another dog show or Vin Diesel in another "Summer Trashbuster" or hearing about the current local weather. I'm in the current weather as I stand here. I see it. I feel it. Thanks for targeting me at every opportunity possible.
What irritates me is the tactics of sound manipulation by the advertising companies. On YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora (among others), the songs and videos are uniformly played at the same sound level, but the ads are always one notch higher. So you're listening to a song and then the Ad will play noticeably louder. It's highly unnecessary and damaging.
"So go buy the app! Use another program! Nothing is free! Deal with it, it's only a couple times." You keep telling me.
Right, that is the point they are making/marketing. I go and buy the app or service. I now fully support their tactics to 'attack our senses with increased levels of noise until they get our money.' Classic and legitimate move. I call it extra useless noise that adds up over the years, and will also cause YOU to lose your hearing. Noise Pollution, look it up.
After button smashing, I go inside that gas station to pee. I find myself staring at the weekly ad that's placed conveniently at eye level on the urinal wall. "Oh, 2 for $3 cheese corn dogs. For goodness sake!" I think to myself as the last drops dribble onto the COMPANY NAME advertisement that's printed on the urinal fragrance cake. EVERYWHERE WE GO WE ARE BEING ADVERTISED TO.
"Well, stop going to gas stations! Just ignore it! What's the big deal? I just mute it every time." That is not the point.
Later on I head over to the grocery store, where I have become accustomed to putting on my ADVERTISING/BULLSHIT blockers; I walk around with ear muffs and sunglasses. The grocery store has become too much for me to handle. The music they always play is "upbeat and fun," energetic to get you in a mood to spend more time and money. It aggravates and annoys me to no end.
I don't want to hear your specifically placed and over-played consumer sectored music, designed and used to accommodate a "pleasurable shopping experience." Next minute, the scratchy blaring of the poor sounding PA system interrupts not just the lousy shopping tunes but consciousness itself. I cringe just thinking about the sound of people over a store's PA system. The combination of the registers beeping, carts clanking, people talking, ovens being forcefully shut in the bakery, music with the occasional PA announcement makes my ears and brain swell up. It is a frustrating experience, where I feel sudden urges of anger and sadness. Both at the lunacy of every shopping experience, and sad that my ears are putting me in such a state.
Thanks for shopping with us, ear torture is always free. CONSUME CONSUME.
Later on I go to dinner at a restaurant chain. When checking out with the credit card keypad, I'm forced to watch animated pancakes dance across the screen, an ad for their upcoming special pancake celebration. I'm drawn to moving pictures, as all humans are, and now I cannot even pay my bill and interact with the wonderful person who is checking me out, because I'm too busy watching the screen so that I can finish the transaction. They must really think I'm brainless and lack any thinking capability; AS IF I would forget to miss their special occasion pancake festival. Phew, if it had not been for this perfectly placed dancing pancake ad on the Credit Card Swiper, I might have numbingly forgot that I read about it on the place-mat I ate from.
Television Advertising is the biggest reason of humanity's decline and I refuse to have the electronic device or service come into the bus. It is the biggest attack against rational thinking and time management. It is a miserable way to relax from a stressful day, the poorest way to get "information" and never delivers anything except fakery, sadness, drama, fear and mental garbage. Television has become mostly advertising with worthless and mindless entertainment edited in-between. I used to enjoy watching movies and occasional television, but it has become utterly unbearable to watch. No more.
That's all I got until the next blog.
Stay sane and rational; discover yourself in the silence.