Friday, May 13, 2011

Unirritated young men (and women)

A NYT article (“All about the Invidious Irritants That Irk Individuals”) says some annoyances appear to torture not only the oversensitive crowd, but people of all colors and shapes around the globe: “Even members of an isolated African tribe appeared bothered by dissonant music.” Really? I am wondering if a similar musico-anthropological study conducted among the young of some globalized European tribes would yield the same results. I once showed in one of my classes a YouTube clip of “Crystal Castles,” monstrously dissonant “song” performed by Alice Practice. The effect of the “music” is heightened by random flashes of light and the shrieks of an extatic crowd. To my mild surprise, no one in the class seemed particularly annoyed two minutes into the clip, so I stopped it. One student commented knowingly that Alice were, in fact, a very good band and had some great music. Yet another case, it seems, where old “wisdom” has become so much useless drivel.