Saturday, May 22, 2010

Even Muzak Has Its Time and Place

Muzak is terrible right? Too artificial sounding, they pick the worst songs or compositions ever and on the occasion they take a classic they ruin it! But I was thinking just recently, that even muzak has its time and place. Sometimes its the perfect last piece of the puzzle when you fantasise about your own demise, sometimes its the music that completes the filmishness of your life..... because if your horrible moment in time was a movie, it would have to have horribly bad, depressing music to illustrate just how mundane and terminal your life situation is. Even if this is an over reaction, at the time its what you were feeling.

For instance when the Mr Whippy ice cream van's 'music' broke down for three weeks, I didn't think Greensleeves could get any worse, but believe me, it CAN. And it was the summer school holidays so he was driving around my neighbourhood for hours each day.... and one afternoon I was buried in paperwork and in tears, I considered giving the kids a $50 note just so the van would be stopped long enough for me to finish - magically when the van stops so does the music - and I realized, that my life is god's movie.... and that my situation was funny. Or at least I was so tired and overwrought that I thought it was funny, and laughed like a madwoman... and you know what, the next day he had new music... because my moment had passed.

I also had to fill out the War and Peace of hospital surveys..... as a former patient of the burn unit they wanted to know all about my current pain, my pain during my stay, how satisfied I was with the information about my condition and care given to me..... and the options were very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, neither satisfied nor disatisfied, I would have liked more information, and this I WOULD HAVE PREFERED NO INFORMATION. Instantly, I imagined the doctors and medical students gathered around a patient's bed rattling off information about their condition, and the patient daydreaming about Hawaii while a really bad rendition of The Girl From Ipemana played in their head, totally obliterating the sound of the gory details about their treatment and prognosis.

So I began to realize that muzak can serve a purpose.

Doesn't bad music in a bad situation (for instance the world's smelliest and slowest elevator, or being put on hold by customer service) make you feel like you have more to complain about?

Let's not forget the reason these companies do this to us..... to pacify us..... sure some of us can still go off like a firecracker when we finally get to talk to a human being, but a lot of people are simply reduced to zombified shadows of themselves, they are unable to put up resistance to bad service, to articulate a winning argument, to raise their voice....

So the next time I hear a really bad Fur Elise while on hold..... I'm not going to think that Beethoven must be rolling over in his grave, I'm going to laugh until I cry.


  1. Hay I haven't been to your blogs for a very long time I have now set up a new email address
    So do feel free to email me I would love to talk to you...
    I send you a hug,,,,,,

  2. hey, I've missed your blog! I will definitely use the email address, I'm just about to go and do some knitting and watch Master Chef Australia lord help me am I really only 33?