9 October 2009

The Noisiest Thing In The World

The third noisiest thing I have ever encountered was an exploding dragster engine that decided it had had enough as it tore past me at two hundred and fifty miles an hour, no more than thirty feet away… not particularly surprising that such an event would be very noisy I know but take note that I said THIRD noisiest. So it does put what comes next into some form of context. It was loud for sure… mind splittingly loud some might say, but nothing compared to the second noisiest thing I ever encountered...

...Duran Duran… Yes that's right the second noisiest thing I ever encountered were those die hard Birmingham primo pop purveyors Duran Duran. At the height of their popularity back in the eighties I went to see them play in London. Before they even took the stage my head (and that of a friend who had accompanied me to help chaperone my little sister) were already in danger of splitting, due to the constant screaming of 10,000 teenage fans who really could not contain their excitement at all.

The fans themselves were loud, but when the band took the stage, my friend and I shared a stunned glance… they were stonkingly loud… they had to be. If they'd simply been loud the constant screaming of their fans would have been a continual undertone throughout their performance. I looked around and yes I could see the star struck faces all around me were still screaming, but I could no longer hear them... at all… quite an odd sensation to be honest. I was impressed with Duran Duran that day, and have looked at them in a slightly different light ever since.

Loud as the dragster explosion was it only lasted for a very short period of time and although in sheer volume terms Duran Duran were capable of drowning out anything in their path (possibly even the dragster) their "noise" was extremely well crafted and entertaining rather than irritating and abhorrent… two terms that are reserved exclusively for the last and noisiest thing in the world… no comparison, nothing comes close… what to know what it is? I'll tell you.

The noisiest thing in the world is "any group of three teenage girls".

Quite stunning but true. Put three teenage girls in any situation and without fail they will in very short shift, turn into one of the noisiest and most irritating forces ever conceived, so irritating are they, that they would surely have Ghandi pulling out his non existent hair and screaming for them to "shut the fuck up" in no time at all.

I once sat on a train and watched in slack jawed amazement as the three teenage girls sitting across the aisle, carried out a conversation where all three of them were talking at the same time on different subjects… I kid you not… AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Seriously, any creature capable of that level of multitasking should be taken out and shot for the safety of mankind. I mean I've been in situations where I'm trying to talk to someone and another third party tries to begin a conversation with me at the same time… I'm sure most of us have. Nope can't be done…"sorry mate, just one second" you say, finish one conversation and then start the second. Multi way discussions are also different, sitting round the table in the bar talking over any subject with numerous people, tends to follow the pattern of "one speaker, several listeners", then "change of speaker" repeat. But that's not what these maddening harpies were doing oh no. They were truly multitasking, they were engaged in three simultaneous conversations each (possibly more… it was really hard to follow and I'm not sure if there special mathematics for this phenomenon).

And the tone of their voices… oh my god. I think there must be something in the mind of teenage girls that needs to hear the occasional shriek and if none is forthcoming from their surroundings, they have to issue one themselves.

The subject of their conversations must also be taken into account. From what I am able to gather teenage girl conversation is just like the dragster in some ways, but it is fuelled by banality, cooled by inconsequentiality and lubricated with pointlessness, anything of true importance or worth consideration is simply not required to fire up this monstrous engine of annoyance. They talk of nothing, at great length and at ever increasing volume (and they’re obviously oblivious of their environment and those around them)… they scream, they screech, they use double negatives ALL THE TIME they simply madden and incense.

If you want to experience a noise so shocking you literally try and crawl out of your own ears… get a dragster to race past you and have its engine explode.

If you want to be amazed (and entertained) by well tailored and very VERY loud noise, travel back in time and go see Duran Duran in concert at the pinnacle of their popularity.

But if you want to experience the noisiest thing in the world, just take a couple of train rides… or catch the bus occasionally. Pop into a McDonalds for a coffee every now and again… you'll run into them eventually… there'll be three of them.

They are a force of nature, there is no other explanation, they must have purpose, there must be some cosmic role that they fulfil, some grand and complex reaction that means the sun continues to burn or something…. I mean there has to be.

Otherwise they would simply be the pointless, wailing harpies that they appear to be... and that just cant be right.