Monday, June 25, 2012

CP 182 The suffocating beast...


CP 182 The suffocating beast

Hello friends, this week it’s the ‘grumpy old Fred’ who is on deck. The piece I’ve written below has no connection with the CrossPurposes of Jesus the Christ. Best way to say it is that it is about one of the (few) things that makes Fred cross! And since I’m time poor this week I thought I’d just unload it on you. It was originally written for the HECKLER Column in the Sydney Morning Herald here in Sydney. Make sure you read the concluding comments. Fred
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The suffocating beast

It’s 8.45pm on Saturday evening. The wedding formalities have come to an end. Some speeches were genuinely funny. Some of the content was agonisingly corny. A few were joyfully wise. The cake has been cut. The requisite photos have been snapped. The bride and groom have negotiated the bridal waltz. The bridal party and the respective parents have joined in, as they must. The MC has finished his work. It’s 8.45pm and it is time to go home.

I don’t want to go home. I’m not ready to leave. I’d prefer to stay. After all, I’m surrounded by favourite rellies and vibrant friends, both young and old. I haven’t caught up with all of them yet. Whenever we’re together there is always raucous laughter and rich conversation. We have such stories to tell each other. There are still jokes unrepeated or untold. But it’s 8.45 pm and I’m unable to stay.

I’m sad and resentful. Time was when a man was free to continue singing and dancing, hugging, laughing and chatting until midnight. When the meal was over I could roam, reconnecting with young and old. But it is no longer possible. The old order has passed away, the new has come. At 8.45pm a force will assert itself. Its coming is inevitable. Resistance is impossible. It overwhelms me. I will leave. I must leave.

A beast announces his presence at 8.45pm. Not that everyone thinks of him as a beast. Many of the young, and some of the rest, worship him. But I know him as a thoughtless, heartless, inconsiderate, conversation-destroying beast. I know he has come when his peculiar darkness explodes over everybody and everything. Within his invasive darkness I no longer hear words, not even my own words.  

The beast speaks. His speaking is a suffocating, ugly noise. In this dark realm of the beast the noise is a deafening, physical and relentless weapon. It assaults my whole being. It reverberates inside my head. It rattles my nerves and shakes my soul. Under this ghastly onslaught there is no further place for those whose enjoyment is in conversation. A joyful communal celebration of family and friends of all ages, has been turned, in the blink of an eye, into an orgy of exclusive and excluding noise.

The beast tolerates no other. No intelligible speech is permitted after his arrival. He dismisses with contempt all who long for a gentler room. Under his dominion words are meaningless. While the beast beats me with his incessant and oppressive noise I cannot hear you. I refuse to accede to his demand for my silence. My only recourse, at 8.45pm, is to leave.

This beast has a name. It is DJ.
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(For many years I have wondered if there is any way to reclaim music and song at weddings for the enjoyment of guests of all ages and cultures. In the last 20 years this part of the wedding celebration has become an exclusive party for a select group… and that is not only selfish, but also incredibly sad. I have watched many a grandma and grandpa leave wedding receptions early and unwillingly. They have said again and again that the joy of ‘catching up’ with rellies and friends is denied them because they simply couldn’t cope with the volume put out by the DJ.   )

1 Comments:

Blogger Boomerexy said...

I understand that there was a DJ at Cana... but back then, wedding receptions went on for a few days.
This meant that there was enough time for the relatives to get into an argument, and the loud music to relieve the tension!

11:40 AM  

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