Aesthetic Torture in the Land of Possible Delight
The worst audio assault a sex-saturated, no-melody, no harmony, swaggering hip-hop eruption or idiocy. I was subjected to two selections by the same savage (whose name I do not know), who intoned, "You call me a philosopher, but I just want to..." You get the (non)idea. It had all the subtlety of a bulldozer gone berserk--although that would have sounded better. It was crude, rude, and lewd. Not all hip-hop spews these kinds of lyrics, of course; but the best-selling stuff does. What a sad commentary on our view of humanity, sexuality, and relationality. America is further east of Eden in this area than in probably any other dimension in life. Collectively--and not just in hip-hop--we are sexually insane. See Romans, chapter one, for the whole story and explanation.
Yet, while I was amidst hundreds of jazz CDs, no jazz was being played. Was it worth the torture of the sonic environment? It certainly made concentrating difficult.
There were also horrible noises made by some synthetically-twisted voice that sounded robotic and thoroughly ugly. I have no idea was genre of noise it was, but it was pointless and hopeless.
Thirty years ago, in his famous Harvard address Solzhenitsyn chastised America for the crassness of its popular culture, including music. But nothing then was a soul-shriveling, abrasive, abusive, and disgusting as what I heard today. The coarsening of culture means the corruption of souls. You are known by the company you keep and the music that buzzes in your ears and in your mind.
I detoxified upon returning home through prayer, Bible reading, and listening to Coltrane, Monk, Kenny Garrett, and Joshua Redman. And I did manage to purchase a two-disk CD from Stan Getz for only $2.00. I'm sure what I heard on the sound system would sell for far more...