29th September 2020

My contemplations, prayers, considerations, tend to be on the whole silent, cept of course those rare but increasingly prevalent moments I find myself talking quite loudly and animatedly to the invisible doppelganger accompanying me on my jaunts. Thankfully being a rather unique individual in look, dress, and character, my fellow ramblers tend to show me the kindness of ignoring, or at minimum at least excusing the eccentric behaviors of this strange and quite possibly touched old gentleman.


For my part I have never found the habit of audible self-critique or congratulation the slightest bit strange, quite possibly due to coming from wholly theatric and singularly tainted stock, the slightest trace of Hanoverian or Hapsburg blood guaranteeing probable madness, no matter the chronologic dilution. That being said I of course am inclined to bow to the common decencies and refrain if at all possible from frightening pedestrians, bicyclists, and horses alike. Any manifestations are utterly unintentional and totally beyond any control, or so is bishop was ever fond of advising the actress.

Having somewhat excused mine own rather disturbing antisocial habit, quirk, oddity, I feel somewhat more comfortable addressing some distinctive annoyances of mine own, overtly pernickety certainly, but heart felt never the less.

Chanting, that rhythmic, captivating, musically simplistic, easily copied or mimicked drone, is a facet of human interaction totally beyond my understanding. The practice has changed not one iota since the first small group or cult gathered about a fire, rock, or carcass, and communally raised their voice in prayer or despair. Not dissimilarly to the drum circle the purpose is both singular and communal, a gathering of individuals creating a group, a voice begetting a choir, a whisper inducing thunder. Oft following the forms of statement and response, or repetition by rote, over time the connection or relationship of the words and phrases to individuals or events becomes distant, even forgot, but the emotional connect however vague and ambiguous remains. However chanting, whilst capable of inducing trance like states for participants, has no obvious intrinsic meaning or value for those outside of the ring, except of course  to disturb, irritate, and generally I am obliged to point out make the observer, or audio challenged victim, uncomfortable and decidedly not relaxed or at peace.

Drumming, which forgive me I always automatically bracket with flag twirling, if done well can be momentarily pleasurable. I enjoy the good drum solo as much as the next chap of chapette, as long as not overdone or overextend. Hence with hand over heart I must admit to never having been a particular fan of the styles of either Ginger Baker or to my endless shame my dear departed friend Keith Moon. Mass drumming is something I could avoid forever, whether military, social or exhibitionist. The one saving grace with troupe drumming as opposed to chanting is of course an adequate warning, you do get to observe the instrument of torture before the executioner begins to ask the question. Thankfully, the dungeon is generally open air, so escape is ever optional.

My third dismay is people carrying guitar cases into public spaces, the threat being that at any moment they will whip out their instrument and waving it around willy nilly take it upon themselves to serenade the world at large, whether we want or not, with discordant chords, apoplectic strumming, and bizarre personal prose. Most disturbingly these urban musician guerrillas sometimes demand payment with menaces of louder and more cacophonous renditions. Lately, mine eyes have oft encountered some straggly balladeer or other perched upon bench, table or handy tree stump, acoustic instrument in hand, heaven forbid tis an electronic or electrically enhanced model, reveling in his violent assassination of some musical number or other.  That the performers are generally male is probably telling, that I can ever confirm the mournful quality of their presentation equally indicative. These troubadours are no buskers, no street musicians, not entertaining for certain, they are rather either exhibitionists, performing in the glare of their own self illumed spotlight, or hopeful amorists seeking love where none deserves to settle.

My sojourns in the peaceful surroundings of the common land are decidedly self-explanatory, perhaps my irritations are but examples of mine own inborn entitlement.

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