Turn it up or turn it off.
I don’t get the use of background music in everyday life. I more than don’t get it; it drives me to distraction. In the car, if someone turns the radio down to engage in conversation, that’s just a ride to crazy town for me. WHY? Clearly no one is able to discern what is happening on the radio. But now, I have to listen to whatever the heck is being said, in addition to something that resembles what I imagine a soothing swarm of locusts might sound like. It takes Herculean self-control for me to calmly and gracefully turn OFF the insects without readjusting the car’s HVAC system by way of my flailing.
People who use music as background tend not to be Bob Dylan fans. Or lyric fans. Both of these really do call for actual listening, as any music worth hearing really should, hopefully. Or maybe that’s just me.
I might be able to make an exception in the case of folks who are attempting to live their lives with a soundtrack, envisioning each vignette as a moment of film brilliance or blockbusterness. Perhaps the heartbreaking Adele song’s volume decreases as they answer the phone, then swells again when it becomes clear that, no, it’s not HIM after all. Even so, that implies an attention to the proper juxtaposition of the tunes, not just a droning volume level 4.
So can we either listen to the song or not? Turn it up, let it get in there, have a moment? And then turn it off? Please? Because there isn’t enough Deep Woods Off to fend off the bugs that are buzzing when the volume is low.