Ice rinks, fluorescent soldiers, and bookshelves.

On Saturday I was woken twice from a pretty vivid sleeping experience – once by the fire alarm at 4:30 am (a small percentage of the residents of our building pile out onto the street and grumble about being woken up while firemen dart around grumbling about being woken up – the majority apparently don’t fear a fiery, burny, melty and ultimately smoldery death), and once by the sound of a small temporary ice-rink erupting into life right below our first floor apartment at around 10:00am. The ice-rink was only small, so they only let small children on – and the noise they make by themselves is nowhere near enough to disturb me. But the operators of this passing (and slightly surreal) attraction believed that the kids couldn’t have the maximum possible amount of fun without a very big speaker thundering out dance music. Why? I’m sure the kids don’t care whether there’s music or not, and if the idea was to provide a soundtrack that would enhance their experience, even their memories, then I can think of a vast amount of more interesting music. The organisers seemed to have confused the needs and desires of the average 5 year old with those of an 18 year old hepped up on vodka and red bull. To someone reluctantly shocked from sleep it sounded like chaos/disorder/destruction out there, and it struck me that this might be the soundtrack to all future wars. In my half-awake state I started to imagine neon clad super-soldiers with glow-sticks strapped to the muzzles of their laser rifles like bayonets, all charging over mounds of brightly coloured nuclear sludge to the incessant dunf dunf dunf of a thousand bands who claim a common ancestry in the demonic aural flatulence of Scooter. I’m seldom moved to spite or aggression, but I had a real urge to point my own speakers out the window and hideously syncopate their rhythms with some Melt Banana. Then I thought it would be interesting to hear Harry Partch and his accordion wailing out all over the street on top of that inescapable beat. I didn’t do either. I just stayed in bed and grumbled.

Later, when the ruckus had died down and the beat finally stopped (around 5:00pm) we spent a fairly pleasant evening carefully stocking a new set of bookshelves – finally, some of the random piles dotted about the apartment find a semi-permanent home.


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