It occurred to me this morning how to solve all the problems in the Middle East.
People are angry over there, as you know. They blow themselves up, hack body parts off each other, drive jet airliners into buildings and generally shuffle around in an angry, aimless cloud of perpetual dust and confusion. They are surly, mean and fearless, and you don’t want to cross them on a good day, let alone when they haven’t had whatever narcotic they favor in a few days. It’s a brutal scene, and I think I know why.
It is because they have no decent sound systems.
No microphones, pre-amplifiers, amplifiers, speakers, wires, cables – you name it. I know this because every time I hear any kind of audio originating from that region it sounds like an eight year old screaming into a Mr. Microphone tuned to a transistor radio turned up to 10.
It doesn’t matter what it is; a news broadcast, a TV “variety” show, ransom tapes, bin Laden transmissions from Mars – they all sound the same. Horribly distorted, fuzzy, distant, disembodied voices coming from large, empty, mysterious rooms echoing down through painful decades of basic electronic ignorance and neglect.
I had sad and unfortunate first hand experience with this phenomenon when I had to cobble together sound systems for a band traveling through North Africa in the late 1980s. You were more likely to find a gold nugget or canvas bag full of American hundred dollar bills lying in the middle of the street than a properly functioning mixing board. So I know whereof I speak, brothers and sisters.
It permeates their society, this bad sound. From the distorted, tinny, moaning calf wails of morning prayers screeching out of the mosque conveniently placed every 200 yards, to their “HI-FI” FM radio stations, that sound like a shortwave radio transmitted through two tin cans and 50 miles of string.
These people need help.
And don’t blame it on poverty. Sure, there is some crushing poverty in the Middle East, but Jamaica isn’t exactly Beverly Hills, and those fuckers can build a wall of sound out of popsicle sticks and barbed wire that will peel off your scalp with nothing but the overwhelming brute audio force of bass and drums.
My plan, which I depend on you to carry out, is to air lift thousands of tons of old American audio equipment into Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. This will give them the raw materials to increase the audio fidelity of their daily lives and get rid of a lot of junk that is cluttering up basements and garages of Americans.
Then we send one or two Jamaicans to each country with a pair of needle nose pliers, three pounds of Blue Mountain herb (I know, that’s not much, but it should only take them a week or so to rig all this shit up) and a case of rum.
It’s really a shame that I don’t like politics. I would be a good president or supreme leader of some kind. I bring the ideas, you know what I’m saying?