Saturday, 29 November 2008

Silence is...difficult

I failed to avoid music for No Music Day. To achieve that, I would have had to keep out of shops and pubs. And I was on holiday, so no chance.

But thinking about No Music made me more aware than ever of the half-heard intrusion into my mental space. Sometimes I believe there really is a conspiracy to stop us thinking for ourselves.

I did eventually find a pub that has no music, just good beer and good conversation. They provide the beer: you provide the conversation. Simple really. It’s how things should be.

It’s likely I’ll also fail at Buy Nothing Day, but at least I have a choice. I’ll choose to buy things at the farmers’ market and the local fair trade shop; maybe other local independent shops as well.

Some say you are what you eat: I say you are what you buy. I don’t want to be ‘right on’ (as we used to say in the 80s) but sometimes I try to tell people that shopping is a political act. Mostly, they don’t get it.

Like avoiding music, it takes effort to get away from Tesco and Amazon. Like avoiding music, it’s about keeping out the noise that prevents us from thinking for ourselves.

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