Wednesday, October 26, 2005

the sound of a happy city

ok, what sort of chicagoland-based-person-
who-keeps-an-online-journal would i be if i didn't post something tonight about the white sox claiming GREATNESS as the world champions of baseball just a couple hours ago? (actually, i don't quite understand the 'world champion' claim. but am willing to roll with it.)

what's more relevant to this particular online journal is an observation i made while riding my bike home from watching the game on tv with some friends. as soon as the victory was sealed, the streets of chicago erupted in sound, with honking cars parading across the city and whooping of all sorts tossed from balconies lining the streets. someone saw a car pull into the gas station nearby, open each door and blast 'We are the Champions' for all in the surrounding two-block radius to hear. not very original, i agree, but the point is - people are ecstatic here in chicago tonight. we _are_ the champions.

but what i really want to point out is how different a car horn can sound, depending on the context in which it's being employed. though one might (understandably) associate the sound of a honking car with irritation, impatience or a near-death experience, tonight's honking was all about the love. tonight's honkers were joyful, electrified, drunk, giddy, empowered and all the rest of the emotions many feel when the really good guy wins the really big game. i was even somehow drawn into the fervor (yes, it was a fervor) during my bike ride home, and rang my bicycle bell at every chance in solidarity with the rest of the whooping revelers.

brrrrrinngg. brrrrrrringggg.
(see earlier post about spelling sounds....)


Joel C said...

I was enjoying the post-game noises on Division after the Sox game. I joined the whooping and drunken hollering myself. It was such an interesting soundscape--my favorite moments were when cars with blaring horns would shoot past us on the sidewalk with people yelling. It was an amazing amalgam of ultra-fast crescendos and diminuendos as the doppler effect worked its magic. I just wish I had a microphone with me...

shapiro said...

yes, the car-hollerers were also outstanding! i think when john cage talked about musicality in the world around us, he must have been at least partly thinking of what the streets would sound like when the white sox finally won the world series again!!