I would like to write a paper about how headphones change the way people turn public space into their own private space. My thesis statement is ” How headphones demarcate personal space”. Headphones help demarcate personal space even though people are using headphones during using public space. They allow people to feel cloistered, safe, and comfortably alone. They give people the power to control an audio environment.
In public spaces, there are many noise pollutions that one doesn’t want to listen to such as traffic noise or construction noise. Digital devices like headphones or earbuds help people calm down by escaping to another favorite place with only just one click. People have the ability to listen to their music like their own thought. It is something that nobody else can hear.
Even though without music, wearing soundless headphones is now a new common thing to block other people. So, we get more privacy than we used to be before headphones were invented. In a crowded and noisy world, a headphone is a small invisible fence that makes space, create separation, help one listen to themselves.
In ” Living with music” Ralph Ellison described that music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building by hearing things in his neighborhood as he described, drunk and singer noise. Living there inspired him because there were many passionate musicians who lived in his building and made him think about how the importance of the sound of music is.
When he said “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise” means as a person we need to choose whatever sound we want to listen to. There are a lot of noises in the world that we don’t want to hear. We need to choose which sound that good for us. If we can’t choose, we will live our life with overwhelming feelings. Some noises are not good for our mental health or our ears, for example screaming sound, and construction sound. So we need to listen to some things that fulfill our happiness like some music. Music can keep people sane in this crazy and unpleasant noisy world.
Ellison’s essay mostly talked about his life experience through surroundings sounds from his New York City apartment building. Likewise, in “The Soundscape”, Schafer talked about sound and how it affects the space surrounding it. Both of them focus on sound and space.
1. There are differences between “hearing” and “listening”. I would say that “hearing” is a process that comes naturally. It was a passive process that people usually don’t make an effort. It doesn’t need concentration. On the other hand, “listening” needs our effort to do it such as paying attention. We can hear someone is talking, yet we might not listen to them. Clearly, people always make choices about what we listen to. Moreover, I would say music taste might tell us about what is social class or gender of whom that listening to that kind of music.
2. According to the podcast, ways of hearing episode 2, Schafer and Krukowski discussed that there were relationships between sound and space. They took us to “CBGB” which was the old club in East village’s manhattan. This place had its own meaning as a special space because it was a space that shared sound when musicians performed. Moreover, they talked about sound and space in the 1920s. The reason they talked bout this year was because it was a very noisy year. Technology, including Subway, was developed ver fast. This made New York City become so loud. Many people, who shared the same space, had a hard time dealing with noisy sounds every day. So, the quiet zone was invented. It was a precious space for people who want to escape those unpleasant sounds. Gentrification was one of the factors that made the city get noisier. Schafer and Krukowski also discussed to radio city music hall. They stated that this was the first hall to emphasize the sound. It was just like CBGB, that this was the space that was built for the purpose of the sound. Clearly, there is a significant relationship between sound and space.
I quite agree with Martin Berger’s argument that the media tries to portray Black Americans as victims instead of standing up for their rights. Usually, black people were oppressed by society, which was shaped by news, TV, or magazines. Many of black people’s photos were taken and published by people who held the power (journalists/photographers). These journalists/photographers have the ability to filter, pick and share stories/photos to publicity. Whatever they choose to publish, the world acknowledges them. I think this is one of the biggest reasons that in the past black people usually played the victim role in society. However, the incident that happened to George Floyd has changed the position of many black people. They protest, express their feeling, and don’t want to be oppressed anymore. The world looks up to them as people who stand up for their rights, not the victim like in the past. Time changed, the way that people seeing has changed also.
- According to Berger, publicity image influences consumers by being everywhere, on magazines, on screens, on walls. It’s hard to avoid its power because we’re surrounded by them in our daily life. Its power makes people want to consume more and more. However, it makes people get poor in the meantime. Some people might feel left out from society if don’t follow what trend or publicity images portray/express at that moment. The power of publicity can make many people keep spending money on the material to make them look glamorous in their society.
2. As Berger compares oil painting to the publicity that they have things in common. Yet, the difference between oil painting and publicity images is the oil paintings show the ideas of grace, elegance, the authority that represent how rich the owner of that painting is. However, publicity images make people envy others which is one of the biggest reasons that makes them spend more money to have things that they don’t have, just like Berger said in the video that ” without social envy, glamour cannot exist”. Berger reveals to us that the production of images for publicity tries to lure us by showing only a good-looking side, such as a beautiful home, a pretty lady who wears an elegant dress. This makes people want to become /own things like whatever that image for publicity show to society. It also plays with people’s fear like perfume advertising, which scares people that they might smell bad without that perfume.
3. Of course, many dreams are influences by publicity such as TV and magazine. In the video, Berger shows us the “dream of a faraway place” which makes people want to travel or take a vacation. This dream shows only the good side of enjoying traveling that can easily manipulate the audience. It’s obvious that Its power influences people want to spend money for their next trip.
According to what John Berger said in the way of seeing episode 2, women in the Renaissance paintings didn’t express their own nakedness by their choice. He said they try to please the spectator or the men painter. However, many women today have their own power, their own choice with their own bodies. Social media has changed the way people look at women. Men respect women more as equal human beings. Also, women don’t have to care much about how men look or gaze at them if compared to the past. So, I disagree with the opening phrase that Berger said about men dream of women, women dream of themselves being dreamt of. I said that because I think many women in the21st century are busy dreaming of building themselves for example running a business or dreaming of being a billionaire instead of that. As a woman, I don’t think sexuality plays the same role in the image of women today because nowadays we understand that women are not objects. Anyway, I don’t ignore the fact that when it comes to women there is a sexual aspect to think about. On the other hand, Women are a lot of things more than some objects that pleased some men. We see ourselves as we are, not identify ourselves by being looked at by men.
Hi, my name is Phornnaphat Nilkamhaeng. (It’s pronounced Pon-na-pad) My nickname is ” Aor”. I’m from Thailand. I have been living in NYC for 5 years. My major is paralegal studies. I graduated bachelor’s degree from Thailand in Political Science. After that, I worked for a news station as a journalist for about 2 years. Then, I decided to continue my education in the US. I like reading and cooking.