This blog started out as a blog about Marketing, Media and Japan. But as time went on, and due to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster and the foaming-at-the-mouth rantings of people who were claiming that we all were going to die, I switched the focus of this blog to blasting those clowns out of the water. Now, I see where I have to refocus on writing about just how messed up people are and how f'ed up their priorities are.
The year is 2011. People all over the world are complaining about nuclear power. No one says anything about coal and oil even though, for every unit of power produced, those industries kill more than 5,000 times more people than those who die from nuclear power.
People in the west are talking about their health, safety and the environment. They are "getting back to nature", "natural", "eating healthy", "living right" and "exercising", etc., etc. People complain and moan about things like nuclear power and killing dolphins and the environment, etc. all the while they stuff their faces with processed foods, drive their cars like idiots, and do all sorts of things to their bodies that will kill them years before their time and way before any nuclear radiation will.
But I continue to flog a dead horse.
Actually, I am on vacation in Hawaii now and have come to observe another very curious behavior of people these days. This behavior cannot be good for you but you see people doing it all the time. This behavior has been proven to cause high blood pressure, heart disease and even birth defects, yet people still do it regularly.
Hawaii has scenic beauty, natural forests, beautiful unspoiled beaches. Clean. Cleanliness. Unpolluted. Healthy. Natural.
Yes. Healthy and natural... Excepting for the 65% of all people over 30 years old who are overweight here. 80% of the people over 40 are obese.
Very healthy, except for the people.... But those are the unhealthy.. There are some healthy ones. At least they look that way. Those are the the young and beautiful people who are keeping their bodies fit with exercise....
I walk along an empty beach. There's no sound except nature; the wind, the waves, the birds. Silence. It is heaven to a person who has spent over three decades in Rock music as a musician and at a Rock music radio station. On the beach here I have only the sounds of nature; it is heavenly silence and extremely calming and very healthy. My stress levels drop to zero.
Also, on these quiet beaches, runners go by every morning on their daily jog. While doing something great for their bodies, they do something terrible for their minds. They all do the same thing: They wear headphones.
Everyone knows the benefit of natural sounds. Everyone knows the benefit of silence. Everyone knows that sound pollution is a cause of many physical and mental disorders. Yet these people, surely surrounded by man-made industrial noise all day, choose to spend their quiet time alone blasting loud music into their ears.
Here's what Wikipedia says about Health Effects from Noise Pollution:
Noise health effects are the health consequences of elevated sound levels. Elevated workplace or other noise can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance. Changes in the immune system and birth defects have been attributed to noise exposure, but evidence is limited. Although some presbycusis may occur naturally with age, in many developed nations the cumulative impact of noise is sufficient to impair the hearing of a large fraction of the population over the course of a lifetime. Noise exposure has also been known to induce tinnitus, hypertension, vasoconstriction and other cardiovascular impacts. Beyond these effects, elevated noise levels can create stress, increase workplace accident rates, and stimulate aggression and other anti-social behaviors. The most significant causes are vehicle and aircraft noise, prolonged exposure to loud music, and industrial noise.
Why do people do good things for their body while doing such bad to their physiology and mind? Why do people appreciate the beauty of nature, yet they seem to not be able to appreciate the sound of nature?
It is quite odd the damage that people will voluntarily do to themselves. I'm not saying that listening to headphones is always bad. I think it might be fine to relax in contrast to, say, a ride on a packed commuter train. But when you have the rare chance to listen to nature, you'd be wise to take it.
Of course, in this article, once again, I will be attacked as some sort of "non-expert" but, like I said, over three decades in music as a paid professional makes me an expert and one of the few people who have made a good living in music.
When music is your business and it is how you live, trust that you come to appreciate the health benefits of silence and natural sound.
I have no TV or stereo at my home and I certainly don't carry a stereo in my pocket.
There's enough man-made noise pollution as it is. If I can hear nature and silence, I will choose that whenever and wherever possible. For your health, you should too.