‘Noise is a torture to intellectual people’
In many animal species, including Homo sapiens, males need to attract the females’ attention in order to have a chance of passing on their genes to future generations. This is a fact of life. No attention-seeking –> no pussy –> no descendancy.
Along life evolution, for achieving this goal those species have developed a variety of technics, associated in some way or other with ‘good quality’ genes and higher probability of guaranteeing survival for the progeny: lustrous plumage or fur, garish antlers, loud and melodious trill, outstanding skills, plain physical strength, etc.
As to humans, when culture and civilization begun interferring in evolution both the function and the manifestations of those genetically hard-coded patterns underwent subtle changes: on the one hand, some splashy behaviours or features no longer had a connection with the ability to engender -and provide for- healthy offspring, whereas on the other hand some specimens begun developing a psychological (i.e., not purely biological) need for catching everybody else’s attention not solely -or at all in some cases- for the purpose of getting laid. Lastly, as societies ‘progressed’ and begun worshipping knowledge, education or intelligence while at the same time presumedly condemning violence, often the males’ showiness became less apparent, more subtle. And this, I guess, has been overall the state of affairs in human societies for the past few centuries or millennia: every other man trying to stand out from the crowd to the best of his means, displaying whatever he thinks attractive enough to grant him the damsels’ favours (and by the way: ethics have never been a priority, since those idyllic beings called women do not care excessively for the means their men resort to to bring food home; which is the reason why criminals have wives and lovers like any other man, when not more; but I digress).
So, from the richest and handsomest to the ugliest and poorest of men, all did their best, and even the very humblest peasant or villager tried to prove they could shoe a mule or grow potatoes better than the neighbour. And to some extent things still work the same way, except that the said patterns are very rapidly changing as sex gets increasingly detached from procreation, thus becoming increasingly cheaper: since for a variety of reasons men are no longer seen as ‘providers’ by women, the ‘requirement standards’ decrease correspondingly: females can full consequence-free mate with the most hopeless of males. Certainly, despite ‘social evolution’ (isn’t that an oxymoron?), human biology has not changed a iota, and therefore men still have the instinct to draw women’s attention, but as female & offspring survival is much less dependant on a man’s skills, worth or health, less is expected from him, having therefore no big incentive to strive harder. This to some extent implies a decadence of the species.
Hence, we might try to determine the degeneracy status of a given civilization by measuring the average usefulness of its men, for which a good indicator might be to observe what is the best that its most incompetent men are able to do. And this is how we arrive to noise: among the inmeasurable panoply of flashy or striking conducts a man can adopt to catch the public’s eye, noise is arguably the very easiest, as it stands within the grasp of even the clumsiest and dumbest of hominids: no ability, aptitude, gift, flair, knowledge or effort whatsoever is required: suffice to get your car/bike’s muffler removed or turn your amplifier full blast and, lo and behold!, the whole neighbourhood is looking at you. With a cheap 200 Watt loudspeaker or a simple de-muffled 50 c.c. moped you suddenly become tenfold more noteworthy than the smartest or richest man in town, and for all I know this might grant you some extra pussy, for nobody would persistently behave that way if it did not pay off. This is the level our civilization has reached.
(Mark that in this text I am not referring to noise pollution, which is an unwanted–and certainly disgusting–consequence of nowadays’ lifestyle and social activity, but to deliberate loud noise with the specific–though often subconscious–aim of attracting attention.)
Of course irritating noise has been easy since the times of tam-tam, but back then this tool served a valuable tribal or social purpose. Only recently (in historical terms), for the last several decades, gratuitous noise began getting more popular and replacing other infinitely more commendable and creditable achievements. I lack the skills (or the motivation) for writing an essay on The history of noise, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it all begun with rock music or any such pesumedly ‘social protest’ movement or activity. Anyway, whatever its origin, I stay convinced that the incidence or regularity of uncalled-for annoying noise is a symptom, and a measurement, of a society’s decadence status in general, and of the degradation of male specimens in particular. No wonder Schopenhauer deemed noise to be a torture to intellectual persons.