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The Sounds of Freedom

 article about The Sounds of Freedom
2006-07-31 00:51:49

This article belongs to In Search of Laughs! column.


As
smells can evoke one's memories (popcorn makes me think about sex…it's
from my teen years) certain sounds may provoke reactions from one's
quiver of emotions.


The sounds of multiple gunshots could evoke fear in some. The sound of a cell phone going off in a movie theater could provoke irritation in others. A loud plane overhead may evoke different emotions in different places. Historically,
the sound of a factory whistle, indicating quitting time, evokes a
whole series of emotions: Relief, pride, happiness, or dread of going
home. (Personally, when ever I hear a foghorn, I have to go pee.)


When you hear a cat purring, which emotion do you feel? What do you feel when you hear a train whistle? When you hear a school bell ring, does any particular emotion come to mind? Sounds activate one's inner feelings. A
myriad of sounds completes the foundation of our lives. Poets and
playwrights have set their scenes with sounds like: neighborhood ice
cream truck chiming, wind blowing, clocks ticking, and the ever present
rooster crowing. These are sounds that can react with things deep inside us. What's your favorite sound? What sounds do you hate?


There's one sound that represents freedom in America more than anything else to me: The sounds of BASEBALL.


Of course, the sounds of the Star Spangled Banner call to mind our country, whether it's sung in English or Spanish. By the way, have you ever heard our national anthem sung in Estonian? Hysterical!


To me, having visited some thirty-eight countries in my wanderings, the sounds that best represent the freedoms in my America come from our homeland's favorite pastime. Kids yelling, vendors hawking and fans cheering are only parts of this experience. Bat hitting ball, ball thudding into mitts and teammates encouraging each other, can only add to this eclectic mixture. Stadium
announcers, TV and radio play-by-plays, cries of "Charge!" and other
organ music make this a blend of audio that drills straight into my own
personal "feelings" factory. Isn't it the same for everybody else? I wish it could be.


These
days, with planes crashing into buildings, and cultures repeatedly
crashing into one another, it's comforting to have a place where one
can escape from the horrible sounds of our world. It's nice to have a happy spot when other spots aren't that way, don't you think?


When
I can't go to a baseball game, I try to see, or listen to one on TV.
Amazingly, every game, every time, all of those sounds show up, just
like it was their damn job or something. It's a fact we can count on. If things are OK in America,
somebody, somewhere is playing baseball. To this old scribe, this game
and its sounds best exemplify our spirit of freedom in these United States.
If you can spare the time, try to listen to a baseball game the next
chance you get! You can have some peanuts and Cracker-Jacks. You can
even yell at the umpire. That's freedom! Can you hear it now?





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