Monday, March 26, 2007

on yelling

david suggested i go into more detail about the street noise, mostly because the word "yelling" doesn't quite cover it.

there are many types of yellers, perhaps best imagined through three personas:

1. the jolly partier
2. the altered soliloquy
3. the chatty cyclist

the jolly partier
the most common noise-maker, this person tends to inhabit the streets in pairs or groups. he speaks at a level elevated to a point at which he can be assured other people on the street have full access to his conversation--or at least the highlights. mostly, he strolls down the street post-bar around 3 am, gabbing about "oh ma gawd!" and "no... way."
goal: desires others to believe he is having The Best Time at this very moment

the altered soilioquy
the most troubling of the three, the altered solioquy is just that: altered, and appearing to talk to an invisible mate. during the more docile periods, this person will let loose a harmless, non-sequitorial yelp or guffaw. during the more troubling moments, she is known to veer outside of the sidewalk and into the street, pacing and swearing and screaming. it is this version of the altered soliquoy that is best left alone to work out whatever is gnawing at her soul, and patiently wait until the time comes for her to wander in front of someone else's home.
goal: by expounding repeatedly about the demons inside, they will be expelled

the chatty cyclist
we live on the "wiggle"--a heavily-trafficked bike path--which in itself is a wide-open ethnographic research project. on the wiggle, bikers travel in packs, hollering back and forth, sometimes with impressive stereo systems in tow. my favorite moment of cyclist banter was during a slight earthquake--my first in sf--when the cyclist squealed in ecstasy as the ground shook beneath his tires.
goal: dude. total fun.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see the altered soliloquy regularly at airports and in hallways at work. I think what you've got is a bad case of middle managers with hidden bluetooth headsets yelling into their Crackberries.

Anonymous said...

and in San Francisco I fondly remember the Troubadours. Most often found in the Mission District, they sing maudlin ranchera or banda types of Latin music; often in a pickled state; often the yelling/singing happens in the wee hours.

greg z said...

I love this, Sarah! It reminds me a bit of when I lived in SOMA on an alley off of 7th/Folsom. We had a SLUG garden at the end of our block which attracted a large number of homeless people - who happened to really like music.

Given how narrow our street was, and how tall the buildings were that lined it - the sound from their strapped-on boom boxes would bounce its way down to our windows. We would often be serenaded by the likes of everyone from R. Kelly to Sade into the wee hours of the night.

Now that we're in the mission, we have less stationary concerts, but we still get our fill of "live" music from time to time. There's one gentleman in particular who likes to frequent our front yard who, I have to say, has great taste in music. Just the other day we got a little fill of some good old Miles Davis.

sarah said...

now greg, when you say, "serenade" do you mean, "softly lulling you to sleep," or do you mean "romantic songs of love" or do you mean, "man, it kinda sucked 'cept for the sade." (the latter is what i'd probably think)

greg z said...

Well.... I think I meant more along the lines of "Well, that's a nice song. But now that I can recite the words in reverse, I could probably do with it stopping." So, I guess the latter. ;)