The sheer difference of other people really freaks me out sometimes. Every single person has their own inner world. Composed of thoughts unknowable to everyone but the thinker. Granted thoughts that you would most probably never want to know. Still the sheer otherness of other people is a bizarre thing to attempt to grasp fully. The billions of separate lives, an incomprehensible mass of beings.
This fear strikes me suddenly from time to time. Most recently on the tube, without reading material at times you start really looking around, not just a blank stare, and then it hits. However what has changed relatively recently is that the others mostly have little white cords dangling from their ears. Ipods, ipods everywhere.
Now regardless of what they might be listening to, this brought some mild relief. The others also find some enjoyment or solace in listening to music. Even if it’s not what I’d choose, even if it’s the Glee soundtrack, Kate Nash, grindcore or acid-panpipe-jazz, they are finding pleasure in music.
The profligacy of mp3 players could be seen as another way that people shut society out. Another way to be isolated and turn away from others except somewhat ironically it is also saying that they (we) want to belong, want to be recognised as part of society.
It could also just be that we are mostly sheep. Buying the gadget the result of an inability to resist the consumerism that has consumed us all, but however isolating living in a big city can be it is slightly comforting that we all want a soundtrack.