Very close by the CMS shops, hidden about a quarter mile away in the woods, was the prison's rifle range. Correctional officers could spend quality time with their firearms down there, and the hammering of multiple rounds was typical background noise during our workdays. There was something unsettling about toiling away for a prison while listening to your jailers practice shooting you.
Surfing?” he asked. She laughed, and the sound sent a shock wave through the water. The wailing faded to background noise. Annabeth wondered if anyone had ever laughed in Tartarus before—just a pure, simple laugh of pleasure. She doubted it.
I wanted to see if I could create something that is emotional between people. Existing games are about killing each other or killing something together. The idea of social emotion means people need to share feelings. At that moment, the players are in sync. The problem [with many games] is there's no chance to share emotion. Most of them are busy, [there are] explosions everywhere. So we got rid of all the background noise and we had to get rid of the guns.
Other memories stick, no matter how much you wish they wouldn’t. They’re like a song you hate but can’t ever get completely out of your head, and this song becomes the background noise of your entire life, snippets of lyrics and lines of music floating up and then receding, a crazy kind of tide that never stops.
WARNING: The following is a transcript of a digital recording. In certain places, the audio quality was poor, so some words and phrases represent the author's best guesses. Where possible, illustrations of important symbols mentioned in the recording have been added. Background noises such as scuffling, hitting, and cursing by the two speakers have not been transcribed The author makes no claims for the authenticity of the recording. It seems impossible that the two young narrators are telling the truth, but you, the reader, must decide for yourself.
Missing someone has to be one of the worst human emotions. All the other feelings like anger and fear and horror get some much more airplay, as if their intensity gives them more value, but whereas those emotions come in violent bursts and are gone again, the gnawing ache of loss has to be simply endured. It's like background noise, it's always there, it never goes away. You just have to try to block it out, distract yourself, hope that tomorrow the hole they left behind has grown a little smaller.
I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck... I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.
In this media-drenched, data-rich, channel-surfing, computer-gaming age, we have lost the art of doing nothing, of shutting out the background noise and distractions, of slowing down and simply being alone with our thoughts.