Friday, April 27, 2007

Voices


I was thinking about an odd thing last night, but made myself quit cause I was getting creeped out and it was late and I had to go to sleep. I heard a radio program once about people who set up super sensitive microphones that reach out into space or something, and they record odd sounds said to be the voices of space creatures. But what is really creepy is that they are human voices used in meaningless and inappropriate ways, as if the aliens had picked up our voices on radio waves and mimicked them, trying to reach us and communicate to us with our own words, but not having "words" of their own, doing it in a random nonsensical way.

It gave me the same feeling I had once when I heard a friend's parrot talk. The bird randomly threw back words and phrases and sounds, but in an utterly senseless way. He would make a phone ringing sound (extremely funny and kind of spooky at the same time) and then say "Hello? Oh HI! How ARE you?" over and over.

It all comes down to communication. Why does it sound so weird to hear our own language incorrectly repeated back to us? Is it just a fear of being misunderstood or is it something deeper? I tend to think that language, as beautiful as it is, is nothing more than a rudimentary attempt to transmit the incredibly complicated things which lie at the heart of the human soul. Words are all we have, and we are dependent on them to make ourselves known and understood, and in the end to give us the sensation that we are not alone. When used in a nonsensical way they show themselves as they really are, crude tools used to try to convey complex messages which often we ourselves don't even understand. Add aliens to the mix and the essence of what Freud meant by the term "uncanny" comes to light.

No wonder I turned off the computer last night.

1 comment:

Chicken & Waffles said...

Honey, you got to stop listening to NPR.