Thursday, March 26, 2009

What happened to whistling?

I see in so many black and white films young working class men strolling (perhaps even skipping) to and from work while whistling a merry tune. Why is it that in my hours spent cruising the streets of Brisbane I hear no whistling? Come to think of it, I may the only whistler remaining in Brisbane.

What happened?

Here are my suggestions:
1. People have headphones on playing music for them
2. People don’t know what good music is anymore
3. People have less skill (I remember learning to whistle when I was 7 – it took a while to get proficient)
4. People are afraid of bringing attention to themselves (although they are happy to wear whatever ridiculous fashion is trendy at the time)
5. People are to busy thinking of other things to think about a song
6. People aren’t very good at remembering portions of a song long enough for it to be interesting
7. People have lost imagination and really shy away from trying such a crazy thing as whistling their own melody

I propose – bring back whistling. And my reason is this. When I watch the crazy chimney sweep (thinking of Mary Poppins here) whistling his way to work, it makes me quite cheerful about life. There is a positive externality from whistling.

Maybe it is good government policy to slip some whistling in their next propaganda campaign. If you taught it at school it would lose its appeal. People have to think that they thought of it themselves.

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