I am a worrier. Not on a Woody Allen scale, fortunately, but somewhat constantly. About little and big things. About things I can control and things I can’t. I even worry that I worry too much.
Anyway among the cacophany of anxieties shrieking in my ear is my fear of hearing loss. I have long feared that my bad habit of ipodding (and before that listening to my discman and before that my walkman and before that, at the tender age of 10 or so, being rather attached to a very clunky but cute tape player I used to carry about with me - yes, really) is damaging my ears. Rather I think it has damaged my ears already, partly because I listen to it much too often and at disturbing volumes, and partly because my hearing is actually quite poor. I don’t know if I’ve always been in the habit of watching people’s lips when they talk if there’s a lot of background noise, or if my tendency to ask people to repeat themselves is a new development but I have noticed both of these things over the past few years. And it scares two or three types of shit out of me.
So new research showing one in five French teenagers suffers from hearing priblems because of exposure to excessively loud volumes on personal stereos and night clubs should scare me further, right? Well you’d think so but you’d be underestimating just how petty I am.
The way I see it my ears are already screwed. Bless their cotton socks they’ve served me well these past 25 years and I have rewarded them by blasting them with regular doses of Phoenix, The Libertines and, in my younger years (I’m sorry, guys) anything from Europe to Bros. So all I see in this latest piece of research is the prospect that I won’t be alone, adrift on a soundless world all of my own. I will have company.
Even better it seems like a lot of them will be French.