Better hold music

After spending about a half-hour on hold for an Anthem agent yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I could record better hold music than what I was listening to. They had a somewhat dramatic piano sonata, interrupted periodically by the typical recording of a woman’s voice, “Your call will be answered by the next available agent; please continue holding.” This was irritating to say the least.

The accompaniment should instead be something like Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports, and the vocal message should be part of the ambience, sung or spoken to go with it, rather than interrupt it. This would be more calming for callers who may be likely to be frustrated to begin with. Continuous mellow, integrated hold music would also be far better than silence, in which you have to check your phone to make sure you’re still connected, or silence interrupted every so often by someone’s voice. Express Scripts had a woman’s voice saying, “Please hold…”, every 5 seconds.

We can do better.


XKCD comic #2076, "Horror Movies 2"
XKCD “Horror Movies 2”

I tend to agree with the person without a hat. I’d much rather watch something uplifting.

I think many of us are hypocrites, calling ISIS barbarians for their videos of beheadings, and then watching slasher flicks. It’s all spectacle. Beheadings of royalty in the French Revolution were public entertainment, as were lynchings in the United States. I think it desensitizes us.

I recall Col. Kurtz in Apocolypse Now: “The horror … the horror,” and learning how PTSD can truly mess you up. I wonder what kind of effects our indulgences into horror have on our society, a culture that worships violence?


“‘Nature always wears the colors of the spirit,’ Emerson wrote, by which he meant we never see the world plainly, only through the filters of prior concepts or metaphors.” ~Botany of Desire

“The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we CAN suppose.” ~ J.B.S. Haldane

“The meaning of life? More for the savoring than the solving.” ~ Anonymous

“Don’t overeat, speak no mean words, and don’t kick no one’s dog.” ~ Herbert ‘Hub’ Miller (on his 100th birthday)

“Consciousness fulfills itself by knowing itself. The knowledge changes it,
in your terms, into a greater gestalt that then tries to fulfill and know
itself, and so forth.” ~ The “Unknown” Reality, vol. 1 pgs. 48-49, A Seth Book (Jane Roberts)