Incidental Amusements

The inhabitants of the quiet section in Milne Library are notorious for somehow producing the most miniscule annoyances. The guy on speed in the cubicle next to you is tapping to his electronic dance music “Milne Grind” playlist while someone is snacking on Food Should Taste Good sweet potato tortilla chips from Books and Bytes. French tips girl is furiously and unnecessarily clicking her nails on her keyboard.

Cool hunters on the search for the latest beats should observe carefully, though. One of the most common noisemakers in Milne is the avid In Between patron, who is an indispensible resource. The first sign is some combination of fleece, cotton and footwear probably purchased at an overpriced sporting goods stores.

The dead giveaway is the music blaring from their ear buds. When Carly Rae Jepsen’s forceful anthem first came out, we could rely on this demographic to broadcast its addictive siren song through the quiet section’s air space on repeat. Lately, Icona Pop’s “I Love It” has been all the rage.

Before making any assumptions on the character of our fellow quiet sectioners, it may be observed that they are on to something. While at the IB, we churn out our physical interpretations of the catchy music being played. If you’re like me, this usually involves defining dancing as being in spasm.

Either way, whether you’re putting out epic hip gyrations or arguing about the Socratic definition of justice in an essay, pop music has a way of making you productive. Its fast, driving rhythm and dimwitted lyrics get your heart rate going with minimal distraction, plus it offers the option to tune out the person gnawing on an apple – and the Greek yelling at you to get off their risers. Best, however, is the humor it brings to tasks that are otherwise mundane, no matter the weekly ritual. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face while listening to the lyrics “kitten heels, lingerie, panty hose, foreplay.”

There is a line, however. If you find that you are listening to “Heads Will Roll – A Trak Radio Edit” in the quiet section for the 10th time in under an hour, you may have a problem. Bad taste in music and being repetitive in your song choice go hand-in-hand. “Call Me Maybe” on repeat is only cute after the first five minutes. After that, it’s kind of like making your profile picture a picture of someone else. The first few times it’s funny and endearing; past that it’s like telling a bad joke twice.

It’s not to say that there are strict rules for this sort of stuff. I completely understand the novelty in frivolous choices in music and default pictures. All I am saying is be mindful. People can hear your music blasting. They have to share that experience too.