Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


White Noise

Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

White NoiseI’ve talked before about my belief in randomness. I believe there is a lot to be learned about ourselves and the randomness of the universe is one method of figuring out what’s going on in our heads. White Noise is a movie that starts Friday about another method for gathering randomness.

Michael Keaton plays a man who wife has disappeared. He believes that she is speaking to him from beyond the grave through EVP, electronic voice phenomenon. It’s an interesting premise and something I could write and entire book about, so I’m excited to see the movie. I have never used EVP to gather randomness, but I love to read about it and listen to the recordings. There’s even a company in Utah that will come to your house and record hours of empty air and analyze it for you.

EVP reminds me of the Reverse Speech phenomenon. People will take recordings of spoken or sung words, reverse them and they pick out phrases in the reversed speech. David John Oates, founder of reverse speech, purports that these reverse messages are always the truth. He says that we can subconsciously understand this reversed speech and it explains those times when you can tell someone is lying to you.

With both of these, I tend to think that the voices heard have more to do with the listeners than with phenomena. In both disciplines, they raise the volume and speed up or slow down the recordings in order to find these “messages” from the beyond or the subconscious. They manipulate the recordings so much that finding something is almost inevitable. Many times, others can’t hear the “messages” unless they are told what to listen for.

As far as viable methods of study, I think they are both bogus, but I do think they hold an interesting window into our own psyches. I believe that the reverse messages found in George W. Bush’s speeches have nothing to do with the president and everything to do with the person who “found” the reversal. I believe the phantom voices found on tape recordings of “haunted” houses in the Salt Lake Valley have nothing to do with spirits and everything to do with the ghost hunters. I think reversed speech or random tape recordings would be a great way to find out more information about yourself, but only if you are the one looking for “messages.”

That’s why White Noise intrigues me. Is it a movie about a man slowly driven to a point of insanity by his own obsession with phantom voices in a tape recording? Is it a movie about a man who eventually comes to terms with the loss of his wife by fixating on what he imagines is her voice? I have a feeling that I have thought about this subject far more than the writers of the film and I may end up being disappointed. Oh well, it’s always a crap shoot when you go to a movie.


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