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Here's some sound advice - let's adjust the volume to start a quiet revolution


The answers from our politicians can mean so much more when you actually know what the question is, writes Rebecca Levingston

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You know what I noticed about Jacinda Ardern’s press conference yesterday?

You could hear the journo’s questions! Choice bro.

It makes so much sense to stick a microphone reasonably close to leaders who are speaking so we can all hear the questions journalists ask. Why doesn’t that happen here in Australia?

Tune into the Queensland Government’s daily update and when it gets to questions you hear something unintelligible and you get whatever response the politician chooses to give.

I asked a political journo who attends daily pressers about the lack of microphones and he said he doesn’t think news organisations should be broadcasting them at all. If video killed the radio star, he thinks Facebook is neutering news.

Maybe he’s right, but for now, I’d like more microphones.

Here are a few other volume tweaks I’d like to hear…

Things that are too loud:

Hype around reality TV shows that champion foul behaviour. We keep trying to figure out how to model respectful relationships, but the highest rating show in the country models toxic manipulation.

Alarm clocks. As the sun rises later and the mornings get cooler, my alarm clock gets more annoying. I choose “natural” alarm sounds like ducks or crickets and they still quack or chirp too loudly.

Crows. Is it just me or are those squawks getting scary? Between the cockatoos shrieking and the kookaburras laughing, when international tourists do return to Australia, we might have to warn them about the cacophony of our feathered friends.

Hand dryers in public toilets. The blast to noise ratio is out of whack when it frightens small children and people squint at the sound. On a related note, while we’re in the loo, is everyone still washing their hands for 20 seconds?

My fridge. Beeping at me when I’ve left it open for a second too long. Righto buddy, the seasons are changing and I’m having trouble figuring out what I want to eat and drink. Just chill.

The dramatic bits in films. It’s frustrating to keep adjusting the volume when you’re watching a movie.

Conspiracy theories. In a world drowning in information, so often the least informed are the loudest.

Things that are too soft:

Politicians’ voices explaining the actual number of vaccines we have in Australia. How many did we order? How many have we got? What’s the hold-up? Speak up please.

Toads silently slipping into my swimming pool. I see the ripples and let me tell you that situation is anything but tranquil for me or the amphibian.

Couriers knocking on the door to let you know a parcel has arrived. I just get little cards saying sorry we missed you. Please knock louder – it’d save everyone a lot of hassle.

Easter eggs, when they’re left out of the fridge in Queensland. That’s a bit of a stretch when we’re thinking about things that are too soft, but you know what I mean.

The speaking bits in films. Like I said, it’s frustrating to have to keep adjusting the volume when you’re watching a movie.

Compliments. Next time someone does something good, don’t be shy, give them a shout out. Thanks, New Zealand!

Courtesy. Ramp up kindness. We live in noisy times.


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