The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act

(2012)

I keep falling asleep on the couch during the midnight movies . . . last nite it was On the Waterfront, my fave flick ever. I couldn’t figure out why . . . after all, one of my seizure meds discourages sleep even. Then I read Greg Burk’s latest MetalJazz and he’s going on about the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act. CALM for short. Clever.  He’s crazy about it. No longer can commercials be louder than the programs they’re interrupting. You can imagine Burk before its passage, in his EZ chair, lunging for the remote and cursing the Toyotathon.  No more, though…all is mono-volume, smooth and unsurprising as the Kansas plain. The law went into effect on December 13, about the time I began dozing off before Marlon Brando had a chance to tell Rod Steiger he coulda been a contender.  I am lulled into deep sleep curled up on the couch, surrounded by the new fluffy couch pillows (which don’t help things either). Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger and Ashley Madison and the Mattress King flowing seamlessly together.  Nothing interrupts. No more being jolted awake by those ads for the Trojan Twister and their haunting undertone that men aren’t really necessary at all. But the thing is, I always did my best writing in the wee hours, invariably after being awoken by that delicious babe describing hideous malpractices that can be sued for. She rattles them off, all kinds of scary things,  diseases and deformities and even death. She talks so fast, this chick, and never blinks. Disturbing. And I don’t even know what a vaginal mesh is.  So I’d turn off the TV and turn on the computer and out would come prose. All kinds of prose. A blog’s worth of prose. No more. Now I just sleep, wake up, straighten up the house (I always straighten up the house), read a while and go to bed, the real bed, and sleep again. No prose at all.

There goes my writing career.

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