Australian born actress, music legend, writer and philosopher, Kylie Minogue has started a real cat-fight (sub – check if this is offensive to dogs) with her controversial statement that she is highly offended by people claiming to be music lovers when they were obviously born tone deaf.
Responding to her highly offensive comments, a popular musician (sub – check if this is offensive to real musicians) has said that he is deeply offended, even though he herself is not sure whether she is musical or not.
“There’s still a lot of people who don’t understand music — I don’t understand it at all,” he or she said. “But that doesn’t stop me from trying to make a living from it.”
To help clarify the issues, Western Plains poet-in-residence and self-confessed expert on everything, John Fustaigne, has compiled a guide for those wishing to understand different ways of hearing without inadvertently offending people who are obviously completely tone deaf.
- What is tone deaf? Part of the problem is that there’s so many different ways people can describe it. One definition that people find useful is: ‘A person is tone deaf who likes listening to The Cranberries.’
- Why is it so important to use the correct adjective? The best way to describe a tone deaf person’s album collection is ‘eclectic’. Instead of using critical language, say something neutral like, ‘I’d really like to be respectful and clarify, are you deaf or were you completely off your face when you bought that Mahavishnu Orchestra LP?’
- Why is it wrong to assume tone deaf people choose to be tone deaf? The assumption that tone deafness is something that happens to a person misses the point. It can happen to anybody, at any time. I once bought a King Crimson album.
- What is ‘deaf blaming’? ‘Deaf blaming’ is where a person’s temporary lapse in taste (eg buying a recording by Bronski Beat) is blamed on their deafness. We all make mistakes.
- Why is the term ‘cross over’ offensive? Using the term cross-over should be avoided. Joe Walsh should never have joined the Eagles. No good could ever come of such a cross-over.
- Why is it inappropriate to use the phrase ‘born at the wrong time’? A common expression used to justify poor album sales, eg ‘Iggy Pop was born at the wrong time’. When was a good time for Iggy Pop to be born?
- Why do tone deaf people get upset when people with really great taste in music draw attention to their disability? I don’t know. I get asked that all the time.
- Why is not an excuse to blame the past? Many tone deaf people will often attempt to blame their tone deafness on the indiscretions of youth. “It was the eighties” or “It sounded good at the party” are typical comments. Those years, for many people, are a sort of buried part of their identity that they are actually trying to forget and [….]